Dan’s Taste of Summer Countdown: Chef Marco Barrila, Manna Restaurant

Marco Barrila
Photo: Courtesy Manna Restaurant

Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company returns Saturday, July 23, but to a new Bridgehampton location—the waterfront at Fairview Farm at Mecox. Chef Marco Barrila of Manna Restaurant in Water Mill will be there. Here’s a clue to what he may be offering that night, as he asserts, “My specialty is anything seafood!”

At Manna, Barrila creates a multi-regional array of traditional, rustic dishes that change seasonally and focus on local farm-to-table, as well as imported Italian products. The menu includes signature dishes like eggplant timbal, grilled octopus with chimichurri and lobster risotto. Manna is open year-round, so patrons can dine by the fireplace in the winter and enjoy al fresco seating during the warm months.

What fuels your creativity as a chef?
The variety of new flavors and international products in the market continue to elevate my creativity.

What local ingredients are you using right now?
Are you kidding me? I use them all!

What do you think of the Montauk Fishburger?
Although I have not had a chance to taste it, I love the movement behind it and what it’s trying to achieve. I would be very proud to have wild and sustainable local fish on my table. Born and raised in Sicily, fish is my specialty, which is a big part of what attracted me and my business to relocate from Manhattan to Long Island.

What is your local beverage, or cocktail, of choice this season?
Local strawberry mojitos—especially with our Blue Point oysters. Yum!

Which of your dishes would you most like to serve to another chef?
It depends on the chef.

How have eating trends affected your menu?
Those trends have not affected my menu. I offer a variety of options to meet all dietary needs and restrictions.

What are you most looking forward to at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks?
Unique flavors and driving people’s palates crazy!

Please complete this sentence: My mother would not approve of me cooking…
unauthentic Italian dishes like chicken parmigiana—but she would approve of the flavor after she had tried it.

I could survive on a desert island if I just had…
cheese, bread, olives and lemons.

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 22, and continues on Saturday, July 23, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, both on the waterfront at Fairview Farm at Mecox in Bridgehampton. The oceanfront food and drink fest ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk premieres on Saturday, July 30. Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, is Saturday, August 20, at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTaste.com! 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.

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