Beattie’s chicken saltimbocca to take center stage at Dante Society annual cooking demonstration

Beattie’s chicken saltimbocca to take center stage at Dante Society annual cooking demonstration

The Westerly Sun

WESTERLY — Westerly native Bill Beattie has spent most of his life cooking and creating in kitchens.

Part of the reason that makes Beattie — who owns and operates Misquamicut Sandwich Company — the ideal candidate to take on the coveted mantle as this year’s featured chef at the Dante Society of Westerly’s 2017 Anna Turrisi cooking demonstration, according to Angela Smith, who has been organizing the popular event for decades.

“He’s a perfect choice,” said Smith, pointing out that Beattie, who not only graduated from Johnson & Wales and has worked for such major hotels as Hyatt, Marriot and Stouffers in locations from Hawaii to California, but served as head chef at a number of local places too.

From the old Rafters on Beach Street, to Go Fish in Mystic to the Pleasant View Inn, Beattie, has years and years of experience.

Experience that actually began close to 40 years ago in Watch Hill, when Beattie was just a young teenager.

Beattie’s maternal grandparents — the late Earl and Jacqueline Brankert — were the owners of the original Ocean House.

Beattie, now 51, said he gravitated toward the kitchen part of the hospitality business early on and enjoyed spending time in the kitchens of the big yellow hotel, watching the chefs at work.

After a career working for others, he decided it was time to open his own place about four years ago.

Misquamicut Sandwich shop, tucked away in the Shorecrest Village Plaza on Shore Road and Crandall Avenue in Misquamicut, has developed a reputation with beach-goers, who stop by to pick up deli sandwiches, wraps, grilled sandwiches, and salads on their way to the shore.

Beattie, who keeps the shop open from March through Mid-December, said the business has grown more and more popular with locals too, who can’t seem to get enough of his breakfast sandwich specials (two eggs with applewood-smoked bacon and cheese on a bagel or English muffin, for example) which are served all day long, his homemade soups and his gourmet grilled sandwiches (think brie with bacon and Pelloni Farm vanilla-pear jam for dipping) and his roast turkey and bacon melt.

“The roast turkey is the most popular item on the menu,” said Beattie one afternoon last week as he closed up shop with longtime employee Garrett Martunas.

Featuring turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese and Beattie’s own honey maple butter grilled on rustic white bread, it’s easy to understand why.

The Italian is a close second, added Beattie, who sold more than 300 of the salami, capicola, ham and provolone grinders on the Fourth of July.

Although his own favorite menu item is the “Korean pork” — roast pork topped with kimchee and melted Gruyere Cheese served on grilled multigrain bread — Beattie plans to make “a play on chicken saltimbocca” for the Dante Society’s Anna Turrisi dinner.

He said he plans to demonstrate how to make the chicken dish, which will be served with wild mushrooms, tomatoes and mozarella cheese, all served over cavatelli.

Just as important as Beattie’s talents, said Smith, is the fact that he is a local business owner.

“We like to support our local businesses,” added Smith, noting that Melanie Wolf, from Pompelmo Gelato on High Street will give a short presentation about the frozen Italian dessert and offer samplings to serve following the Chicken saltimbocca “small dish tastings.”

Suzanne and Stephen Cappizano from Capizzano Oil & Vinegar in Pawcatuck, will also have some of their products for sampling, and cakes and cookies will be provided by Sunnyside Up Bakery in Dunns Corners.

Dante Society President Evie Cofone said the event symbolizes perfectly “our Italian heritage of being so happy to feed everyone.”

“Our own Angela Smith and her committee work [hard] to present an enjoyable gathering for our members and guests,” Cofone said. “Together with our fabulous chosen chef, we’ll present a memorable evening with a taste of our local cuisine.”

Along with their hospitality, of course.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m., Oct. 5, at the Calabrese Club. Tickets are $12 and available by pre-sale only. To purchase tickets, call Angela Smith at 401-497-1340.


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