A 5-hour, 27-course meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

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I recently spent five days at the Culinary Institute of America for a cooking boot camp in upstate New York. When I was planning the trip, I noticed the campus was only about 45 minutes north of Stone Barns, a large farm and research center in Tarrytown, N.Y. It’s also the home of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a restaurant opened in 2004 by Dan Barber, a James Beard-nominated chef who was the subject of an episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. Barber is a farm-to-table pioneer — the restaurant utilizes the farm’s bounty to create different dishes each night.

I had to know what it was like to eat there. I am a big believer in YOLO (that’s “you only live once”) meals, meals that transcend the typical dining scenario to become a true experience.

Well, this was definitely that, lasting 5 hours and 27 courses. You can read all about it here. Here are some photos from my time there.

 There is no menu at Stone Barns, so each diner gets a slightly different meal.

There is no menu at Stone Barns, so each diner gets a slightly different meal.

 This was my first course, simply titled “Vegetables from the Farm.”

This was my first course, simply titled “Vegetables from the Farm.”

 During a farm tour, I spotted these gourds in a greenhouse.

During a farm tour, I spotted these gourds in a greenhouse.

 A row of greens can be seen from the restaurant.

A row of greens can be seen from the restaurant.

 This is the ticket on which chef Dan Barber writes each table’s courses.

This is the ticket on which chef Dan Barber writes each table’s courses.

 And this is what they give you at the end of the night.

And this is what they give you at the end of the night.

 “Grapes and Grape Tomatoes” and “Peach and Poppy Seed.”

“Grapes and Grape Tomatoes” and “Peach and Poppy Seed.”

 A new vegetable called a “kalette,” a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale. It was served with a sumptuous charcoal mayonnaise.

A new vegetable called a “kalette,” a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale. It was served with a sumptuous charcoal mayonnaise.

 This was presented as a Squash that Wants to be an Avocado, and it was a green squash that was made to resemble guacamole.

This was presented as a Squash that Wants to be an Avocado, and it was a green squash that was made to resemble guacamole.

 Dainty bean sprouts served with a brown butter that had been mixed with regular butter to create a Brown Butter Butter.

Dainty bean sprouts served with a brown butter that had been mixed with regular butter to create a Brown Butter Butter.

 These two dishes, at left, were inspired by a sunflower farm recently acquired by Stone Barns. At right is a giant sunflower head.

These two dishes, at left, were inspired by a sunflower farm recently acquired by Stone Barns. At right is a giant sunflower head.

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