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Underground Training owner Katie Peters enjoys a hot drink at the Orient Country Store. (Credit: David Benthal)

Our readers’ enthusiastic response to the March women’s issue of Northforker magazine has been overwhelming. The eight women featured are all community builders — even if that’s not exactly what they set out to be or what we aimed to capture in their profiles.

Their stories were brought to life through the creative lens of photographer David Benthal. Cover subject Claudia Fleming of North Fork Table & Inn is recognized as one of the great American pastry chefs. But Benthal wanted to show her — and his other subjects —outside their usual environments.

“I wanted to photograph them more creatively and less literally than I usually have the opportunity to,” Benthal said. “I wanted to portray them as women and people first, rather than as a fixture of their job or environment.”

So rather than just snapping Fleming in the kitchen, he met her at Magic Fountain in Mattituck — another North Fork dessert haven — to reveal another side of her.

The result was a sweet and playful cover for our first issue of 2019. The photographs that filled its pages were inspired. But they aren’t the only shots that deserve the spotlight. Please enjoy the outtakes below from Benthal’s shoots, along with accompanying stories.

Carolyn Iannone stumbled into her career at Love Lane Kitchen — and we’re all better for it. (Credit: David Benthal)

At Love Lane Kitchen, Carolyn Iannone is a familiar smiling face

Pastry chef Claudia Fleming’ delicate hand in her kitchen at North Fork Table & Inn. (Credit: David Benthal)

North Fork Table and Inn’s Claudia Fleming is still cooking with love

Lauri Spitz, co-owner of Moustache Brewing Co., spends at least three days a week in the gym gearing up for her next Strong Man competition. (Credit: David Benthal)

This is Lauri Spitz’s story and it’s one worth telling

Ami Opisso, general manager at Bridge Lane and Lieb Cellars, on the East Wind carousel. (Credit: David Benthal)

Meet Ami Opisso, the creative leader of two major Long Island wine labels

Chalk artist Kara Hoblin leaves a lasting impression through her ephemeral art. (Credit: David Benthal)

Her art is meant to be erased, but Kara Hoblin wants to build communities that last forever

North Found & Co. owner Hadley Wiggins-Marin in her studio. (Credit: David Benthal)

Hadley Wiggins-Marin is most at home among the eclectic vintage objects at North Found & Co.

Oyster farmer Karen Rivara captured at the Whiskey Wind Tavern in Greenport. (Credit: David Benthal)

Karen Rivara followed a long and winding path to becoming a pioneer

Underground Training owner Katie Peters enjoys a hot drink at the Orient Country Store. (Credit: David Benthal)

Teaching strength and community, Katie Peters is building a family at Underground Training