Chef Spotlight: Philippe Corbet

The Lowdown on Lulu, Sag Harbor

Lulu Kitchen & Bar is one of the newest dining options in Sag Harbor Village, where some restaurants seem to come and go like the seasons. Along comes Lulu, promising to be a lock, with Executive Chef Philippe Corbet, the chef who “wood” burn your food…HM has his Q&A.

The space that currently belongs to Lulu’s has been home to a few other (now-wrapped) restaurants in the past decade (Doppio, Madison and Main, New Paradise Café). Is Lulu’s looking to be an all-year permanent resident, or is simply the summer of 2017 the goal?

Yes, we are going to be all year round.

The word most frequently associated with your work at Lulu’s is “wood burning.” Does this mean all dishes served there are prepared in such fashion? Are there foods (in your opinion) that simply “must” or are best cooked as such?

Most of the menu is prepared this way. Items that are a “must” include our pizzas, our signature roasted Cauliflower, Branzino, Chicken, Steak & Pot au Feu. It enhances almost everything!

Signature Roasted Cauliflower

Can you describe what wood burning does to the taste of food other cooking methods don’t?

Wood burning creates a depth of flavor different than any other cooking method. The smoke is an additional flavor element– another spice. High heat gives an intensity to vegetables and seals flavor and juiciness into meat.

How’s the bar scene been doing at your spot in 2017? Sag Harbor Village has always been a draw for those simply wandering for watering holes. Are you seeing a lot of socializing in your tap section?

We have definitely seen a bustling bar crowd! We also offer late-night food, which is a draw for locals and fellow industry guests.

We always like to ask chefs about the “perfect plates” for situations that might evolve, and what drinks are best paired with said dishes; here’s a scenario: a famous face strolls into Lulu’s unannounced, and you know they have a voice in the media. What is your “wow” dish, and what drink would match that food?

I would start them with our Roasted Cauliflower, move on to Truffata Pizza and Branzino, and finish with our Chocolate Cake. I would, of course, start them with a chilled glass of rose, and move them on to one of our richer wines to finish the meal.

Sag Harbor holds several festivals throughout the year. Let’s imagine it’s a fest weekend, and you’re getting a ton of hungry walk-ins looking for something fast and delicious; what do you recommend for a meal and matching beverage?

I recommend one of our pizzas and a nice Bavik on tap.

A third scenario: a couple strolls in, hand-in-hand, clearly floating on a romantic cloud. What is the Lulu’s entrée you’d pitch and what’s the correct correlating cocktail?

I would have them share the Mussels and then the Grilled Prawns. I would recommend sharing a bottle of sparkling to enhance the mood.

Finally, while it’s late in the season to ask this question, it would be wrong not to ask: are there any surprises left from Lulu’s, or has your kitchen set its plan and rolling without any chance of improvisation?

Our guests should always expect seasonality. We have set our plan to continue to focus on farm fresh and wood burning. You can count on exciting specials and season updates.