EyeSwoon’s Athena Calderone says, referring to her stunning farm-to-table tome published in 2017. “The kitchen has always represented a safe place for me.”
Calderone began seriously baking around age 26. “There was a precision and science that the novice perfectionist in me knew I could count on,” says the Long Island native of her initial attraction to the culinary arts. “Little did I know that the creative side of myself was being fostered, which evolved into the kitchen becoming my sanctuary. It became a place that was as surprising as it was comforting,” she says. Calderone began to playfully layer and develop flavors, and become more educated on eating locally, food sourcing and seasonality. “It offered me the ability to discover new flavors and techniques, to take risks, to challenge myself, to trust myself, to play, to riff, to explore. Suddenly, cooking was not only my creative outlet; it [also] became my social outlet as I began to host dinner parties—and then it turned into a career!”
After she moved out East to Amagansett, Calderone’s dedication to farm-to-table fare really took root. “Supporting the local harvest with the start of my CSA at Amber Waves Farm offers me the opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with my food and to meet the farmers. I always leave the farm inspired by the energy that’s been invested in this beautiful food—and I am grateful that I have access to so many seasonal, local goodies.”
These days, Calderone keeps a close eye on the food cycle and eating seasonally from the wealth of East End farms. “I adore the intimate, small-town approach to buying provisions here,” she says, noting the sharp contrast to large-scale markets in the city. “I love driving from place to place to gather nearby treasures.
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