Foodstuffs: The Best Bees In The East And New Beverage Director For Honest Man Group - 27 East

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Foodstuffs: The Best Bees In The East And New Beverage Director For Honest Man Group

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Chimene Macnaughton, Honest Man Hospitality Beverage Director.

Chimene Macnaughton, Honest Man Hospitality Beverage Director.

Chimene Macnaughton, Honest Man Hospitality Beverage Director.

Chimene Macnaughton, Honest Man Hospitality Beverage Director.

Beekeeper Mary Woltz working with her bees on the grounds of Marders Nursery in 2017. MICHAEL HELLER

Beekeeper Mary Woltz working with her bees on the grounds of Marders Nursery in 2017. MICHAEL HELLER

authorStaff Writer on Jan 25, 2022

A Win For Bees’ Needs

Bees’ Needs has won a sixth national Good Food Award (GFA) for the sixth time in eight years. The Good Food Foundation has recognized Bees’ Needs and owner/beekeeper Mary Woltz of Sag Harbor as having the East Region’s most outstanding honey. This year’s selection, black locust, met the foundation’s highest standards and was vetted for taste, sustainability, and social responsibility.

“I am thrilled to win again,” Woltz said. “The past several years have been among our most difficult in terms of colony losses and consequent shortage of honey available for sale, so we are pleased that our quality has clearly not suffered.

“Last year we purchased bees from a highly respected Vermont beekeeper in hopes of strengthening both our numbers and our own bees. This is the first time we imported bees in our 15-year history,” she added. “Mounting pressures on bees caused by parasites, pathogens, pesticides, and loss of wild forage called for a more aggressive response. We’re hopeful these and other measures will allow us to provide a reliable quantity of honey once again for our local customers.”

Each of Bees’ Needs winning honeys has been different. Seasonal flowers and their nectars vary across the East End, and Woltz has a dozen or so different “bee yards” or locations.

“Diverse honeys are possible on the East End, but it takes extra care to reveal the subtle differences,” she said. “I love the challenge.”

The 2022 GFA cover 18 categories of food and drink. Honey was first recognized in 2015. The 244 winners hailed from five U.S. regions and from 39 states and Washington, D.C. Though Woltz regrets being unable to attend the ceremony in person as she has in years’ past, Alice Waters and legendary chef René Redzepi sent congratulatory messages to the winners. For more information, visit

Chimene Visser Macnaughton Joins Honest Man Hospitality As Its New Beverage Director

Honest Man Hospitality has added a new beverage director to its team, Chimene Visser MacNaughton. MacNaughton began as the sommelier at Nick & Toni’s last year and was recently promoted to the beverage director position curating the beverage programs at all properties — Nick & Toni’s, Coche Comedor, Rowdy Hall, Townline BBQ and La Fondita.

Macnaughton is a third generation Angeleno who brings over 30 years of retail and restaurant management experience on both coasts to her new role with Honest Man. From her teenaged after school hours as a commissioned salesgirl at Gene Burton, Pasadena’s one of a kind department store, to years in sales management with top specialty retailers, to the decade of fine dining management in San Francisco, MacNaughton has woven a ribbon of excellence in guest experience into and through her career mosaic.

A pivot from luxury retail to San Francisco’s white-hot haute cuisine scene in the 1990s set the stage for MacNaughton’s entrée into the world of fine wine. Her first-ever restaurant role at Hawthorne Lane meant learning a daunting list; just one part of an ambitious beverage program built by Union Square Hospitality’s Richard Coraine. These formative years studying under Coraine and famed Wolfgang Puck-trained chefs David and Anne Gingrass forged her tasting sensibilities and informs her assortments to this day. In 2000, MacNaughton opened a farm-to-table restaurant in Ketchum, Idaho with friends from those San Francisco kitchens, bringing all the energy, excitement, and experience of big city service to North America’s first ski town.

MacNaughton has lived year-round on the East End since a chance summer visit in 2005 extended itself to meet the November start of American Sommelier’s Advanced Viticulture and Vinification course, which she passed at the top of her class in April 2006. Stints at Della Femina, Fresno, The 1770 House, and as a private chef for households in both Sun Valley and East Hampton were the backdrop for her seven year foray into sommelier-led retail. In January 2014, MacNaughton opened Wainscott Main Wine & Spirits on Montauk Highway — the East End’s first sommelier-managed fine wine and spirits shop, and the home of her beloved all-levels wine workshops. In her tenure there, MacNaughton took WMW&S digital, establishing both its national shipping presence online, and their #GETSOMM on-demand local delivery service.

“I am thrilled and proud to be the first in the role of group-wide beverage director for Honest Man,” MacNaughton said. “I’ve been a customer for nearly 20 years, so I intend to honor each restaurant’s deep history and unique ‘personality,’ while bringing individual beverage offerings into clearer focus.

“Our liquid landscape should be about tradition and discovery,” she added, “equal measures delicious.”

MacNaughton lives in Sag Harbor’s Mount Misery with her photographer husband Craig, and their two racing greyhounds, Casey Bones and Boaz.

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