Just one week away from its grand opening, downtown Riverhead's Suffolk Theater announced recently its new culinary director will be someone who is self-admittedly new to the scene of directing food services at live entertainment venues: Tom Schaudel.
Though Schaudel is anything but a stranger to the local culinary industry.
The owner of four Long Island restaurants – including Mattituck's aMano, Southold's aLure and two more further west – as well as a catering company, Schaudel said the opportunity to try something new was part of the draw.
"I've never opened up a theater before, so this is a challenge for me," he said. Schaudel said he started bidding a single event or two, and then after speaking with owners Bob and Dianne Castaldi, who he said he got along well with, and the relationship developed from there.
As far as the menu will be concerned, Schaudel has not finalized it yet, he said, though lighter, smaller items such as cheese plates, flatbreads, local crab cakes and such should make for good fare for the venue.
"The trick is being able to come up with stuff that works within the confines of a live entertainment venue."
While Schaudel – who owns a home in Jamesport – has restaurants in Mattituck, Southold, Syosset and most recently Melville, this will be his first foray not into a live entertainment venue, but also downtown Riverhead, another thing that has him excited.
"If I can be even a small part of Riverhead coming back, and help continue anything that has been going on there, that would feel pretty good," he said.
Schaudel and the Suffolk Theater's food and beverage manager, Lawrence Smith released 'The Lord Suffolk' as well:
Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
1 3/4 oz Hendricks gin (5 cl, 7/16 gills)
1/4 oz Cointreau (6 dashes, 1/16 gills)
1/4 oz sweet vermouth (6 dashes, 1/16 gills)
1/4 oz maraschino liqueur (6 dashes, 1/16 gills)
Add lemon twist
Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz)