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Joe Smith of The Ram’s Head Inn on the Foodie Scene

According to Joe Smith of The Ram’s Head Inn on Shelter Island, the food that everyone should try at least once in life is “oysters on the half shell. It’s just a perfect food that you don’t have to do anything to.” Smith will join fellow heavyweights of the East End culinary world at Dan’s Harvest East End, held at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue on August 22. Here, he dishes on the event, and the foodie scene on the East End.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Dan’s Harvest East End this year?
Getting a chance to meet some of the exceptional chefs from all around the East End

One food or dish that everyone should try at least once in life:
Oysters on the half shell. It’s just a perfect food that you don’t have to do anything to

What is the best pairing of food and East End wine?
Local oysters and Sparkling Pointe Brut

If you were to eat at your restaurant as a guest, what would you order?
Our Crescent Farm Duck Breast. [It’s] crispy, salty and delicious.

Describe the relationship between East End wine and the agriculture, aquaculture and overall East End culinary culture?
Each complements the next so perfectly. Nature’s finest.

The perfect drink for a summer night:
Crooked Ladder Gypsy Red

Food that defines summer on the East End:
Local bi-colored corn. I use it as a side for everything.

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors on Friday, July 17, and continues on Saturday, July 18, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, 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 DansTasteofSummer.com.

Favorite East End-inspired meal?
Any local seafood. The quality is fantastic.

What is your favorite local ingredient?
Heirloom tomatoes from Sang Lee. They’re just perfect.

What is your favorite aspect of being part of the culinary culture on the East End?
The abundance of fresh, local produce. It makes my job a lot easier.

When you hear the phrase “local,” what comes to mind?
Knowing exactly where your food comes from.

Where do you find inspiration, inside and outside the kitchen?
My kitchen staff. A really great group of talent.

A great meal always begins with…
Friends and drinks.

Make a toast to East End wine:
To an endless summer!

Ram’s Head Inn, 108 South Ram Island Drive, Shelter Island Heights. 631-749-0811, theramsheadinn.com

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors on Friday, July 17, and continues on Saturday, July 18, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, 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 DansTasteofSummer.com.

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