Dan’s Taste of Summer Countdown: Taylor Knapp of Peconic Escargot

Taylor Knapp at Peconic Escargot in Cutchogue
Taylor Knapp at Peconic Escargot in Cutchogue, Photo: Courtesy Taylor Knapp

Chef/owner Taylor Knapp of Peconic Escargot and PAWPAW has a wry sense of humor that comes across in his very honest answers to some interesting questions. Knapp will be on hand at Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork and Taste of Two Forks.

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

What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
Not sure if I have a favorite dish. I suppose anything utilizing Crescent Duck. This winter we served them whole, after brining in seawater, smoking over cherry wood, and glazing with honey and wine. So good. I haven’t tired of eating it yet!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Keep your head on a swivel.

Share your funniest/most unforgettable/oddest kitchen incident.
A cook tripped up the stairs with many gallons of butternut squash soup. Sorry, Alan.

Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?
Right now, Jose Andres. He does it all. Incredible chef. Successful restaurants. And a heart of gold. Talk about a philanthropic spirit. Tom Colicchio is a close second. Two chefs using their platforms to change the world.

What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?
Hoping we start to see more ethnic restaurants make a splash. Less marinated steaks and chowder would be great…

What are your hobbies/passions/interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
Well, snail farming…My wife and I started beekeeping this year and it’s been a blast.

What’s the oddest request you’ve ever received from a diner?
Celery allergy? That was a new one. They’re probably reading this and now very offended.

What talent would you most like to have?
Playing a musical instrument. Working on picking up the bagpipe.

PawPaw Chef Taylor Knapp
Knapp at Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork 2018, Photo: Barbara Lassen

What’s your comfort food and why?
Chicken and dumplings. One of the first dishes I learned to cook!

What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?
Ever? Wow. Maybe a very ripe wild persimmon just picked off the tree. Maybe a taco.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Peconic Escargot.

What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?
I used to play Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” before service each night.

What is your go-to karaoke song?
Anything from the ‘80s. “You Spin Me Round” from Dead or Alive is a consistent go-to.

It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?
Anything from Blue Ribbon Brasserie in NYC. I’m not cooking. Or maybe just a well roasted pig and a tropical cocktail.

We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.
Cheers to the East End! Don’t let the traffic get you down.

For more on Peconic Escargot, visit peconicescargot.com, and for more on PAWPAW, visit pawpawpopup.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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