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The New York Times reports that chef Dan Barber's two Blue Hill restaurants in New York - in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., and in Greenwich Village - will not reopen next year, having been closed by the pandemic, but instead will shift to a rotating chef-in-residence format that will last at least a year.

According to the story, "The pivot to the chef-in-residence program had been in the works before Covid-19 changed New York’s restaurant landscape, but the pandemic put those plans on the fast track."  Barber tells the Times, "This came about because we have been reflecting on this moment in time and where a restaurant belongs in our culture.  The staff has been pushing some of the issues."

Barber said "it would be an opportunity to 'shine a light on a chef who has not had a space like this.'  Chefs who have lost their kitchens because of the pandemic or are between jobs are prime candidates … with diversity in terms of color and gender in mind."

KC's View:

This is fascinating - a restaurant that is legendary in its approach to farm-to-table cuisine, largely built on the reputation of its owner-chef, deciding to throw all the sticks into the air and reassemble them in a different way when they land.  It may be a risk, but it also can be an adventure that will bring the company new insights and show it new directions.