To the extent the term ‘god is in the details’ can be applied to food, specifically to the food created in both Barndiva kitchens, the prix fixe dinners we served NYE were not exclusive. Incredibly delicious, check. A joy to behold, see for yourself. But on par they followed an arc well established by Ryan Fancher. To cook with layered complexity ‘à la minute’ you need to master split second timing and coordinate multiple stages of a dish. His belief in an uncompromising mastery of prep starts long before a single dish reaches the table. From the moment raw product arrives at our kitchen door, through chopping, slicing, mincing, shredding, carving, poaching, sautéing, frying, rolling, baking, braising, simmering, steaming, whipping, (I could go on, it is seriously insane) a plethora of ingredients must be nurtured to a point of suspension and held at the ready, before the final act begins. In those last moments everything has to come together - perfect temperature, brightness of flavor, presentation - or that satisfactory moment of ‘à la minute’ loses its hot little heart of pleasure.
This is a crazy business when you are dedicated to capturing and extending what I’d call original flavor. But each and every day I've spent documenting (and eating) the food that comes out of our kitchens what I experience is a consistent, ego-less respect for what happens when rigorous labor and great ingredients meet. This is where the true alchemy of ‘fine’ dining begins. Ryan is the inspiration and always at the helm, but he’d be the first to issue deference to teamwork. His ability to teach and uphold standards of perfection is what makes him a great chef.
New Year's Eve we had two menus: they were not in competition, and there was nothing experimental about them - that wasn’t the intent. Below the different streams of energy and design we’ve created in the Barn and the Bistro, which flow from a desire to perfect and deliver nuanced approaches to different styles of dining, our course is to consistently re-create and extend classic flavor profiles we are wired to love. If that seems simple, well, it’s not. You are the judge of any success we enjoy. Looking around both dining rooms on NYE it was clear we ended the year on a high.
As our staff takes up their positions in the kitchens and the dining rooms after a much needed week off, we look forward to welcoming you in 2018 with continued enthusiasm for our mission. Because we understand, like never before, the importance of joyful dining in troubling times.