Celebrity chef George Hirsch and his culinary colleague Alex Goetzfried are planning a low-cost dining event that puts an emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients.
Taking place at Sep’s Farm in East Marion on the North Fork, the inaugural Sunday Supper will benefit Cormaria Retreat House in Mr. Hirsch’s hometown of Sag Harbor.
Mr. Hirsch and Mr. Goetzfried have been preparing meals for guests at the nondenominational retreat house for a year now, and Sep’s Farm has been donating the produce they serve.
Mr. Hirsch explained that his goal for the multi-purpose event is to “bring back the feeling of what Sundays were traditionally years ago by getting people together for food, conversation and, of course, with all our emphasis on highlighting our region and particularly the farm. We’ve got a great supporting relationship with the Sep family. They’ve been extremely generous to any kind of benefit or any activity we’ve done the last two years.”
And the cost? Just $20 in advance, or $25 at the door—though the event is capped at 150 guests and may sell out early.
“That was something that I felt was critically important,” Mr. Hirsch said of the price, “because I wanted to make it reachable for almost everybody. And we have a great family of supporters and people who are contributing different components to the event to make it happen, and to make it as affordable as possible.”
He added that he wants the supper to be family friendly, and open to a cross-section of the community.
Cooking with local ingredients is something that Mr. Hirsch has long practiced and long been an advocate for. “Throughout my whole career,” he said, “it’s something that was just naturally ingrained: using foods that are seasonal and using foods that are local, because it gives you a better dish.”
He explained that local food is better because it hasn’t traveled, and food that’s traveled has aged. “It always opens up horizons and—in addition to the benefits for the community, to Cormaria—my background is also in culinary education, and what better way to educate people than to have them on the farm, eating on the farm, actually seeing the farm and getting dirt on their shoes.”
The chefs will bring in an outdoor wood-burning oven to make flat breads with a variety of fall vegetables. Mr. Hirsch said he plans to serve pasta with Sunday gravy—a tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes—and chicken scarpariello, seasoned, grilled, and served with fresh vegetables from the farm. And using local apples, they’ll make a fresh-baked cobbler for dessert.
Mr. Hirsch and Mr. Goetzfried first connected in 2013, when Mr. Goetzfried was an intern for The Southampton Press, writing about food and dining. “He was the last interview that I did during the summer that I interned for The Southampton Press,” Mr. Goetzfried recalled. “I was literally getting my stuff packed to go back to the city the next day.”
He was assigned to cover Mr. Hirsch marking his 20th season as a television chef and a new show named “George Hirsch Lifestyle.”
“I went to his house and we hit it off,” Mr. Goetzfried said. “I ended up being there for four hours.”
They kept in touch, and whenever Mr. Goetzfried, a Hampton Bays native, was back home, they would go out for dinner. “As he started putting together charity events, he called me and I gave him a hand,” he said. For example, they prepared meals on a yacht for a benefit in Sag Harbor, and they traveled to New Jersey to help the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.
Mr. Goetzfried—who works at Oakland’s Restaurant in Hampton Bays and has past experience at The River Café in Brooklyn—said he anticipates Sunday Supper will be the first of many East End foodie events that are both affordable and community-minded.
He also spoke very highly of Sep’s Farm.
“The produce is out of this world,” he said. “I have it at Oakland’s now. I’ve really been pushing it on all my chef friends”
Sunday Supper will take place on Sep’s Farm, 7195 Main Road, East Marion, on Sunday, October 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. Admission is $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Children 6 to 12 are $20, and children under 6 are free. Purchase tickets at the farm, at Heron Suites in Southold, at Cormaria in Sag Harbor, or at eventbrite.com. For more information, email email@example.com.
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