Monday, September 3, 2012

A Romantic “How-To” Engagement Proposal Ripped from the Menu

Grey Horse Tavern's Chef Meredith Machemer & a signature recipe at Harvest East End fundraiser tasting  

In my book, The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook, I began the chef and restaurant profile for the South Shore restaurant, The Grey Horse Tavern (GHT), with this: 
“Every good restaurant has a story. By anyone’s standards, the Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport, Long Island, has more stories than is fair.”

Recently, on the way to the Harvest East End fundraising event, I played Thelma to Chef Meredith’s Louise, and right after I conducted a passenger seat telephone radio interview with The Good Life Guy Brower on our road trip out East, I learned that the “good life” of a different sort had served up a very special main course at this award-winning homegrown food, drink and music restaurant mecca.

It seems the Culinary Cupid had visited The Grey Horse Tavern!
So there is a new, romantic chapter to add to this storied dining establishment.
I foretold that GHT had more than their fair share of stories, didn’t I?  
Chalk up one more fable -- this time under the winged love messenger plot line. 

To be sure, restaurants are known as the site for more than their share of romantic milestones, including weddings, anniversaries, and marriage proposals. 

But on this storied night, the tables were turned, so to speak, because it was the executive Chef Meredith, who was completely surprised with a marriage proposal  -- at the Grey Horse Tavern. In “her” kitchen.

Long live amore, love, and the romance of the restaurant…

Secretly, Chef Meredith’s fiancé, Dennis, enlisted the help of the Grey Horse Tavern’s co-owners, Linda Ringhouse, Irene Dougal, and well, the entire GHT family. 

This engagement proposal is too cute and clever not to shout from the tops of every food pyramid.   
The hopeless foodie romantic can revel in this culinary caper!

While officially off duty, Chef Meredith and fiancé Dennis were at the GHT's too-glamorous copper-topped sinuous bar enjoying cocktails when the culinary cupids, aka, her fellow restaurant mates, asked her to help with a stuck paper feed on the restaurant’s automatic ordering system. 
This is the mechanism that the wait staff digitally enters the customer's orders into so that the software program can "tell" the cooks and chefs what customers have ordered when the paper orders are spit out in the kitchen.

Ever helpful, Chef Meredith got up – on her night off, I might add, to help clear up the menu ticket paper feed that the wait staff claimed was stuck.

After Chef Meredith’s inspection, it seemed all rather smooth going. 
It was also looking pretty apparent that nothing was stuck…

Chef Meredith did her thing and made the ticket come up through the feeder and there, just like that, she kinda’ saw and read, “Will you marry me?”
Still in work mode, it didn’t hit Chef Meredith until she “fixed” the menu ticket feed, turned ‘round, and saw her fiancé Dennis on his knee, where he’d been waiting with the engagement ring for the last half a minute.

“It knocked me on my ass,” Chef Meredith joyfully, lovingly admits.  
This will be a heritage story to tell their children, for sure. 

Can you image how awestruck Chef Meredith and Dennis’ future generations will say this year was for her?
They will glowingly recount how this was the year she was featured in the “The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook” and that she was also the featured chef in the “Wine Spectator” Harvest East End news review

And on WPIX TV’s feature for the Harvest East End event:

And that she was featured in the now, upcoming Sachem Library event, Wednesday, September 19th

But then her descendants will say, Chef Meredith was the best of the Long Island Homegrown Chefs: she is humble, hard-working and oh so talented. 

They will see her framed menu ticket, with the personalized, “Will You Marry Me?” food feeder request that she immediately framed, and positioned as the star of her bookshelves.  
How cute is this?

Raise your online champagne glasses and toast Chef Meredith and her fiancé Dennis and their future wedding bliss.

Truth be told, Chef Meredith is a living doll.
The producers of the Edible East End event praised her thorough and complete and timely input.   
A consummate professional.

How else to explain the unabashed, enthusiastic embrace of her Homegrown recipe at the Harvest East End event?  
Scillions of attendees came by for more than a few tastings of her GHT signature recipe of the Homegrown book’s “Organic Peach and Beefsteak Tomato Salad – with local honey and local Catapano goat cheese.

Just this side of East End Eden…

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