From left: Alex von Bidder, JBF President Susan Ungaro, Julian Niccolini, and Roman Roth of Wölffer Estate Vineyard
“This is the best damn party I’ve been to out here all year,” was the way one Hamptons reveler put it. The sun shone bright and clear as we kicked off our nineteenth annual Chefs & Champagne on Saturday. More than 500 gathered under the tent to enjoy an incredible summer menu prepared by a fantastic team of chefs and to fête guests of honor Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini of the Four Seasons.We have always loved this event because the chefs participating have just as much fun as the guests attending. Seamus Mullen and Akhtar Nawab sported chic shades as they cooked up their mussels and octopus, respectively, while Jeff Rogers, who came from the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club in Carmel, CA, made a decadent foie gras torchon with Frog Hollow peach chutney and mission figs that practically flew off his table. Tiffany MacIssac, who made flowering chamomile panna cotta, was joined by her husband-to-be Kyle Bailey, former chef of Allen & Delancey. Paul Bartolotta, who took home this year’s Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest, effortlessly sautéed sea scallops while charming the crowd, and the ladies of Three Tarts, Sandra Palmer and Kiyomi Toda-Burke, made nostalgia-inducing ice cream sandwiches with grown-up flavors like rosemary and yogurt. Andrea Wölffer, daughter of the later Christian Wölffer, gave a moving tribute to her father and his love of cuisine, and also recognized Christina Cassell as this year’s recipient of the Christian Wölffer Scholarship. Cassell is about to start her second year of studying pastry at Johnson & Wales University in Providence. As the tasting event wound down, the after party started up with catering from Dean & Deluca, a cigar lounge, and, yes, more Champagne. Below is a selection of photos from the evening; check back tomorrow for even more pictures from one of our favorite events of the year.
Kerry Heffernan's Housemade Burrata with Basquaise Peppers and Marjoram
Missy Robbins's Ricotta Sformato with Zucchini, Mint, and Lemon
Akhtar Nawab's Marinated Calamari with Coco Beans and Ginger–Carrot Vinaigrette
Wölffer Estate Vineyard Wines
Tiffany MacIssac's Flowering Chamomile Panna Cotta with New Jersery Blueberries, Pecan Granola, and Apricot Foam
Sandra Palmer and Kiyomi Toda-Burke's Ice Cream Sandwiches