Coronavirus is hurting the restaurant industry. Here’s how it could change the future of food

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Dan Barber, the vanguard chef behind Blue Hill at Stone Barns, earned two Michelin stars as he championed the farm-to-table movement in New York State. But rave reviews have spared no one in the ailing food world, as restaurants have gone into perilous hibernation, leaving workers unemployed and thoroughfares eerily quiet around the country.

Barber shut the doors of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, in Westchester County, and a second location in New York City in mid-March. With hopes of keeping some income flowing to struggling employees and suppliers, his team started offering to-go boxes of produce, meat, fish and other items that loyal patrons could make and consume at home. But even at prices ranging up to $170, Barber says, it’s hardly a drop in the bucket. “It’s like whack-a-mole,” he says. “There’s problems everywhere with everyone.”

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The Anti-Restaurant Movement

The Anti-Restaurant Movement

Participative dining experiences are redefining the way we think about food

Underground restaurants have found their niche. Stringing together the farm-to-table movement and a bloggy kind of interactivity, they have gained a following among food lovers, mostly in their 20s and 30s, who have an opinion on local versus organic, prefer intimate and casual to grand and ceremonial, and are open to meeting people and building connections in new ways.

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