Hamptons Eats …What’s up Doc? Bug’s Bunny would have been in Carrot Heaven at Estia’s Carrot Root Tasting… Carrots, an essential in every kitchen.
On Wednesday November 12 I attended a carrot tasting harvest. Estia’s Little Kitchen hosted their first in a series of root tastings.
This started last summer when Colin Ambrose of Estia’s Little Kitchen decided he wanted to explore the carrot with his friends, well-known hamptons chefs and farmers in the Hamptons. Christopher Polidoro with Quail Hill Farm farmer Scott Chasky
Joseph Realmuto with Nick & Toni’s Garden manager Jeff Negron
Jason Wiener with Almond pal, Sagaponack farmer Marilee Foster
Todd Jacobs with Fresh friends and partner farmers Bette & Dale
Kyle Koenig with Topping Rose House garden manager Jeff Negron
Robert Durkin and the garden at Robert’s in Watermill. Each chef & Farmer displayed their control seed (scarlet Nantes) and a choice seed. In addition to tasting raw and steamed carrots, the chefs prepared a dish of their choosing and presented it on the counter at The Little Kitchen.
I brought my daughter Allura with me and we had a great time learning about the different variations of carrots, and tasting each one of them. Growing up in Harlem, I was unaware that carrots were not just orange. At the tasting we ate purple carrots, white carrots, red carrots and of course the orange carrot. Some were light and sweet, others had your typical carrot taste we liked many of the carrots but we especially enjoyed the Atomic Red from the Garden of Estia’s Little Garden, we also enjoyed the carrot from Dales Fresh Mix from Todd Jacobs from Fresh and farmers Bette & Dale.
After everyone tasted each carrot Colin conducted a Q&A. Each participant brought all of their 20 foot carrot beds production to compare and discuss. One of the questions asked was about seeding:
Colin: Once your carrot seeds are set how to do you maintain that between the hard set and the harvest?
Quail Hill Farm farmer Scott Chasky: Weeds are not allowed… laughter erupted in the room…take a listen to his response….
Allura and I were in carrot heaven, the prepared dishes were so delicious, the Fritters, the Rabbit pie and Dumplings were among our favorite but my personal favorite were the mini carrot cakes made by Cassandra Shupp, the pastry chef from Topping Rose House. This was really one of the BEST carrot cakes I have ever tasted and I just wanted more.
I am looking forward to the Beet Tasting in this series of Root Tastings…All remaining carrots were donated to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry.
Photo credit: Allura Leggard