Talking with Grana Trattoria Chef David Plath

Chef David Plath of Grana Trattoria in Jamesport
Chef David Plath, Photo: Courtesy Grana Trattoria in Jamesport

According to Chef David Plath of Grana Trattoria Antica in Jamesport, a great meal always begins with giving thanks. And Plath enjoys giving thanks for the local harvest, which inspires his Italian dishes. The restaurant specializes in classic old-world pizza and specialty pasta. Here, Plath shares about what drew him to the East End, food that defines summer on the East End, and the glory of working in the heart of Long Island Wine Country.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Dan’s Taste of Two Forks this year?
Working with my brothers and my son at the event. It’s a nice break and lot of fun.

One food or dish that everyone should try at least once in life:
Fresh fried anchovies, great in Italy when you can get them. I hope to have them this summer.

If you were to eat at your restaurant as a guest, what would you order?
A salad, split a pizza and have a pasta.

Describe the adrenaline of working in an East End kitchen.
First of all you have to be out of your mind to work in any kitchen or the restaurant business in general. It’s long, grueling hours. With that said, it’s probably the adrenaline and the endorphins kicking in during the rush that keeps us all going.

What drew you to work on the East End?
I’ve always loved the East End. The farms, wineries, beaches, scenery, it’s amazing!

If we looked inside your refrigerator right now, what would we find?
It changes each week. This week it’s bourbon smoke chicken. Sometimes some Asian noodles. Sometimes Cuban, sometimes just a lot of mustard and condiments.

Food that defines summer on the East End:
Anything locally grown and fish and shellfish.

Favorite East End-inspired meal?
Well right now it would be pesto bianco. That’s a white pesto with local asparagus.

What is your favorite local ingredient?
Heirloom tomatoes

What is your favorite aspect of being part of the culinary culture on the East End?
Along with the wineries, it’s sort of the beginning of a mini Napa Valley.

What does “local” mean to you?
Vegetables from local farms

Where do you find inspiration?
I like working with whatever is being harvested at the time and incorporating that into Italian dishes.

If you were to pack a meal for the beach, what are three things you’d bring?
Cold beer or a bottle of wine, maybe both, a loaf of my bread, and parmigiano

A great meal always begins with…

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 17, and continues on Saturday, July 18, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, both at Sayre Park, 156 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton. Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, rounds out the trio of events on August 22 in Cutchogue. For more information on all three events, including tickets and VIP packages, visit

Grana Trattoria Antica is located at 1556 Main Road, Jamesport. 631-779-2844

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