As part of the Daily Meal Celebrity Chef Series, we welcomed Top Chef All Stars and Eleven Madison Park alum, chef Kerry Heffernan, to our kitchen on September 10. Armed with a plethora of unique shellfish and other seafood dishes made from fresh catches on eastern Long Island, Heffernan introduced a kitchen full of guests to the importance of locally-grown, sustainable seafood. Heffernan helped to catch, hunt, or grow many of the components himself, showing his commitment to closing the gap between a chef and his ingredients.
“Everything here is stuff I harvested myself, like the crabs, corns, squash; I grew it myself,” said Heffernan, describing his method of cooking. “I farm the oysters under my dock, and I go to my garden to sprinkle some herbs on them. I think chefs should understand their sources and know what’s responsible, and what’s not.”
Check out photos from the event at the Kerry Heffernan Brings Sustainable Seafood to The Daily Meal (Slideshow)
Some of the dishes we sampled include mallard duck, bluefish “wings,” porgy crudo, and whelk with clam broth. The tequila-grapefruit cocktail for the evening was provided by Don Julio, and guests could sample fresh oysters from the Montauk Shellfish Company. Meanwhile dessert was provided by Jars by Danni, which added a little bit of sweet to an evening of local seafood education and sampling.
“For me, September is a special moment, and an amazing time to be in the greenmarket,” said Heffernan. “We like to focus our efforts maybe on not some of the glamour things like hamachi. Like these bluefish collars would have gone in the garbage ordinarily, but in the heads are those beautiful cheeks and collars.”
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi