Dan’s Taste 2021 Chefs: Marissa Drago, Main Road Biscuit Co.

Marissa Drago Credit: Barbara Lassen
Marissa Drago
Barbara Lassen

A visit to the North Fork isn’t complete without a stop at Main Road Biscuit Co. in Jamesport on the way, and Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork wouldn’t be complete without Marissa Drago’s popular biscuits. Get your fill at the 2021 event on Saturday, July 10.

First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer?”
Water view with some kind of refreshing cucumber or watermelon cocktail in-hand!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I think inspiration is evolutionary. The concept of the restaurant is comfort food. But if you don’t find where you live inspiring, you probably don’t live in the right place. We are able to stay on brand with our core concepts while also incorporating the incredible local bounty into our dishes.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
This is always a difficult question to answer because I do feel like they’re all my babies! But for me personally, I get a good deal of satisfaction out of taking meager ingredients and watching them transform into something fantastic. I find preparing our maple olive oil granola very relaxing. It calms me as it’s multi-step and takes quite a long time to prepare; you definitely need patience and a careful eye. Ultimately, it’s quite versatile as it can be used in a simple breakfast preparation, smoothies, as a snack or even atop ice cream as a dessert. And everyone loves it!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Two pieces of advice I was given that I regularly pass on: You don’t have to say no, but you can morph an idea or request that you’d rather not do into something you prefer. Also, it’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice!

Share your funniest, most unforgettable or oddest kitchen incident.
That time I worked at Barefoot Contessa and innocently took an entire tray of freshly baked health muffins up to the front-of-house and walked right into a garbage can and spilled every single last one of them. That funny story?

What’s your comfort food and why?
I am just a girl from Long Island having a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk—always and forever.

If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
I would be in interior design. It is another passion of mine that I do see myself doing someday in the future.

What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?
I’ve eaten so much incredible food in my life it’s so difficult to say—from my travels in Italy and Spain to California and Montauk. I also have many friends and family members that are seriously excellent cooks, so I feel spoiled! But something I ate more recently that was truly memorable was a bouillabaisse from Eleven Madison Park Summer House—delicate and rich at the same time, seasoned to perfection and perfectly executed fish.

We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.
We’ve been through a lot here in this country, as well as locally here on the North Fork. I’ve never felt such a sense of community as I did this past year. Our customers are second to none and the community at large pulled together in massive ways. We pushed out of this together. I’ll never forget it, and I’m toasting to that!

For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste 2021 events, visit DansTaste.com. And to learn more about Main Road Biscuit Co., visit mainroadbiscuitco.com.

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