I am honored to introduce my readers to Chef James Tchinnis, The Executive Chef and Owner of Swallow Restaurant in Huntington and Swallow East in Montauk. Chef Tchinnis’s cuisine focuses on casual, sophisticated new American fare with a dash of decadence and an emphasis on local ingredients. A Long Island Native, he has been around great food all his life. His mother cooked regularly at home, exposing Tchinnis to a range of eclectic cuisines and opening his eyes to new flavors and techniques. He is a French Culinary Institute graduate (now The International Culinary Center) and has since worked in some of the finest restaurants in New York, including Le Cirque, The Grand Havana Room and Aliah.
In October 2010, he and his wife, Julie, opened Swallow Restaurant (Little Swallow) in Huntington Village, which was instantly met with rave reviews. At the time, it was a cozy 20-seat restaurant with an open kitchen and an eclectic menu of New American small plates. The popularity grew so quickly, that an expansion was inevitable. In 2013, Swallow completed a renovation that tripled its size. It was in 2012 that Chef Tchinnis opened Swallow East. The restaurant quickly earned a reputation as one of Montauk’s best. Many with whom I have spoken to highly recommended I come to Swallow East. It truly is one of the best spots to dine not only in Montauk but on the East End and for many reasons: family-friendly, fresh local cuisine, and an exceptionally dedicated waitstaff.
In addition to trying DRY Sparkling‘s line of beverages, I had the pleasure of interviewing DRY Sparkling’s Founder/CEO Sharelle Klaus. Klaus has always had a passion for the culinary world. After having four children, she didn’t want to let a lack of wine or cocktails stop her from creating a great pairing. She became determined to create the first line of sparkling drinks that could compete with a great glass of wine or a premium cocktail and could also pair with gourmet meals.
She founded DRY Sparkling in 2005, a less-sweet soda option that is now one of the fastest growing carbonated soft drink brands in the US with distribution at many national and regional chains as well as, restaurants, cafes, and bars across the US and Canada. Flavors include Watermelon, Juniper Berry, Rhubarb, Lavender, and Fuji Apple, to name a few.
Crowd Cow has created a very easy to navigate and thorough website that not only teaches us about cooking and preparing each cut of beef, but also reminds us of how important it is to support sustainable farming. It has never been any easier and more concrete than now. Crowd Cow, which has recently launched its nationwide customer reach, believes in enjoying incredible beef the right way: sustainably and humanely. For me personally, this is one of the best food industry concepts I have learned of in many years. Founders Joe Heitzeberg and Ethan Lowry wish to erase the wary and uncertainly of ordering beef at your typical grocery chain and have created a crowd funding sales style of purchasing ethical, and ‘artisanal’ beef.
Most often you do not know which country the beef is coming from, even if there is a stamp that reads “grass fed.” Instead, Crowd Cow customers pick the specific cuts and quantity they want while enjoying the convenience of ordering online. The site encourages meat lovers to rally their family and friends, claim a share, tip a cow and become a “steak holder.”
Designer Lisa Jackson, whose fans include Vera Wang, Renee Zellweger, Allison Janney, Kelly Preston and Robin Wright, returns to the Hamptons with LJ CROSS, her much sought-after fine jewelry collection. This season, Jackson has presented Diamonds for the Beach, an exclusive selection of 10 luxury rose gold and white gold pieces, available only at the lifestyle concept store Copious Row’s new Southampton location.
Lisa Jackson’s chic uptown independent boutique LJ CROSS, located on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side, features her signature line of fine jewelry. Jackson designs fashion driven statement pieces in rose and white gold with champagne and white diamonds, pearls and other precious stones. Each piece evokes her minimalist style and dramatic sense of scale to create bold feminine statements.
Below is an exclusive interview with Lisa Jackson, where we discuss her current collection and her favorite spots within the Hamptons.
Spending time outside no matter what the season is very important for me and my family. We are so fortunate that we have an abundance of parks and nature preserves just minutes away from our home. Sarah, our daughter, loves the outdoors and can easily spend hours at the playground. For variety, I take her to a different park, duck pond, or nature trail each day. We just started making a habit of enjoying lunch and snacks outdoors. It gives me an opportunity to relax and eat while we watch Sarah play, and it gives her the opportunity for a break as well.
The discovery of Trendy Picnic could not have come at a better time. As long as there is no snow on the ground, we are sitting outside in the afternoons reading a book, magazine, or writing. Trendy Picnic has a wide variety of picnic items, from totes, coolers, cheese boards, and bar sets in addition to their very own hand woven willow baskets. Whatever the occasion may be, Trendy Picnic has many options for gift giving this holiday season and for that special family outing. My family and I will be off on several excursions across the east coast within the coming months and into the spring and many of Trendy Picnic’s festive and fun products will come in handy.