Monday, July 30, 2012

A Homegrown Double Feature in the Hamptons

It was top billing for The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook Saturday in the Hamptons.  Two marquee invites on one day!  

First up was Loaves & Fishes Cookshop where I joined the incomparable Anna Pump at the Bridgehampton Cookshop, her family’s go-to emporium for every conceivable – or inconceivable  -- culinary tool.  

Located on the main artery, Montauk Highway, which makes it easy to locate but a devil to navigate especially given weekend’s high car volume, including the peripatetic fender bender occasioned by the elephant train that passes for moving traffic.   Needless to say, it was a stress inducing to arrive a tad late…

The consummate professional, Anna was already in front of a rapt group of customers, explaining how she was preparing her Lobster & Potato Salad recipe that is featured in the Homegrown book. 
Simply made with superior ingredients, the sweet dill and corn fragrance alone were intoxicating the eager food fans.            

Both Anna and I enjoyed talking with the guests and signing books for them. 
I especially liked the man who, fresh out of the military, had taken a training course at Denver-based school I’ve never heard of it before but it sounds like a gem of an idea – training people to become home managers and/or cooks for those with needs or who have multiple homes.  He is now a private cook employed by a family in the Hamptons and he Loves to cook.  He was inspired by the Homegrown book and Anna.

It was so very good, my husband asked if he could marry her!  

Also sweet was Anna’s gracious acceptance and enthusiasm for the watercolor I did of her shop in Sagaponack. 
It was inspired from a photo I took of the food mecca’s simple and charming front at the time of the book’s professional photo session with Jennifer Calais Smith.

In the original book concept, the chef and grower profiles included the garden’s plant list and a layout of the garden design that I lovingly rendered. When the book doubled in size some things got left on the cutting room floor.  These two additional art items were victims of the cut or edit.

Following the Loaves & Fishes event, it was lunch with my husband, his boss and her husband, and a friend. 
We enjoyed the great company and the respite in one of their favorite restaurants in Bridgehampton.  They treated too! 
However, all too soon it seemed, we left to visit another business associate’s home before the next book event.

Off we went to what was to have been an “around the corner” drive. The female British-voiced GPS (so tuned long before Siri), and aka “Ellen;” so named after my British great, great-grandmother whose father’s occupation is listed on her marriage license as “Gardener.”  (Years ago while doing the family genealogy and a garden trip to England, I thought it was karma and secured a copy of the marriage certificate.)
Ellen told us in her crisp Mary Poppins nanny tone that we wouldn’t get to the destination until a little after 5pm.

We had to be at the Chefs Dinner at the Hayground School at 4:45. 
Regrettably and with great apology the call was made.

We turned around and made it to Hayground right on time.

The staff and volunteers could not have been nicer.
I am so grateful and honored to have been invited to attend and showcase the Homegrown book at this prestigious, annual fundraising event for the Hayground School.  Thank you so much, Toni -- and Samantha!
The evening features great Chefs from the local Long Island area and from New York’s culinary constellation.

I displayed the books at the welcome tent area and was able to talk to the guests as the came in.  
The Homegrown book was also included in the event’s Auction package.  

This all came about through the “prep line” if you’ll forgive the metaphor.

First, Chef Bryan Futerman, Foody’s restaurant, was a guest of the local radio show, WPPB with Toni Ross, of Nick & Toni’s and the co-founder of the Hayground School.  Ross launched Hayground School in honor of her husband Jeff Salaway.  
Chef Bryan gave Steve from the publisher Toni's contact information and one thing led to the next. 

The Chefs Dinner is the big annual fundraising event for the Hayground School. 
Jon Snow, master gardener, co-founder Hayground School -- and poet!

It's priceless

It’s a delicious and fun way to support an extraordinary educational program. 

Cindy Realmuto, beautiful wife of Chef Joe Realmut & mother  of budding chef, Nicole!

Chef Drew Nierporent
And everybody who loves food and sustainable, edible gardens is there. It’s a special, homegrown event.  

I was thrilled to be there.

Lindsey Morris, one of the Homegrown Cookbook photographers, Edible East End photo arts & husband, Chris 

Guests are treated to two separate, ticketed events:  Cocktails, where they can bid on artwork, while tasting hor d’ouevres or “starters” that are brimming with flavors and textures designed to make you see stars.   Local oysters with fiery chile garnish, lamb sliders with cucumber and Tzatziki sauce, sun gold tomato consomm√©/gazpacho, sustainable scallops, and goat tacos.

While sipping cocktail creations and local North Fork beer.

Following cocktails was dinner in “Jeff’s Kitchen” cooked up by more chef stars including Eric Ripert, Amanda Freitag, and Claudia Fleming.

Here is a photo gallery of the Homegrown Chefs creating and making people happy at Chef Dinner cocktail tasting:

Chef James Carpenter, Maidstone Inn

Chef Bryan Futerman, Foody's (& goat taco) 

Lest anyone doubt the veracity of the meat, here is the goat's head!

Chef Joe Isidori, SouthFork Kitchen
Chef Joe Realmuto, Nick & Toni's, grilling up lamb sliders.  mmmm

Chef Joe Realmuto & budding chef, daughter Nicole

Southfork's Chef Joe dreamed up sustainable seafood supreme!

Almond's Chef Jason Weiner and the gazpacho-like sun gold tomato - from Pike Farms

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