Neighborhood Eats:LI chef offers high-end PAWPAW dining experience during pandemic

GREENPORT, Long Island (WABC) -- In this edition of Neighborhood Eats, we're introducing you to a man who is both a chef and a farmer, and he's facing challenges on both fronts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But he's making the most of it, changing his menu at his pop up in Greenport, Long Island, to meet the current times.

"We joke it's the longest running pop up restaurant," Taylor Knapp said, as his PAWPAW spot has been popping up every week for five years.

And that continues even now, during the pandemic.

"We are still trying to preserve the idea of this very locally sourced creative delicious meal," he said.

But now, instead of a sit-down nine-course meal, Knapp is offering gourmet takeout working out of the kitchen of the Lin Beach House.

Lately, he's been serving chicken that he brines, air dries, smokes and puts on a rotisserie. Biscuits, soup, vegetable sides and dessert round out the meal.

"We still have the focus of it being a really delicious, as high end as we can make a delivery take out meal experience," he said. "We include menus and candles, so we're trying to make it something to look forward to."

But as a chef, Knapp is often limited by the fact that supply chains from farmers are broken -- something he knows all too well, because he too is a farmer of sorts, raising snails.

"Our main clientele are fine dining restaurants," he said. "We saw in mid-March all those sales kind of vanish."

And there's little demand for escargot by home cooks.

"When everyone is trying to get toilet paper and eggs, they're not thinking about escargot at home," Knapp said.

And while escargot used to be a part of every PAWPAW menu, snails don't do well on the go. So for now, they're on hold.

Still, his PAWPAW take-out meals remain very much in demand, with customers sharing images of how the meals look once at home.

"I think people really like a bit of escape to enjoy a meal as though they're not in the midst of a pandemic," Knapp said.

The chicken meals are $45 a person, and you'll need to reserve meal in advance. They do sell out, and pick up is at the Lin Beach House.

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