Influential chef-author Dan Barber coming to Sacramento for annual One Book program

The Third Plate Dan Barber
Dan Barber's The Third Plate is the Sacramento Public Library's One Book selection for 2015.

The Sacramento Public Library announced today that The Third Plate, by the James Beard Award-winning chef Dan Barber, has been chosen for its One Book program this year.

The project, as the name suggests, prompts conversation about a specific topic each year as various groups throughout the country organize events revolving around one book of their choosing. For 2015, the Sacramento Public Library—which has participated in the movement since 2012—has partnered with the California Food Literacy Center and the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau to focus on Sacramento’s standing as the country’s farm-to-fork capital by encouraging city dwellers to read and discuss The Third Plate.

In The Third Plate, Barber—co-owner and executive chef of the New York restaurant Blue Hill and recipient of multiple James Beard Awards including the award for country’s outstanding chef in 2009—explores America’s relationship with food and how communities must rethink how they eat to reflect the food that is farmed locally. The New York Times described the book as "highly entertaining," praising Barber for "a series of lively encounters with food pioneers scattered hither and yon."

Barber, who was also listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2009, recently finished a series of pop-up dinners called Wasted, in which he worked with area farmers and producers to create daily menus from food waste.

Lori Easterwood, the library’s programming partnerships coordinator, says the message behind the book is especially timely and crucial to our city, which is proudly reclaiming its status as an agricultural epicenter.

“[The Third Plate] really has more potential to reach this community than any other book we have chosen in the past few years,” Easterwood says. “I think it has great impact for discussion, [presenting] a chance for all of us to get together and talk as a community.”

Each branch of the city’s library system will have copies of The Third Plate in hard-copy, e-book and audiobook forms available for checkout from now through the fall. And during the month of October, there will be events around the city promoting conversations about the book, from food presentations (including a joint fundraiser for the library and the Center for Food Literacy where the meal portion of the event will consist of dishes inspired by the book) to panels discussions. Barber himself will visit Sacramento on Oct. 6 to talk about his book at the Central Library’s Tsakopoulos Galleria.

“It’s really important that, as a community, we start to talk about how we think more sustainably in the way we eat and prepare our food and how we support all this agriculture that keeps our community going,” Easterwood says.

The library’s full slate of One Book events will be announced in the months to come. Visit to check out The Third Plate or learn more about One Book 2015.

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