Dan Barber, chef at the prestigious Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the man behind WastED, the dinner series dedicated to repurposing food waste, is on a mission to redesign conventional seeds. He’s launching Row 7 today, a new company that works with chefs and seed breeders to create new varieties of more flavorful vegetables.
Barber is partnering with breeder Michael Mazourek from Cornell University and seed grower Matthew Goldfarb to research, develop and produce seeds on a commercial level. Row 7 launched seven varieties of vegetables that are currently on sale, including badger flame beet, habanada pepper, “experimental” cucumbers and squashes, potatoes and plenty more on the way. Working with farmers, these varieties will also hit grocery stores and farmers’ markets in the near future, according to The New York Times. Most importantly, the company offers chefs a voice in what they’d like to see be grown. This way, chefs are given the chance to work with new, natural flavors.
Chefs and farmers aren’t the only ones excited by Row 7. The company’s investors include former chief executive of Whole Foods Market, Walter Robb and co-founder and CEO of WeWork, Adam Neumann.
Row 7 started with Barber and Mazourek breeding the Honeynut squash. In five years, which is speedy for things like this, the squash became a sensation within the high-end restaurant industry. And it’s all thanks to over 60 chefs who spread the word through social media, conferences and more.
Want to find out more? Barber will appear on tomorrow’s episode of the Food Republic Today podcast. Make sure to subscribe to listen on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you fill your podcast needs.