When WLNG owners, Bill Evans and Sandra Foschi, first purchased the station in 2018, Evans was sitting at the counter at Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor lamenting that there were only male DJ’s working at the station. So he asked Estia owner, Colin Ambrose, where he should look for some female radio talent. Colin directed him to his wife, Jessica, who had been a DJ for 20 years on the west coast right after graduating from Boston College.
In response to last year’s Covid lockdown my wanderlust kicked in hard this February so I decided to commit to getting on the road inside the quarantine zone. Starting in early March I initiated a personal challenge to ride my bicycle north from Manhattan to Canada on the Empire State Trail with my friends from New York. The plan included inviting as many chefs as I could to join me. I sent an early note to Cesare Casella whom I’d met 15 years ago at his 22nd street restaurant, Beppe.
Although Chef Casella couldn’t join me on the trail he was quick to respond and invited me to visit him in Hurleyville, while he didn’t provide more details than a dinner invitation, I didn’t care. My goal is to spend time connecting with like minded people in New York State this spring so Cesare’s invitation was like gold. He suggested I touch base when the trail ride reached New Paltz. That time has come and contact was made last week and a dinner plan in Catskills was scheduled.
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Slow Food East End’s mission is to seek to create dramatic and lasting change in our food system; we connect communities on the East End with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that create our food. We inspire individuals and communities to change the East End of Long Island through food that is good, clean and fair for all.
Slow Food is an international movement with chapters in more than 160 countries; Slow Food East End is a chapter of Slow Food USA, and is one of the largest chapters in the country.
This video highlights interviews with East End farmers, producers, chefs and educators:
It’s been 8 years since the A.Sisters have made a batch of pasta with our machine at Estia.
Now that each of my daughters has their own kitchen and more of an interest in cooking (Mansell especially), we thought it was time to put together a Christmas gift of red, white, and green pasta with a simple tomato sauce and a chunk of cheese. We gifted these to family friends and a few hard working chefs that I love, too.
After a traditional Ambrose family Thanksgiving day breakfast of roasted pork loin and sweet corn hash with red skin potatoes and poached eggs, Mansell and I stuffed the turkey that we’d boned out on Wednesday morning.
All of the vegetables we used came to us in a farm box from our friends at the Foster farm in Sagaponack.
We diced carrots, chopped green onions and garlic, rosemary, arugula and 4 lovely dried Shishito peppers. In a sauté pan the vegetables were softened with Cromer’s Italian sausage. After the mixture cooled we rolled it into the boneless bird and tied the roulade off with sage.
My corn crop was destroyed by birds this past summer. It was coming in strong, 6 feet tall with a wonderful showing of several cobs on each plant in mid July. The bed I set wasn’t large, about 25 feet wide and 40 feet long. Then, late in the month a freak hurricane named Hanna ran up the Mississippi River and turned right mid way through the country, we were hit with its tail end. Just enough force to mess with my corn, twisting it up and opening the tightly packed rows. This in turn provided the birds access to each Cob which are generally buried tightly in the mass of plants that I refer to as my wall of Oaxacan green “Indian corn”. The birds ate all of my corn this year, it was hard to watch nature take her share.
Sunday night dinner with all 3 of the A. sisters home. That is a special night. We had planned on dining out at the Main Street Tavern in Amagansett, 177 Main Street. This is a special address for my family as we spent 16 years in that space running it as a coffee shop and restaurant. It would be safe to say that our family was born out of this coffee shop which started in that address in 1981. It was commonly known as Estia.
Jessica and I purchased the lease for Estia in 1991 and maintained a business there until 2007. Since selling the lease, 3 different operators have worked the space. Presently Main Street Tavern which has been open since the spring. Challenged by the Covid pandemic it’s been a struggle for them and I’ve chosen to wait to visit. Tonight’s reservation was canceled, apparently they have plumbing issues. Chalk it up to growing pains. Operating a restaurant in Amagansett is not easy in any business climate. We can wait.
With tonight’s plan for dining out off the table, I volunteered to cook (my daughters are all good cooks now) and I decided to let a walk through Citarella steer my menu. As I looked in the butcher case, braised short ribs were the easy choice, 3 1lb boneless short ribs to be exact.