Swell Taco chef/owner Steve Zoerner grew up in San Clemente, CA. “Once you step foot into Swell Taco, it is pretty clear where we draw our influences from,” he says. “My sister and I are business partners; she runs the front of house and cultivated our amazing staff and vibe. Our concept was to bring the environment we grew up in, the tastes, the feel, the vibes, to Long Island for everyone to enjoy.” Meet Zoerner at Dan’s Corona MonTaco at Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina on Saturday, August 3.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer.”
Ceviche, tacos and cold beers.
You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they?
Jerry Garcia, Jake Phelps and George Washington.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
I could name some fancy style dish, but I’m always stoked to make some pizza with friends. It’s interactive, unlike preparing something by myself in a “work” situation. Who doesn’t like pizza?
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Everything in moderation.
Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?
Anyone that is humble in what they do and has a good time doing it. I think Chef Matty Matheson is a great example of this.
What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?
Outer space dining, the next frontier! Far out!
What are your hobbies/passions/interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
Surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding. I’ve been doing all of them for nearly 30 years and it’s led me to where I am in life and has inspired everything I do today.
What’s the oddest request you’ve ever received from a diner?
When people order a “regular” taco. Not sure what constitutes a “regular taco.”
What’s the ultimate cocktail?
That’s in the eye of the beholder, don’t you think?
What talent would you most like to have?
I’m happy with all the talents I have and have developed throughout my life. If you want to be good at something, set your mind to it, practice it and live it. Although I’m happy where I am in life and what I’ve achieved, it would have been nice to be a pro surfer instead, so I could have used a little more talent that area.
What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?
A surf trip to Mexico with my wife. Not only are the tacos obviously amazing, Mexican people are amazing cooks, whatever style food they make and great people, as well.