Lauren Lombardi, owner of Lombardi’s Love Lane Market in Mattituck, has accomplished a great deal since earning her chef certificate at the French Culinary Institute. Her market has won Dan’s Best of the Best Gourmet Food Shop and Best Caterer several years running, and her catering has been featured in Vogue and Brides magazine. “Growing up in an Italian-American family has taught me the importance of sharing a meal, of celebrating traditions and of always welcoming family, friends and neighbors to your table,” she says. Allow Lombardi to share her delicious cuisine with you at Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork on Saturday, July 13.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer.”
Local seafood, long days, boating, rosé wine, wild flowers, beaches and berry picking!
Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?
My dad. I’ve never met anyone else that works as hard or as passionately as he does.
What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?
I would say, but I’d rather it stay a local secret this summer. It involves oysters though.
What are your hobbies/passions/interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
Everything I do exists in the world of food and wine. If I’m not working, I’m eating. I’m lucky my husband loves food as much as I do. This industry inspires me on a daily basis. Especially with social media now—there’s no escaping it!
What’s the ultimate cocktail?
Anything that Evan makes at Brix & Rye.
What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?
My go-to answer is always Italy—the simplicity in the regional cooking inspires me every time I visit, but recently I was blown away by the hospitality and BBQ in Charleston. Such an energizing food scene there.
What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?
I’ll never forget the first time I had a homemade vegetable lasagna while studying abroad in Italy. Prepared with a béchamel sauce, ricotta, zucchini and carrots from the garden, and squash blossoms. It melted in my mouth and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. My mom does an amazing job making it, and it’s always such a nostalgic treat to enjoy when she does.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Becoming a mom this year!
If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
Failing as a professional singer.
What has surprised you the most about working in the East End culinary scene?
How quickly it’s growing! It is one of the most inspiring places I know of, and I’m always surprised just how many talented and enthusiastic people there are in such a small radius—always encouraging and thriving.
It’s your last weekend on Earth—what’s the menu?
Pizza. It will always be pizza—my food obsession.
We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End:
Cheers to the summer—to our farmers and industry friends who all work so hard to make it so easy to fall in love with the North Fork!