Hayground School and Jeff’s Kitchen celebrated their 13th Annual Chefs Dinner on Sunday, July 30th at Hayground School in Bridgehampton. Chefs Tom Colicchio and Nick and Toni’s and Hayground Founder Toni Ross hosted the farm-to-table benefit dinner honoring Chef Bill Telepan and Tinka D. Topping. Telepan is the Executive Chef of Oceana and Topping is a Hayground Founding Member. This was my second time attending the intimate event; the guest list is strictly limited to 150 individuals and the evening is always a sell out. The food at cocktail hour alone is so exquisite and artfully presented. Each plate is so sumptuous that each deserve its own accolade.
The chefs for the evening included Arjun Achuthan from Hayground School; Josh Capon from Lure Fishbar, Bowery Meat Company; Michael Cavaniola from Cavaniola’s Gourmet; Claudia Fleming from North Fork Table & Inn; Roger Martinez from Il Buco; Christian Mir from Stone Creek Inn; Garrison Price from Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria; Hillary Sterling from Vic’s, Trevor Swope from Dock to Dish; Joe Realmuto from Nick and Toni’s & Townline BBQ; and Jason Weiner from Almond and L&W Oyster Co.
The hor d’oeuvres were created with locally grown ingredients. Josh Capon served Chilled Fishers Island Oysters with Pineapple Cucumber Salsa, Chilled Sushi Oysters with Jalapeño Ponzu, Uncle Arthur’s Chilled Littleneck Clams with Hot Sauce and Lemon. Michael Cavaniola provided an artisanal cheese selection. Arjun Achuthan made wood-fired flatbreads in the Hayground wood-fired oven. Roger Martinez served figs, ricotta and marcona almonds with aged balsamic. Trevor Swope provided Montauk Crudo of Citrus Cured Local Fish. Jason Weiner prepared beet and cucumber gazpacho with smoked bluefish and horseradish.
During cocktail hour, Matchbook Distilling Co. created a Gin Apothecary Popup. Their onsite team helped guests create their very own batch of gin with flavors such as Rose Petal, Wild Cherry Bark, Hibiscus Flower, and Green Cardamom.
The five chefs prepared an exquisite five-course dinner using local ingredients, some of which come straight from the Edible Schoolyard located on Hayground’s own 13 acres of farmland.
The Dinner courses are as follows:
First Course- Hillary Sterling
Local Tomatoes in Soar
Second Course- Garrison Price
Housemade Maccheroncini with Local Clams, Garlic Scape Peso and Sunflower Sprouts
Third Course- Christian Mir
Buttered Poached Lobster with Coconut Ginger Lime Broth
Fourth Course- Joe Realmuto
Roasted Quail with Local Peaches, Corn and Arugula
Fifth Course- Claudia Fleming
Blackberries and sweet Corn Cream
In addition to the dinner, there was a live auction that included such packages as the Chef Bill Telepan Tribute, Chefs Tasting Menu for six at La Bernardin, a luxurious trip to the Island of Mustique- Villa America, and The Ultimate Nick & Toni’s Package.
Honoree Chef Bill Telepan was honored for his activism with the Wellness in the Schools, a non-profit that helps provide public school students essential meals as well as culinary education. Tinka Topping was honored for her devotion to children’s education. She has also been active with preserving farmland and open space, vital to the environment and way of life on the East End.
Dinner tickets were $1,200. The Chefs Dinner is the school’s only fundraiser with additional funds coming from their highly coveted summer camp. Around 82% of students receive financial aid during the school year.