Hailing from France, Lulu Kitchen & Bar Executive Chef Philippe Corbet honed his culinary skills at several Michelin-starred restaurants, including Bouley in New York, before commandeering the Lulu menu that has established the Sag Harbor eatery as one of the most popular in the village. Taste his fabulous cuisine at the Dan’s Taste 2021 kickoff event, Dan’s Chefs of the Hamptons, coming to EHP Resort & Marina on Thursday, June 24.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer?”
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration mostly from the ingredient—I’ll find the star of the plate and try to respect it as much as I can. The weather also plays a big part of my inspiration.
You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?
Paul Bocuse, Auguste Escoffier and Ferran Adrià. The meal would be very simple and classic—a great pot-au-feu, some good seafood, a bounty of vegetables and a lot of great wine.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
I love to dry-age a whole duck and cook it whole-Pekin style, love to give it a twist using different spices and the woodfire grill. I love eating it, duck is my favorite meat!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“On n’est jamais mieux servi que par soi-même,” meaning, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!” A chef told me that when I was a young sous chef. He was really telling me, “We are our own best advocates,” and that always stayed with me. I was yelling at a line cook at the time for something he didn’t do the right way, and the chef came and told me that phrase. That was 22 years ago. We are our own best advocates.
Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?
I admire all the little produce farmers who are fighting every day to keep the quality and respect of the ingredient. They are why we can do what we do. I admire my team—they give so much of their time to do what we do.
What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?
After COVID, I am not sure, but the dream should be a farm restaurant—create with what you grow.
What are your hobbies/passions/interests outside the world of food, wine and work?:
I am very passionate about photography. Unfortunately, our industry is very demanding, and we do not have much time for hobby. But I love creating new dishes!
What’s your comfort food and why?
My comfort food is a good pot-au-feu or roasted duck with roasted vegetables and home-made bread—simple but so delicious.
What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?
I had the chance to travel to Greece and Spain, and the food scene there is very inspiring. It is all about quality ingredients.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I was a terrible student, had my father pass when I was a teenager, took some wrong and dangerous roads, and cooking saved me from it, showing me another path and changing my future. I came to America at 23, not speaking a word of English. That was my greatest achievement!
What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?
It is not really a ritual, but I come in the morning and I go around my kitchen and make sure I’ll shake hands with everyone. Good morning, how are you doing today? And I do the same when I leave at the end of the night.
It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?
A5 Kobe beef tartar with beluga caviar, a side of fresh baked baguette and roasted bone marrow.
We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.
Be safe, eat well, drink well! Enjoy it while it lasts, winter is coming.
For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste 2021 events, visit DansTaste.com. And to learn more about Lulu Kitchen & Bar, visit lulusagharbor.com.