Hamptons: Hayground School’s ‘Chefs Dinner’ Honoring Jaques Pepin

Ten chefs prepared a five-course meal to honor Jacques Pépin at the 14thannual Hayground School’s benefit “Chefs Dinner” on Sunday, July 29 on the School’s grounds in Bridgehampton, NY. The chefs included Josh Capon, Jessica Craig, Christian Mir, Ayesha Nurdjaja, Francois Payard, Joe Realmuto, Hillary Sterling, Bill Telepan, Carissa Waechter, and Jason Weiner. The evening grossed over $300,000 for the school’s financial aid program. The diverse school incorporates an expansive Edible Garden/Kitchen Science program into its curriculum on its pastoral grounds. The honorary chairpersons of the Chefs Dinner were Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. 


The evening began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served under the tent and prepared in Hayground’s Jeff’s Kitchen. During the meal, for the first time, we presented a live conversation between chefs Jacques Pépin and Eric Ripert. 

The guest list included 200 dinner patrons including: Adam and Mahnaz Bartos, Eric Cantor, Lori Capon, Dani Effron Kline, Joanna Fisher, Alan and Irka Golub, Arthur Maslow, Paige Patterson, Steven and Sandy Perlbinder,  Tony Piazza, Sandra Ripert, Toni Ross, Sana Sabbagh, Noah Salaway, Sarah Salaway, Sheri Sandler, Jon Snow, Tinka Topping, Eli Zabar, and Almond Zigmund.

The Chefs Dinner Committee included Toni Ross (Chair Emeritus), Almond Zigmund (Co-Chair), Elaine DiGiacomo (Co-Chair); Grainne Coen, Cindi Crain, Erica Lynn Huberty, Scott O’Neil, Christian Troy, and Craig Wood.


Funds from the Hayground Chefs Dinner to date have raised almost two million dollars in support of Hayground’s Jeff’s Kitchen culinary programs, as well as its overall curriculum. This enables the school to be readily accessible to the diverse spectrum of East End children, where currently, over 80% of all Hayground students receive some form of financial assistance.

To honor Chef Pépin, this year’s five-star chefs include: Josh Capon of Lure Fishbar, Jessica Craig of L’Artusi, Christian Mir of Stone Creek Inn, Ayesha Nurdjaja of Shuka, François Payard, Joe Realmuto of Nick & Toni’s, Hillary Sterling of Vic’s, Bill Telepan of Oceana, and Carissa Waechter of Carissa’s The Bakery and Jason Weiner of Almond.  Cheeses from fromager Michael Cavaniola and wine from Château d’Esclans round out the tasting menu. Guests who got cocktails from the Matchbook Distilling Company took home bottles of their special custom essences.

Cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres included: 

Micheal Cavaniola of Artisanal Cheese Selection served a selection of Artisan Cheeses. Josh Capon of Lure Fishbar, Bowery Meat Company served Fishers Island Oysters Farm Oysters. Joe Realmuto of Nick & Toni’s served Beef Rib Tacos, Mole. Arjun Achuthan of Hayground School served Wood Oven Roasted Clams in Fennel, Shallots, White Wine Broth. Leslie Merinoff of Matchbook Distilling Company served The Gin Apothecary Shelter Island Pales Project X Shelter Island Craft Brewery served Limited Editions Chef Dinner Summer Session Pale Ale.

The Five Course Menu which was be prepared in Jeff’s Kitchen included:  

First Course by Jason Weiner of Almond, L&W Market was Raw, Smoked, and Pickled Sagaponack Beets, Amagansett Crunchy Lettuce, Bridgehampton Blue Cheese. This course was paired with a Chateau d’Esclans ‘Whispering Angel’ Rosé 2017. Second Course by Hillary Sterling of Vic’s and Ayesha Nurdjaja of Shuka was Conchiglie, Ricotta, Roasted Baby Tomatoes, Lemon, Herbs. Paired with Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc 2015. Third Course by Bill Telepan of Oceana was Local Porgy ‘Sausage & Peppers,’ Fennel, Red Pepper Vinaigrette. Paired with Château Les Trois Croix Bordeaux Rouge Fronsac 2014. Fourth Course by Christian Mir of Stone Creek Inn was Long Island Crescent Duck Breast, Wood Oven Roasted Peaches, Corn Creme Brûlée, Honey Lavender Sauce. Paired with Chateau Carbonnieux Rouge 2014. The evening concluded with a dessert bar by FrancoisPayard, Jessica Craig of L’Artusi, and Carissa Waechter of Carissa’s The Bakery. Chocolates by Francois Payard; Lemon Thyme Panna Cotta, Local Blueberries, Lemon Crumble, Toasted Almond; and Carissa’s Cakes and Pies. Dessert were paired with Cardenal Mendoza Angelus.

About Hayground School:

Hayground School is an independent alternative school, committed to a program of innovation in a community of diversity, both economical and cultural. Hayground students range from 3-13 years of age. Hayground’s mission is to provide an open community school where conventional teaching methods are replaced by new ways of teaching and learning. We work to give our students the tools, perseverance and determination to be independent thinkers and continue learning through doing.

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