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Photos: ‘Taste North Fork’ kickoff draws crowds, offers tempting array of food, wine, produce

From pan-seared scallops to local wine, crab-stuffed deviled eggs and flavorful moussaka, some of the best tastes of the North Fork were shared with visitors Saturday at an event aimed at introducing guests to the rich bounty of the North Fork.

After the success of last year’s inaugural Taste North Fork event, which aimed to introduce visitors to the bounty and businesses of the area, a new event was held Saturday at the Greenport Information Center to kick off the season.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell, onhand to welcome visitors to the event, said this year’s focus is not only the lush farmland and wineries of the region, but on the people behind the businesses who dedicate their lives to breathing vitality into the area.

Joan Bischoff, president of the NFPC, welcomed guests and thanked business owners for participating in the kickoff event, aimed at showcasing the best of the North Fork.

Visitors were able to “Meet The Farmers”, who displayed local produce harvested from the North Fork. On the roster were the North Fork Table Food Truck, Taste of the North Fork & cHarissa, Race Rock Oysters, Goodale Farms, Garden Fusion, North Fork Potato Chips, Invincible Summer Farms, Southold School Garden, Browder’s Birds & Blue Duck Bakery.

Guests were also able “Meet the Innkeepers”, with the The North Fork Bed & Breakfast Association, who served tea sandwiches, sweet indulgences,, homemade treats and beverages, just as innkeepers do at their B & Bs. Owners were onhand to answer visitor questions about what it is like to own, manage, and stay in one of the inns.

For a sip of vino, guests were also inivted “Meet the Winemaker’s” at Mattebella Vineyards, where Chris Tobin, Mark Tobin and Maryse Bransfield poureda summer wine.

The Greenport Harbor Brewing Company was also onhand to pour guests a cold one.

And for a taste of the North Fork,  visitor were happy “Meet The Chefs”, and sample delicious offerings including crabmeat-stuffed deviled eggs from Noah’s, moussaka and kabobs from 631, salad and vinaigrette from Scrimshaw, and pan-seared scallops from Blue as the chefs demonstrate skills and created tempting dishes.

On the menu were Chef Rosa Ross from Scrimshaw Restaurant, who showed onlookers how to make a vinaigrette dressing and pair it with local produce to provide a tasting. Other demonstrations included one by Chef Eric Schumacher of the Blue Inn, and a signature cocktail created by Chef Deborah Rivera Pittorino from the Greenporter Hotel, Rita Winkler from Vines & Branches, Noah Schwartz from Noah’s Restaurant and others.

In addition, the the NFPC’s first and new 2014-2015 Guide to the North Fork will be presented to Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell and other town officials.

This event is free and open to all.

Last year, the inaguraul Taste North Fork event brought scores of visitors to the area. The event was held over the three-day Veterans Day weekend and was organized with an eye toward bringing visitors out to the North Fork duirng the “shoulder season” by train and Hampton Jitney buses, which operated on two loops running from Riverhead to Mattituck and out to Orient. The event had a large turnout on Love Lane in Mattituck, too, where the success of the weekend planted the seeds for Mattituck’s East End Farmers Market, which opened last Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.