Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork Countdown: Chef Noah Schwartz

Chef Noah Schwartz, Photo: Suffolk Theater
Chef Noah Schwartz, Photo: Suffolk Theater

Noah Schwartz will be among the top East End chefs gathering to honor the doyenne of North Fork dining, the North Fork Table & Inn’s Chef Claudia Fleming, at Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork hosted by The Halyard at Sound View Greenport on Saturday, July 7. In additional to owning Noah’s in Greenport, a popular restaurant renowned for its seafood, and the Noah’s on the Road food trucks, chef Noah Schwartz now oversees the kitchen at the Art Deco jewel, the Suffolk Theater, in Riverhead. You’ll see his witty specials on the menu at the Suffolk keyed to the headliner of the night. For example, Hot Tuna Melt (Hot Tuna), Baked BOC Oysters (Blue Oyster Cult), Deano’s Spaghetti (for a evening of Sinatra’s love songs).

Schwartz says, “Throughout my life I’ve tried to live by the coast and always make the most of what the local waters have to offer. Our menu varies greatly [based] on the time of year and what we have available from our immediate area to work with.” Meet Schwartz and sample his handiwork on July 7 during a once-in-a-lifetime meal with wine pairings.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
Momos, a Nepalese dumpling that we make at home and work as a whole family to roll and stuff. Then we eat them all night—sometimes for a few days.

What’s the most unusual request you’ve entertained?
A very nice, elderly customer loved her omelet and had a hard time with solid foods, so she requested we blend it. Of course we didn’t mind doing it because she was so nice but it really didn’t look very nice on the way out of the kitchen.

Where are you from?
I grew up on Long Island and have early memories of fishing out of Captree State Park and having my grandmother cook up whatever we could bring back from local boats.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Watching chefs on PBS while my grandmother cooked dinner for me and my older brother. We loved The Frugal Gourmet!

What’s special about being part of the North Fork culinary community?
It’s an especially exciting time right now because more and more young farmers are discovering the area and growing interesting things for chefs like me to work with.

How would you describe the evolution of the North Fork dining scene?
A lot has changed over the last five years, including the type of food being served in the area and the number of restaurants that have recently opened, especially in Greenport.

How does living on the East End inform your cooking and culinary creativity?
Like most chefs, we cook with the seasons and the East End weather can vary greatly year to year. This year, everything is a little bit slow and we haven’t had much to work with until recently.

Who inspired your career the most?
I worked for Chef Mark Stark in Sonoma County California for several years. He inspired me and my wife to go into business for ourselves and [taught us] how to treat employees fairly and how to run a business successfully.

Do you ever eat at your own restaurant on your days off?
As a chef and owner I find it hard to relax in my own establishment. I try to learn things at other people’s locations and bring them back to [see] what we can do better.

What does the phrase “taste of summer” bring to mind for you?
For me, on the North Fork, it’s corn—the things that are really only available at that time and actually at there peak in the height of that season.

What’s the most important thing to teach the next generation of chefs?
Do it because you love it and be ready to work your ass off.

What makes a cocktail a “craft cocktail?”
The use of fresh, high-quality ingredients.

What are you most looking forward to about the Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork event?
Working with other local chefs that I don’t usually get the opportunity to cook with.

Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork hosted by The Halyard at Sound View Greenport is Saturday, July 7 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $150 and are on sale now at DansTaste.com, while they last. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend.

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