By Genevieve Kotz
To honor the memory of chef Jeff Salaway and his belief in the community and connection behind growing, preparing and sharing food, the Hayground School will host the 10th annual Great Chefs Dinner on Sunday, August 3, at its Bridgehampton campus.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the school, students on scholarships or financial aid (a scholarship fund was started in Mr. Salaway’s name in 2001) and Jeff’s Kitchen, Hayground’s professional kitchen that doubles as a classroom and is supported by a science lab, garden and greenhouse. Jeff’s Kitchen offers classes in nutrition, food sciences and cooking for both children and adults. Mr. Salaway, who founded Nick & Toni’s with his wife Toni Ross and was also a co-founder of Hayground, began planning the kitchen just prior to his death in 2001.
“It is something very important to the school, because with the money that we raise we can enroll more students,” said Christian Mir, who will be one of the featured chefs, , noting the school has a great culinary program for the kids.
The event will honor “Top Chef Masters” judge and four-star chef Tom Colicchio and Lori Silverbush, a filmmaker.
Guests will enjoy an intimate dinner with food created by some of the finest chefs on the East End. Besides Mr. Mir of the of the Stone Creek Inn, the event will feature Jason Weiner of Almond and L&W Oyster Co., Kyle Koenig of the Topping Rose House, “Top Chef Masters” contestant Kerry Heffernan, sommelier Julie Berger, fromager Michael Cavaniola and others.
Tickets for the event are $1,000 each. For more information, visit greatchefsdinner.org.
The owner of the Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue, Christian Mir, is starting the evening off with his duck foie gras hors d’oeuvres. He will create duck foie gras paninis with black truffles, a dish that is also served at his restaurant. Mr. Mir chose duck for its popularity both on Long Island and in his native home of southwest France.
Mr. Mir has been involved with this event for five years. His wife, Elaine, is on the board and his son, Sebastian, attends the school.
“It’s something that I really enjoy doing,” Mr. Mir said.
Jason Weiner, who opened Almond Restaurant in Bridgehampton in 2001, is preparing a beet tartare, with local red, yellow and Chioggia beets from the Pike Farm Stand in Sagaponack. The three beet tartares will have a smoked feta crusting and toasted pistachios and pistachio oils. Mr. Weiner, whose daughter, Rive Tiger Lily, 6, attends the Hayground School, has been involved with the dinner since before she was born.
Mr. Weiner said he is happy to take part in the event, which has taken on more meaning to him now that he has a daughter enrolled in the school.
Kyle Koenig, of Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, is making a salad of local ingredients for the event. The salad features a little bit of grilled eggplant, local tomato, Burrata cheese, croutons and basil seeds that have been bloomed and tossed with basil oil. The vegetables are from the garden at Topping Rose and local farms, and the fresh micro basil will come from Good Water Farms in East Hampton.
Mr. Koenig, who has been a chef for over 12 years but is participating in the Chefs Dinner for the first time, created the salad especially for the event at Hayground.