02/09/18 3:38pm

The sweet and simple fixings for chocolate fondue. (Credit: John Ross)

Belgium is a small country on the North Sea that borders Germany, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Belgium is famous for all the wars that have taken place on its land and, more recently, as the home of the European Union and of NATO, among other international organizations. 

But its cuisine has long been overshadowed by that of France. (more…)

11/11/17 5:59am

A freshly shucked Peconic Bay scallop. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

As a chef on the North Fork I have cooked Peconic Bay scallops in many ways, going all the way back to 1973, when I opened Ross’ North Fork Restaurant. (Back then we had a sandwich sign in front of the restaurant that advertised a Peconic Bay scallop dinner for $4.95). The season for scallops went from September to March, but has been shortened in recent years to November to March. This allows the scallops to spawn and grow to maturity. I only cook fresh scallops when they are in season. When you freeze and thaw them, they are still pretty good but their structure breaks down, they lose moisture and they don’t caramelize when sautéed.

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10/14/17 6:00am

A Tamworth pig and Icelandic sheep at 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue, one of the stops on the tour. (Credit: Randee Daddona, file photo)

In decades gone by, the North Fork was a quiet, rural area, where farmers grew potatoes and other crops for the market. The farmer’s wife would often set up a small stand in front of the house to sell vegetables. It is pretty amazing how the little farm stand has evolved since that time.

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09/30/17 6:00am

A white Boer pumpkin stuffed with pumpkin polenta. (Credit: John Ross)

Across the United States 90,000 acres of farmland are devoted to pumpkins, producing about 1.5 billion pounds annually. About 15 percent of the crop is processed into canned pumpkin purée and the area around Peoria, Ill., is the largest producing area. Libby’s (a Nestlé company) and Seneca Foods are the major processors.

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08/05/17 6:00am

The younger set at poolside during the author’s recent family gathering. (Credit: John Ross)

This was the summer when the relatives came. Nine grandchildren, three sets of parents, a couple of in-laws and three dogs. A wonderful long-awaited gathering months in the making. Feeding this group is a labor of love, but for a chef who cooks from scratch using fresh ingredients it presents a challenge in 2017.

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