For the first time ever, Dan’s Taste guests will enjoy the delightful baked goods of East Hampton’s GW Micro Bakery + Kitchen, made by the eponymous GW, Gail Watson, herself. You won’t want to miss her at Dan’s Chefs of the Hamptons on Thursday, June 24.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer?”
Fresh and fabulous everything!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I get a lot of inspiration from my garden. Taste, texture and visual.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t go into the food business. Needless to say, I didn’t follow that advice, but what it did was inspire me. Perhaps because I am a bit of a rebel, but also because it challenged me to think how I would do it differently. I didn’t go the traditional route, and I studied art, literature and science in college. All of those things have shaped how I approach my life and work.
What are your hobbies/passions/interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
About eight years ago, I found tennis. It was a direct reaction to being inside a kitchen so much. I wanted to be outside, playing and interacting with others. I love it beyond words. I also am a photographer. I can’t get that out of my blood either. It’s probably due to my grandfather’s influence; he was an amazing photographer in his own right.
If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
As a young girl, I went to NYC to become a photographer. I worked in fashion photography for a while. So I might have done that. I also wanted to be a doctor, but then I also wanted to be an editor of my own magazine—too many passions.
What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?
Back in the late ’80s, I did a little catering. I did an opening for Larry Rivers and Red Grooms. At the dinner, Red’s wife gave me a huge lobe of foie gras that she had smuggled in from France. She had me slice it and serve it on fresh baguette. Now, I had had pate and all, but that first bite of excellent foie gras, I heard angels sing. It was magical. So simple, so complex, so perfect.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think my best achievement is honoring my gumption. The world is full of naysayers or those with lack of imagination. I have many times in my life taken off full bore into a passion, not caring if it made sense or garnered any approval. Of course, not everything worked out as anticipated, but the lessons learned made them all successful.