Meet Eleazar Estrada, executive chef of New York’s Pampano restaurant, which specializes in contemporary Mexican cuisine, at Dan’s Corona MonTaco presented by Don Julio on July 7 at Gurney’s Montauk. Clearly he knows what’s hip, but he can rock it old school too—just ask his abuela.
How old were you when you knew that you’d have a career in food?
18 years old—I liked cooking since I was a kid, assisting my grandmother.
My favorite dish to pair with a fine rosé is: filet mignon.
What Long Island wines are currently in your home wine library?
Pinot Blanc from Lieb Cellars
Why should consumers seek out local produce and wine?
To help stimulate the growth of small businesses in the area and establish a community sense.
Would you agree that chefs and farmers have a lot in common in that both are a little crazy and overworked?
Yes. In some sense farming is an art, just like being a chef. Creativity, discipline and hard work are the common aspects for both activities.
What crop could local farmers grow that you would be excited to use?
If I got a tattoo tomorrow it would depict: the art of the kitchen.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve ever eaten?
Foie gras with filet mignon and truffle mashed potato from Per Se
What do you have in your kitchen that would make another food pro jealous?
My team—they make everything happen.
What local ingredients will you be using in the high summer season?
Yellow watermelon, radishes, various micro greens.
I could create a fine meal with just these five ingredients: tomato, cucumber, onions, cilantro, red bell pepper.
What are you most looking forward to about being a part of Dan’s Taste of Summer?
Being given the opportunity to showcase my food and Pampano’s style.
What’s one of your favorite beach dining memories?
My times in Cancun—when I went on vacations with my family as a youngster.
A portion of proceeds from ClambakeMTK and MonTaco benefits The Retreat, which provides safety, shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse and works to break the cycle of family violence.
Find the latest info on all of Dan’s Taste of Summer events remaining this summer—the new Dan’s Corona MonTaco presented by Don Julio (July 7) at Gurney’s Montauk hosted by Adam Richman, Travel Channel host, author, food & travel explorer; Dan’s ClambakeMTK (July 8) at Gurney’s Montauk hosted by Geoffrey and Margaret Zakarian—Geoffrey Zakarian is a star of Food Network’s Chopped, The Kitchen, Cooks vs. Cons, co-author of My Perfect Pantry, restaurateur behind The Lambs Club, The National in NYC, The National in Greenwich, Georgie and The Garden Bar at Montage Beverly Hills, Point Royal and Counter Point at The Diplomat Beach Resort and The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City and co-creator of Pro For Home food storage container system. Margaret Zakarian is President of Zakarian Hospitality, co-author of My Perfect Pantry and co-creator of Pro For Home food storage container system; Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda (July 21) hosted by Robert Irvine, celebrity chef, entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder of the Robert Irvine Foundation and chef/owner of Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana Las Vegas; and Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Co. (July 22) hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli chef/owner of Butter, Judge on Food Network’s Chopped, author of Old School Comfort Food and soon-to-be released cookbook The Home Cook—at DansTasteofSummer.com. Follow Dans Taste of Summer on Facebook, on Twitter @DansTOS17 and Instagram @DansTasteofSummer. Event Hashtags: #DansTOS, #MonTaco, #ClambakeMTK, #GrillHampton and #TasteofTwoForks.