Thursday, September 26, 2013

❤️Baby's second Edible East End blog post❤️

Crooked Ladder Firetruck Beermobile Debuts at Chili Cookoff

Comment | September 26, 2013 | By  | Photographs by Gianna Volpe
As seen on

Red was all the rage at the 15th annual Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce Chili/Chowder Contest at the Boardy Barn on Saturday.
Riverhead’s Crooked Ladder Brewing Company, the East End’s newest microbrewery, brought their already well-loved Gypsy Red, along with two other beers, to the event via a red fire engine—because that’s just how they roll.
“We’ve seen lots of guys that have smaller vehicles like pick-up trucks or your traditional van with taps on the side,” says Steve Wirth, a partner in Crooked Ladder and owner of next door’s Irish pub, Digger O’ Dell’s.  “We took it a step further because we’re us, so we went fire truck.”
The literally fire engine red beermobile, which can fit 10 half-barrels in its back, was once part of brew-master Duffy Griffith’s fleet at the Jamesport Fire Department and was converted into a rolling keggerator with help from Long Island company, Clear Beer, which also maintains the epic draft system at Digger’s. The downtown restaurant also serves as a sort of tasting laboratory for the brewing company
The Saturday afternoon event was the engine’s first public jaunt, but its owners already seem at ease with its operation and worked soundlessly by its side.
As Wirth ladled their rouge-colored wild boar chili into sample-sized plastic cups for queued-up consumers, Griffiths expertly tossed back the truck’s taps for the thirsty ones. That’s right—I said wild boar.
“We got it through U.S. Foods, which has an exotic meat department,” says Wirth. “You name it, they’ve got it.”
In addition to cubed pork loin, the chili also contained a number of local harvest vegetables, including tomatoes from Harbes and Reeve’s farms.
And though the chili’s vegetables were local, Wirth said Crooked Ladder has no immediate plans for purchasing local hops for their beer.
“We haven’t really designed an IPA we’re happy with, but once we have that recipe down, we’ll consider doing a wet-hopped ale,” he says. “We’re going to crawl before we run.”
Beer lovers may want to consider crawling too; Wirth says they’ve got an Oktoberfest on its way. “We think our seasonal beers are going to be really big. Our pumpkin ale is our number one seller right now.”

❤️Baby's first Edible East End blog post ❤️

As seen on

Seafood and Barbecue at 

All for the East End Fund-raiser

Comment | August 21, 2013 | By  | Photographs by Gianna Volpe


Smoked oysters on brioche with whipped cream cheese, cauliflower foam and fresh dill from the Inn Spot on the Bay.

A sea of smiles and sweet tunes rolled into Riverhead Monday night for the All for the East End event at Martha Clara Vineyards, which brought a thousand-plus guests to the Sound Avenue farm to dance and nosh the night away in the name of the region’s thousand-plus nonprofits.
Local vendors, including The Wandering PalateFoody’s and Blondie’s Bake Shop, lined the event’s perimeter for general admission guests in need of something to snack on, but a VIP ticket allowed its owner access to a separate food tent, where a host of East End restauranteurs served up heavenly hors d’oeuvres. Picture-perfect seafood plates made up the majority of the bite-sized samples, including theNorth Fork Table & Inn’s, which prepared a delectable poached shrimp with red Thai peppers, lemongrass emulsion, green papaya and peanuts.

Cindy Halloran, left, and Claudia Fleming of North Fork Table and Inn.

The seafood plates were all superb and thematically appropriate to the strictly East End affair, but because Riverhead’s Maple Tree BBQ strayed from the sea, they were a welcome addition to the line-up as my taste buds became fatigued with fish, and, in my mind, the barbecue joint served two of the evening’s most delicious dishes.
“For the first dish, we put smoked baked beans with an Alabama-style barbecue chicken on crostini with a white horseradish-based barbecue sauce, topped with red hot barbecue sauce,” said Maple Tree’s Sean Judge of their Monday evening offerings. “Our second is herb crusted potatoes, North Carolina-style barbecue pulled pork and white horseradish-based barbecue sauce.”
To transition my tastebuds back to seafood, I stopped at the table of “Cheffe” Collette Connor of the Inn Spot on the Bay, where I was able to sample the best of both worlds. The Hampton Bays eatery served smoked oysters on brioche with whipped cream cheese, cauliflower foam and fresh dill, which Connor said was just for garnish, but I ate the entire sprig anyhow. (I love dill.)
“The oysters are local, and so are we,” said Connor, who coined the term for lady chef, “Cheffe,” with Inn Spot on the Bay co-owner, Cheffe Pamela.

Gianna Volpe is a freelance multimedia reporter on the East End of Long Island and one of 2013′s New York Press Association Rookie Reporters of the Year. She received her bachelor degree in journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism at the University of Missouri in 2010 and grew up at the foot of the Palisades in New Jersey, which overlook New York City. She now lives in Riverhead. Follow her on twitter @agentjanefox

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Filling in the gap

Now that I've downloaded the blogger app for my iPhone, I'm sure I will begin using this more frequently (rather than next to never.)

Let me update you: I am currently one of the four New York Press Association "Rookie Reporters of the Year," an award I won the Suffolk Times for my reporting throughout 2012.

This is something I'm incredibly proud of - especially because two of the four rookie reporters are from the Queens Courier, where crime actually occurs now and again.

Obviously I'm being a bit facetious and truth be told, I am incredibly proud I received this honorable award.

So don't worry, I have made sure to tell every living creature that has crossed my path in the past few months that, "I'm one of the four New York Press Association 'Rookie Reporters of the Year.'"

I celebrated the win by consistently scooping a former colleague with crime stories, which was fun!

Now I've turned to freelancing stories, mostly for magazines and newspaper supplements.

This is something I've been avoiding (along with living in New York City.....until I have enough money to actually LIVE there..... because if I'm going to just scrape by I would rather do it with some leg room), but at this point in the game I'm beginning to wonder why.

Something I finally said out loud today while pondering why it felt like Denise Civiletti had just stabbed me in the abdomen when she suggested I turn my sights toward magazines is that my training as a newspaper writer and photographer may have led me to look down on magazines.

The gloss, the flash, the color, the broader brush employed through their diction induced a recoiling reaction from me.

I was so busy learning to kill my voice that I couldn't even think about marrying it to my facts, which is why features were actually more difficult for me when I was starting out!

Now I write features like it ain't no thang and during my tenure at Times/Review, I certainly wrote a lion's share of those bad boys.

Nowadays I get steady work with the Sag Harbor Express, will hopefully continue writing/photographing for Edible East End and the other gorgeous Edible magazines, and have just begun my relationships with the Southampton Press, Long Island Business News and Dan's Papers.

Barbaraellen Koch, a local veteran photojournalist for whom I have the utmost respect, thinks it's time for me to somehow get into The New York Times, maybe by writing a column about the two weeks I just spent being homeless on the East End or by breaking a big story............ So yeah, if you are the Long Island serial killer, hit me up at and offer me an exclusive because I'm not sure if The Grey Lady prints columns written by veritable nobodies!

I will start updating this ol' boy with my work - I swear! So people can um. You know. Read my stuff. And things.

That's all I got, so signing off, this is special agent Jane Fox aka Gianna Volpe.

Over and out