July 26, 2012
Chef Jason Weiner putting the finishing touches on his dish at the 2011 Great Chefs Dinner
Star chefs like Eric Ripert and Amanda Freitag will cook together in the Hayground School kitchen for the annual Great Chefs Dinner this Saturday, July 28. For food lovers and supporters of the school, the evening will be the highlight of the season.
Following a cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres by local chefs like Claudia Fleming, Jason Weiner, and numerous others, dinner guests will sit down to a cheese and charcuterie tasting by Cavaniola’s Gourmet Cheese Shop and D’Artagnan. Dinner will be prepared by chefs Ripert, Freitag, Justin Smillie, and Jessica Craig. Wherever possible, chefs will use fresh produce from the Hayground School greenhouse.
Freitag will serve a first course of zucchini carpaccio and tomato panzanella, while Smillie prepares a main of grilled lamb merguez with spring onions and romesco sauce. Ripert will whip up grilled tuna with ratatouille and lime-soy-ginger vinaigrette. And for the grand finale, local pastry chef Jessica Craig will bake a sticky toffee pudding with bourbon glaze from guest of honor Ina Garten’s forthcoming cookbook, Foolproof.
To add an extra layer of luxury, guests at the VIP table will enjoy wine pairings chosen by a Le Bernardin sommelier Aldo Sohm. And during the cocktail hour, guests can bid on an intimate wine class with Sohm, and 15 of their friends, at Le Bernardin. Ripert will also lend his talents to the block, offering a custom tasting menu for ten at his Midtown restaurant.
Eric Ripert, Jonathan Waxman, Toni Ross, and Joseph Realmunto at the 2011 Great Chefs Dinner
Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund, founded by late restaurateur and Hayground School co-founder Jeff Salaway’s wife, Toni Ross. The school kitchen (Jeff’s Kitchen), where chefs will prepare the night’s meal, was built using funds raised at the inaugural Great Chefs Dinner in 2003, and over the years that have followed. Not only does Jeff’s Kitchen serve as a classroom where students learn the value of nutrition and fresh ingredients, it’s also the hearth where they come together to prepare and eat lunch every day. “We actually were able to build the kitchen about five or six years ago, and we’ve already kind of outgrown it and are looking to expand. We have more students now, and we also need more space for campers, so we’re hoping at this dinner we’ll raise the additional funds we need,” says Ross. 151 Mitchell Lane, Bridgehampton; visit greatchefsdinner.com for tickets (from $150), or call 329-0050
July 25, 2012
A limited number of tickets for Ben Leventhal’s Burger Bloodbath event, now being called (Montauk) Superburger, are available at eventbrite.com. A note on Leventhal’s Tumblr, posted July 19, also states that more tickets will be “on-sale next week, exclusively at eater.com.” For those unfamiliar, the annual burger competition promises tastings of “superburgers” prepared by well-known chefs like Zak Pelaccio, in addition to a variety of boozy backyard games. This year’s event will be held on August 25 at 1 PM in Montauk.
July 25, 2012
New York Daily News gossip columnist Carson Griffith and celebrity blogger Micah Jesse were among guests celebrating the launch of Brugal Extra Dry Rum at Tenet Southampton’s recent Sip While You Shop event. Master mixologist Max Messier, known for his Brooklyn pop-up cocktail hour, mixed craft cocktails such as The Scarlet Meadow and the Brugal Dry Mojito. Here, Messier shares the recipes for the drinks served at the event.
Brugal Dry Mojito
1 ounce Brugal Extra Dry Rum
12 fresh mint leaves
1/2 lime, quartered
1 tsp. superfine sugar
Muddle mint leaves, lime quarters, and sugar in a tall glass. Add rum, fill with ice, top with soda, and stir well. Garnish with a lime wedge and fresh mint sprig.
The Scarlet Meadow
1 1/2 ounces Brugal Extra Dry Rum
1 ounce Meadowsweet Flower Syrup (see below)
1/2 ounce strawberry purée
Splash of lime juice
Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake well. Strain over ice and garnish with a lime wheel.
For the syrup:
3 cups water
2 tbsp. dried meadowsweet flowers
15 black peppercorns, cracked
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup raw sugar
Zest of 1/2 a grapefruit
Add all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool before straining and serving.
July 24, 2012
FROM LEFT: Sandia, Horchata, and Jamaica agua frescas at La Fondita
For the largest selection of daily house-made agua frescas in the Hamptons, pull over at La Fondita. Available in five flavors, our favorite is the Horchata, a Mexican classic made with rice, milk, a touch of cinnamon, and almonds. Rice is soaked overnight in warm water with cinnamon sticks and almonds before being blended, strained, and served over ice with a bit of sugar. The result is not at all thick or heavy, but rather light with a silky mouthfeel and nutty flavor.
If it's pure fruit you crave, order the Sandia: fresh watermelon juice served straight up. There's also the Limón, a pure lime drink that’s bound to put a pucker on your lips. Made with re-hydrated hibiscus flowers, the Jamaica possesses a deep red color and a slight tartness that’s offset by a dose of sugar.
Finally, the Tamarindo, a sweet and sour drink that makes for a decidedly clean finish to a taco lunch, is created from boiled tamarind fruit. Don't forget to pick up a dozen Mexican wedding cookies on the way out. At 35 cents each, they may just be the best dessert deal in town. 74 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett, 267-8800
—KATHY YL CHAN
July 23, 2012
Not only were the light summer plates at this year’s Chef’s & Champagne refreshing, but so to was the gloriously non-scorching weather. (The event often falls on what feels like the hottest day of the season.) The annual James Beard Foundation event was held at the Wölffer Estate and honored Ted Allen and the rotating cast of judges on Food Network’s Chopped, including Marcus Samuelsson, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Alex Guarnaschelli, among others.
Upwards of 40 chefs manned tasting booths dishing mostly chilled bites like king crab gazpacho gelée with caviar, local fish crudo, cool consomés and soups, and ceviches. Lines snaked around the Luke’s Lobster and DBGB booths for Luke’s buttery lobster rolls and Daniel Boulud’s poached Scottish salmon with crispy skin and smoked potato and herb emulsion. Chopped star Chris Santos’ grilled chipotle shrimp with heirloom tomatoes, summer corn, and feta salsa was also a hit.
A silent auction raised more than $60,000 for the James Beard Foundation and its educational programs. Guests such as Jill Zarin, Katie Lee, and B. Smith made the rounds and sipped wines by Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Champagne courtesy of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte.