Dan’s Taste of Summer Countdown: Chef Paolo Fontana, SCGP Café

Dan’s Taste of Summer Countdown: Chef Paolo Fontana, SCGP Café

Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, will be held on Saturday, August 20, at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. SCGP Café (Stony Brook), participant Chef Paolo Fontana has some deep thoughts to share about what fuels his creativity: “I don’t know if ‘fuels’ is the correct word. For example, I understand biology. I know that I have a heart, and a brain, and I understand that those processes require fuel. The Krebs cycle requires fuel. To get through the day, I require fuel. For me, creativity is a spontaneous reaction that pours out of you, a fire, and desire that can’t be contained, and as a chef you want to share it with the world in the most palatable way you know.”

What do you think of the Montauk Fishburger?
Whenever we are allowed the opportunity to do something good in this world, we should always take advantage of that. Having the opportunity to educate the next generation of people who will ultimately inherit our island on the importance of becoming familiar with our fragile bounty, nourishing them through the process, and hiding it under a burger bun? Genius.

What local ingredients are you using right now?
Porgies. We score them, stuff them with herbs and shaved fennel, douse them in really nice olive oil and sea salt, and roast them whole in the café for lunch.

What is your local beverage, or cocktail, of choice this season?
Montauk Beverage Works Half & Half. I’m very happy these guys are back!

Which of your dishes would you like to serve to another chef?
I’ve been working on a carrot cake and doughnut recipe. I would like to have some professional feedback.

How has the gluten-free eating trend affected your menu?
A lot of great foods are already gluten-free. It isn’t this monumental problem other chefs make it out to be. We have had gluten-free items on the menu since day one.

What are you most looking forward to at Dan’s Harvest East End?
Seeing, talking to, and catching up with old friends, colleagues and new faces.

Please complete this sentence: My mother would not approve of my caponata. She would tell me to fry the eggplant less. But she would approve of the flavor I get from my ragu.

I could survive on a desert island if I just had: a loaf of Martin’s Potato bread, organic crunchy peanut butter, and Hero raspberry preserves.

What would you like to share with our readers that we haven’t covered?
That Stony Brook is, and should always be, considered part of the East End food scene!

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton hosted by Adam Richman on Friday, July 22 and continues on Saturday, July 23, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli, both on the waterfront at Fairview Farm at Mecox in Bridgehampton. VIP tickets for GrillHampton are $185 and offer early access to the event beginning at 7 p.m. General Admission, from 8 p.m.–10:30 p.m., is $135. VIP tickets for Taste of Two Forks are $295 and offer early access beginning at 6:30 p.m. General Admission, from 7:30 p.m.–10 p.m., is $185.

The oceanfront food and drink fest ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk hosted by Marc Murphy and Eden Grinshpan premieres on Saturday, July 30. General Admission for ClambakeMTK, from 7:30 p.m.–10 p.m., is $150. VIP tickets are $250, and include access to the after-party from 10 p.m.–12 a.m.

Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian, is Saturday, August 20, at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. VIP tickets for Harvest East End are $285 and offer early access beginning at 6:30 p.m. General Admission, from 7:30 p.m.–10 p.m., is $135.

A portion of this year’s ticket proceeds from GrillHampton and Taste of Two Forks will benefit All For The East End (AFTEE), a 501(c)(3) that showcases and provides support to the more than 1,000 charity organizations in the five East End towns. A portion of proceeds from Harvest East End benefits Long Island Farm Bureau and HRHCare.

To purchase tickets and get more info on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTasteofSummer.com!

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