Chef Josh Capon with Toni Ross. (Courtesy Photo: Philippe Cheng)
- On Sunday, July 31, foodies gathered at the 2011 Great Chefs Dinner
at the Hayground School
in Bridgehampton to feast on delectables from more than 15 chefs representing local and New York City
This favorite annual event, now in its seventh year, is a benefit for Hayground School's Jeff's Kitchen and the Jeff Salaway
Scholarship Fund, and was launched with a cocktail party, featuring the chefs preparing hors d'oeuvres using local bounty. With plenty of libations on hand from not only local vineyards (Channing Daughters
and Wolffer Estate Vineyards
), as well as Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.,
, Montauk Beverage Works Iced Tea
, and others, guests threw calorie counting to the wind and sampled as many delicious delights as they could get to amid the filled to capacity crowd.
A silent auction of art work from well-known artists and live music by Claes Brondal and Groove Gumbo
completed a wonderful evening prior to the VIP dinner. Some participating artists included John Alexander
, Ross Bleckner
, Tapp Francke
, Janet Jennings
, Laurie Lambrecht
, Dan Rizzie
, Elizabeth Rogers
, and Toni Ross
, among others.
Chef Christian Mir. (Courtesy Photo: Philippe Cheng)
Chefs included Josh Capon
(Lure Fish Bar
), James Carpenter
(The Living Room), Olivier Cheng
(Olivier Cheng Catering), Harold Dieterle
(Kin Shop), Bryan Futerman
(Foody's), Marc Meyer
(Cookshop Restaurant) with Pastry Chef Amanda Cook
, Matt Michel
(Rolling in Dough Pizza), Christian Mir
(Stone Creek Inn
), Joseph Realmuto
) with Chef de Cuisine Juan Geronimo
, Kevin Penner
(The Grill on Pantigo), Eric Tilstra
(Belly's Sno Balls), Cheryl Stair
(Art of Eating
), Jonathan Waxman
(Barbuto), and Jason Weiner
), all who served up a bounty of tasty treats.
Immediately entering the tent guests were spotted planning their culinary attack and lining up armed with forks and napkins that many held as if they were a sword and shield - to the tables these foot soldiers of food marched to partake of Kushi Oysters with Jalapeno Ponzu, Gravlox with Swedish Mustard Sauce and Caviar, Naked Salmon, Marinated Baby Calamari with Coconut-Chile Broth and Crispy Taro Root, Roasted Locally Raised Pig Sliders, Bacon and Arugula Pizza, Shrimp Eclair, Fluke Tartare with Lime Vinaigrette, Local Stiped Bass Tacos with Salsa Ranchero, Eggplant Parm with Corn Salsa, and Spicy Tomato soup with Pickled Shrimp, among other wonderful dishes.
Just when you thought you couldn't eat another bite, the soldiers of food were seen battling with their belt buckles and untucking their shirts to head to enjoy Goat Cheese Gelato, Sno Balls, Red Velvet Cookwich and Turtle Cookwich desserts.
Barry Sonnenfeld and Susan Ringo enjoy the food and evening. (Eileen Casey)
Following cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, a VIP Wine Dinner in Jeff's Kitchen was held, which featured a four-course meal paired with wines prepared by a select few of the participating chefs, including Gerry Hayden
(North Fork Table & Inn
), Michael White Marea
, Marc Forgione
(Restaurant Marc Forgione), Claudia Fleming
(North Fork Table & Inn), and celebrity guest chef Issac Mizrahi
A portion of the produce used in the sit down dinner was sourced from Hayground School's own Slow Foods Greenhouse, followed by a live auction featuring exclusive culinary and travel packages such as cooking sessions with celebrity chefs and five star travel packages.
Official hosts of this scrumptious event included Sandra
and Eric Ripert
, Toni Ross
, the Hayground School and the Leon Levy
Foundation, and a big thanks to all for sending everyone home sated with full stomachs and enriched tastebuds - only to face the scale in the morning!
An Annual Tribute To The Late Jeff Salaway
The Chefs Dinner series is the primary fundraiser for Bridgehampton's own Hayground School and an annual tribute to the late Jeff Salaway, a widely respected and beloved restaurateur and one of the school's co-founders. The 2010 event raised $200,000 for Jeff's Kitchen and the Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund. Says Nick & Toni's Toni Ross
, who was also the late Salaway's wife, "Jeff believed that the growing, preparation and sharing of food is a primal human experience and the foundation of family and community." Jeff's Kitchen is a full service professional kitchen and classroom fitted with top-of-the-line Viking appliances and a new pizza oven. Classes in nutrition, food science and cooking are held there for both children and adults. Completing the facility, recently a professional Farmtek greenhouse was erected by Hayground students, staff and friends with funds provided by Slow Food.
Guests plan their culinary attack, including Chef Olivier Cheng's "Naked Salmon.". (Eileen Casey)
Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.