At our successful and, frankly, phenomenal launch party in November, I was asked by a guest, “Don’t you just love your job?” Perhaps it was pure zeal, or the fact that this winter issue has a bit of an oyster leitmotif or, honestly, it could have been the Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc, but my immediate reply was, “I feel as though the world is my oyster.” Clichéd idioms aside, it is clearly presumptuous to claim the world my oyster, but I have to acknowledge that between the overwhelmingly positive response to our first issue, the exuberant turnout for our launch party, the day-to-day culinary adventures and the work/fun that goes into creating Edible Long Island, I am truly blessed.
Putting this issue together has been one delectable experience after another. I spent a spectacular crisp fall day with my North Shore bayman husband, Brad, and photo editor Doug Young at Blue Island Oyster Company’s farm, located just off Captree Island. We shucked genuine Blue Point oysters, plucked right from Great South Bay, and slurped them naked (no cocktail sauce), right on the spot. We munched on sea beans, foraged from a nearby salt marsh while soaking in the dwindling autumn sunshine. The day was idyllic. In the course of “researching” the village of Oyster Bay, I made new friends, rekindled some old high school friendships, sampled a stout brewed with local oysters and munched on fried oysters while hobnobbing with the masses at the annual Oyster Festival. Indulging my fondness for all things Indian, I explored Patel Brothers in Hicksville and discovered that they sell the most wonderful samosas, fried in-store for 60 cents each (I brought home plenty). I was invited to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali, feasted at a six-course vegetarian tasting dinner, paired with Wölffer Estate wines (In the Kitchen With Jay Jadeja) and received a blessing from the attending Hindu priest. I shopped at farmers markets, cheese purveyors and wine boutiques. I ventured into the big city and went to a Food Film Festival, tasting the very foods that were portrayed on the screen, and I even caught my first-ever burlesque show at a luscious South Shore eatery (Back of the House). Sorry, but the burlesque angle is another story for another issue! From the briny goodness of Great South Bay to the warm aromatic flavors of India (right in Hicksville), I trust that you will savor this issue as much as I did in putting it together.
Long before this winter edition was a wrap, pitches and ideas for spring began streaming in from our contributors, photographers and even readers. Please continue forwarding me suggestions and comments as I am sincerely grateful for your enthusiasm and encouragement. We have an abundance of stories to share in 2014. The New Year is going to be unquestionably tasty.