East End Chefs Roundtable: What’s Your Favorite Dish to Prepare & Eat?

Drew Hiatt, Courtney Sypher, Lina Grammont, Photos: Topping Rose House, Barbara Lassen, Caribbean Pearl Caterers
Drew Hiatt, Courtney Sypher, Lina Grammont, Photos: Topping Rose House, Barbara Lassen, Caribbean Pearl Caterers

Those of us with parents who cooked for the family when we were young, have incredibly fond memories of those home-cooked meals. From their generations-old recipes to their experiments with leftovers, mom and dad’s dishes linger in our minds long into adulthood, and we can only hope they enjoyed the fruits of their labor as much as we did. In this time of social distancing, when many of us are wishing we could share a meal with our parents, we asked our East End chefs:

What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?

One of my absolute favorite things in the world are chocolate chip cookies. They have the ability to make everyone happy. Simplicity at its finest. —Amanda Wallace, Pastry Chef of Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton

Have to say, a braised piece of meat, be it a short rib, chicken thigh or pork shank, is pure heaven. Not only do I enjoy the process of slowly bringing all the elements together (from slowly caramelizing vegetables, reducing wine, adding herbs,) and then smelling all that bubble away for hours as it fills the house with the most amazing scents…they say it’s best to let a braise rest overnight in the refrigerator after it comes out of the over to let the flavors full develop, but I usually doesn’t have that willpower and rip right into it! —Mark Rosati, Culinary Director of Shake Shack in New York City

Spaghetti and meatballs, my mom’s recipe. —Paul Del Favero, Chef and Owner of Harbor Market & Kitchen in Sag Harbor

Cochinita Pibil, and yes. —Hernan Martinez, General Manager of The Garden at Water Mill

It would be doing paella for hundreds in front of clients from scratch, outdoors in a backyard or on the beach. I enjoy eating it, but the preparing and building flavors is the enjoyment, I am happier with a great slice of pizza. —Peter Ambrose, Chef, Caterer and Owner of Events by Peter Ambrose

Bubble waffles are fun to make, fun to create and fun to watch. People take the time to enjoy it. The fun warm bubble waffle with the ice cream and toppings is the perfect summer treat. —Elyse Richman, Owner of Shock Ice Cream in Westhampton Beach

Lobster fra diavolo. Yes, I love eating this! —Marco Barrila, Executive Chef and Owner of Insatiable Eats Catering and Events

Whole, roasted, free-range chicken over a bed of potatoes, onions, carrots and celery. Absolutely! —Ronald Philipp, Executive Chef of The Maidstone in East Hampton

Grilled lamb chop, crusted tamarind mashed potatoes, spinach with Port wine, lamb jus. —Cleon Clarke, Chef de Cuisine of Page at 63 Main in Sag Harbor

Tacos—I love creating new flavors. —Fabián Gallardo, Chef and Owner of Petite Taqueria in Larchmont (PTL)

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? —Steve Zoerner, Chef and Owner of Swell Taco in Patchogue

Fresh pasta. And yes, I will eat it with any combination of shapes and sauces. —David Piacente, Executive Chef of Gosman’s Restaurant in Montauk

Our Carolina Burger. I have at least one a week because I love our Carolina Pulled Pork topped with the crisp coleslaw and our amazing Beef Brisket Burgers. —Joseph Labita, Executive Chef of Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beers in New York City

I don’t have a specifically favorite dish that I like to prepare. For me, the excitement in cooking is the versatility of letting the season dictate my meals. On a day-to-day basis, choosing the ingredients that are the most fresh out of the ground or sea is how I like to cook. Discovering new vegetables, leaf lettuces or herbs and creating new flavors that I didn’t know existed. I expect to be chasing that favorite dish for a lifetime and that excites me. —Jennilee Morris, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Grace & Grit and North Fork Roasting Co. in Southold

Any type of pasta dish and I LOVE eating it! —Arthur Wolf, Owner and Executive Chef of Smokin’ Wolf BBQ & More in East Hampton

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. —Stephan Bogardus, Executive Chef of The Halyard at Sound View Greenport

Grilled octopus, and I sure do! —Darryl Harmon, Executive Chef of Clinton Hall in New York City

Sushi is my favorite dish to prepare, specifically sashimi—the feeling of fresh, raw fish…being able to feel the texture and deliver an amazing product. I enjoy playing with the presentation and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to pair. I do enjoy sushi myself, but not as much as I enjoy preparing it! —Jesus Ramirez, Executive Sous Chef of Hamptons Farms in East Quogue

Agnolotti. I love the process all the way through, from making the dough and filling, to rolling and stuffing the pasta, and then to the final cooking and saucing. I’m not Italian, but I love making it and, of course, love eating it. —Brian Wilson, Executive Chef of North Fork Table & Inn in Southold

The dish I am preparing at the moment, and yes, I love to eat it, as well! —Terrance Brennan, Chef and Owner of Brennan Group Hospitality in New York City

Grilling lobsters in the shell, with summer salads. —Nikki Cascone-Grossman, Owner of Cheese Shoppe in Southampton

Not sure if I have a favorite dish. I suppose anything utilizing Crescent Duck. Last 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! —Taylor Knapp, Chef and Owner of Peconic Escargot and PAWPAW on the North Fork

Coq au Vin. I love preparing as much as I love cooking it. It is a bit complicated to prepare, however the end result is so worth it. —Lina Grammont, Chef at Caribbean Pearl Caterers

Guacamole—easy to make and always tastes good. —Derek Axelrod, Partner of T Bar Southampton

Fresh fish…simple…weakfish, porgy, blowfish, fluke, sea robin or anything else just caught. Yes, it is just as enjoyable to eat, no matter how it’s prepared, as it is to cook. —Matthew Birnstill, Executive Chef of The Quogue Club

I like making charcuterie. And yes, I love it in my mouth. —Drew Hiatt, Executive Chef of Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton

Cornmeal crusted chicken pot pie. —Colin Ambrose, Chef and Owner of Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor

Whole roasted fish, stupid good and hell yeah!­ —Matty Boudreau, Executive Chef of Green Hill Kitchen & Que in Greenport

Popcorn cooked in bacon fat with a crisp sour apple on the side. —Justin Bazdarich, Chef and Owner of Speedy Romeo in New York City

I enjoy making summer salads, corn, peppers, farro, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon, olive oil and basil. Very easy to do and the flavors are amazing. —Dominic Rice, Executive Chef of Calissa in Water Mill

I enjoy a simple, pan-seared chicken with fresh salad greens. The dish is healthy and delicious, and when all the ingredients are fresh, it can’t be beat, especially in the summer. —Peter Van Der Mije, Chef and Owner of Osteria Leana in Oyster Bay

Braised short rib with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. It’s one of my favorite things to eat, especially when the short rib is so tender it falls right off the bone. —Courtney Sypher, Executive Chef of Sen Restaurant in Sag Harbor

Black sea bass. It’s my all-time favorite. I think I can eat it every day. —Spiro Karachopan, Owner and Executive Chef of Spiro’s Restaurant & Lounge in Rocky Point

Lamb shanks or aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower). —Sameer Mohan, Owner of Saaz in Southampton

Homemade chicken and dumplings, and absolutely—it’s my favorite! —Adam Lathan, Co-Founder and Executive Chef of The Gumbo Bros in New York City

Fish, in any manner or form, and yes, I do. —Tom Schaudel, Chef and Owner of A Lure and aMano on the North Fork

Stews: Slow cooking develops such a different result on raw ingredients that makes me think and imagine how the molecular structure changes and merges with others to create complex flavors. —Jose “Cheo” Avila, Head Chef at Kon-Tiki at the Gallery Hotel in Greenport

Smoked brisket, of course! —Ash Fulk, Director of Culinary Operations at Hill Country Barbecue Market in New York City

Whole Roasted Local Fish. All Day. —Jeremy Blutstein, Executive Chef of Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina in Montauk

I love preparing any holiday meal. I love eating it as much, if not more than preparing it. —James Tchinnis, Executive Chef and Owner of Swallow East Restaurant in Montauk

With the summer bounty, it’s got to be heirloom tomato salad, good olive oil, really good pink or gray salt, basil. Done. —Marissa Drago, Owner of Main Road Biscuit Co. in Jamesport

Osso buco, and hell yeah! —Adam Kaufer, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Grace & Grit

Chicken Riggies! Yes! —Matthew Abdoo, Executive Chef of Pig Beach in New York City

I don’t have a favorite dish to prepare, but I do enjoy whole grilled fish. And yes, I enjoy eating it as much as I do preparing it! —Brian Schlitt, Executive Chef of The Clubhouse in East Hampton

Read More East End Chefs Roundtables Here.

More from Our Sister Sites