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Local Produce, Game On Menu for Slow Food Dinner at Comtesse Thèrése Bistro

Jan. 23 dinner features a winter menu filled with North Fork game and local produce prepared by Comtesse Thèrése Bistro chef and hunter Arie Pavlou.

Theresa Dilworth, North Fork vintner and restaurateur, is joining with the Slow Food East End Chapter to put on a unique dinner on Jan. 23 that will showcase local produce, fish, game and wine and in part benefit the family of a local farmer.

The dinner at Dilworth’s Comtesse Thèrése Bistro in Aquebogue is called a Slow Food Market Dinner, because 80 percent of the ingredients for the meal are locally sourced.

The event, for promoting local foods and wines, also will benefit the family of the late Joshua Levine, market manager at in Amagansett, who was .

Slow Food East End derives $5 from each of the 40 tickets expected to be sold and will conduct a raffle to raise additional funds, said Linda Slezak, who is coordinating the event for Slow Food. Slezak, co-owner of the Red Barn Bed & Breakfast in Jamesport, said the event is nearly sold out. Seats are priced at $75 for members and $85 for non-members.

“The price is fairly reasonable,” Dilworth said.

Slow Food is an international movement founded in Italy by Carlo Petrini in 1986 that strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and promotes farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristics of the local ecosystem. Its local chapters offer educational events and activities to promote sustainability and biodiversity and connect farmers, cooks, educators, students and everyone else who cares about their food and the environment.

The East End chapter, founded in October 2003, previously staged dinners on the North Fork at the , and . The chapter has a mailing list of about 1,000 names, said vice president Mary Foster Morgan.

Diners at the Comtesse Thèrése Bistro event will be served wines from Dilworth’s , duck from in Aquebogue, greens from the in Aquebogue, apples from the Woodside Farm in Jamesport and game caught by the restaurant’s executive chef, Arie Pavlou, who hunts.

The five-course wintry dinner will include Pavlou’s spins on quail, rabbit, venison and duck. Other local produce on the menu includes turnips, cabbage, spinach, zucchini and herbs.

The wines were “the easy party,” said Dilworth, who will discuss her vinous offerings during the meal. The wines include chardonnay, rosés, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and a sparkling wine, all sold under Dilworth’s Comtesse Thèrése label and produced at the custom winery in Mattituck.

Pavlou will discuss his menu during the dinner.

Slezak, who had dined at the bistro several times, proposed the dinner to Dilworth after the restaurant opened late in October.

“We were ecstatic,” Dilworth said.

“I know he’s an excellent chef,” said Slezak. “He’s very tuned into local and seasonal food. He hunts, he fishes, and scours the woods for rare mushrooms and serves them at his restaurant.”

Pavlou previously manned the stove at the now-closed Coeur de Vigne in Southold and taught at the in Riverhead.

For reservations call Comtesse Thèrése at 631-779-2800 or send an e-mail to: reservations@comtessetherese.com.

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