Harvest East End Cheers to 40 Years of Winemaking on Long Island

Long Island Wine Country had a lot to celebrate about. In fact, 1,300 enthusiasts of wine and food, including Governor Andrew Cuomo joyously gathered under a festive billowing tent to raise a glass and cheer for 40 years of winemaking at the 4th Annual Harvest East End at McCall Vineyard & Ranch in Cutchogue New York. The regions farms, fishermen, 34 local top chefs and 43 vintners showcased the bounty of the land, sea and vines. It was the first year that this vinous and edible gala was held on the North Fork of Long Island and how fitting considering two pioneers were honored for giving rise to one of the world’s most exciting viticultural and culinary destinations: Louisa Hargrave co-founder of Hargrave Vineyards (now known as Castello di Borghese Vineyard) for planting the first vitis vinifera grapes with her former husband Alex Hargrave, and John Ross, who established Ross’ North Fork restaurant that featured local wines and grown food that helped ignite the farm-to-table movement on the North Fork; all of which was 40 years ago.

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo. Photography credit: Jessica Guadagno

“Put tourism together with the wine industry, and they can grow an entire region,” says Governor Cuomo. “And that’s what you’re seeing here on the North Fork of Long Island.”

The Master of Ceremonies was Joshua Wesson, a leading authority on wine and food pairing, the founder of Best Cellars and author of Williams-Sonoma Food & Wine—A New Look at Flavor that he signed for fans. Harvest was presented by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and organized by the Long Island Wine Council with support from Merliance, that benefited four important regional charities: East End Hospice, Group for the East End, the Peconic Land Trust and the Long Island Farm Bureau.

And to top it off Out East Foodie has come full circle—It was my first anniversary. Last year’s Harvest East End was my debut where I was introduced to the edible artisans of the East End: chefs, fishermen, farmers, cheesemakers, and vintners to name a few. I am humbled to be surrounded by the people of this region who are passionate and dedicated to their craft or cause. I have told the stories of a few over the course of the year, shared recipes that have been inspired by the bounty of the two forks and am honored to continue to do so. This fall our sustainable home Sheridan Green will be complete. It will be a place where like-minded stewards of the land and sea can come together to talk story, enjoy amazing food and drink and share inspiration in a great space.

A wine and food celebration

Guests were given their own personal wine glass that was attached to a lanyard like strap to put around your neck to ease the juggling dilemma between holding a wine glass and a plate of food; thank you Harvest East End for this welcomed convenience as balancing the glass, camera, plate of food, iPhone and purse is a social media hodgepodge. 

Beautifully designed wine labels by Bouquet Wines from Mattituck, New York

My husband Christopher enjoyed the wine tasting and particularly liked Mattebella Vineyards Old World Blend.

Coolfish Grill and Wine Bar served bay scallops mango ceviche; the mango was an unexpected twist.

Mirabelle at Three Village Inn served a unique Crème brûlée that was made with duck eggs, infused with vanilla bean and topped with a sprinkle of maple bacon crumble, simply fantastic.

A refreshing and delicious watermelon gazpacho that was garnished with a Koppert Cress micro shiso amongst a beautiful flower arrangement.

First and South restaurant may have topped their chocolate covered pork rinds from Dan's Taste of Two Forks. In an oyster shell they baked an edible cracker mocking the shell and placed the oyster, and a dollop of homemade horseradish and ketchup on top, brilliant.

The North Fork Table and Inn made a spicy marinated McCall Ranch Beef summer roll with wasabi aioli.  This tasted as beautiful as it looked.

Gourmet Sorbet by the Sorbabes: Top-strawberry rhubarb crumble (my favorite), Right-pistachio with sea salted caramel, Bottom-coconut chai with macaroons and Left-passionfruit lychee. All gluten-free and non-dairy made with seasonal ingredients.

Jewel restaurant by Tom Schaudel served a corn chowder with crab. The balance of this dish was singing the bounty of the two forks, was truly lovely.

A Taste of the North Fork made meatballs with cHarissa, hummus and cilantro. The meatballs had a Moroccan flare of interesting spices from the cHarissa, really tasty.

To continue with the meatball theme a Mano Osteria and Wine Bar made a veal meatball with a lobster bisque sauce. I was unsure about the veal and lobster combo, but it was a match made in heaven.

The heart of the billowing tent was lit up with colorful lanterns, as the VIP attendees sipped older vintages and special selections of East End wines presented by Empire Merchants. Although there was a white picket fence that separated the VIP's from the rest, we all had a few things in common, the love for wine and food in Long Island Wine Country.

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho with Seared Scallops and Tastes for a Cause

Are you all still stuffed from Dan’s Taste of Two Forks or are you hungry for more food soriées? I gather you are ready to put on your "Eattendee" caps, but before you dash and dine here is a light meal that was inspired by my taste of local watermelon gazpacho with Jonah crab; prepared by Chef Randy Santos of Navy Beach in Montauk, NY. This dish will get your palates going, so loosen your belt buckles for the next wave of tastes for a cause which will be listed below my recipe.

 

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho with Seared Scallops

ingredients

Gazpacho

  •  2 ½ pounds of ripe yellow tomatoes; blanched, peeled and cored.
  • 1 hothouse cucumber; chopped, peeled and seeded
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped and seeded
  • ½ jalapeño; seeded, chopped and cut in half
  • 4 cilantro sprigs
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup of good extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Sea Salt
  • Pepper to taste

    Scallops
  • 6 large Sea Scallops
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter for searing
  • A pinch of Amagansett Sea Salt, Montauk Blend to sprinkle on top

    For Garnish

  • Pea shoots and currant tomatoes
  • directions

    Gazpacho

    1. In boiling water blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds; cut a cross hatch at the bottom of the tomato before inserting. Cool the tomatoes in a bowl of ice water and then peel the skin off the tomato. Remove the cores and chop the tomatoes, saving all of the juice.
    2. Place half of the yellow tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, shallots, vinegar, olive oil and ½ tablespoon of salt and a pinch of pepper in a blender or food processor.
    3. Puree until the soup is completely smooth. Taste for seasoning and repeat with the rest of the ingredients. You can chill the soup in the refrigerator or have it at room temperature.

      Scallops
    4. On high heat sear the scallops on both sides; approximately 2 minutes on both sides or just when the scallop gets a golden crust. Do not over cook.
    5. When done, place one scallop in the middle of a shallow bowl and pour the gazpacho around the scallop up to its middle; the top should peek out.
    6. Finish the Scallop with a sprinkle of the Amagansett Sea Salt, Montauk Blend.

      For Garnish
    7. Place tomato currants around the scallop as well as the pea shoots and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

      Serves 6
     

    Tastes for a Cause

     

    Food Riot, Saturday, July 27

    Benefiting Slow Food East End, this will be held at the Hamptons Preventative Health & Sustainable Technology Expo at Dodds & Eder in Sag Harbor, NY on July 27 and 28, sponsored by Turtle Shell Health. The casual cocktail party is from 5:30-7pm and the dinner party is from 7-9pm and will be cooked by Chef Todd Jacobs of Fresh Hamptons. There are various combinations and offerings to attend this action packed weekend. Go here for the full details.

     

    Great Chefs Dinner, Sunday, July 28th

    The late Jeff Salaway and one of the school's founders believed that the growing, preparation and sharing of food is a primal human experience and the foundation of family and community. In the state-of-the-art kitchen named Jeff's Kitchen students prepare lunch for their classmates. Manhattan and East End chefs will be cooking it up to benefit the Hayground School's Jeff's Kitchen to support its food education program and the Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund. The cocktail party is from 5:30–7:30pm for $175 / $40 for children; the dinner is from 7:30–10pm for $1,000 (cocktail party included). 

     

    Share: A Celebration of Education, for Peconic Community School, Sunday, August 11th

    The mission of the Peconic Community School is to immerse children in the beauty and splendor that is the East End, so they can learn to be stewards of their communities. This cocktail reception will be held at the Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Jamesport, NY from 5-8pm. Tickets are $75. Tastes of field-to-plate dishes prepared by top local chefs: Michael Meehan of H20 Seafood Grill, Lia Stanco Falon of the Riverhead Project, Todd Jacobs of Fresh Hamptons, Joe & Liza's ice cream, local beer by Blind Bat Brewery and wine being poured by Jamesport Vineyard, among others. 

     

    Harvest East End, Saturday, August 24th

    The 4th Annual Harvest East End is celebrating 40 Years of wine making in Long Island Wine Country; showcasing the region’s world class wines from 42 Long Island winemakers and featuring over 34 top regional chefs at McCall Vineyard & Ranch in Cutchogue, NY

    Festival Tasting: 7-9:30pm; $125 per person, if purchased no later than Sunday, August 11; $150 on or after Monday, August 12, and at the door (if available)

    The Vin-IP Experience, presented by Lincoln
    Private entrance 6-7pm; $250 per person or $2,500 per table of 10.

    This event is presented by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and organized by the Long Island Wine Council with support from Merliance. This fundraiser benefits four regional charities: East End Hospice, Group for the East End, the Peconic Land Trust and the Long Island Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Foundation.

     

    3rd Annual Harvest East End and My 1st Harvest

    How appropriate that the Harvest East End at the Hampton Classic Horse Show grounds in Bridgehampton be my first post and gateway to the great bounty of Long Island’s East End. This event brought together 40 award-winning wineries as well as 30 regional restaurants and their finest chefs who featured locally-sourced creations in partnership with Farmers, Fishermen, Beekeepers and Cheesemakers, to name a few. The coming together for this special event--which supports land, the environment and the East End community making this region so great--raised $42,000 for these three charities: East End HospiceGroup for the East End and the Peconic Land Trust.

    I had 3 hours to immerse myself into the world of these artisans. Although my time was brief, I was able to quickly take a journey to each vineyard, restaurant or farm and taste what makes each so special. There is a common thread amongst the East End Community and their artisans-it is a sense of stewardship to the land and sea. But what makes each stand out amongst one another is their philosophy, story and history. I am truly honored to have met each and every one of these artisans and look forward to telling their stories about what they thrive on and create.

    SOME NOTABLES FROM THE EVENT

    The Fifth Season
    Chef Erik Orlowski, Chef John Urbinati
    Corn Infused Ricotta Cheese with Roasted Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes on Multigrain Crostini.

    These little bites told such a tale of the corn fields and goat farms.

    Koppert Cress
    Known for their outstanding flavored Micro-Greens, Micro-Vegetables and Specialties for chef or mixologist who want year-round rare ingredients in order to create his or her signature dish. I was fascinated by these folks. 

    The punch these little morsels have to complement a dish or libation is incredible. Watch out for the Sechuan Button! 

    Savoring the Hamptons by Silvia Lehrer, featuring Starr Boggs Restaurant
    Chef Starr Boggs
    Scallop Mousse with Lobster Mayonnaise and Fresh Tomato Relish.

    The condensed flavor profile of the sea was sensational.

    Farm Country Kitchen
    Chef Tom Carson
    Lobster Risotto with Fresh Local Tomatoes, Local Herbs and Spinach .

    Unfortunately, I was unable to try his dish (was all gone which states the obvious) however this chef's passion was nice to see.

    T’Jara Vineyards: 2008 Merlot.

    Their not-yet-released wine was delish and the label designs were cool which I can appreciate since I am a designer at heart.

    One Woman Wines and Vineyards: 2010 Gruner Veltliner.  

    Hey power to the woman and the Gruner was fantastic and smooth.

    Note: These two were my husbands favorites as I could not take him away from these tables so I figured I should make a special note here.

    Clovis Point: 2010 Tank Fermented Chardonnay, 2008 Cabernet Franc and 2007 Vinter’s Select Merlot.
    McCall Wines: 2011 Pinot Noir Rose, 2008 Merlot Reserve,  and 2007 Bens Blend

    To read more about the Harvest East End and its sponsors and supporters: harvesteastend.com