A late-evening party in Bridgehampton, catered by Art of Eating
Chinese chicken salad in wonton cones
Steamed shrimp and vegetable dumplings
Long summer nights are the perfect excuse for a party, and making yours organic has never been tastier—or easier. Cheryl Stair, one half of the husband-and-wife event-planning and catering company Art of Eating, knows a thing or two about feeding locals, locally. “I really feel an obligation to local farmers to use their produce and work with them,” says Stair. “I wish everyone would do it.”
Art of Eating prides itself on using organic meats and vegetables from area purveyors when preparing menus for a schedule brimming with benefits, dinner parties and weddings. Stair’s penchant for stopping at farm stands to secure a particularly sweet melon at the peak of its ripeness or that first crop of asparagus has made her the East End’s most sought-after caterer.
At one particular party this past Labor Day, the Art of Eating team whipped together a delicious feast that celebrated the end of summer, featuring fresh seafood like Long Island clam chowder and mini lobster rolls as well as savory Chinese dishes—all perfectly paired with Wölffer wines.
“This menu was dictated by the fact that it was 8 PM at the end of the summer and I was trying to get into the guests’ frame of mind,” Stair says. “Some people would be stopping by on their way to another party, and some people would be there all night. So I needed something that could work as a whole meal or a quick bite.”
Planning your own glamorous get-together and want to go green? Even when deciding on organic fare, standard party rules apply to creating that masterful menu. Timing is key: If it’s starting in the late afternoon or the early evening, guests will expect something substantial to stand in for dinner; if it’s after 8 PM, light bites are preferable.
Persisting in the local spirit after your guests have left can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. A good first step: Get in the habit of visiting markets and farm stands regularly to see what’s fresh and readily available. “If you’re committed to it and you don’t want to settle for anything less,” Stair insists, “you will buy local.” 267-2411; hamptonsartofeating.com