Ripe beefsteak tomatoes have finally arrived on the east end of Long Island. They are about a week or two behind local cherry tomatoes and it’s great to have the whole tomato family around to cook (and not cook) with for the remainder of the summer. Continue reading My First Chilled Tomato Soup of 2016→
This is my 25th season of cooking in the Hamptons during the summer. The first 23 seasons were spent in restaurant kitchens (The 1770 House, Della Femina, and cittanuova for the most part) and the last two have been in a private setting. I could write many posts about how the worlds of private and public cooking differ, but I will save those for a book.
Today is the first day of summer and it is also the start of my 25th summer season of cooking in the Hamptons. My first summer of cooking on the east end of Long Island was in 1992 with the opening of Della Femina restaurant in East Hampton. A lot has happened since then, like opening the 1770 House in 2002 and cittanuova in 2004. But no matter where I have been, cooking has always been a part of it.
This season finds me, once again, cooking privately in Bridgehampton on Sagaponack Pond. Over the years, I have always supported local farmers and people who fish and hunt on the east end of Long Island. This year is no different. Food artisans and other food-related businesses all find places on my menus and now I am involved with growing a lot of the vegetables that I use in the kitchen.
I have been cooking from the garden for several weeks and I thought I would share a few photos of what I have been doing in the kitchen. Take a look, grow some stuff and cook it. Summer is here!
This past summer I made my first foray into the world of private chef services. Until this summer, I had prepared an occasional private event, usually for good customers of the restaurants I was involved with, or for friends. But I have found that I really enjoy this type of work and now I want to make it a larger part of the services I offer.
This service will be a premium one. I don’t want to do weddings for 300 guests but, instead, private dinner parties with customized menus. The menus may be presented as buffets, plated and coursed events, or as tasting menus with a variety of options. I will also offer paired food and beverage menus that reflect the use of locally grown fruits and vegetables, locally sourced fish and meats and locally produced wines, beers, ciders and coffee. I also prefer to work with organic and bio-dynamic foods. Continue reading Private Chef Service: Photos 2015→
Summer is winding down but there is still time to enjoy the remaining days by eating tomatoes. Panzanella is one of my favorite ways to eat them. This classic bread salad is great for entertaining at home because it can be started ahead of time and finished at the last minute.
End of Summer Panzanella
2 servings as an appetizer
Preheat an oven to 400F
100 g. fresh country bread cut into 1″ cubes
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Toss the oil and the bread so the bread is well coated, place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned. It should have a crispy exterior and a soft interior.
15 g. shallot, minced
15 g. garlic, minced
30 g. cherry tomatoes cut into quarters (I like Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomatoes-they are very small and very sweet)
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. decent quality red wine
1/2 t. kosher salt
90 g. green heirloom tomatoes cut into 1″ pieces-save any juices (I like Aunt Rubie’s German Green)
90 g. red heirloom tomatoes cut into 1″ pieces-save any juices (Stick to larger beefsteak heirlooms like Black Krims)
6 basil leaves-I like Thai basil but any will do
4 T. extra virgin olive oil (Frantoia is good)
Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. The salt will draw the juice out of the tomatoes. Let the ingredients rest together at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Add the bread and let it all rest together for another 20 minutes. Mix it well again and serve in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
This salad works well as a base for grilled fish, grilled chicken, veal cutlets and other mild flavored meats.