This month, the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations” featured the East End’s Nick and Toni’s restaurant and the Montauk-based fishery program, Dock to Dish for the premiere of the show’s seventh season. In the hour-long episodes, the host–TV personality, writer and chef Andrew Zimmern–travels throughout various cities in North America to find and taste unique foods.
In this episode, titled “The Hamptons,” Zimmern “dives into the seafood masterworks of the Hamptons,” according to the synopsis provided by the Travel Channel. “From delectable surf and turf to buttery lobster rolls, clam chowder to smoked bluefish pate, the Hamptons’ dinner scene is sizzling.”
When Nick and Toni’s was approached to be featured, Executive Chef Joe Realmuto and co-partner Mark Smith decided to invite Dock to Dish to be part of their segment. The restaurant and the organization have a strong relationship, with the former being one of the founding restaurants of the “farm-to-table” program for seafood.
“There was a film team in town and they were doing a whole segment on the Hamptons and so they were featuring Nick and Toni’s and Nick and Toni’s in turn did a feature on us as one of their sources for local seafood,” said Trevor Swope, Director of Operations of Dock to Dish Montauk. “It was sort of just a perfect opportunity for both Nick and Toni’s and ourselves to get in the spotlight a bit.”
Nick and Toni’s is an Italian eatery that opened in East Hampton in 1988. As a member of the fishermen-restaurant cooperative that is Dock to Dish, the restaurant receives fresh and sustainable seafood caught by local fishermen. Every catch is different, so the chefs must be amenable to having a menu that fluctuates with the fish available for that given week.
“The whole experience was great. It is a tremendous amount of work and time that goes into such a short piece which I don’t think people realize. It was nice to be part of such a popular show that is aired around the country,” said Joseph Realmuto.
Dock to Dish is an international network of “small-scale” fishermen, scientists, environmental advocates, restaurants, and community members. Founded by fishermen, it aims to cut out the middleman when it comes to the acquisition and consumption of food. The program directly connects the fisherman to the restaurant and ensures transparency and sustainability.
Most recently, Dock to Dish launched a live tracking system which allows individuals to track the complete journey of their seafood from its capture to arrival at its final destination: the kitchen.
“We’re really grateful for all of the positive press and media and we’re in a really great position of people being really excited about sustainable seafood and transparent supply chains of their seafood,” said Swope.
Upcoming airings of “The Hamptons” episode are Monday, January 29 at 8 p.m., and Tuesday, January 30 at 3 a.m. on the Travel Channel.
For more information on Nick and Toni’s and Dock to Dish, please visit www.nickandtonis.com or docktodish.com.