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The first episode of Silent Chef highlights Southold-grown tomatoes. (Courtesy Photo)

Chef John Fraser of North Fork Table & Inn invites audiences to take a calming journey to Southold through the lens of food in his new YouTube video series, Silent Chef. 

This three-episode love letter to the North Fork relies on visuals and music to tell its story. In a world with so much noise, Fraser wanted to make a space where curiosity is sparked through silence. 

“The world is always talking and describing things and I wanted to create something that’s the opposite of what I see in the food industry,” said Fraser. “I love the industry but I’m an introvert. I wanted to create something meditative where viewers can fill in blanks rather than a chef talking at them.”

This idea first sparked during the pandemic when Fraser began writing short stories about hunting and gathering and what food means to us as humans. This year he decided to team up with José Andrés Media to convert these stories into videos, filming the three episodes over the course of a week. 

Each episode will highlight a different food of the region and how it is harvested or made. The first sees Fraser at KK’s The Farm, a biodynamic farm less than a mile from North Fork Table & Inn. Owned and operated by Ira Haspel, the two gather ripe summer tomatoes as well as fresh herbs, garlic, and celery before Fraser heads home to prepare handmade pasta. 

Fraser heads to the water to join Elizabeth Peeples and Stefanie Bassett of Little Ram Oysters as they explore the bounty of the Peconic Bay. This episode highlights oysters, a signature of the Long Island culinary scene, especially on the North Fork. Fraser then sets up a rustic kitchen within the sand dunes to grill oysters topped with savory herb butter and salt-crusted potatoes. 

In the third and final part of this series, Fraser returns to Peconic to visit Erin and Connor Burke at Catapano Dairy Farm to taste their award-winning chevre (goat cheese.) After a milking lesson and a visit to their processing room, Fraser heads back to KK’s to harvest berries and honey for a Basque-style cheesecake.

“These episodes were each produced very much for the phone to watch anywhere,” noted Fraser. “Each episode is 15 minutes, so it’s a digestible amount of time if you need a quick relaxing break.”

The goal of the series is to promote healing, encouraging viewers to be connected to a place, and the foods that come from it, and bring it full circle in its preparation. The first episode will debut today on the Calm YouTube channel.

“This is hopefully the first of many,” added Fraser. “These first episodes are made to highlight the moment in summer when things are ripening when the world is alive. We are capturing the beauty of Southold.”