Friday, July 20, 2012

Walk the GreenMarket with Mitch & Toni’s Chef Mitchell SuDock, Followed by Meet, Greet, Eat & book signing at Dolphin Books

Saturday, June 21st foodies and fans of Chef Mitchell SuDock and Long Island homegrown food are in for a triple treat. 

Acclaimed chef, Mitchell SuDock is executive chef and co-owner of the award-winning Mitch & Toni’s American Bistro, located in Albertson.  The restaurant was recently voted one of Long Island’s Best New Restaurants.

Chef Mitchell is also a featured chef in this Examiner’s just-released book: “The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook.”  In its firsts book review, Long Island Newsday wrote: The just-published ‘The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook’ by Leeann Lavin is a full-color love letter to Long Island restaurants and farms. Lavin profiles 27 of LI's top chefs, each of them paired with a local grower who supplies them with food….”

The Farmers’ Market
Beginning at approximately 9 am, Chef Mitchell will walk the local GreenMarket in Port Washington, as he does most every day the market is open.
Chef Mitchell will be selecting fresh, homegrown ingredients to inspire his weekend menu, along with gathering the local produce and herbs for the Penne with Basil Pesto he will cook at the Dolphin Bookshop’s Meet, Greet & Eat Event immediately following the market walk. 
Chef Mitchell will be looking for the freshest Long Island basil, corn, string beans, and tomatoes for his standout Penne dish, as well as for his famous and much-loved Market Vegetable Salad with Buttermilk and Dill Dressing. Both are a sensory experience.

According to the market, “The Port Washington Organic Farmers' Market is the only completely organic market in New York State. The market is open on Saturday mornings from 8 to 12 at the Town Dock off Main Street.
They feature fresh organic produce from Long Island, goat cheese, honey, organic bread and baked goods, flowers, our famous "market muffins" and scones, and fantastic organic coffee (with organic milk and organic sugar!).
The market is a sustainable living project of Grassroots Environmental Education, a non-profit organization based in Port Washington. Our market was recently featured in the Region section of the New York Times.
Book signing at Dolphin Books
Just around the corner from the Farmers’ Market is The Dolphin Bookshop. where the Meet, Greet & Eat Book signing will take place. 
Serving the community for more than 65 years, The Dolphin Bookshop web site notes: “Come meet the author Chef Mitchell SuDock of the new book "Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook" as he signs his book and prepares a featured recipe. (Penne with Basil Pesto and Market Vegetable Salad)
Chef Mitchell and the author, this Examiner, will talk about the making of the book and the importance of showcasing homegrown ingredients to create recipes that are seasonally delicious and authentic to produce the region’s distinctive cuisine; best prepared by Chef Mitchell.
Chef provided three of his Farm-Forward recipes for the book:
  • ·      Pistachio-Crusted Halibut
  • ·      Grilled Octopus
  • ·      Spiced Roasted Venison Loin

Excerpt from Chef Mitchell’s Food Story Profile featured in The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook:

Mitchell says being exposed to fresh-from-the-farm ingredients early in his restaurant career helped him establish his own cooking philosophy so that in 2004, when he opened Bistro M in what was formerly a Long Island candy store, he knew food from local producers would be the basis for his menus.
 When Mitchell was growing up on Long Island, his family had a modest ornamental vegetable garden in their yard, along with wild mint and a spot for growing basil. Today, at his successful Nick & Toni’s American Bistro restaurant, Mitchell grows the same plants for garnishes. His brother and sister-in-law bring him fresh fruits and vegetables from their garden’s end-of-summer surplus, as does one of Mitchell’s neighbors. And Nick & Toni’s American Bistro manager has a neighbor who simply leaves foodstuffs on their doorstep. The bounty of Long Island is such that it turns the locals into botanical Robin Hoods.
Mitchell is happy to once again be close to the Long Island farms he knew growing up, including the Rottkamp Farm, located a few miles from his restaurant. The Rottkamps are part of a Long Island farming dynasty that goes back generations. Today, these two Rottkamp farmers are brothers, married to two French sisters, Anne Marie and Michelle, who help manage the 150-acre farm along with their husbands. Mitchell rediscovered the Rottkamp Farm when setting out to establish his farm resources for Bistro M.
“I grew up on a Long Island street where my family’s backyard bordered the Rottkamp Farm and Rottkamp Lane,” Mitchell says. “My friends and I would sneak onto the farm and have vegetable fights before the farmers would chase us off.”
Food purveyors continually offer to get him anything at any time of year, but Mitchell says cooking with out-of-season or out-of-state food is not what he wants to do. “Why would I want to get peaches from Ohio or Ojai? . . . We already lost one generation to Betty Crocker,” he says with restrained judgment. While it seems like restaurants would buy from local farmers as a matter of course, Mitchell points out that many restaurants don’t. For example, there was a restaurant across the street from him who didn’t work with fresh ingredients. When he asked them why, he was told, “It’s too much of a bother and hassle.”
“I just don’t understand that philosophy, especially when the farm is less than a half mile away,” he says.
Mitchell sometimes thinks of himself as a teacher for the restaurant’s staff and customers, and he finds that customers are always eager to learn more about what they are eating. Mitchell leaves the kitchen most nights to greet his guests, urging them to try this or that. Sometimes customers are ambivalent about eating something they haven’t had before, preferring the familiar or safe, so he sends out things for them to try. The food’s quality and extraordinary taste have earned him not only followers, but also glowing, three-star reviews from the New York Times, Newsday, and Zagat.
Mitchell is so keen to expose more people to good food that he has produced a series of successful tasting events. He creates new Mitch & Toni’s Bistro menus every week with daily additions in each of the categories, based on market conditions. Out of respect for their work and contributions to the restaurant’s success, he includes the names of local farmers and fishermen on the Mitch & Toni’s Bistro menu.
The biggest changes he sees coming in the world of Long Island food are “how [regular] things get redefined,” which suggests that Mitchell SuDock is already looking at things in a new way, using the limitless, local possibilities waiting to be rediscovered.

Images from the book's photo session with Chef Mitchell:

Me/Author with Chef Mitchell after long, seasonally hot photo session!

Mitch & Toni’s American Bistro: 516-741-7940

Recipe for Success: YouTube Campaign Kicks Off “The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook Launch”
Publisher launches first-ever YouTube Ad Campaign for The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook.
With the production of its first-ever YouTube advertising campaign, Quayside Publishing is betting on the power of Google’s YouTube channel to reach the vast food and drink enthusiast audience for “The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook.”
The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook YouTube Advertising Video:
Acknowledging the continued, passionate interest in food, cooking, and producing artisanal ingredients, as well as a burgeoning interest in cultivating a Hamptons lifestyle, an compelling and fascinating YouTube video episode ad offers a unique opportunity to showcase the natural beauty, distinctive, inspired cuisine, food stories and recipes as told in the rare collection of chef and grower profiles celebrated in the Long Island Cookbook.

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