Savor the Hamptons Culinary Series Brought the Chefs to Town - 27 East

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Savor the Hamptons Culinary Series Brought the Chefs to Town

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Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee created upscale Creole cuisine on February 24 and 25 at Rosie's in Amagansett as part of The Roundtree’s winter culinary series. The New Orleans native will open his first New York restaurant, Alligator Pear, this spring. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee's crispy maitake mushrooms with sauce persillade and dill pickles. ELIZABETH VESPE

Chef Dominick Lee's crispy maitake mushrooms with sauce persillade and dill pickles. ELIZABETH VESPE

authorElizabeth Vespe on Mar 8, 2023

“Alligator Pear” is Creole slang for avocado. Alligator Pear is also the name of Chef Dominick Lee’s newest Manhattan restaurant which is slated to open in May. Chef Lee visited Amagansett in February as part of The Roundtree Hotel’s “Savor the Hamptons” winter culinary series at the nearby Rosie’s Amagansett.

“We wanted to get creative and bring something fresh and new to the area during the colder months,” explained Sylvia Wong, The Roundtree’s founder. “We were also excited to be able to give The Roundtree guests a culinary experience as a part of their overnight stay — one that brought a diverse group of Michelin chefs and New York City classics right to the area.”

The boutique hotel only a short walk from Rosie’s on Main Street, has been featured in Vogue, Architectural Digest, CNN Travel and Variety, to name a few publications. The Roundtree and Rosie’s partnered together to bring world-class chefs to the Hamptons.

To kick off the series, The Roundtree hosted Osteria 57, a rustic Italian restaurant with a focus on fish and vegetables, and Alice, an intimate Italian restaurant in the basement of a historical brownstone in the heart of the West Village. The duo of West Village Italian eateries led guests on a tasting journey on January 13 and 14. The following weekend, Chef Tom Naumsuwan, of the popular Lower East Side Thai restaurant Wayla, offered a menu of Thai comfort food. Entrepreneur, author, television personality and philanthropist Chef Maria Loi of Loi Estiatorio hosted the next weekend with a spin on classic Mediterranean cuisine. The author of more than 36 cookbooks Chef Loi hosts a show, “The Life of Loi,” on PBS. Bronson’s Burgers from New York City’s Nolita area hosted the first get together in February, with a mix of classic and unique burgers and milkshakes. Jia, a Chinese restaurant in Port Washington, offered classic dim sum dishes with Executive Chef Kand Hu. Michelin star restaurant Junoon, known for its Indian cuisine hosted the following week.

The visiting chefs illustrated an emphasis on international cuisines illuminated by local ingredients.

“We were delighted with the amazing feedback from the community and guests,” said Wong, who noted that The Roundtree hosted over 800 diners during the series, and the event achieved a 4.96 rating out of 5 on Resy, the well-known reservation website. “We also had amazing feedback from the participating chefs. We will be exploring a reprise of the series — potentially in a different season. With our connections to chefs and beverage experts in the city, we’re able to curate the offerings to the season and are brainstorming even more ways to activate a food-focused program at The Roundtree.”

To close out the well-attended series, Chef Dominick Lee, a New Orleans native, stunned his guests with a five-course tasting menu. Lee became very well known in Houston where he worked as the executive chef at Poitin Bar & Kitchen. With Lee as the head, the eatery was named one of the top restaurants of 2019 by Texas Monthly Magazine and earned him rising star chef recognition from Eater. Because of COVID-19, Chef Lee moved to Italy for two years to expand his culinary repertoire. The trip helped him get in touch with his Louisiana roots and it prepared him to open Alligator Pear, his upscale Creole eatery in New York City, later this spring.

“There aren’t a lot of New Orleans style restaurants in New York City,” Lee said while adding a creamy sauce to his dry-aged black cod. “New Orleans has so many different influences.”

The crispy maitake mushroom dish on the menu was from a famous New Orleans restaurant where his parents had their first date, but with Lee’s own unique twist on it. The original recipe calls for fried chicken — Lee uses mushrooms.

“It’s not just French, it’s not just Spanish it’s not just Native American, it’s all of those cultures coming together as one,” said, Lee, a graduate of the Culinary School at the Art Institute of Houston.

“I always wanted to be a chef,” he said, explaining that he started cooking at 14 years old. “I would cook for my mother for Mother’s Day and holidays.” Risotto and pancakes were some of his favorite dishes to make his family as a teenager.

Lee’s tasting menu at Rosie’s started with an assortment of Alligator Pears snacks, including a tempura avocado with pepper jelly. The crispy maitake mushrooms served as a vegetarian starter and then guests enjoyed a New Orleans BBQ lobster dish with Lee’s NOLA BBQ sauce, chive oil and crispy garlic.

“This dish comes from New Orleans style BBQ shrimp,” he explained. “The sauce works well with crustaceans. The sauce is made from butter, Worcestershire, hot sauce, rosemary. It has intense flavors. The way people in Louisiana eat it is with the shell on shrimp, you peel it at the table.”

Next was the dry-aged black cod with brown butter, preserved lemon and toasted almonds. Lee prepared his next dish, the blackened rib eye, by letting the spices sear into the steak, he said. For dessert, Lee served a New Orleans style “sno-ball,” which is shaved ice with natural sassafras root extract and an Angelo Broccato cannoli with candied orange, ricotta di pecora and cherry.

Guests of The Roundtree Hotel received access to fireside discussions and private cooking classes with the chefs. Nonpatrons of the hotel could also have booked on the hotel’s website when space was available. Visit The Roundtree’s website, theroundtreehotels.com, for updates on upcoming events and culinary series.

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