Dan's GrillHampton Countdown: Whole Le Crepe Owner Tina Paola
Tina Paola, owner of Whole Le Crepe, Inc., says that “the most important thing to teach the next generation of chefs is determination and patience. You can always surprise yourself by learning something new and stepping out of your comfort zone.”
Patrons stepped into a very comfortable zone and met Paola and sampled some of her mobile creperie’s delights at Dan’s Rosé Soirée presented by Porsche on Sunday, May 27 at the Southampton Arts Center. Many more are now looking forward to Dan’s GrillHampton presented by New York Prime Beef on July 20 at Fairview Farm at Mecox because carnivores love their sweets. Paola is the event’s featured dessert chef. As she says, “There’s no place like the East End in the summer time!”
What’s the most unusual substitution you’ve ever been asked to make?
While serving at the Food Network for the cast and crew of Chopped, we were asked to add Swiss cheese to a strawberry crepe.
How does living on the East End inform your cooking and culinary creativity?
Serving seasonally at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead gives us a platform that exposes us to a wide audience of cultures. Our menu selections are inspired by the international customers, return customers and day-trippers. Being at the Gateway to Long Island Wine Country and the beautiful East End allows us to be creative and offer an element of class to complement the wines that this region has to offer. We strive to offer a tasteful service!
What has inspired your career the most?
Growing up in a first generation Italian household, I was spoiled with authentic meals every night for dinner! My mother and grandmother taught me there are no shortcuts when perfecting a meal. After a time, your palate becomes accustomed to a distinct taste.
While traveling, I always sought out a creperie to satisfy my crepe craving! After being somewhat disappointed, I was inspired to bring fresh, authentic crepes to Long Island! I have learned to share in the excitement each time a customer gives a positive review! It never gets old hearing, “Whole Le Crepe, that was good!” It’s a very satisfying experience to provide a simple pleasure from our little food truck!
Which Long Island wines are you drinking these days?
Raphael’s cabernet franc and Bedell Cellars’ First Crush.
What’s an ingredient or method that you refuse to use?
We refuse to freeze our batter or use frozen fruit to keep up with the demand. It must be made fresh to ensure quality. Biting into a juicy, freshly picked peach with raspberry drizzled on our crepe!
What’s your favorite thing about Dan’s Taste of Summer events?
Serving among the finest purveyors Long Island has to offer!
Dan’s GrillHampton presented by New York Prime Beef is Friday, July 20 at Fairview Farm at Mecox. GA tickets are $99 for admission 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. to see East End chefs pitted against NYC chefs in a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and tasting event. Enjoy an epic live performance by Long Island’s most popular band: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot – Celebrating The Music of Billy Joel! VIP tickets are $175 and include early access beginning at 7 p.m.; admission to the Waterfront VIP Lounge with special treats and more! Tickets, and info on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, at DansTaste.com. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend.