Luce: James Beard Dinner Offers Platform for Sustainable East End Menu

Owner and co-owner of Luce and Hawkins to be featured as guest chef at New York City dinner.

  • By Joseph Pinciaro
  • Keith Luce makes a return to the James Beard House in New York City on Wednesday night, and he’s looking forward to featuring the best of what the East End has to offer.

    Even dubbed an “East End Country Getaway” on the James Beard Foundation’s website, the only ingredient the co-owner of Luce and Hawkins Restaurant and former James Beard Award winner has to bring in from out of the area is a grapefruit.

    Luce used to host an event with the James Beard Foundation – a non-profit dedicated to educating and inspiring American culinary culture – at least every other year, he said. Though with his recent return to the North Fork, he’s just getting back.

    Coupled with the altruistic philosophy he says JBF President Susan Ungaro brings to the table, Luce looks forward to use the meal as a “grander stage to show what it is you do at your restaurant.”

    “I think a lot of chefs – most of us didn’t come from very wealthy beginnings – we have humble starts,” he said. “And this industry exposes you to a lot of amazing things. A lot of chefs are of the mind of giving back, and raising awareness.”

    One awareness Luce – and several other East End chefs – are proud to celebrate is that of offering a sustainable menu, made with as many items from one’s back yard as possible. On Wednesday, for the first time to a public audience, Luce will be cooking with a pig he raised and harvested himself, to be used for the second course in more than one way. He’ll also be offering a glass of his own Keith Luce Wine, a NoFo Red 2009 blended with grapes from Paumanok Vineyard.

    The dinner begins at 7 p.m. and costs $130 for James Beard Foundation members or $170 for non-members.

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