On Monday, October 20, Gracie’s is hosting the next dinner in the Star Chefs Series. Chef Taylor Knapp, of First and South in Greenport, New York, will join us for an evening of passed canapés, and a five-course tasting menu. We were curious to know what Chef Taylor might have planned for his first visit to Gracie’s; he took some time to chat with us in between foraging, cooking, and working on his newest project, Peconic Escargot.
Chef Taylor is known for his dedication to foraging, and seeking out local and regional foods that are a little off the beaten path, such as “young sassafras saplings that will be used to make butter.” The Star Chefs Dinner will use ingredients “raised or foraged on Long Island’s East end, but there is a lot of collaboration happening. Take the bread for the dinner. It will utilize spent beer grains from a Rhode Island brewery and flour made from wheat grown on Long Island – a melding of ingredients from two different locations in one bite.”
Creating a meal for the Star Chefs Dinner, and for the menu at First and South, is not just about finding ingredients, though. Chef Taylor is asking us to slow down, to “think about what we’re eating, where it comes from, and the history behind the ingredients.” This is what compels him to forage through beach plum briars, head to the shore to harvest seaweed, or spend hours plucking the petals from fresh flowers. In fact, Chef Taylor is so dedicated to the idea of fresh and local food that he is about to open Peconic Escargot, the “first and only company in the U.S. to offer fresh escargot.”
Chef Taylor sums up his philosophy of food quite eloquently: Food “should be given as though it were a gift, prepared with care, love, and thought, just as you would prepare a meal for a loved one. Slow down. Simplify. Focus on the things we’re putting on the plate.”
We look forward to working with Chef Taylor Knapp for this special evening on Monday, October 20. The five-course tasting menu will be paired with wine from The Savory Grape. For reservations, call Gracie’s at 401-272-7811, or email Tenneal@graciesprov.com.