La Esquina’s Executive Chef and Culinary Director Fabián Gallardo offers some words to live by: “Summer on the East End is unique each year and once the summer is over you can’t get that back. My advice is enjoy every second you have because summer 2018 will be fleeting, but original.” Chef Fabián knows—he lives and works in New York. But you can meet Chef Fabián Gallardo at Dan’s Corona MonTaco Oceanfront Fiesta at Gurney’s Yacht Club in Montauk on August 4. And, significantly, you can taste his delish food!
How do memories of home continue to influence your work?
I’m originally from Leon, Mexico. Every single day we try to recreate the flavors of restaurants in Mexico City.
What’s your earliest food memory?
Probably a quesadilla, I guess I was 4 years old. I loved the way the corn and melted cheese created an amazing comfort food meal.
What’s the most unusual substitution you’ve ever been asked to make to one of your menu items?
Quesadilla: no cheese.
How does the East End inform your culinary creativity?
Making fusion meals sometimes is fun—cooking on the East End gives you creativity to play with different ingredients from different places.
What person or what moment has inspired your career the most?
Chef Walter Manzke—he inspired me to go on a search for the perfect ingredient.
Which Long Island wines are you drinking these days?
Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s
What’s your favorite beverage to take on an East End picnic?
What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
Anything with seafood—I love making ceviches.
Do you eat at your restaurant on your days off?
I always check the flow from front-of-house and back-of-house, but I try not to eat at the restaurant on my day off.
What piece of equipment, or ingredient, do you covet?
A Josper Grill.
What’s a method that you refuse to use?
A microwave oven—that’s cheating.
What’s the most important thing to teach the next generation of chefs?
Work hard, respect your co-workers.
What does the phrase “taste of summer” bring to mind for you?
Ocean, seafood, sunsets, watermelon.
What’s your favorite thing about Dan’s Taste of Summer events?
I enjoy cooking for the guests and meeting the chefs. This is a well-organized event and I love the view.
Dan’s Corona MonTaco Oceanfront Fiesta is Saturday, August 4 at Gurney’s Yacht Club Resort & Marina in Montauk. GA tickets are $125 for admission 7:30–10 p.m. Featuring celebrated chefs’ culinary twists on classic Mexican cuisine. VIP tickets are $175 and include After Party 10 p.m. to midnight. For info on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTasteofSummer.com. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend.