Countdown to Dan’s Rosé Soirée: A Conversation with Nikki Cascone-Grossman of the Cheese Shoppe

Nikki Cascone-Grossman of the Cheese Shoppe in Southampton
Nikki Cascone-Grossman
©PATRICKMCMULLAN

Nikki Cascone-Grossman, owner of the Southampton Cheese Shoppe, will be among the chefs serving up unique fare at Dan’s Rosé Soirée on July 9, the third event in the Dan’s Taste Summer Series presented by Yieldstreet

Cascone-Grossman got her start working on Wall Street and hostessing at night in a SoHo restaurant when she decided she wanted to attend culinary school.

“I was pretty awestruck by the whole thing, and I was passionate about it,” Cascone-Grossman says.

She decided to move out of New York City and into the South to attend culinary school, in order to help her stay focused and take culinary school seriously.

“I wanted to actually understand and be able to relate to the kitchen, and just big picture,” she says. “At the time I saw myself either as general manager or owning my own place.”

Later, Cascone-Grossman opened up her own restaurant called 24 Prince in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan.

In 2008, Cascone-Grossman was a contestant on Top Chef. She had learned a great deal from all the people she was surrounded by and left with a couple of big takeaways.

Cascone-Grossman realized that instead of wanting to become a chef, she was more interested in becoming an operator. She describes her time on Top Chef as “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.”

Since starting at the Cheese Shoppe four years ago, Cascone-Grossman has revamped the menu, while also honoring classics that have been on the menu for years. The Cheese Shoppe is a Southampton staple and has been the village gourmet cheese shop since 1974.

“Cheese is such a small part of our business,” Cascone-Grossman says. “We are a gourmet market and we focus on lunch and breakfast.”

With no microwave on the premises, the Cheese Shoppe is all made to order. Cascone-Grossman refuses to sacrifice the quality of her food for a quicker turnaround time.

“We most definitely have some of the best sandwiches anywhere, and that is because of the time that goes into them,” Cascone-Grossman says.

Driven by sustainability and wellness, Cascone-Grossman has focused on making the Cheese Shoppe more environmentally friendly as well. Recently, the Cheese Shoppe has stopped selling drinks that come in plastic water bottles. Cascone-Grossman felt a responsibility, especially being so close to so many beaches, to cut down on plastic usage at the restaurant.

Year after year, Cascone-Grossman looks forward to the Rose Soiree.

“It’s fun for us to step out of our daytime cafe place, to being a part of that kind of environment,” she says.

A lot of the Cheese Shoppe’s clientele attends this event, so Cascone-Grossman always enjoys going.

Cascone-Grossman will be serving a Cheese Shoppe staple at the event, shrimp ceviche. The shrimp ceviche will be served with mango, cucumber, tomatoes, roasted pepper, and red onion. Along with the shrimp ceviche, nachos made in-store will also be served.

“It’s just delicious, it’s one of our favorites,” Cascone-Grossman says.

Southampton Cheese Shoppe is located at 11 Main Street in Southampton. For more information, visit villagecheeseshoppe.com

Dan’s Rosé Soirée will be held from 7–10 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 at The Muses in Southampton. Visit DansTaste.com for tickets and more info.

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