Stephan Bogardus, Executive Chef of The Halyard at Sound View Greenport, is a proud North Fork native, born and raised. When not in the kitchen, he’s likely enjoying the thrill of his motorcycle or the serenity of yoga. When you try his cuisine at Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork this Saturday, July 13 and Taste of Two Forks, you’ll find that the complex flavors of his cooking are even more well-balanced than his hobbies.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer.”
Oyster. For me the oysters cultivated on the North Fork remind me of swimming lessons I took at Veterans Beach in Mattituck as a child during summer. To me a big mouthful of salt water is such a great way to link the season to this place!
What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
I eat a lot of salad, like a lot. I love making salads too. If you don’t think that is fun or exciting I urge you to come to the restaurant and see our salads. Maybe even ask me about lettuce—really gets me going to talk about greens.
You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?
The Dalai Lama, Ferran Adria and Picasso. We would eat fresh seafood cooked whole on the bone and raw shellfish. Of course, there would be stellar vegetables.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Smile and make it look easy,” said Chef John Reilly of the Banquet and Catering class at CIA [Culinary Institute of America]. I love what I do and even when a moment might be challenging, I find it very important to complete it with style and grace, smiling.
Share your funniest/most unforgettable/oddest kitchen incident.
We take our work very seriously, but the smiles are always on. If you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, why are you doing it?
What’s your comfort food and why?
Radishes. Every year as a child my grandma would come from Florida to stay with us for a few weeks each summer. My mom would take me out to the garden and plant radishes for her the day she arrived. I remember my grandma arriving to Cutchogue, getting settled and going out to the garden for radishes very soon. Radishes bring me back to childhood and I eat an astonishing amount of them each year.
Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?
Constant education—I love learning. The world of food is endless.
What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?
Fat. Fat is cool again—carbs are out. Grass-fed beef, good butter and the best olive oil you can drink.
What are your hobbies/passions/interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
Ducati motorcycles, Ashtanga yoga, watches, traveling, love, beauty and creative expression.
Tell us a secret…
I sleep a lot—rest is really important. Sometimes the most important thing to do is to take care of yourself and get some rest. Life has taken me a long time to learn that lesson.
What’s the oddest request you’ve ever received from a diner?
I really try not to judge our guests.
What’s the ultimate cocktail?
I’ve been sober for almost seven years. Whatever you enjoy is up to you. I love oolong tea.
What talent would you most like to have?
I wish I took the time to learn an instrument. I love live music and really enjoy seeing someone skilled do what they’re good at.
What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?
I spent a long weekend in Spain this April. I love Europe in the spring—so inspiring. I travel for food and my future missus, and I love the bonding time on long plane rides. A connection to passion and love is such an important part of life.
What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?
Barnacles from Galicia in a seaweed emulsion is the inner chef voice, but the inner child voice is my mom’s chicken pot pie.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Sobriety—addiction is a disease, and anyone who learns to transcend that is lucky. Remember, it’s a gift, that’s why it’s called the present!
What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?
We fist bump upon arrival at work. This ritual is to inform other staff members that you and your mind are present for work and you recognize their presence. It forms bonds and connections.
If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
MotoGP driver or F1 driver. Really, I am meant to be a chef, there is no other way!
What is your go-to karaoke song?
“The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre.
It’s your last weekend on Earth—what’s the menu?
Raspberries, figs, chocolate, truffles, caviar, foie. I love excess, and indulgent food. I want it ALL!
We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End:
[Thanks] to Mother Nature for the opportunity to be here!