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Bridge Gardens To Host Annual Series Featuring Local Chefs, Farmers, And Beverage Producers

Sydney A. Braat

Laura Donnelly, local pastry chef, author, and food editor of the East Hampton Star will moderate this series.

The Peconic Land Trust's highly anticipated annual series of conversations with local farmers and food and beverage producers will return on Sunday, March 5th. Hosted by Bridge Gardens, Long Island Grown IV: Food and Beverage Artisans at Work will focus on growers, producers, and chefs making a difference in Long Island's culinary community. Long Island Grown has certainly grown in the last few years and will feature a wide variety of products designed to meet an increasing demand for unique products. Laura Donnelly, local pastry chef, author, and food editor of the East Hampton Star will moderate the fascinating series.

"A wonderful sign that spring is just around the corner is the beginning of our Long Island Grown series at Bridge Gardens, where we not only get to showcase the late winter/early spring plantings at the gardens, but also introduce the community to an amazing group of farmers, chefs, wine makers and food entrepreneurs," shared Rick Bogusch, Garden Manager of Bridge Gardens. "This is our fourth year - and it keeps getting better and better!"

On Sunday, March 5th, Matt Schmitt of Schmitt Farms, Ron Goerler of Jamesport Vineyards, and Chef Jason Weiner of Almond Restaurant in Bridgehampton will kick-off the series. On Sunday, March 19th, Al Krupski of Krupski Farms, Ray Wellen of Green Thumb Organic Farm, Barabra Shinn of Shinn Estate Vineyards, and Chef Dee Muma of Dark Horse Restaurant in Riverhead will continue the conversation. Hank Kraszewski of Kraszewski Farms, Juan Micieli-Martinez of Martha Clara Vineyards, and Chef Colin Ambrose of Estia's Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor will speak on Sunday, April 2nd. Lastly, Paul McCormick of Great Gun Shellfish, Anthony Nappa of Raphael Winery, and Chef Taylor Knapp of PawPaw Restaurant in Greenport will conclude the month-long series on Sunday, April 23rd.

"We are so fortunate to have a deep bench to call upon to tell their stories," said Bogusch. "By the end of this season, the four-years of the series will have showcased 50 individuals and their creativity."

Bridge Gardens, where the series will take place, was established in 1988 by Harry Neyens and Jim Kilpatric. It's a five acre Inner and Outer garden that is comprised of 180 different culinary, medicinal, ornamental, and textile and dyeing herbs, along with an extensive vegetable garden. In 2008, the duo donated Bridge Gardens to the Peconic Land Trust. The property serves as a horticultural oasis in the heart of Bridgehampton and is a popular setting for a broad array of cultural and educational programs. In 2012, Bridge Gardens adopted a mission to serve as a multi-purpose, multidisciplinary outdoor classroom. Vegetables grown at Bridge Gardens are grown organically and mostly donated to local food pantries.

"We are looking forward to many more seasons of sharing the stories of our rich, local bounty," added Bogusch.

Bridge Gardens will re-open officially for the 2017 season on Saturday, April 1st, and will be open weekends through the end of October. Summer hours include Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and will begin Memorial Day weekend.

Pre-registration is highly recommended, as the program sold out last year. All presentations will begin at 2 p.m., with refreshments following. Admission is $30 per person or $25 for current members of Bridge Gardens. Tickets for the full series are $100 per person or $80 for current members.

Bridge Gardens is located at 36 Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton. For more information, call 631-537-7440 or visit www.peconiclandtrust.org.

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