Chefs never seem to receive the praise they deserve. Despite being the masterminds behind the culinary establishments that often define neighborhoods, towns and entire cities, it seems all to easy to dismiss the hardworking talent behind the swinging kitchen doors while you devour one of their incredible dishes alongside friends and family. I know the Black Eyed Peas raised this question a few years back, but honestly… where is the love?
While the culinary community and its members might not have the most glamorous spot in pop culture, it is anything but lifeless. Chefs eat too*, and know better than anyone when excellent and innovative work is being done in another’s kitchen. I think it’s safe to say that, like all communities of talent, the culinary world abides by the age-old principle of “real recognize real.”
As someone that is only involved in the “vanishing process” of culinary art, I was hyped to be able to set up a table and have some of the best chefs on the East End pull up chairs and answer a few pressing (and not-so-pressing) questions about their craft. Prepare yourself for some incredible food for thought. Bon appétit!
* – unconfirmed at the time of writing this article.
Chef Chris Rendell | Surf Lodge
- Aside from your restaurant, where’s your favorite place to eat on the East End? At the moment I am currently going through a bit of a New England Clam Chowder binge. When I can, I head up to Salivars to get bowl (never a cup!). Loaded with crackers, a splash of hot sauce and you’re golden!
- What does the future of food look like? I think the future will definitely hold more of the fast casual concepts as restaurant rent rises and people are looking for faster healthier options. On a side note, I recently saw the first food-safe 3D printer available — so expect some 3D food dishes hitting the streets soon.
Sous Chef Howard Anderson | Navy Beach
- Give us an emerging trend in food that you’re stoked on. Cooking with solid fuels (i.e. different woods, charcoal).
- You were wrongfully convicted in a food poisoning-related case and are now on death row. What is your final meal? I’d keep it simple. Spicy salmon sushi followed by a Spicy Jamaican Jerked Pork — with a Jameson on the rocks.
Chef Jason Weiner | Almond
- Can you provide us with a non-food related influence that has made a major impact on your cooking? The Hippocratic Oath.
- Which sushi roll are you? No clue, but I know which Scooby-Doo character I am. Daphne. Definitely Daphne.
Chef Sam McCleland | Bell & Anchor
- Give us an emerging trend in food that you’re stoked on. We are excited to be a part of the Dock-to-Dish program supporting local fisherman and sustainable seafood.
- What does the future of food look like? People eating locally. Knowing exactly where their food comes from and how it is grown.
Chef Joseph Realmuto | Nick & Toni’s
- Aside from your restaurant, where’s your favorite place to eat on the East End? There are a few places I enjoy but I like going over to the Bell & Anchor. Sam is a great chef and David always makes you feel like you are sitting in his house. The seafood is fresh and well prepared.
- Can you provide us with a non-food related influence that has made a major impact on your cooking? Going to college for accounting. While cooking I was going to school for accounting and decided it was the best 2 years of my career. As a chef there is so much more than just being in the kitchen.
Chef Fabian Marin and Chef Matthew Guiffrida| Muse
- Can you provide us with a non-food related influence that has made a major impact on your cooking? Museums and art as inspiration for plating. (Chef Marin)
- What was the single, biggest mistake you made as a beginner chef? Thinking I knew more than I actually did. You are always learning in a kitchen and need to have your eyes and ears open to new things. (Chef Marin)
- Aside from your restaurant, where’s your favorite place to eat on the East End? 18 Bay on Shelter Island. Amazing menu that changes every week, and they do it right. (Chef Guiffrida)
- Most underappreciated region for food in the U.S.? The South. I think the perception is everything fried and unhealthy, but there is unbelievable food and only 95% of it is fried and unhealthy. (Chef Guiffrida)