Of the special things we could truly count on in life, one was going to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware–and to Espuma restaurant–and having the great pleasure of being served by Darrin Beachy. Every year for the last 10 years, my husband, friends and I have made a point of having dinner there. The creative fare was about 40 percent of the reason. Darrin was the other 60 percent.
Yesterday, when I told you about Darrin in my blog post, I had no idea he had passed away suddenly in June, at the age of 42. Darrin might have been part owner at one time, or the business partner of chef Jay Caputo, but he was a big part of what Espuma does well–taking the highest quality raw ingredients, treating them with love and respect, and creating culinary masterpieces unlike any other. The restaurant is tiny, so he also served patrons in the dining room.
As I said yesterday, while the printed menu is simple, listing only the ingredients, Darrin made the menu come alive. Slowly and quietly, he took you through every delicious detail of how the food was prepared, in such a personal story that you were on that boat with the fishermen or in the fields picking the produce at its ripest moment. When you ate at Espuma, you didn’t take leftovers, because you never left a morsel on your plate, but you always took a bit of Darrin with you.
When we went last summer, we were disappointed to learn that, because Darrin had won a series of bartending awards, he had moved behind the bar to serve his famous homemade cocktails. We sat at the bar before dinner that night. Darrin’s Italian Mojito, made with his homemade limoncello and fresh basil, was the best drink I’ve ever had. In fact, ever since last summer, I have tried unsuccessfully to replicate it and was planning to stop by in August and ask him to give me a lesson.
I cannot imagine Rehoboth without Darrin. I just know when we go in August, it will feel a lot less Beachy.
Here’s to you, Darrin, my friend. Thanks for giving us good times, good food and a bit of yourself. If I could, I’d toast you with an Italian Mojito.