Chances are you won’t hear crickets at the next PAWPAW pop-up. Instead, you’ll be eating them. That’s because chef Taylor Knapp is getting adventurous with his ingredients in his once-a-week, $55 tasting menu dinner hosted by Bruce & Son in Greenport.
Crickets were a snack course with chili and sumac at the Dec. 3 dinner, for which they were dry-roasted, then soaked, then coated in a gluten-free potato starch. Fried for a few seconds, they puffed up and got super crunchy before their final dusting with chipotle powder and a hint of local sumac.
Though PAWPAW has wrapped up its weekly dinners for the year, Knapp will offer five nights of dinners, two seatings a night after the holidays — and yes, there will be crickets. The pop-up will announce the dates within the next week on its Facebook page and its website, pawpawpopup.com, where visitors can sign up for the newsletter.
It’s not the first time Knapp, a former chef at First and South in Greenport, has pushed boundaries. Earlier this year, he and Sean Nethercott opened Peconic Escargot in Cutchogue, the North Fork’s first snail farm. It took two years for the plan to come to fruition and it started with a delivery of 500 snails. Knapp says he’s hoping to offer escargot and snail caviar by May.
Named for fruit trees found from the Great Lakes to the Florida Panhandle that produce a near-tropical, creamy fruit, PAWPAW has been popping up at Bruce & Son for nearly two years. Diners sit at a communal table and partake of a tasting menu with ingredients almost entirely from the North Fork, including chickens from Browder’s in Mattituck and Miloski’s, duck from Crescent in Aquebogue and lamb from 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue. This year, Knapp moved dinners from Monday to Saturday night and dropped the price to $55 from $65 per person.