Shopping & Style

My Hamptons: Pierre Weber – Restaurateur, Host, Son of a Baker

Running Pierre's restaurant is like being in charge of a theater.

If you see the cornflower blue deux chevaux, you know who’s driving. It is usually parked outside Pierre’s eponymous restaurant in Bridgehampton, site of Bastille Day celebrations and presidential visits and extraordinary cuisine and charm that has made the locale a true Hamptons landmark, the appeal and draw of which comes as much from the man as the menu.

Pierre is almost always there, bonjouring patrons, taking reservations, or checking on what’s cooking, all with an infectious enthusiasm that draws from the local environs he calls home. “I love the ocean and I love the quality of life here,” he says. “I love what I do.”

Behind the Hedges: What is the best part about running Pierre’s?

Pierre Weber: Sometimes I feel I am in charge of a theater. And in charge of a theater, you need to make sure each actor knows their texts, that they speak well and sound good. The lights need to be good, the heat needs to be right, I need to make sure that everyone who comes in here has a good experience. It’s all about the experience. My job is to make sure that my customers who have made the effort and have the privilege to come here enjoy the experience.

BTH: How has the restaurant changed over the years?

PW: It has been an evolution over the years. Learning to understand the market out here, which has nothing to do with the market in Manhattan, and I discovered it’s very seasonal. Painfully seasonal, but fun. It gives me a lot of free time to get away and reorganize. The off-season is shorter and shorter, too.

BTH: What is your favorite dish you make here?

PW: I love them all. If they are on the menu it is because I like them. The customers like a lot the branzino and the lobster fricassee.

BTH: Who is your favorite chef?

PW: The people from whom I learned when I was in France. They taught me—not recipes—but a way of loving what I’m doing. Satisfaction. To go home at night and say “I did a good job today, and I can do better tomorrow.” These people transmitted to me a love of what they were doing. There are miles of recipes anywhere you go: that is not the issue. It is the love of doing what you do that makes it agreeable.

BTH: Describe your perfect day on the East End.

PW: In the morning, I would walk my dog, go to my little store in Sagaponack to see what’s going on, they’re preparing food for here, so I take my little truck and I make my delivery myself and I enjoy it. I am checking to make sure everything is up to par and I am teaching them, and just make sure everything goes together. That’s my perfect day.

BTH: So your perfect day involves work.

PW: I am the son of a baker. I didn’t learn to go on vacation too often and I didn’t learn to be off on weekends. I worked with my parents and on Saturday and Sunday, I would clean up. So for me weekends don’t mean anything.

BTH: If you could have anyone at your Hamptons dinner party, dead or alive, who would you invite?

PW: Anthony Bourdain. [French chef] Jean Delaveyne, a crazy man but he did teach me passion. Serge Breda [master of French pastry]. He was my mentor.

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