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Chefs & Champagne Does the Hamptons

Some of Manhattan’s finest chefs jetsetted to the Hamptons for the weekend to partake in James Beard Foundation’s illustrious Chefs & Champagne 2007.  There was double cause to pop the bubbly as this year’s festivities toasted both Charlie Trotter and the 20th Anniversary of The James Beard Foundation.

As the sun set over Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, foodies, socialites and the restaurant elite – Joe Bastianich, Steve Hanson & Martha Stewart – feasted on a lush spread of chilled corn soup, salads of sugar snap peas & peaches, oysters and a hefty bounty from the sea.  If you weren’t there to sample the first-rate fare, I won’t dangle dishes now past, but highlights did include Ben Pollinger’s (Oceana) delicate citrus-tinged oyster ceviche and local Hamptons celebrity chef, Michael Rozzi’s (Della Femina) refined riff on lobster salad delightfully peppered with springy corn & fava beans.  And in an ironic twist of fate, Tim Love swept the popular vote, crushing the competition with grilled lamb chops rubbed with Lonesome Dove’s signature game rub.  While Lonesome Dove failed to make waves in NYC – shuttering its doors after only five months – guests, including Martha Stewart, couldn’t get enough of the tasty chops.

For dessert, there was no debate: As usual, Nicole Kaplan (Del Posto) stole the show with a naughty chocolate budino (pudding) with addictively crunchy chocolate streusel, finished with an almond & chocolate biscotti.  Of course, there was no shortage of wine & champagne – the best of the lot was Wolffer’s very own 2006 rose.

Until we eat again,
Restaurant Girl
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