When Chefs Gather
By Peter Sloggattemail@example.com
Its a flock of birds, a gaggle
of geese, a pod of whales
what do you call a group of
Long Islands finest chefs? In a word, mouth-watering.
The Great Chefs of Long Island fundraiser to benefit Family
Service League of Suffolk an annual event much anticipated
by foodies was held Sunday at the Crest Hollow Country
Club and brought together the Islands top chefs with
their appreciative fans. In fact, nearly 50 of the Islands
top chefs were at cooking stations that lined two large rooms.
Guests roamed from station to station collecting plates of
food and tastings of hundreds of fine wines.
The event honored several Family Service League supporters
in recognition of their steadfast allegiance to the health
and family services organization: Lynn and Jonah Kaufman of
Huntington, owners of McDonalds franchises throughout the
tri-state area; State Senator Carl Marcellino; and the Bohlsen
family, restaurateurs whose Prime, H2O and Tellers make up
a holy trinity of Long Island fine dining.
Any gathering of top chefs from Long Island will find Huntington
well represented, and this years Great Chefs event was
no exception. Among the nearly 50 restaurants were Prime,
Porto Vivo, Jonathans Ristorante, Mill Pond House, Piccolo,
Red, Osteria di Nino, Besito, Ruvo, Café Buenos Aires,
Martonis Ristorante, Four Food Studio, and the new kid
on the block, Blond Restaurant and Wine Bar.
There were dozens more, and it was impossible to hit them
all, though we tried. On a recommendation from Legislator
Jon Cooper, we headed first to Porto Vivo, where Executive
Chef Steven Lecchi was serving an autumnal house specialty,
butternut squash puree with pancetta and pistachio oil. We
returned for seconds. We also were sure to visit Chef Matthew
Lake who was preparing Besitos signature guacamole in
a stone vessel, just like the tableside preparation at the
Among other local standouts:
Prime served a pan-seared potato gnocchi with white
truffle sauce and Parmigiana shavings that was both earthy
and refined at the same time.
Ruvo partner Jim DeNicola served arancini, a fried
rice ball atop a spicy dollop of tomato sauce with some kick.
Piccolo manager Michael Abu presented a nice contrast
in sweet and savory with a braised short rib with sweet peas
and truffle oil.
Jonathans Executive Chef Tito Onofre made a bold
statement with white cannelloni beans and escarole with shrimp
puttanesca, the velvety white beans providing a perfect platform
for the chunky, spicy treat atop.
Blond Chef de Cuisine Seth Sloan dazzled with a complex
and well-composed offering: ginger fennel braised short rib
with potato puree and barbeque demi-glaze. Wonderful!
On the dessert side, Fleming Hanson of Northports Copenhagen
Bakery a welcome sight at any event had a helping
hand from his son doling out sweets.
Thats just a handful of the nearly 50 chefs who served
some 600 guests and helped make Great Chefs of Long Island
a tremendous success. Dont miss it next year.