In her cookbook "Cook Like a Pro," celebrity chef and television personality Ina Garten shares her recipe for Chipotle Parmesan Sweet Corn. For this dish, the key isn't just plain old sweet corn -- it's the sourcing, too. "One of my great pleasures is going to Pike Farms in Sagaponack, New York, and buying their delicious corn," Garten writes. Being choosy and selecting top-quality corn is crucial for making stripped-down dishes like this one. As she prescribes, "This recipe is the essence of simplicity so be sure the corn is sweet and tender."
Tucked into the small town of Sagaponack in the East Hamptons, population 247, Pike Farms is Garten's go-to spot for sourcing sweet corn. An East Hampton resident with her husband Jeffrey, Pike Farms is a short commute for the cook, but proximity is far from the only thing that makes it worthy of mention in her cookbook.
Pike Farms started in 1987 as a humble farmstand at 82 Sagg Main Street in Sagaponack. Twenty acres have since expanded to an over 70-acre operation. In fact, in addition to tomatoes, sweet corn was one of the two main crops that Pike Farms first began cultivating when it opened. Nowadays, the farm is cultivating and selling all sorts of produce, from beets and blackberries to cauliflower and cucumbers, and much, much more.
Let Quality Ingredients Speak For Themselves, Says Garten
In addition to produce grown on the premises, Pike Farms sells bread and pies from The Blue Duck, a local bakery and cafe based in Southampton Village. The farm also sources some other fruits grown off-site by local farmers including apricots, apples, peaches, plums, and nectarines. It's a one-stop-shop for Garten's fresh produce needs, and its tranquility turns picking up a bundle of sweet corn from a chore into a pleasant afternoon errand. Pike Farms is open from June through October, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
To Garten, cooking like a pro includes sourcing ingredients like a pro. As she writes in "How Easy Is That?" another one of her classic cookbooks, "First, it starts with simple ingredients. I always ask myself, 'Does every ingredient earn its place in this recipe?'" But, in her signature realistic, accessible cooking style, Garten says that if you're getting the good stuff, then no frills are necessary: "There's no point in writing a simple recipe if it means you have to go to three different produce markets to find three different kinds of wild mushrooms in order to make the recipe...When I see ingredients like that in a recipe, I just put the book back."
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