When the new European-inspired dining and entertainment experience Sienna Restaurant & UltraLounge came to East Hampton this summer, it also brought Executive Chef Ben Zwicker, of such prestigious New York kitchens as the Four Seasons, Aureole, Petrossian and, most recently, TBar Steak & Lounge. As Zwicker prepares to join the fun at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, we talk with him about guilty pleasures, the generosity of chefs and what’s great about being part of the cuisine culture on Long Island’s East End.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Dan’s Taste of Two Forks? I am most looking forward to the chance to meet the other chefs and taste all the great food.
What is one food or dish that everyone should try at least once in life? One food that everyone should try at least once in their life is Sea Urchin.
Describe your relationship with food in three words Three words to describe my relationship with food would be pleasurable
What quality do you most admire in a chef? The quality that I admire most in a chef is intensity.
What would be your one request of the cooking gods? My one request would be that I had invented the Cronut.
If we looked inside your refrigerator right now, what would we find? If you looked inside my refrigerator you would find yogurt, cheese, butter, meatballs, steak, watermelon, blueberries, vegetables and bee pollen.
The perfect drink for a summer night… The perfect drink for a summer night is a Classic Margarita.
Food that defines summer on Long Island… A food that defines summer on Long Island is grilled fish.
If you had two forks in your hands right now, what would you like to stick them in? I would stick them in a Greek Salad and Watermelon.
The world ends tomorrow. Your last meal would be… Oysters, Steak, Green Salad and our Banana Parfait
What are your favorite local ingredients? Long Island Duck and oysters
Your guilty food or drink pleasure these days… I never feel guilty about food and drinks.
What’s great about being part of the cuisine culture on the East End… There are great local products and purveyors.
What do you consider a chef’s most underrated virtue? Generosity.
Finish this sentence: The Perfect Meal Is… Simple
Dan’s Taste of Two Forks 2013 is Saturday, July 13, at Sayre Park in Bridgehampton. The event is now sold out, but there are a limited number of tickets left for our all-new grilling competition and tasting event, GrillHampton, on Friday, July 12. Get more information at danstasteoftwoforks.com.