Great Chefs And Restaurateurs At Charity
Family Service Leagues Great Chefs
of Long Island fundraiser is often imitated, but never duplicated.
Now in its 19th year, Great Chefs brings together Long Islands
top restaurants, each offering a taste of their signature
dishes. The event a fundraiser benefiting Family Service
League is not the only charity event of its kind, but
its the one that sets the bar for all others.
This years Great Chefs event, held Sunday at Crest Hollow
Country Club, indeed set the standard. In all, 49 eateries
participated and the list included the top names of the Long
Island hospitality industry.
The set up at Great Chefs is this: Long Islands leading
restaurateurs get a call from Richard Jay Scholem, a former
New York Times food critic and member of the Family Service
League Board of Directors. So they come. And they come in
person; no sending the sous chef and calling it a day. For
Great Chefs, restaurant owners and executive chefs fill the
room at Crest Hollow, and since the big guns are in the room,
it gets pretty competitive. The promised top dishes are in
fact just that top dishes. In addition to the 49 restaurants
in the room, 20 wineries and distributors dished and poured
samples of their finest offerings.
Huntington being the dining capital of Long Island, the town
was well represented at Great Chefs. At the top of the list
was John Tunney III, owner of Honu and Besito restaurants
and the Family Service Leagues honoree as Restaurateur
of the Year. Tom Schaudel of Coolfish and a soon-to-open 10,000-square-foot
restaurant in Melville, was there to spoon out cupfuls of
his spicy gumbo. One table over, Jonathans Ristorante
owner Roberto Oronato and chef Tito Onofre doled out tuna
tartare while keeping guard over a healthy supply of Titos
signature Death By Chocolate cookies. Prime chef
Gregg Laulettas pan-seared gnocchi with creamy parmesan
sauce drew a crowd or perhaps it was the proximity
of other Bohlsen Restaurant Group eateries Tellers, Verace,
H2O and Beachtree.
Diners enjoyed other offerings from the Town of Huntington,
including Piccolo, Porto Vivo, Red, Osteria da Nino, Bistro
Citron, Martonis, Four Food Studio, Nisen Sushi, Ruvo
Restaurant, Grassos and Bistro Citron. There were other
stars as well. Mirabelle Tavern (Stony Brook), Nonninas
(West Islip), Cipillini (Manhasset) and others proved one
could dazzle even if theyre not from Huntington Township.
If this event sets the standard, the bar is already raised
for next years event 20th anniversary edition.