“Local ingredients are produced with passion and heart,” says Chef Marco Pellegrini of Caci North Fork, which emphasizes fresh pastas and seafood in its menu. Chef Pellegrini will share his culinary talent on August 22, when he heads to Dan’s Harvest East End, held at McCall Vineyard and Ranch. Here, he dishes on life as a chef on the North Fork.
What are you most looking forward to about being a part of Dan’s Harvest East End this year?
It’s very exciting to meet local chefs in the area and to see the creativity that each chef brings to their dish. We are looking forward to showing guests what we can do.
A dish that everyone should try at least once in their life?
Steak Fiorentina: a traditional Italian dish. A porterhouse prepared on our wood-fired grill, served with real Parmigiano Reggiano, organic arugula and aged balsamic vinegar.
What is the best pairing of food and East End wine?
Grilled New York strip with fresh black summer truffle sauce paired with Macari Cabernet Franc.
If you were to eat at your restaurant as a guest, what would you order?
Grilled calamari: prepared on our wood-fired grill and seasoned with house-made breadcrumbs. Ravioli: Imported buffalo milk ricotta with a black summer truffle sauce. Steak Fiorentina (described above)
Perfect drink for a summer night:
Our Blueberry Smash. It’s prepared with Breeze Hill Farm blueberries, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, mint from our garden and
Favorite East End inspired meal?
Peconic Bay Scallops with local grapes, basil pesto and topped with crispy pancetta.
What is your favorite local ingredient?
Crescent Farms duck. We prepared it with an apple chutney.
What is your favorite aspect of being part of the culinary culture on the East End?
I really like the support and collaborations with local entrepreneurs as well as fresh high quality ingredients. I love working with local farms to create dishes. I enjoy experimenting with local ingredients to help grow my dishes.
Where do you find inspiration inside and outside the kitchen?
Talking about new ingredients and brainstorming with my team. Usually ideas come to me while I’m driving.
When you hear “local” what comes to mind?
Fresh picked, high quality. Local ingredients are produced with passion and heart.
Food that defines summer:
Local organic tomatoes, with fresh basil and our fresh mozzarella
A great meal always begins with…
A toast with Sparkling Pointe wine and great company.
Make a toast to East End wine:
I wish the wineries the strong and continuous support of the community and to keep producing amazing wine that all the world can enjoy and experience.
The trio of Dan’s Taste of Summer events wraps up with Dan’s Harvest East End on Saturday, August 22. Hosted by celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, the event will showcase some 40 East End winemakers, the dishes of 30-plus top regional chefs and purveyors. Tickets start at $125 for general admission and $275 for VIP admission. The event will be held at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit DansTasteofSummer.com.
Caci North Fork, 56125 Main Road, Southold. 631-765-4383, cacinorthfork.com