but were perfected in New England and were a way
to preserve food. People would make pies at harvest
time and put them in pie sheds, where they would
Q: Describe a classic Atlantic regional meal.
A: It totally depends on the season. So let’s pick
summer. In New England it is the clam/lobster bake,
and farther down the coast in the Jersey shore,
Chesapeake and Baltimore area it’s what I call
smashing crabs. This is where the crabs are dumped
out on the table. It’s just the most wonderful feast.
You sit and you drink beer and pick crabs. These
two feasts define the Atlantic region.
Q: And the most misunderstood aspect of Atlantic
cuisine would be?
A: In terms of food, the Northeast probably has
more real ethnic people than anyplace else in
America and more great ethnic foods. This cuisine
is not boring.
Q: Your three new restaurants are all called
Jasper White’s Summer Shack. What’s the story
behind this name?
A: The word summer evokes so many pleasant
things—freshness, simplicity, family, fun, relaxation—
and the word shack brings it down a notch so that
it doesn’t get too far away from this planet.
Q: If you were given a bag of Costco baking
potatoes, what would you prepare?
A: Clean the potatoes, rub them with olive or
vegetable oil, sprinkle with a little salt and poke
through to allow the steam to escape. Roast at
400 degrees for about an hour and serve with sour
cream and caviar. Sorry, it’s not very New England,
but that’s the ultimate baked potato.
Q: What are your hopes for contemporary
A: My hope is that while contemporary cooking
keeps expanding, it does so without replacing the
simple classics that define each region, like the
chowders, steamers and brown bread. I would hate
to see us throw out the good stuff, the old stuff. AE