Chef Jack Formica returns to Amber Waves Farm with his enthusiasm for organic produce.
Chef Jack Formica
For Formica, it all started with a box. Nearly a decade ago, the then-untrained chef picked up his community-supported agriculture box from Amber Waves Farm (amberwavesfarm.org) and quickly developed a passion for organic foods that he would carry throughout his career. Formica began working in the fields and tried to glean as much information as he could from the farm’s crew. Last year, he joined Amber Waves in its coveted chef role and now returns for the 2019 season.
“For me, it was a chance to connect people to the land and to [those] who produce the food while being able to work with the most incredible produce that was coming right off of the field and into the kitchen every day,” he says.
Tablescape for one of Formica’s dinners
Now, Hamptonites can spot Formica touting an organic food platform all around the area, whether he’s leading a raw foods workshop with the Amagansett Food Institute, taking over the kitchen of Almond for a vegan dinner or foraging for mushrooms in the local forest.
Amber Waves’ fans can expect a summer filled with the same kinds of CSA boxes that inspired Formica long ago, along with events and tours. The chef says the team spent the winter planning, learning and assessing in preparation for the season. “In each season,” he adds, “the anticipation and excitement of having that first taste—whether it’s that first perfectly ripe strawberry in June, sun-warmed tomato in late July or blast of fall with butternut squash in September—is what makes me most happy in life.”
Herbs at Balsam Farms
Photography by: jack formica and table photos courtesy of jack formica; balsam farms photo by ellen watson