Four Local Chefs Share How They Celebrate Summer

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Summertime means warm weather and fresh ingredients. We asked these chefs what they’re looking forward to this season.

Compiled by Chiara Evans

Incorporating local and organic produce into the menu. Tomatoes from Jimmy Acres farm are usually a highlight. We put them in every possible thing we can. Any [dish] we use tomatoes in, we start using their tomatoes. We’ll get their second-grade tomatoes and make them into pico de gallo. I look forward to using a lot of fresh local ingredients. We use a lot of fresh stuff anyway – it ups the game when it’s coming from down the road.
Andy Pignatora, Breakaway Cafe

Since COVID-19, we’ve been doing weekly pop-ups from all over the world. Every week is a different country or nationality [like German and Indian]. We’re going to continue that throughout the summer. It’s like a little vacation, but you don’t have to leave Chatham County.
Sera Cuni, The Root Cellar Cafe & Catering

Inspiration for the menu comes from the farmers market. It’s walking around seeing what’s available right then and there and picking it up. I’m always looking forward to corn, tomatoes, peppers and our summer squashes. I like good succotash – tomatoes, corn and peppers with some butter beans. Inspiration comes at the moment walking through the farmers market.
Bill Hartley, Postal Fish Company


A lot of our menu will always be seasonal. We will always take [that] approach, doing a menu change every four to six weeks with the season. We’re going to highlight what’s best at the peak – and that’s our philosophy. For summertime, I look most forward to tomatoes. I think they are some of the most versatile foods, and you don’t have to do much to a tomato. Danny Vacca, The Sycamore at Chatham Mills

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Chatham Mag Intern

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