The Great Chefs Dinner Helps Hayground School
By Isaac Mizrahi
Taylor Bay scallop ceviche with gazpacho gelée
|Carciofi e parmigia insalate|
First Lady Michelle Obama is gorgeous, smart and a great mom. She has gorgeous, smart children. She even walks the gorgeous, smart family dog when we all know she has hundreds of Secret Service dog-walkers who would do it for her. Intelligent, down-to-earth choices will define her legacy, and a big part of that legacy is supporting children’s health through good nutrition and planting gardens on the White House lawn. Before Mrs. O., sustainable food was a cause for regional hippies; today, it’s becoming a national movement that is going strong on the East End.
More than 15 years ago, one of those “regional hippies,” the late restaurateur and friend Jeff Salaway, was similarly inspired to foster healthy eating among Hamptons children, leading to the creation of the Hayground School. Founded in 1996 by a group of friends and parents, the school’s mission was to shift elementary education’s focus to the arts and community. For Jeff, that meant teaching kids the value of sharing delicious meals with friends. More importantly, it meant teaching them to recognize good food by growing and preparing it themselves, helping them control what they ate and by extension empowering them beyond the kitchen.
Today, in Jeff’s Kitchen, the school runs a beautiful culinary arts curriculum. In addition to traditional schoolwork, students plant and tend their own garden, selling the fruits of their labor—their garlic is famously delicious—every Friday at an onsite farmers market. Hayground is amazing, diverse and creative—a true gem on the East End.
Each year, the Great Chefs Dinner brings together the most generous and fabulous chefs you can imagine—this year’s lineup includes Iron Chef America’s Marc Forgione, Top Chef Masters’ Jonathan Waxman, Josh Capon, Gerry Hayden, Claudia Fleming, Michael White and many others—to raise money for the Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund at the Hayground School. I am thrilled to have been asked to participate this year as the first amateur guest chef. (I am making ice cream!) Please help me support this wonderful school and the groundbreaking work it does with children’s education. The Great Chefs Dinner will take place July 31 at Hayground School, 151 Mitchell Lane, Bridgehampton; greatchefsdinner.org
PHOTOGRAPH BY JENNIFER GORMAN (room)