Dan’s Chefs of the Hamptons Countdown: Colin Ambrose of Estia’s Little Kitchen

Colin Ambrose, Photo: Hailey Burling
Colin Ambrose receiving the 2019 Empty Bowl Award for community service from Project MOST, Photo: Hailey Burling

Estia’s Little Kitchen chef/owner Colin Ambrose is an East Ender with an adventurous heart. Meet Ambrose and sample his unique fare at the first-ever Dan’s Chefs of the Hamptons, benefitting Guild Hall, on June 29 at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton.

First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer.”

You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?
Ernest Hemingway, Jim Harrison and Doug Peacock. The meal would be prepared over a fire, riverside, somewhere in Montana or Idaho. The conversation would start focused on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which we all have in common. The menu would include lots of wild things, and of course several bottles of Bordeaux—since this is a dinner with two dead men, I’ll drink too.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
Cornmeal crusted chicken pot pie.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Use the best ingredients you can and limit them to three or four.

What are your hobbies/passions/interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
Fly fishing, cooking over fire, exploring new American rivers.

Tell us a secret…
I’m crazy for my wife, Jessica.

What’s the ultimate cocktail?
Tequila & fresh lime juice.

What talent would you most like to have?
The ability to sleep in.

What’s your comfort food?
Cornmeal crusted chicken pot pie.

What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?
I floated the Teton river outside of Driggs, Idaho last fall with my old friend Simbo, we caught too many Cutthroat trout to count and cooked a lovely lunch of cornmeal crusted chicken pot pie over fire. The videos and recipe can be found on my website americanriverstour.com.

What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?
Wild watercress with cast iron seared steelhead trout, clabber cream and sliced cumquats, cooked on the side of the Eel River by French Laundry sous chef, Josh Schwartz. You can also see it on my site.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Fatherhood—Lyman, Mansell and Whittier are my life trophies.

What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?
I try to eat sitting down between shifts.

If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
Fly fishing on a river, probably in the Catskills.

What is your go-to karaoke song?
“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”

For more on Estia’s Little Kitchen, visit estias.com. For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTaste.com.

Read more about Dan’s Taste of Summer 2019.

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