On Thursday, we presented Claudia Fleming, wife of 2015 northforker Person of the Year Gerry Hayden, with his award at a ceremony at Martha Clara Vineyards. This is the video we screened during the ceremony and the original announcement from January. READ
Claudia Fleming and Gerry Hayden inside the North Fork Table & Inn. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)
It was considered a gamble when chefs Gerry Hayden and his wife, Claudia Fleming, left successful careers in the New York City dining scene to open a high-end farm-to-table restaurant in Southold.
Would Long Island’s tourist-driven and seasonal top fork be able to support the vision they had for the North Fork Table & Inn, a white tablecloth eatery with a focus on top-notch ingredients and a mission of supporting local producers?
But 10 years later, Hayden has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award three times, the restaurant is still perennially ranked No. 1 on Long Island by Zagat and it still offers a seasonal and locally sourced menu with items like crudo of Atlantic black sea bass with sweet potato, cilantro, Fresno peppers, mizuna and citrus vinaigrette. (more…)
Claudia Fleming and Gerry Hayden inside their Southold restaurant in 2010. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)
Even toward the end, after amyotrophic lateral sclerosis confined chef Gerry Hayden to a motorized wheelchair and robbed him of his ability to eat independently, his dedication in the kitchen never wavered.
Celebrity chef and part-time Mattituck resident Tom Colicchio recalled how he recently watched his friend taste something cooked by one of the chefs at Hayden’s restaurant, North Fork Table & Inn, despite the choking risk it posed to someone in the late stages of the disease.
“In the beginning of the summer, I was at the [restaurant’s] farmers market, Gerry was there, and one of the cooks came out of the kitchen with something he prepared,” Colicchio said. “Even in the advanced state of ALS, he was still working as a chef. I just thought that was amazing.” (more…)
Riverhead officials had been kicking around the idea of an indoor farmers market for some time, but it was a conversation between Mattituck poultry farmer Holly Browder and former neighbor Christine Kempner that finally ignited the event. (more…)