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Meet 8 Up-and-Coming Hamptons Notables You Should Watch out For

By Rachel FelderĀ  | July 28, 2016 | People Feature

The Hamptons is a hotbed for rising young talent. Here, a look at the who’s who to know right now, from food to fashion to real estate.

BRIAN POLLAK, 24

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For Brian Pollak, surfing is more than just a pastime—it’s a tribute to his older brother, Jason, an avid surfer who was killed in a car crash two years ago. “When I surf, I think he’s watching me,” says Pollak. “I want to make him proud.” It’s hard not to be proud of his surfing ability. Pollak started surfing at age 7, was a New York State champion at age 14, and rode the expert-caliber waves at Oahu’s Banzai Pipeline while studying at the University of Hawaii. Although these days he’s got a day job—handling sales for Hapco Farms, a produce company based in Riverhead—he’s still a competitive surfer. Pollak grew up and still lives in Water Mill, and his board can usually be found at Flying Point Beach, where he learned to surf, even when it’s anything but warm and sunny outside. “After snowstorms the waves get good, so I usually surf in the snow,” he says. “You have most of the good waves in the wintertime, and no one’s around, so you can have all the waves to yourself.”

JACKIE MCKAY, 27

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Private chef Jackie McKay has already spent decades focused on cooking. “I didn’t watch cartoons [as a kid]—I watched the Food Network,” says McKay. “I was really obsessed, and always have been.” Growing up in North Sea surrounded by a family that loved to cook, she was exposed to her mother’s Sunday meals inspired by her roots in Sicily and Germany and dishes influenced by her dad’s Southern heritage. By her freshman year of high school, McKay was assisting a private chef, then gradually began taking on her own clients. Then after studying cooking in Italy, she returned home 50 pounds heavier. While prepping healthy meals for two client families, McKay ate similarly and the weight quickly came off. Now, her niche has become preparing delicious, healthy food for people with restricted diets, like vegans and individuals who are dairy- or gluten-free, or those who are simply eager to eat cleanly. “I get hugs and kisses, and can hear the foodgasms going through the whole night,” she says, “and there’s really no better feeling in the world as far as I’m concerned.” McKay Kitchens

DOUGLAS DE MELO, 24

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Although Douglas De Melo is training to be a world-class polo player, he’s only been riding since January, when a visit to Brazil led him to take classes at Barra da Tijuca, the school that will host the polo matches at this year’s Olympics. “From the first day, I was hooked,” he says. “It was one of those weird moments in your life where everything clicks. I knew I would be doing this for the rest of my life.” The trip to Brazil was initially intended as a way to connect to his roots; De Melo’s mother is Brazilian, and he was born in the town of Belo Horizonte before he moved with his family to Southampton when he was 3. “I went to polo matches, but it was more for the free bar, not really paying attention to the game,” he recalls. “I always had this notion that polo was something I could never do because it seems like something that’s so hard.” So far, that preconception has been wrong, and De Melo is excelling, training this summer at Gray Horse Farms in Water Mill, with plans to continue those studies in Argentina in the winter. Simultaneously, De Melo is the head of strategy and marketing at Doña Sarita, a mezcal company, and is working this summer in the reservations department at the Montauk Yacht Club. Growing up in the Hamptons, says De Melo, has given him a particularly solid network of support as he pursues his passion. “Every time a friend comes to visit, they’re like, ‘You’re so lucky to have such a close-knit group of friends,’” he says. “I think that’s unique to growing up out here because we did everything together.”

GRACE GILL, 21

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Although she’s spent the bulk of the last few years in Connecticut as a student at Trinity College, Grace Gill is proud of her Sagaponack roots. “I think it’s really exciting to have everyone come out and to make it a little more fun,” she says of summers in the East End. “At the end of the day, the Hamptons is my community—it’s my home. It’s such a special, peaceful, beautiful place.” This summer, she’s working in the customer experience department of the helicopter company Blade and writing about Hamptons happenings for the website Guest of a Guest. Previously, she’s spent summers working at Ralph Lauren, for which her mother, Jane Gill, modeled for many years. As she’s entering her senior year and gearing up to graduate with a degree in ancient Greek and sociology, she’s beginning to plan what’s next. “I’m fascinated by the law,” she says. “I don’t know if I want to go into practicing, but having that foundation and having a greater knowledge and understanding of it is something that I see for myself, so that’s definitely in the cards.”

GREG GROSSMAN, 21

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Greg Grossman has a decidedly clear vision of what he wants Oreya, the new Southampton restaurant he recently cofounded, to be. “We’re going to create an ambiance where people come for the food and beverage and stay for the experience,” he says. That ambiance includes poolside dining, with a live saxophonist performing during part of each evening’s dinner service; the menu is inspired by the cuisines you’d expect to find in Mykonos or St-Tropez. “We’re looking to redefine what people commonly construe as Mediterranean dining,” he says. “It’s really a mélange of clean, simple ingredients and flavors.” Focusing on food is nothing new for Grossman, who cofounded the New York City delivery service Kettlebell Kitchen a few years ago. He grew up in the Hamptons but moved to NYC as a teenager, graduating from Professional Children’s School. Now he’s thinking beyond the East End limits with Oreya: “We’re looking to turn it into a brand,” he says confidently. Oreya Restaurant, 281 County Rd. 39A, Southampton, 500-9055

JULIET GARRETT, 21

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Juliet Garrett’s mother, Margaret Garrett, is an abstract painter, and her father, Bruce Wolosoff, is a composer, so it’s no surprise that she, too, chose a creative path. “I grew up surrounded by music,” says the Psychobaby singer of her Shelter Island upbringing. “I’ve played piano since I was tiny; I started writing songs when I was 12. I’ve loved music since I was a little kid.” Her current band—which sounds a bit like a slightly less edgy PJ Harvey, with shades of everyone from the Buzzcocks to Sonic Youth—is the culmination of that lifelong love. She’s been performing professionally since she was 16, starting with local open mic nights. Although she majored in philosophy at Princeton University, music remained a focus. Says Garrett, “In college, I just found that that’s what I was spending all my time doing, so it seemed like the logical thing to do after I graduated.” These days, she splits her time between her home in Bushwick and her parents’ house in Shelter Island. “It’s a great balance between the grittiness and the beauty,” she says of the two locales. “It’s amazing how much more beautiful Shelter Island seems when you return to it.”

TUCKER WUDYKA, 23

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Although he’s only 23, Tucker Wudyka has been based in America’s three best beach communities: South Florida (where he is transferring to study finance at the University of Miami), Southern California (SBCC in Santa Barbara), and the Hamptons, where he grew up and graduated from Southampton High School. “I am a big fan of the beach, the sun, and good weather,” he says. “People think that since I have long hair that I’m a surfer, but I am not—I’m the one hanging out on the beach keeping everyone having a good time.” Nonetheless, Wudyka does much more than just sit on the sand. This summer, he’s been managing Elm and Main, after a couple of summers of club promoting. “It’s been a great bump in responsibility, but I’ve always enjoyed a good challenge,” he says. “If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re wasting your time.” Wudyka is about to enter his senior year of college and is beginning to think of what he’ll do after graduation. “I don’t mind wearing a suit, but I do not like being confined to a cubicle,” he explains. “My skill set is much stronger when I’m out and moving around and active instead of sitting behind a computer screen all day. I don’t know exactly where my future leads me, but something will stick soon enough.”

SARAH MOLISKI, 24

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“If I see someone I know from the Hamptons, it just feels like a family,” says actor/comedian Sarah Moliski, who recently relocated to Los Angeles for her career. “You have that strong foundation together.” For Moliski, some of those connections were forged at Stages, A Children’s Theater Workshop, where she studied and performed for many years. “It was the most important thing in my life growing up,” she recalls. “It instilled so much in me as a young actor, which I still use to this day.” After graduating from East Hampton High School, Moliski studied film, media, and theater at Hunter College. These days, she acts (including a starring role in the upcoming independent film Out of State: A Gothic Romance), is the host of a television show on Viceland, appears regularly on a Japanese talk show, and has performed stand-up comedy in venues like the Comedy Cellar, Broadway Comedy Club, and the Upright Citizens Brigade. “I was always the class clown and outgoing,” she says. “I actually got voted class clown in our [East Hampton High School] yearbook. It’s 100 percent accurate for me.”



Photography by: photography by Zev StaRR-tamboR; Makeup By Courtney BreitenBaCh of Duke & Darling (McKay)