Thursday, August 16, 2012

Foodtastic Hampton’s Adventure

It was a simple plan really, I was just going to the Hampton’s to work for a day or so, a short stop in the City  on the way and a little R& R with Donna. …but oh my friends, that was just the very beginning. It turned in to a whirlwind 4 Day Foodtastic Adventure.

It all started when Yono got wind of the plan, then Alex was leaving to go around the world and the ever fabulous Erma was entertaining. Oh boy! So we started off in the City at sis’s last happy hour at the NY Beer Company, where it just so happens that when you ordered a cocktail and they bring you two! Who knew…so that was good times and fun had by all. Then Donna, Yono and I headed over to Todd English’s place Ca Va. We just love Ca Va, it’s one of those places with great food & great hospitality, and everything is simply well executed. So there are some pictures on my Facebook if you want to check them out. Then it was back over to NY Beer Company where sis was still enjoying the last of the NY night outs. Let’s just say they were well stocked in Macallen 18 and I was a happy camper. 

Although not a happy camper when I got up at 430am to catch the Jitney out to the Hamptons….oy, seriously y’all that was a little rough….So out I go to Watermill to work in the blistering heat to get this event set for the next day. I was working with Michael George’s and the folks from Casa Lever. What an amazing experience! I had almost forgotten how different catering in the City is…the over the top events and the exactitude of the minutia of details. They literally built Rome, otherwise known as Super Saturday, in 3 days. This company was ridiculously organized and well run, which is explains why they landed this huge, high profile event. Just sayin, it was very cool to be around again.
So after a grueling day in the sweltering heat, I wandered into town to wait for Donna & Yono to meet me on their way to East Hampton. And this is when life presented me with one of those fun little happy accidents…I saw a bar named “Foody’s”. Ok I had to go to a bar named Foody’s ! 

What’s on tap, all local beers of course! So I had a Bluepoint Summer Ale… yeah, holy schnikeys I had never understood the beer after a long day thing until this very day. It was like nectar of the Gods. So I’m looking through the menu and I was like, ok I’ll just try something simple…because truth be told I was so tired I couldn’t really think so much. So I get my old standby, a tomato mozzarella on ciabatta. The bread was out of control, the sandwich was out of control. I was like what in the hell, where am I, this is delicious! So of course, me being me, I can’t control myself so I start talking with the server. So she tells me that the owner Bryan is really into local products and that everything they have there is local. The Ciabatta is from Blue Duck Bakery in South Hampton, the tomatoes are from a local farm-stand and the mozzarella is handmade locally. She tells me that the place’s motto is “Farm Fresh to Table” and then goes on to tell me about the bumper sticker on Bryan’s car that says “No Farms, No Food”. So it turns out that I have stumbled into the coolest little restaurant…and then it gets better. Bryan comes in and we end up chatting on and off for about 2 hours. So Bryan heads up a Slow Food chapter in long Island, he’s helping with Let’s Move, he’s doing dirt to table experiences and has a community garden program that he does in schools…he gets it. 

Next stop, Erma’s house! She was making her chocolate grande marnier tart when we arrived …the house smelled like chocolate nirvana. Then we went to an East Hampton institution, a restaurant with a Lobster Roll so fabulous I was sworn to secrecy about which actual place we went to, lest I ruin it for the locals. So let’s just say this, it lived up to the hype and I have pictures to prove it… And that was the beautiful end to that day.

Back to work in the morning, this time in the kitchen. So let me explain, on parties this big you basically make one or two things all day and that’s your job. It’s the only way to really make it work and to not get in the weeds. There were in the neighborhood of 35 chefs & cooks in the kitchen tent, everyone with their specific one or two jobs. It was again beyond organized, so much so that it impressed even me. So I was in charge of Pasta Freddo Fiesta: Rigatoni with Fresh Peas, Asparagus, Corn, Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Ricotta, and a few other things that I can’t remember. It was all going just fine until it stated to rain, not drip drip rain….we need to build an ark kind of rain. Yeah it was good times. 

Oh totally forgot to mention to, my favorite part of the kitchen experience (aside from the beautiful Italian chefs speaking Italian all day, thank Eion for hooking me up with this gig just for that alone) was the fact that there was a horse paddock about 15 feet from the tent and the horse were neighing and calling out to us all day, just kind of amusing. So how do you wrap up a day like that, well since I made a bunch of new friends and needed a lift, I piled into a car with 7 people…count them 7 (4 Ecuadorians, 2 Puerto Rican, and  a Russian ) can I just say, that was the funniest car ride ever. 

An hour later I’m off to party with Donna & Yono that Erma was catering for friends of hers in East Hampton. So I had always heard the Erma could cook….oh no no, this woman can hold it down for real! She does simple, elegant food with subtle nuances…totally giving a shout out to Ladycake Marmalade, which is the name of her Catering Co! Erma made this hummus that had flax seed and peanut butter, out of control amazing. I could have eaten the whole bowl. And she makes an heirloom tomato pie that is rustic and perfect. And the vegan spinach & artichoke dip she somehow managed to make heart healthy and yummy (I didn’t know that was possible, but she totally nailed it)…and that was just to get started. So the party got going and there were just the most lovely people, so much fun. Before you know it we were doing zumba on the back porch which turned into dancing all night. Satiated with great food, wine and dancing we floated back to Erma’s.

Next morning it was up and at ‘em…Donna gave me the nickel tour of Southampton and it was back to the Jitney for me while they stayed and partied on. I was in to NYC and then back to Albany wrapping up a Whirlwind 4 Day Foodtastic Hamptons Adventure!

For more pictures check out my Facebook!

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