Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, will be held on Saturday, August 20, at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. Lauren Lombardi of Lombardi’s Love Lane Market in Mattituck is cooking up something special for the event. As she says, “It’s a pleasure working with the ingredients that the East End has to offer but I get the most pleasure working with the people that helped make it all happen. I’m so thankful for all the great talent of our winemakers, farmers and chefs, and to get to know them all personally over the last few years has been the most rewarding!”
What fuels your creativity as a chef?
Nothing is more inspiring, creatively, than the abundance of seasonal ingredients and artisanal products here in our backyard. There’s no way to ignore the beauty and complexity of what’s being grown here, both in the vineyards and on the farms, and that’s a constant fuel to stay focused and more creative in the kitchen.
What local ingredients are you using right now?
The Farm Beyond in Southold is growing some unique and beautiful varietals such as Puntarelle. It’s a member of the chicory family and has this amazingly wild, bitter flavor. In Italy it’s traditionally prepared with an anchovy vinaigrette which fits perfectly here on our summer table. I’m also in love with Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s verjus for my summer vinaigrettes. I have total design envy for the label too—it’s gorgeous.
What’s your local beverage, or cocktail, of choice this season?
I’m always drinking something refreshing and light after work and Saltbird Cellars has a beautifully bright sauvignon blanc and it’s pretty on the nose as well. It really combines the best of what North Fork terroir has to offer.
Which of your dishes would you most like to serve to another chef?
Italian to me is comforting and delicious and our signature porchetta sandwich is definitely both. Our whole roasted and herb stuffed porchetta is thinly sliced, tossed with garlic and broccoli rabe, and served on rustic bread with local herb pesto and shaved Romano cheese.
How has the gluten-free eating trend affected your menu?
A seasonal menu is the best fit for many of our customers. When you’re cooking fresh and local it’s really easy to adapt to different dietary needs. Gluten-free is really clean eating as well and that’s one of the best ways to eat on the East End.
What are you most looking forward to at Dan’s Harvest East End?
The food, the wine and the company!
Please complete this sentence: I could survive on a desert island if I just had: good bread and olive oil.
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, 19 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton.
New to the lineup this year is the oceanfront food and drink fest ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk, 290 Old Montauk Highway in Montauk on July 30.
Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, rounds out the series on August 20 at McCall Vineyard and Ranch, 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue.
For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTasteofSummer.com!