North Fork Table & Inn is one of dozens of restaurants selected to cook for guests at the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Chefs and Champagne dinner at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack later this month.
The James Beard event is touted as the culinary highlight of the Hamptons summer season and features 35 seasonal tastings from 35 chefs that the foundation recognizes for outstanding culinary talent. The Southold restaurant is the only one on the North Fork invited to cook at the event.
“It’s really special,” said North Fork Table & Inn chef Stephan Bogardus. “The James Beard Foundation is an extremely prestigious guild of individuals within the culinary field. Anytime I’m asked to do anything with them it’s really special.”
Bogardus is serving corn soup with truffles at the dinner while North Fork Table & Inn’s JBF award-winning pastry chef Claudia Fleming will be offering chèvre sabayon with raspberry compote and rye crumble.
Bogardus said he would be sourcing his ingredients straight from the North Fork — specifically, fresh corn from Wesnofske Farm in Southold.
“It’s a very technical method of producing the soup so it is really important that the ingredients are of the top quality,” he said. “And so far out of all the corn that I have tasted so early in the season, I think Wesnofske is going to be the best bet for us.”
Borgardus’ method of making the corn soup is meant to highlight the ingredients. He takes the whole ear of corn off of the cob and puts it through a juicer to create a liquid corn juice. He then brings it up to a boil so that the starches coagulate and thicken, resulting in a sweet base.
“All that we are serving is this really special juice that was cooked and thickened, that’s just corn,” Bogardus said. “Having the purity of just fresh juice from corn that was picked that day gives us the opportunity to make a really special product.”
This is Bogardus’ second year cooking at the Chefs and Champagne dinner while Fleming has participated for a number of years. The foundation chooses to “showcase chefs who embody the leadership and commitment that JBF supports everyday through its many programs.” The dishes will be complemented with flowing Champagne Boizel and Wölffer Estate wines.
This year’s event will also honor Padma Lakshmi, host and executive producer of Bravo’s James Beard Award–winning and Emmy award-winning Top Chef.