User's Guide

What Chefs Eat on Their Summer Vacations

As summer ebbs, chefs want to get out of town, too.
As summer ebbs, chefs want to get out of town, too. Photo: iStockphoto

The average chef, trapped each night in a sweaty box filled with profanity, egos, screaming, and plates of food, wants to relax when he finally gets out of town. But even a cook has to eat, right? So where do chefs go during their weekend getaways? We asked a few, and here’s what they told us.

Akthar Nawab, Elattaria: “Mountain Freeze, a little cabin on Route 309 in the Poconos. They have great pistachio ice cream — green, but still great. Larsen’s, in Martha’s Vineyard, is an old-school fish shop selling whatever the guys caught that day. They go out and catch soft-shell clams, which are steamed and served with the cooking liquid and butter.”

Pete Daversa, Hill Country: Clam Castle, in Madison, Connecticut. “It’s a casual, unassuming shack with indoor and outdoor picnic tables serving the perfect hot buttered lobster roll — fresh lobster meat sautéed in butter and served in a New England–style hot-dog roll (toasted and buttered). Simple and delicious.”

Harold Moore, Commerce: “Spike’s Fish Market & Restaurant in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. They have real Jersey-style steamers (Little Neck clams), grilled fish, corn on the cob, commercial fishing boats docked out back — just really simple food but everything’s right off those boats and so fresh.”

Anne Burrell, Centro Vinoteca: “I go out to Long Beach a lot, and when I do I love to get barbecue and a beer at Swingbelly’s. The place is nothing to look at, but I just like it. Maybe some ice cream afterwards.”

Ivy Stark, Dos Caminos: “Kingston’s in Sayville, Long Island, for clams and a cold beer while waiting for the Fire Island ferries.”

Seamus Mullen, Boqueria , Suba: “Tu Lan vietnamese in San Francisco. It’s barely a hole in the wall. Julia Child ate there once and now there’s a sketch of her from the early eighties on the menu, where she’s eating pho. It’s some of the best Vietnamese I’ve had outside of Vietnam.”

Kenny Callaghan, Blue Smoke: “Anytime I am traveling to or from New England I have to stop in New Haven for my Pepe’s pizza fix. The beauty of Pepe’s is that it’s located one minute from Interstate 95. They cook all their pizza in coal-fired ovens. The white-clam pie is to die for. One of the best pizzas I have ever eaten anywhere!”

What Chefs Eat on Their Summer Vacations