Georgica Restaurant Welcomes New, 19-Year-Old Executive Chef


For the past 11 years, chef Greg Grossman has called kitchens across Manhattan and the East End home. Now, the 19-year-old has found his newest residence at Georgica in Wainscott, where he was recently appointed executive chef for the restaurant’s sixth season.Mr. Grossman, a former Ross School student, has entirely revamped the menu, focusing specifically on local seafood.

“The restaurant is focused on the bounty of local seafood and shellfish that comes from within a 10-mile radius,” said Mr. Grossman in a phone interview on Friday. “We really tried to bring that to a focal point.”

Mr. Grossman said the menu consists primarily of small plates to allow customers to try a variety of offerings. “The larger plates on the menu act more as entrées,” he said. “We also added a full sushi menu with some signature rolls. All together, the menu is heavily focused on seafood, with some global influences from Latin America and some Asian and Japanese.”

An all-time favorite, said Mr. Grossman, is the fried local oysters. “It’s three Blue Point oysters from southern Long Island, breaded and deep-fried, served on top of black truffle marmalade and topped with a warm potato chip mousse.”

The dish is “loosely inspired” by fish and chips, he said, and “the flavor resonates with everyone.”

Mr. Grossman’s love for food originated after a chef at Ross School gave him a book by world-renowned chef Ferran Adria. “He lent me that book, and I was so inspired,” said Mr. Grossman, who was a fourth-grader at the time he received the book. “I’d always been interested in food, but when I opened the book, I didn’t know what a single thing on the page was. It inspired me to go and figure it out and understand what he was doing and learn about his genre of cuisine.”

The same year, the then-8-year-old took his first job in a restaurant—making pizzas.

“I think when I first started, it was the idea of creating things and being part of a team,” said Mr. Grossman. “It was the heat of the service and being part of one organism, if you will. The teamwork and experience and energy working in a kitchen really encouraged me to get interested in the industry.”

After spending every year since then working in a kitchen, Mr. Grossman enrolled at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, which he still attends today.

“I study a mixture of business management, entrepreneurship, food studies, and nutrition,” he said. “The great thing about the program is it allows you to pursue your own academic path—you can take anything in any school within the university. I’ve played around with nutrition, agriculture, but my overall concentration is going to be the business of restaurant administration,” he said.

That is essentially what Mr. Grossman will be doing at Georgica. “I’ve directed kitchens and operations before,” he said, “but in terms of walking into a project and handling every aspect of food service, this is my first foray.”

Mr. Grossman began working at Georgica about three months prior to the restaurant’s Memorial Day weekend opening. In that time, he and the team conceptualized what the menu would consist of and what the overall atmosphere of the restaurant would be for the summer.

“We got into the kitchen a few weeks prior to opening and went through every aspect of flow, moving things around, figuring out how the service will run,” he said. “Staffing in the Hamptons is very difficult, too, so the whole thing has been such a great learning experience. A lot of trials and tribulations, but a great experience so far.”

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