Throughout the month of April, The Independent will feature “Fare Pairs,” highlighting food and beverage combinations on the East End.
Borghese Vineyard will be pairing up with Stephan Bogardus, Executive Chef, Southold’s North Fork Table & Inn, on May 4 for a four-course meal featuring Borghese wines. While wine dinners are frequent within the Long Island Wine Region, this evening will celebrate new recipes and a new season.
“When North Fork Table & Inn was being featured at the James Beard Foundation, I was asked if I would like to join and present Borghese wine,” said Giovanni Borghese, co-owner of the vineyard. “It was an amazing experience and something I will be grateful for indefinitely, a huge moment for Borghese. We also just had a similar wine pairing dinner [with the restaurant] this past March, which sold out. It prompted us to have this second pairing on May 4, right before summer kicks off.”
Bogardus worked with Mike Mraz, co-owner and sommelier of North Fork Table, to curate a menu, after hours of research at the Borghese tasting room.
“[Mraz] knows my food and I know his eye for wine. We trust each other a lot. Together we get the start for a pairing based on what Mike is tasting in a wine, his previous experience, and his knowledge of my style of cooking. He then highlights subtleties in the wine that I use, like secret weapons, in the food. This idea really helps us provide a great bridge between the wine and food,” Bogardus detailed.
Included in the menu is a cured fluke paired with spring herbs and nettles (an edible that is one of the first signs of spring). Expect asparagus and cavatelli pasta, pork belly with ramps and clams, and a rhubarb crostada.
The cabernet franc rosé, one of the wines to be paired, has an acidity that cuts pork belly fat and balances out the butter in the clam-ramp sauce. In food and wine pairs, it’s important to understand the balance of complementing flavors and contrasting them, the executive chef noted. “Deconstructing flavors and layering balance to contrasts helps round off a pairing into something really special,” Bogardus said.
The North Fork native has been cooking since he was a teenager, and he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America nearly a decade ago. His passion for the kitchen is presented with every forkful. The chef emphasized, “I love new everything. Using new wines, new techniques and new spring flavors really got me inspired while writing this menu.” In an ironic twist, Bogardus abstains from alcohol, in an industry that oftentimes revolves around it. As an avid yoga practitioner, he delights in waters and “nerding out on tea.”