The Jolly Onion Restaurant, Pine Island
Organic coconut milk, which I use as a foundation for oatmeal or a health shake. Organic Nordic rye from Bread Alone bakery in Kingston. Ronnybrook Farm’s strawberry yogurt.
A good multi-functional Japanese Santuko sushi knife. Its wide blade and chopping abilities make it a knife to be used for cutting/slicing/spreading/tenderizing.
I always make a special relaxing medicinal nighttime tea of: mint, raw organic honey, shaved ginger root, fresh lemon juice, and a splash of raw organic apple cider vinegar; and, of course, boiling water.
At one time early in my career, I was obsessed about searching used book stores to complete the Time-Life Foods of the World series. This 27-set series, in most amazing detail, encompasses the cuisine and artisanal discovery of almost every country or region in the world that has set a culinary stamp on cuisine as we know it.
Daily Planet Diner in Lagrangeville. Even though they are doing well, I feel they have ingeniously shaken off the diner syndrome of large, mediocre menus with amazing fresh and inventive new takes on diner classics with fresh ingredients and a unique approach. As a chef, I really love it and find it relaxing to enjoy a great breakfast food in a casual setting. These guys know what they are doing!
Essie’s Restaurant, Poughkeepsie
Beer, wine, lobster.
Robot Coupe [food processor] or Vita Mix [blender].
A Manhattan or a whiskey sour.
On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee.
One of my all-time favorites is Stockade Tavern in Kingston. They are the pioneers of the crafted cocktail scene in the Hudson Valley, and they don’t get enough credit for it.
Gracie’s Luncheonette, Leeds
Eggs. I love them for a quick meal or snack, and so does my dog, so it’s a win for everyone.
Pickles, from the garden at Gracie’s. My mom’s garlic dill recipe is everyone’s favorite. We use them at the restaurant to garnish Bloody Marys.
Zhoug. It’s a spicy Yemeni herb sauce made from cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, chili flakes, cumin, and cardamom. It’s pretty much good on everything (especially eggs).
Microplane. I literally never bother chopping garlic or ginger anymore.
Margarita. Classic. Fresh lime juice, Cointreau, tequila, and a dash of agave nectar. Shaken, obviously. Salt and rocks.
On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. This was one of our textbooks at The Culinary Institute of America.
Twisted Soul in Poughkeepsie is one of my favorite places. The combination of ethnic flavors and techniques with familiar comfort foods (chickpea fries! Empanadas! Rice bowls! Noodles! Wings! Mac and cheese!), an extensive list of non-alcoholic beverages, and healthy options like made-in-front-of-you loaded salads, just makes it super-appealing 100 percent of the time.