Chef Dino Vlacich has been behind the scenes in restaurants since he was a kid in his family’s Italian restaurant in Bayville. Today, he’s the culinary force behind Full House Organic Kitchen in Greenvale, where he cooks dishes that are all 100 percent certified organic.
Long Islanders will have an opportunity to taste Vlachich’s cooking when Pulse hosts Island Tasting to benefit Island Harvest Thursday, Nov. 9. I spoke with Vlachich about organic cooking and what he’d be serving at Long Island’s most delicious tasting event.
Was serving organic food always your plan?
It wasn’t, actually. I had owned a few restaurants before and was looking to reopen when I found Full House Organic Kitchen. They were already open and looking for a chef who was willing to go 100 percent certified organic. I had never done that, but was always close and used high quality products. They got me interested to do it.
Is it difficult being a certified organic restaurant when most other restaurants don’t restrict their menus and ingredients?
Yes, it’s extremely challenging. In addition to being 100 percent certified organic, we don’t cook on aluminum or use plastics and we use filtered water. For a small place it’s very difficult because cooking like that is so expensive, and it’s challenging to make a profit off it. Organic products are limited and a lot of times bigger companies buy up the products that are available.
What is your favorite dish from Full House Organic?
My favorite dish has to be the roasted eggplant parmesan. It’s slow roasted and covered in a nice plum tomato sauce. It’s really decadent and people love it. We don’t use breadcrumbs on it so it’s also gluten-free.
What will Full House Organic Kitchen be serving up at Pulse’s Island tasting event?
I’m actually not sure yet; I wish I could tell you. I do know that it’s going to be something that showcases what we’re about and proves that your food can be both healthy and delicious.