Interweb Cookery: Take Your Break with Dan Barber's 'Goose Whisperer'

Do you have a 20 minute break today? Then you may want to spend it viewing this thought-provoking talk on foie gras by chef Dan Barber. I was privileged to hear this talk back in July 2008 when I attended the Taste3 conference at the now defunct Copia in Napa Valley. Of all the presentations, this one created the most buzz in the corridors during the breaks and was, for me, the most memorable.

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Barber begins by declaring that he has not only just returned from the best culinary experience of his life, but that he has also witnessed what he believes is the future of cooking.

The talk is an homage to Spanish farmer Eduardo Sousa who won the prestigious Coup de Coeur (a French culinary prize) for his foie gras. Barber describes a day spent with Eduardo on his farm, where the world's finest foie gras is produced with out using the controversial gavage, or force feeding, technique.

If you view this on YouTube you can see by the comments that even this more humane way of raising geese is still controversial. Is there another food on the planet as polarizing as foie gras? Barber tells a good story, so even if you aren't necessarily interested in this topic, it's still worth viewing to enjoy his imagery and humor. In the end, what inspired me the most were his comments on how the most ecological choices for producing food are often also the most ethical, not to mention the most delicious.

(Image: ibergour)

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Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.