Hamptons Happenings:James Beard Foundation names Carla Hall from the Chew the 2015 Chefs and Champagne Honoree”
This summer, the James Beard Foundation (JBF) will honor celebrated TV personality, Co-Host of ABC-TV’s Popular Lifestyle Series “The Chew”, chef,  and cookbook author Carla Hall at Chefs & Champagne®, the Foundation’s annual fundraiser and tasting party in the Hamptons.

The James Beard Foundation (JBF), the country’s preeminent culinary organization, announced that it will honor celebrated TV personality, chef, and cookbook author Carla Hall at its annual Hamptons fundraiser and tasting party this summer. Chefs & Champagne® will be held at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York, on Saturday, July 25, 2015, featuring flowing Champagne Taittinger and culinary offerings from a select group of more than 40 fine chefs, many from JBF Award–winning restaurants.

Carla says  “when I set out for culinary school after years of running a small catering business, it was with the hopes of learning everything I could about cooking and the culinary arts.  In the end, I learned, as we all do, that education and discovery in the kitchen never stops,”  “To be honored by the prestigious James Beard Foundation, which does so much to encourage the study of the culinary arts and the discovery of all that is magical about them is an amazing experience because it both affirms past choices and inspires future decisions.”

With this recognition, Hall joins the ranks of prestigious past Chefs & Champagne honorees including Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Martha Stewart, and many more. She is a co-host of ABC’s popular lifestyle series The Chew, seated alongside restaurateurs and Iron Chef America stars Mario Batali and Michael Symon, entertaining expert Clinton Kelly and health and wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz. Hall is best known as a competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef, where she won over audiences with her fun catch phrase, “Hootie Hoo,” and her philosophy to always cook with love. Hall is the owner of Carla Hall Petite Cookies, an artisan cookie company that specializes in creating sweet and savory “petite bites of love,” and author of two cookbooks, “Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World” (2014) and “Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You” (2012). Hall’s approach to cooking blends her classic French training and Southern upbringing for a twist on traditional favorites, which will be reflected on the menu of her soon-to-open fast-casual New York City restaurant, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen.

Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation says “ever since they had the pleasure of working with Carla on their Taste America program in Philadelphia, they have been looking for another opportunity to bring her infectious love of life and creative culinary insights to an even wider audience.” “She exemplifies what is at the core of our mission: celebrating, nurturing, and honoring America’s diverse culinary heritage and future.”

image002Chefs & Champagne is considered the East End’s premiere culinary event. Funds raised at the event help support the James Beard Foundation’s wide variety of initiatives, including culinary student scholarships and the organization’s annual food conference on sustainability, public health, and nutrition. A silent auction consisting of fine dining experiences, wines and spirits, cookware, and culinary travel packages will also raise funds for the organization.

With a long tradition of supporting culinary education, the James Beard Foundation will also announce the recipient of the Christian Wölffer Scholarship at the event. Established in 2006, the scholarship fund supports students in their study of food and wine. As of 2014, the James Beard Foundation has awarded more than $5 million in financial aid to 1,650 recipients throughout the country.

The Chefs & Champagne main event will take place from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm on Saturday, July 25, and is open to the public—reservations are $200 for James Beard Foundation members and $275 for non members. General admission includes all tastings, silent auction bidding opportunities and gift bag.  VIP premium admission, beginning at 5:00 pm, is $375 for James Beard Foundation members and non members.  VIP tables of 10 are available for $4,000.  The VIP experience includes an additional exclusive reception hour with early access to all tastings, reserved table seating, advanced silent auction preview, gift bag and access to the VIP after-party. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 627-2308 or at To become a member of the James Beard Foundation, click here.

In addition to exclusive Champagne sponsor Champagne Taittinger, support for Chefs & Champagne 2015 will be provided by Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Celebrity Cruises®, Fossil Farms™, Hamptons magazine, Stella Artois® Belgian Lager, Sysco Metro NY, LLC, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, VerTerra Dinnerware, Wölffer Estate Vineyard, and WVVH.*

About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. In September of 2012, JBF launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol and helped create the American Chef Corps as a way to champion American chefs abroad, promote American food products, and foster an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives. One such project is the next world’s fair, Expo Milano 2015, for which the James Beard Foundation is co-leading the effort for the State Department to design and produce the USA Pavilion, a global gathering of 147 countries addressing the challenges of how we will feed ourselves in the future. The pavilion, whose theme will be “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” will showcase America’s contributions to global food security and gastronomy. For more information, please visit Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.

For press info: Contact: Alexandra Pearson or Diane Stefani, 212.255.8455 / @BeardFoundation #JBFChefsandChampagne

The ultimate 4th of July celebration that is sure to go out with a bang….Hamptons Entertaining: Creating Occasions to Remember

150 million hot dogs, 122 million hamburgers and over six million dollars spent in fireworks make up the Fourth of July across the country each year. Independence Day is America’s greatest and proudest holiday. It is the unofficial start of summer where backyard barbeques, great food, great drinks create the backdrop of amazing memories spent with friends and friends. In Annie Falk’s second entertaining and cookbook, Hamptons Entertaining: Creating Occasions to Remember, she celebrates Independence Day at the Sebonack Golf Club with the club’s founder Michael Passcuci and his family, enjoying his Italian take on an All-American holiday.golf1

The Pascucci’s chose to be a little unconventional by stepping into the canvas-like setting of one of America’s favorite pastimes. While keeping the traditional red, white, and blue theme, the Italian family makes sure to fill the table with all of their favorites. From the most luxurious wine placed in rustic wine caddies, to their favorite centerpiece-the bread. The table has the perfect all-American setting for the delectable menu about to be served.sebonac0025

Instead of hot dogs and hamburgers, the menu features items like Jo Pascucci’s Gemelli a La Creole and refreshing Watermelon Gazpacho, finished off with the family-favorite homemade cheesecake. This five-course meal is not your typical Fourth of July menu, but the simplicity of the dishes allows family time to be the main course.

Annie Falk shares her Watermelon Gazpacho\ recipe with Hamptons Mouthpiece readers…

1 seedless watermelon (3 1/2 pounds)
4 English (seedless) cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 teaspoons Tobasco sauce
2 red bell peppers, diced
3 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
2 Tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine the watermelon, cucumbers, cilantro, Tobasco, bell peppers, tomatoes, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Working n batches, puree three-quarters of the mixture in a blender and pulse the the remaining one-quarter until well combined, but slightly chunky.
Transfer the gazpacho to a large bowl and cover. Refrigerate until is is cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours..
Ladle into bowls when ready to serve. Garnish with chopped herbs.

Hamptons_Entertaining_Cover copy 2Check out Annie Falk’s new book Hamptons Entertaining: Creating Occasions to Remember One lucky Hamptons Moutpiece follower will win a copy of this book. Follow me on Instagram @hamptonsmpiece to see how you can win this book. #hamptonsguru

Photo Credit: Jerry Rabinowitz

Hamptons: News Around Town, Openings, closings and much more..March 30th 2015

SOUTHAMPTON, NY: On Friday, March 27th I drove around Southampton Village and I was surprised to see so many store fronts vacant and available for rent. I counted 21, but I think there are more. I have seen a shift in the village for a couple of years with more and more “Pop-Ups” taking over the village in both East Hampton and Southampton. There is a HUGE churn in the Village with many businesses that opened last year, are not there this year.
I wonder how many of those store front landlords are renting to seasonal businesses for the summer season. I reached out to several people for more information and was ultimately told that this is normal for this time of the year in Southampton. I sincerely hope not because that is not great for the businesses that are open year-round. I wonder if the seasonal businesses that occupied those locations last year are coming back this year. I suppose I will just have to wait to see who’s moving in. No word if the Kardashian’s are coming back this summer yet…

Starbucks will be opening on Hampton Road in Southampton, across the street from Citarella…….Same demographic

_DSC0079C WONDER…has closed their doors in both Southampton and Easthampton permanently, company went bankrupt (click here for more on that.)No word on who’s moving into that space yet.

_DSC0040Vines & Branches are no longer in Southampton, they moved to Greenport 2 weeks ago, I am told the lease ran out and the space was rented to someone else. I love this store, you can order online or take a day trip to Greenport.

GETTY IS OUT AND EXXON IS IN….Not sure what’s the deal with this, but no more Getty Gas….Re-open Monday 3/30…

STUDIO 89 is celebrating their 6th year anniversary in April with special offers… them for more information.

Watchcase Factory Condo’s: Word on the Street is many owners will start moving in soon. Thus far 3 units have closed and 16 others are slated to close in mid April 2015. I am told that 80% of the units in the Factory are sold. Looking forward to attending some events happening there this summer.

I wrote last week that it was rumored that Henry Lehr was opening in Sag Harbor, that rumor was 100% accurate and I am told they should be open by Memorial Day weekend.

I am told that Plaza Sports with locations in Montauk and Rocky Point will be opening a new location in Sag Harbor this Spring on Main Street. More information to follow….

SoulCycle is opening a Montauk location.

Do you love Ramen Noodles? Then you will love that Momi Ramen, of Miami, will open in the former Turtle Crossing spot on Pantigo Road, between East Hampton and Amagansett.

The former Highway Diner in East Hampton, will re-open as the Highway Restaurant & Bar at 290 Montauk Highway. More information to follow later…

Confirmed: Osteria Salina is taking over hotspot Georgica’s restaurant and lounge space at 108 Wainscott Stone Rd. Salina’s former home, at 95 School St. in Bridgehampton, will house a more casual bistro restaurant.

Sag Harbor’s Muse in the Harbor, at 16 Main St., will be opening an additional place….Muse at the End, in Montauk.

The NY POST wrote on 3/30 that Delmonico’s, at 268 Elm St., and Nammos Estiatorio Restaurant, at 135 Main St. — are shuttered. (WOW)

French bistro Le Charlot will enjoy its first summer in Southampton, at 36 Main St., formerly home to Barrister’s.

NEW RESTAURANT OPENING IN GREENPORT: American Beech Restaurant, Bar and Inn



Hamptons Eats: Winston’s is spicing up Nichol’s space

Winston’s will be opening March 22nd in the space formally known as Nichol’s in East Hampton. Winton Lyons the new owner and executive chef, previously worked at Turtle Bay Crossing, The Meeting House and most recently known for his talented culinary skills at the East Hampton Grill. Winston left the East Hampton Grill in 2013 and has been preparing to open up his own restaurant. The Theme will be seafood/steak with a Caribbean touch. Although Winston is Jamaican you will not find Caribbean dishes dominating the menu, however Sunday evenings will be Caribbean dinner night. Winston tells me that people from all over come rave about his steak, I am looking forward to tasting it. I asked Winston what will make Winston’s unique and he said his primarily focus will be on service, standard and quality of the food,  some signature dishes like Fried Lobster and Roasted Garlic Crabmeat.

Winston’s will be open BreakfastLunchDinner….Happy Hour Thursday-Sunday 5-7pm, bar menu and 2 for 1 drinks. Theme nights: Wednesday- Red Stripe & wings…Sunday’s: Caribbean Dinner

Address: 100 Montauk Hwy, East Hampton, NY 11937

I will share my experience with all of you as soon as they opening.


Hamptons Eats …What’s up Doc? Bug’s Bunny would have been in Carrot Heaven at Estia’s Carrot Root Tasting… Carrots, an essential in every kitchen.

DSC_8995On Wednesday November 12 I attended a carrot tasting harvest. Estia’s Little Kitchen hosted their first in a series of root tastings.
This started last summer when Colin Ambrose of Estia’s Little Kitchen decided he wanted to explore the carrot with his friends, well-known hamptons chefs and farmers in the Hamptons. Christopher Polidoro with Quail Hill Farm farmer Scott Chasky
Joseph Realmuto with Nick & Toni’s Garden manager Jeff Negron
Jason Wiener with Almond pal, Sagaponack farmer Marilee Foster
Todd Jacobs with Fresh friends and partner farmers Bette & Dale
Kyle Koenig with Topping Rose House garden manager Jeff Negron
Robert Durkin and the garden at Robert’s in Watermill
. Each chef & Farmer displayed their control seed (scarlet Nantes) and a choice seed. In addition to tasting raw and steamed carrots, the chefs prepared a dish of their choosing and presented it on the counter at The Little Kitchen.carrot

I brought my daughter Allura with me and we had a great time learning about the different variations of carrots, and tasting each one of them. Growing up in Harlem, I was unaware that carrots were not just orange. DSC_8925At the tasting we ate purple carrots, white carrots, red carrots and of course the orange carrot. Some were light and sweet, others had your typical carrot taste we liked many of the carrots but we especially enjoyed the Atomic Red from the Garden of Estia’s Little Garden, we also enjoyed the carrot from Dales Fresh Mix from Todd Jacobs from Fresh and farmers Bette & Dale.
After everyone tasted each carrot Colin conducted a Q&A. Each participant brought all of their 20 foot carrot beds production to compare and discuss. One of the questions asked was about seeding:
Colin: Once your carrot seeds are set how to do you maintain that between the hard set and the harvest?
Quail Hill Farm farmer Scott Chasky: Weeds are not allowed… laughter erupted in the room…take a listen to his response….

DSC_8986Allura and I were in carrot heaven, the prepared dishes were so delicious, the Fritters, the Rabbit pie and Dumplings were among our favorite but my personal favorite were the mini carrot cakes made by Cassandra Shupp, the pastry chef from Topping Rose House. This was really one of the BEST carrot cakes I have ever tasted and I just wanted more.DSC_9000 2

I am looking forward to the Beet Tasting in this series of Root Tastings…All remaining carrots were donated to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry.

Photo credit: Allura Leggard