After a journey that has led from being a chef in fine French restaurants to a food product salesman to a stay-at-home dad/ restaurant owner, Attleboro native Casey D’Arconte has finally found himself in a position to focus on serving food that is local and fresh at The Breakfast Place.
When asked why he wanted to buy a breakfast diner, Casey initially stated that he bought it “purely for the hours,” in order to spend time with his kids in their younger years, but during our conversation it became obvious that Casey has always had bigger plans for his tiny restaurant.A place like this should be using products from local farms. It’s a total throwback in the best possible way. As Casey says, “Farm fresh, local food is the culinary world coming full circle. It started off that way and then got off beat with trendy movements.”
Chef/Owner Casey D’Arconte
Q: How long have you owned The Breakfast Place?
A: I have owned the restaurant for 8 ½ years. The restaurant actually started out as a trailer across the street, like a diner car, I believe about 25 years ago.
Q: You are a classically trained French chef. What prompted you to buy a breakfast diner?
A: A lot of people can’t make the twist between what I am doing now and French food. So I am going to try to present that to you. This picture sticks with me [he showed me photos from worn cookbooks of children and farm fields]. There are pictures of farms, not finished dishes.
Q: How long have you been focusing on local/healthy food?
A: In the last four months I have been doing more with local foods, since I have become the full-time chef again. It requires more attention and I couldn’t do that prior to now. I am still home with my kids when I can because I think it is important. In my personal life I have also recently taken a more healthy approach to what I put into my body. I have really embraced the homeopathic way of life. One of the first things I did was unhook the fryolator, wheel it into the alley and sold it. So there is no going back.Breakfast featuring locally sourced ingredients!Q: What products do you currently source in Massachusetts?
A: Honey from Nason Family Honey in Attleboro. I do business with Langwater Farm in North Easton. Level Acres in South Attleboro.  I used a coffee roaster in Providence that I love, but I saw featured in the magazine I have [edibleSouth Shore spring 2012 issue] that there is someone in Rehoboth, Razzo Coffee, so there are places even closer. My eggs come from Little Rhody.Q: To sum up, what are your biggest challenges in sourcing local food?
A: I think it is the availability of certain things. I can get farm fresh food but not always what is on my menu on a daily basis. I’ve talked to local [maple] syrup people, but it’s really expensive and it’s available in really low quantities. I would love to be able to have all my own homemade jams and jellies but it’s a demand thing, too. Would my customers want this? And it is not about getting rid of old clientele and bringing in new. It’s about steering people toward a better direction.Q: What is one item specifically that you wish you could get more of locally?
A: Potatoes.

Q: What is your most popular dish?
A: The homemade corned beef hash benny.

Q: What do you think is the most underrated food?
A: I think mushrooms. I don’t know if they are underrated but I think mushrooms are the most robust flavor that you could add to a sauce or an omelet. I find them as one of those items that make or break a dish. I’m not anti-garlic but I feel like garlic is everywhere. So, if that’s your next question. . .

Q: Do you think garlic is overrated?
A: Yes. When garlic is added to a dish it takes over. It doesn’t need to be in everything.

Q: What is your favorite childhood food memory?
A: It’s funny, I never thought about being in the breakfast business originally, but when I talk to my mother and she sees where I am now she says, “Do you know for a period of time you wouldn’t eat anything except for a scrambled egg sandwich on white bread with ketchup?” It’s pretty funny now that I own a breakfast restaurant.

Q: Any hidden talents or hobbies unrelated to food?
A: I am in an Astronomy club. It flows into my ideas of things being more earthly and in touch with nature. I like looking at the stars.

Q: If you weren’t a chef and owning a restaurant what would do?
A: I think something like an astronomer or an archaeologist. That’s the kid in me that wants to find treasures.

The Breakfast Place
187 Pleasant Street
Attleboro, MA 02703
(508) 226-5680

adapted from Autumn 2012 issue of edible South Shore. 

by Aja Amontea: a writer, floral designer, social media strategist, and grocery enthusiast. She shares her passion for good food with her husband and son at their home in Weymouth.


About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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