Dan’s Taste 2021 Chefs Countdown: David Blydenburgh, Sydney’s ‘Taylor’ Made Cuisine

Sydney's
Sydney's

Sydney’s “Taylor” Made Cuisine opened as a catering company in 1993 by Erin Finley and her husband Chef David Blydenburgh, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and has become an East End entertaining staple. Blydenburgh will be competing alongside Team Hamptons at Dan’s GrillHampton this August, which may just give them the advantage over Team NYC.

First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer?”

Excitement!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Everything I see and everyone I meet daily.

You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?

Sir Anthony Hopkins for great conversation. Ella Fitzgerald, hoping for a song from one of the greatest voices ever. Charles Jacobs, a great friend, and lover of prime dry-aged sirloin. Sirloins, of course.

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

Too much to choose from but a pot of hearty soup at a low simmer while the dough for a crusty loaf of bread rises nearby on a snowy day is a crowd pleaser and warms the soul.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

In business constantly consider what can go wrong and have a plan for when it inevitably does.

Share your funniest, most unforgettable or oddest kitchen incident.

In business constantly consider what can go wrong and have a plan for when it inevitably does.

Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?

For too many reasons to list here, it is without a doubt my wife Erin. She can cook the food, manage the books, and only makes the staff cry occasionally. Don’t know where I’d be without her.

What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?

Too hard to say but whatever it is if I didn’t think of it first I’ll be disappointed.

What are your hobbies, passions and interests outside the world of food, wine and work?

Gardening, time with friends and family and reading.

What’s your comfort food and why?

A cheeseburger and a Coke. When I was a young boy I would sneak around the corner to the local luncheonette and order this at the counter, I thought I was so grown up out on my own. I found out years later that my grandmother was friends with the owner and she would call my mother every time I showed up to let her know. It takes me back.

If you were not in the food or wine business, what would you be doing?

Since I washed my first pot as what was then known as a pearl diver I was hooked and never considered any other profession but if I had to it would have to be in the field of art.

What is the most memorable thing you’ve ever tasted?

The Boullaibaise I had harbor side in Saint- Tropez was life-changing but the most memorable was an abalone dish I had in Chinatown, it was the most disappointing dish ever and always comes to mind when asked this question.

What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?

The only inspiring travels I’ve taken recently due to the pandemic have been through the pages of old cooking magazines, industry-related text and the internet.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Of course, the answer is raising two perfect daughters but with the help of my wife keeping our business open through the recession and pandemic and still going strong after 25 years after all the ups and downs is very rewarding.

What’s a unique kitchen ritual you practice?

Each time I light my 25-year-old convection oven in the morning I tell her we’re both too old to be working in this damn kitchen but if I’m going to put in another 12 hours so is she.

What has surprised you the most about working in the East End culinary scene?

The diversity of products and talent on the East End is incredible.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

“Summertime” by Mungo Jerry if I could sing, but I can’t and feel no need to inflict pain on fellow party-goers.

It’s your last weekend on earth—what’s the menu?

If I knew this to be the case I’m sure I would be too stressed to eat so I would keep it to simple composed salads.

We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.

Here we go again.

For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste 2021 events, visit DansTaste.com. Sydney’s “Taylor” Made Cuisine is located at 32 Mill Road, Westhampton Beach. To learn more, sydneysgourmet.com.

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