By Jessica Soffer | August 4, 2018 | People
See how the Hamptons' hottest farm-to-table dinner chef, Meg Huylo, preps for an event: in the fields, on the docks, in the kitchen.
6AM: I curate intimate dining experiences in clients’ homes (meganhuylo.com), so on the day of an event I walk on Long Beach, a soy cortado from SagTown (sagtown.com) in hand. I keep maple syrup in my purse.
8AM: Good Water Farms (goodwaterfarms.com) for microgreens. We eat as much with our eyes as our mouths. Brendan [Davison] has the most beautiful (and flavorful!) goods. The ‘feisty pea’ and its ribbon tendrils add great height to my dishes. Amaranth gives a bold magenta pop.
10AM: Cavaniola’s (cavaniolas.com) for a truffly Pecorino Romano, an ashy soft goat, Kalamata and Cerignola olives, prosciutto, finocchiona (salami) and liverwurst. I do bread from Carissa’s (carissasthebakery.com), Peconic Preserves’ (peconicriverpreserves.com) black-pepper fig jam and East End Apiaries’ (eastendapiaries.com) honey. I add Marcona almonds and dried figs and apricots.
Bright farm stand tomatoes at Balsam Farms
NOON: Balsam (balsamfarms.com) or Bhumi Farms (bhumifarms.com) and Amber Waves (amberwavesfarm.org), where I’ve spent the last summers working their fields and cheffing dinners. I’m particular about how the vegetables I use are grown, and they do it best. In summer I always put raw, leafy greens on the menu, usually my 10-herb salad: a mix of baby greens with shaved cucumber or zucchini ribbons, lemon-miso dressing and a toasted seed crumble or herbed breadcrumbs.
1PM: Missi Flowers (@missiflowers) for edible flowers. She does the best arrangements. Her field is a place I go to center myself and come back into nature.
2:30PM: I head to the docks for fish—striped bass or sea bass, hake, weakfish, monkfish, even bluefish if I know my client is willing to eat outside the box. They’re sustainable and seasonal, and I like to introduce my clients to foods off the beaten path.
A table set for a private dinner at Bhumi Farms
3PM: Elyse [Kluber] of Saltwater Scripts (etsy.com/shop/saltwaterscripts) meets me in town to deliver her beautiful hand-painted menus.
4PM: I spend the rest of the day in my client’s kitchen, cooking. A vital part of my job is bringing awareness to how food makes us feel. I like to serve food that leaves us comforted and satisfied, but not stuffed, which is especially important in the summer months.
7PM: The communal table is set, candles are lit, food is ready. It’s a time to connect with friends, the environment and summer’s incredible bounty.
Photography by: MEG HUYLO PORTRAIT BY CARL TIMPONE/BFA.COM; TOMATOES PHOTO BY ELLEN WATSON PHOTO; TABLE PHOTO BY INGA HOWE-GENIESSE