With appearances on Food Network’s Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay and Kitchen Crash, few North Fork chefs are as well-known and well-loved as Stephan Bogardus, executive chef of The Halyard at Soundview Greenport. While not competing for any sort of prize or title at Dan’s Chefs of the North Fork, he’ll be sure to bring his A-game to the event on Saturday, July 10.
For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste 2021 events, visit DansTaste.com.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer?”
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Mother Nature and the seasons.
You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?
My grandma Alice, Martin Luther King, Dalai Lama. I would serve vegetables from the garden and key points of conversation would include, love, empathy and joy.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
Dry-aged duck, I do enjoy eating it as much as preparing it. This process is something my sous chef, Nathan Hitchcock, and I have been working on for years. We have served this dish at a few different restaurants and events. We butcher the ducks and remove the legs. The backbone is cut on an angle and the fat is facing up so the ribs protect the back of the best while the skin is the outer layer. The ducks are left uncovered in the fridge for five days. On day five, we add a small amount of salt to the trays and “refresh” the tray daily. The salt reduces the risk of pathogenic growth by dropping the moisture content. This process of daily refresh is done days five through days 18. Finally on day 14 we brush the duck with some Armagnac.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
One day at a time. Cultivating presences in the moment is among the most important ideals we can make happen in our lives. Processing trauma and not projecting into the future to create a sense of awareness is so empowering and freeing.
Share your funniest, most unforgettable or oddest kitchen incident.
Moments spent with cooks who have become more family than friends always provide such a sense of context. Smiles and laughs are common even in the challenging situations of how selflessly we provide services for others.
Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?
Thomas Keller, his patience and dedication to improvement are unmatched.
What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?
Balance. Many people have been so focused on excess and consumption for so long. I think more people will be focused on a holistic mindset and not as focused on their momentary food choices. I personally eat a whole-food plant-based diet. I eat almost no processed foods or refined sugars. The choices we make on food I think are trending into bigger decisions.
What are your hobbies, passions and interests outside the world of food, wine and work?
I don’t drink—for the past nine years. I enjoy spending time with my wife, surf, garden, long walks, exercise, yoga, meditation, travel as much as possible. All people die, few people live. Find what makes you the most “you” and do the hell out of it!
What’s your comfort food and why?
Ira’s biodynamic lettuces. Leafy greens are the most healthy and sustainable foods we can eat.
If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?
I used to say Formula 1 or Moto GP driver but if I was not involved in food, I would most likely be in the medical field, maybe not a full MD but perhaps functionable medicine or microbiome research.
What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?
So taste is actually far less associated with memory then smell is. Taste is more attributed on a sensory level to identification, i.e. is something okay for us to eat or not. Smell is much more closely associated with memory. Fresh truffle are among the most memorable and emotion-evoking substances I have encountered. I LOVE TRUFFLES!
What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?
Every one, my promotion has brought me to Jackson Wyoming a lot recently, The Grand Tetons have been very inspirational for me. My trips to France, Spain and Italy changed by life. Traveling India, Costa Rica, St. Martin and Bali have all changed how I think about food. Travel is an amazingly powerful tool for our perception. I would love to retire in the South of France with my amazing wife Allegra. Home is wherever she is.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My sobriety. Without that, I would not be able to be remotely close to the person I am today.
What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?
I stretch a lot, some post family meal yoga always helps me physically prepare for service.
What has surprised you the most about working in the East End culinary scene?
I am born and raised here. I am a native, seeing this area develop as it has is beyond my wildest dreams.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
The moment would cultivate the answer. I am not much of a let loose and sing kind of guy, but when the energy is around, I can dig it.
It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?
I really love almost all foods, depends on where I am and what time of year it is. Raspberries are a favorite, radishes and apples bring me immense joy.
We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.
To all of those who have shared in the joy of food with us. Thank you for joining us, spread love and joy to those around you. Remember: It’s a gift that’s why we call it the present. Here’s to Summer 2021!!!!
To learn more about The Halyard at Soundview Greenport, visit thehalyardgreenport.com.