Hamptons Epicure: ‘The Hamptons Kitchen’ Needs Recipe Testers

Dan's Papers Senior Editor and cookbook author Stacy Dermont, Photo: Barbara Lassen
Dan's Papers Senior Editor and cookbook author Stacy Dermont, Photo: Barbara Lassen

I could really use your help.

Since you’re reading this right now I bet you’re into food.

I grew up on a farm in Appalachia. I’m not particularly proud of that fact all of the time, but it does lend a certain perspective on food and what’s considered “fresh.”

Have I lost my mind? Yes. Am I writing a cookbook about seasonal Hamptons foods and Long Island wines? Yes indeedy.

I. Need. Recipe. Testers.

So shoot me an email at [email protected] if you’re into trying out a recipe or two and offering honest feedback. No experience needed, just taste buds and a willing heart.

The Hamptons Kitchen by Hillary Davis and moi is due out from The Countryman Press in April of 2020.

Berry Pie, recipe found in "The Hamptons Kitchen," Photo: Barbara Lynn Photography
Berry Pie, recipe found in “The Hamptons Kitchen,” Photo: Barbara Lassen

So nowadays when I’m not reviewing restaurants and wines, or interviewing chefs for Dan’s Papers, I’m in my Sag Harbor kitchen baking, braising and steaming local, seasonal foodstuffs.

This doesn’t sound like any kind of paradigm shift to those who know me, but my home cooking has been jacked up a notch.

Since I’m no longer cooking for just me and my husband, I drop off dishes to six of our neighbors, take platters to church on Sunday, and bring food into the Dan’s Papers offices a couple of days a week.

I’m often asked what inspired the cookbook, and typically, as soon as I begin to explain it, people start nodding along and offering cooking anecdotes of their own—which is kinda the best part of this project so far.

There have been very few complaints about the influx of local, seasonal dishes, apart from my co-workers asking if I could maybe do a recipe for raw celery now and then.

People have been very generous toward and supportive of the project. They get it. We’re all living in a foodie paradise, but without a manual. I hope that our cookbook opens doors to new treats and expands your perspective on all that the East End has to offer.

The concept is a simple one: looking at what’s in season locally and translating that into simple small plates, salads, large plates and desserts that you will enjoy preparing for family and friends on weekends…paired with East End wines and other grown-up beverages.

Hillary and I don’t advocate entertaining on weeknights. That’s just not realistic for people who work full-time jobs or play golf. Weeknights are what make-ahead main dishes, electric grills and charming restaurants are for. Ah, but those Hamptons weekends full of farmers markets and roadside farm stands and U-pick and fishing and gardening are what our cookbook is all about.

So right now we’re making Quick-Pickled Pumpkin Salad with Candied Pumpkin Seeds, So Many Tomatoes Sauce over Spaghetti Squash, Farmhouse Apple Pie and much more.

Seafood Stew, recipe found in "The Hamptons Kitchen," Photo: Barbara Lynn Photography
Seafood Stew, recipe found in “The Hamptons Kitchen,” Photo: Barbara Lassen

Hillary, though a New Jersey girl, is very French, having lived in the South of France for 13 years. I spent my first 13 years barefoot on a farm in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. But we share the language of food. And we’re both cookbook geeks. We’re constantly editing our collections to keep them around a “sane” 300 tomes.

Whereas Hills takes a more international approach at times, incorporating citrus elements and imported touches, I rely on an arsenal of vinegars and olde tyme recipes from before the world was a global village. No one has to eat seasonally nowadays—but it is still the best way to live.

Please let us know how we’re doing by testing out some recipes—email me and tell me what you’re into – a main dish for gluten-free people, a sinfully simple dessert, a homemade chicken seasoning mix worth the effort? You got it.

We encourage testers to send photos, and to please not share the unpublished recipes.

Here’s that email again: [email protected].

You can follow Stacy’s informed and opinionated foodie adventures on Twitter @hamptonsepicure.

Read more Hamptons Epicure. 

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