Executive Chef and owner of Insatiable Eats Catering and Events, as well as Shinnecock Lobster Factory Marco Barrila credits his father for helping learn to cook. The Sicily-born chef talks about his inspiration, his experience on Chopped and more. Try his cuisine at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks on Saturday, July 20.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer.”
Ocean breeze and freshness of seafood.
You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?
Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and my mother. Pesce spada alla ghiotta.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
Lobster fra diavolo. Yes, I love eating this!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Take your time and use only the freshest ingredients.
Share your funniest/most unforgettable/oddest kitchen incident.
Being on Food Network’s Chopped—the strangest ingredients and spinning, running and cutting to create a duck slider with all accompaniments in 20 minutes from scratch—and being knocked over by another contestant.
What are your hobbies/passions/interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
Motor sports, shooting range.
What’s the oddest request you’ve ever received from a diner?
Risotto without butter or Parmesan cheese.
What’s your comfort food and why?
Spaghetti with butter and Parmesan cheese. My wife makes the best!
What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?
Rabbit with white mushrooms served over casserole of grains, beans and lentils at Daniel Boulud. Also I had pleasure of being nominated with him in 1999 as top 40 chefs in NYC.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
From young Sicilian immigrant to star chef in America.
What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?
Having an opening prayer when I start and closing prayer when I finish.
If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
Sicilian mob actor.
What has surprised you the most about working in the East End culinary scene?
The price of food.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?
To spend my weekend in Osaka sitting at the table of Hajime Yoneda, one of the best Japanese chefs, eating everything in his repertoire.
We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.
Although I don’t drink alcohol, I would toast to a continuous East End summer that never ends.