It’s been a tough year for Alberto Rincon.Not only has the 48-year-old Colombian native, known to friends as “Beto,” had trouble finding full-time, year-round work as a chef, but his youngest son, Yahshua, was born three months ago with hip dysplasia, a condition that has the potential to cause arthritis in the joints, which can lead to a person being unable to walk.
He and his wife, Anamilde, also recently were forced out of their home in Hampton Bays. They are staying with family members in Riverhead temporarily until they can move back.
The Rincons’ other son, Matthew, 7, has also been affected by the recent turn of events, and for three weeks has been depressed, according to Mr. Rincon, and has not spoken much.
But that changed on Monday, when members of the community stepped up to help the Rincons provide Christmas for their young sons.
Chris Owadally, the owner of Hamptons Bluebird Limo in Westhampton Beach, teamed up with celebrity chef Jonathan Scinto and members of the community to provide the Rincons with a night of luxury on Thursday, December 20.
“I always wanted to give back,” Mr. Owadally said. “This is my way, now, of giving back to the community. I just thought it would be something interesting to give back, not just with gifts or canned soup or food, but … really spoil a family in luxury.”
Mr. Owadally said the Rincons will be picked up by a limousine from their current residence in Riverhead and whisked away to a home in East Hampton, where Mr. Scinto will cook a four-course meal, consisting of Chateaubriand and roasted organic chicken.
The chef, who has been on television shows such as “Master Chef,” “Iron Chef Showdown” and “Chopped,” also said he plans to serve a few sides with the meal and panna cotta for dessert.
While he’s cooking, Mr. Scinto said, he may even have Mr. Rincon help out and show off his skills in the kitchen—the idea is that everyone has a good time.
“I like giving back to the community,” Mr. Scinto said. “You just never know the struggles that you’re going to have, and it’s really important to set an example on the island. It’s important to me to be able to give back and cook an amazing meal for them, and have them have a little luxury and a five-star meal during the holidays. Why not?”
Mr. Rincon said he started working in a bakery when he was younger and living in his home country of Colombia. Since moving to the United States nearly nine years ago, he has worked at numerous restaurants in New York City, New Jersey and on the East End, including at the Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton.
The struggle with living in a seasonal community, though, is finding year-round work, and Mr. Owadally said he wants to be able to help Mr. Rincon find a job that sticks.
“Beto’s skills are in the kitchen, but he is struggling to find work year-round,” Mr. Owadally said. “We are working on, and are close, to finding full-time work in a kitchen locally for him. It is beautiful irony that Beto, a man of the kitchen, is getting a top chef to cook for him.”
On Monday, Mr. Owadally drove the Rincons to Enchanted Gardens in Speonk to pick out a Christmas tree and trimmings. Matthew, with a huge smile on his face, found the perfect-sized tree for their place in Riverhead, and a larger tree was picked out to be decorated at the home in East Hampton.
Through a translator, Mr. Rincon said he was happy to see his son’s joyfulness when he picked out the tree and got into the limousine.
Mr. Rincon said his son could not believe that they were riding in a limousine on Monday—nor could he. And his wife, 39, he said, felt like a princess, as her hair was made up and she had a big smile on her face.
“It was amazing,” he said. “It was like a dream come true.”
On Thursday night, donated presents will be scattered under the tree in East Hampton for the family to open, including new clothes for the winter. Some people donated presents, while others offered donations.
After the presents are opened, Mr. Owadally said, a chauffeur on standby will take the family anywhere they want to go—so if they want to stop for coffee, they will be taken to a coffee shop, and their order will be paid for. He also said the family will be taken to a movie of their choice.
“If you see a homeless person, you should take your coat off your back,” Mr. Owadally said. “If you see Toys for Tots, you should donate to that. If you could do it at a personal level, how do you affect everyone at once? Try to touch them all at one time.”
For the Rincons, Mr. Owadally wants to help out in any way he can, whether it is providing happiness for Matthew, creating moments that make Ms. Rincon feel like a princess, or by helping Mr. Rincon get a full-time permanent job.
“The Bible says, in Psalm 23, ‘Your cup overfloweth,’” Mr. Owadally said. “So, I wanted to take some of that and overflow someone else’s cup.”