This week I had the chance to speak with James Carpenter, Executive Chef of the restaurant Claude’s at the Southampton Inn. Hailing from upstate New York, Putnam county to be exact, James attended Johnson & Wales, and says he always held jobs within the food industry. After a short stint in the military in Japan, James spent time in Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans, which further informed his style of cooking.
What I love about James, is that he describes his style as ‘farm to table, before it was cool.’ He tells me it’s the healthiest way to eat. Of course getting produce when it’s in season, at its freshest offers the most nutritional value. When I asked if he cooked at home, he fired back, with: ‘do you sit and edit on the weekends?’ Touché. Though he did say he loves to have friends over and BBQ.
Some of Carpenter’s favorite Hampton haunts are: Balsam Farms in Amagansett, he says to see Ian. Open Minded Organics at the East Hampton farmers market has the best selection of mushrooms. He especially likes their shiitake, and blue and yellow oyster mushrooms. His seafood comes from Braun’s on the North Fork, and for cheese, where else but Mecox Dairy’s cheese cave?
I asked for one of his favorite dishes to prepare, he told me his lobster mango salad, and gave me the recipe:
1 LB. Lobster, rough chop
2 Mangos, diced
¼ Cup Mayonnaise
¼ Cup Crème Fraiche
1 OZ. Micro Greens
Salt and Pepper
Thinly slice the cucumber and let marinate in vinegar; Mix chopped lobster meat with the diced mango, mayonnaise, crème fraiche, salt and pepper; Puree avocados until smooth; Layer the sliced cucumbers on serving dish. Place pureed avocados above cucumbers and top with a scoop of lobster salad. Garnish with micro greens.
Claude’s is open 7 days a week. 91 Hill St, Southampton.