Portrait of a Locavore
In supporting the farmers and fishermen near his Hamptons home, restaurateur Zachary Lynd is bringing art and consciousness to every plate.
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“At times you want to eat for the body and at times you want to eat for the soul,” says restaurateur Zachary Lynd, whose words reflect his philosophy on food as much as they do the creative spirit that fuels him.
An independent consultant who conceives and designs new restaurant concepts, Lynd is also the owner and visionary behind Turf, a food truck that serves fresh fish and salads throughout the summer to the surfer-chic crowd at Montauk’s Ditch Plains beach. The truck itself is a vintage treasure; a ‘60s airstream which Lynd describes as both “a pirate ship beachside shack” and “a little oyster pearl”. Inside is a vibrant retro mural, which Lynd and his girlfriend Kelly Framel, the stylist and editorial voice behind the fashion blog The Glamourai, spent months meticulously hand painting. What is produced within the airstream's walls, however, reflects a thoroughly modern approach to eating sustainably; fresh ingredients grown or caught within a few miles, prepared as simply and thoughtfully as possible.
“It’s important to find the best ingredients that you can, when you can,” says Lynd. "What you put on the table means something." His penchant for local food culture dates back to his teenage years in Austin, Texas when he built an American bar and grill, Zax, with his dad. But these days what comes out of Lynd’s truck and home kitchen comes directly from the farmers and fishermen near his home 2.5 hours outside of New York City. “I was really attracted to the history of artists here,” says Lynd of Long Island’s East End, where he spends the summer months. “There’s a whole cultural underbelly, a history of famous artists spanning pretty far back. But then as you get off the main roads you realize how much land is dedicated to farming, and that these farms produce some of the best food in the country. To have the opportunity to come out here and support that in your own little way is somewhat magical.”
While his ingredients are sourced as close to home as possible, Lynd finds culinary inspiration everywhere—especially on his frequent travels around the world with Framel. “When you cook for a living and are in the hospitality business, it can be hard to be impressed. But traveling is an amazing time to find people who do it right.” On a trip to Brazil earlier this year, Lynd tasted a ceviche that made an impression. “It was fresh, simple, healthy and beautifully presented. You could tell that someone had taken a lot of care in it. It was touched just enough to make it a wonderful dish but it wasn't overdone.”
Back at home, Lynd recreated the ceviche, adapting it to highlight the local catch and produce of eastern Long Island. A quintessential summertime dish, it embodies his “keep it simple” approach to eating for the season. “This [beachside] setting begs for something that’s light, from the ocean, and from the farm. To feel full and so well nourished by a meal that’s flavorful but also light and simple—that’s the most desirable thing.”
Watch Lynd’s world come to life in the video above. And click here for his Black Bass Ceviche recipe.Shop supplies from the video at Provisions by Food 52:
Single Serving Copper Bowls
Moscow Mule Copper Cup
Handblown Half Pint Glass Tumblers
R. Murphy Wellfleet Oyster, Little Neck Clam and Crab Knife Collection
Compostable Wooden High-Edge Plates