Dining Features

Cooking Between the Covers: A Guide to East End Cookbooks and Food & Wine Reads

Dig in to these culinary books by Hamptons and North Fork authors.

We’re deep into farmstand and outdoor cooking season, not to mention maximum density for day-trippers, weekenders and summer people. If the onslaught of fair-weather Hamptons fans has stymied your efforts to find a dinner reservation, consider staying home and trying a recipe from one of the many cookbooks below—all written by East End residents. Or just sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy one of the local food and wine books on our list.

Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant Cookbook
By Sybille Van Kempen
The Bridgehampton Inn and Restaurant’s new cookbook is an homage to their menu and to the local bounty. In-process photos and finished dishes grace its pages, boasting how to make meals, like burrata over warm asparagus and Meyer lemon beurre blanc-doused scallops with cocktails to accompany them. True novices can pick up a copy, along with the pots and pans they’ll need from the adjacent Loaves and Fishes Cookshop. The book is also available online, as are several instructional videos for more advanced techniques like butchering chicken and steak or tempering an egg.

Savoring The Hamptons
Savoring The Hamptons

Savoring the Hamptons: Discovering the Food and Wine of Long Island’s East End
By Silvia Lehrer
A wonderful collection from the former Dan’s Papers’ Simple Art of Cooking columnist, Savoring the Hamptons includes the finely tuned and tested recipes of Cooktique founder and Water Mill resident Silvia Lehrer. With a foreword from Alan Alda, the book contains a section for each season. Lehrer includes her own recipes, as well as some from local restaurants like The American Hotel’s scallop ceviche, and a local wine pairing for each creation.

Tasting the Hamptons: Food Poetry and Art from Long Island’s East End
By Katherine Hartnett Pub
Published by Mill House Inn of East Hampton, this book is filled with the Inn’s own recipes and those of a dozen other local haunts. Recipes include brie and fresh herb pirals and saffron risotto with asparagus and mussels. Beyond recipes, the book includes poetry for every East End season, pen and ink sketches and color photographs.

“Endless Summer Cookbook” by Katie Lee at Marders in Bridgehampton.

Endless Summer Cookbook
By Katie Lee
Katie Lee knows how to throw a Hamptons party. This book’s recipes include everything you need to turn your summer soiree from beers and burgers en plein air to a true event. Lee crafted this book with an eye towards creating a complete entertaining experience, complete with decorations, atmosphere, and that distinct Hamptons flair. Recipes range from salad Niçoise, peach blueberry cobbler, figs wrapped in prosciutto, steak tacos served with avocado and fresh cilantro to a pizza thrown onto the grill, and Bobby Flay calls them all “as mouth watering as they look.” Lee also offers wine recommendations for each dish, so be prepared to make a few stops around town for ingredients and libations.

The Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook: Local Food, Local Restaurants,
Local Recipes
By Leeann Lavin, Jennifer Calais Smith, Lindsay Morris
This book is part cookbook, part Long Island tour guide, and caters specifically to those who prefer to indulge only in local produce. It offers plenty of delicious recipe options. Additionally, it profiles several chefs and their cooking processes from garden to garnish. This book will teach you how to make several of your local restaurant favorites, assemble a chef-approved garden, and perfect produce-centric recipes.

The Hamptons: Food, Family, and History
By Ricky Lauren
The wife of fashion guru Ralph Lauren is a force all her own. This book includes the personal photos of fashion’s first family packed into a Jeep Wrangler on the sand and enjoying French toast in their airy home. Lauren has included seasonally prescribed recipes, which are steeped in memoir-style writing. The book contains nearly 100 recipes that the family enjoyed, and documents in photos and writing her experience raising a family in the luxurious Hamptons.

Hampton Weekends: Easy Menus for Casual Entertaining All Year Round
By Ellen Wright
Wright wants to make your Hamptons entertaining as elegant, minimalist and enjoyable as possible. After spending weekends and summers absorbing the sea and soirees of the Hamptons for years, she has compiled a guide to centerpieces, starters, and cooking for your guests’ dietary restrictions. Her extensive career as an assistant to James Beard, interior designer and master hostess has earned her a reputation for excellence even from hard-hitting journalist Tom Brokaw, who claims “If life is a movable feast, I always want Ellen along for the ride.”

Two of Chef John Ross' popular books
Two of Chef John Ross’ popular books

The Poetry of Cooking
By John Ross
Chef John Ross is an institution of the East End Food scene. His book The Poetry of Cooking is an amalgamation of 200 recipes, 80 photos, and over a dozen poems authored by the chef himself. This farm-to-table chef has taken the seasonality of North Fork produce into consideration, and recommends which recipes to prepare, when the ingredients are in the best condition. Ross is largely credited as the father of the farm-to-table food movement on the East End. He remains a prominent figure in the food and wine industry and has published three books.

The Story of North Fork Wine: Historical Profiles and Wine Country Recipes
By John Ross
One of three books by retired but legendary North Fork chef John Ross, The Story of North Fork Wine: Historical Profiles and Wine Country Recipes is a book about the once burgeoning and now booming wine industry of the North Fork. Ross partnered with Louisa and Alex Hargraves to promote North Fork wines in his restaurants, and the chef went on to release private labels with the Hargraves family, as well as Lenz and Pindar. The book documents, from Ross’ inside perspective, the growth of North Fork wines, the role he played in supporting them and what to eat alongside them.

Ferry Tales II: When Hellenic Freezes Over
By George Giannaris
The second in a series of memoirs fragmented by recipes and comical restaurant happenings, Ferry Tales II documents the history of Hellenic Snack Bar of East Marion. The restaurant has 250 seats that never stay empty for long, a lemonade recipe that induces local fanaticism and a history so long that it couldn’t all fit into Ferry Tales I. Giannaris is the second in his family to own and operate the snack bar and his role as a jack of all trades (electrical engineer, author, chef) has given him lots to write about. This book will enlighten readers to the history of North Fork agriculture through the eyes of a chef, and maybe even reveal the sugar to lemon ratio in their refreshing beverage.

Joe Knows Fish: Taking the Intimidation Out of Cooking Seafood
By Joe Gurrera
The owner and original fishmonger for Citarella, Joe Gurrera has published his own cookbook aimed at “taking the intimidation out of cooking seafood.” Having sold, prepared, and enjoyed seafood for nearly 40 years, you would be hard pressed to find someone who is more qualified to teach seafood preparation than “Mr. Citarella” who focuses on simplicity, freshness, and his own personal favorites in his debut cookbook.

Fresh Food Fast: Delicious, Seasonal Vegetarian Meals in Under an Hour
By Peter Berley
There is no better time than summer to be a vegetarian on the East End. The agricultural bounty is so tempting that one might slip into vegetarianism without even realizing it. Moreover, summer on the East End means that there is always something far better to do than spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal. Peter Berley, of the North Fork Kitchen and Garden in South Jamesport, and a James Beard Award winner, has published several books, and among them is Fresh Food Fast: Delicious, Seasonal Vegetarian Meals in Under an Hour. This book is perfect for those who love local produce as much as they love savoring their time. Berley also offers cooking classes for those who learn better in person than from a book, or online for visual but time strapped home chefs.

Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks: A Cookbook
By Ina Garten
Ina Garten isn’t so different from your typical Hamptons loving home chef. She is self-taught like you. She buys her ingredients at local farm stands like you. Her family are her taste testers, just like you. The main difference is that she is exceptionally skilled, passionate, and has spent years honing her cooking and hosting skills in the company of professionally trained chefs. Garten, ever humble, does not call herself a professional chef. This book contains a multitude of recipes and the secret pro-tips to go with them that reader needs to cook just like the “non-professional” Barefoot Contessa, which is still pretty good.

“Life Is a Party” by David Burtka, Image: ©Grand Central Publishing

Life Is a Party: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration
By David Burkta
Hot off the presses this April, just in time for summer in the Hamptons, Cordon Bleu-trained chef and entertainer extraordinaire David Burtka does not stop at recipes. The author provides a start to finish guide to throwing a perfect party that the host can actually enjoy. The book includes 106 killer recipes, 16 creative party themes and 250 gorgeous photos. Burtka has even created several party playlists publicly available to stream on Spotify. Libation recipes include Mojito Slushies, Charred Peach and Plum Sangria, and Cucumber-Lime Spritzers, accompanied by bites like ham, egg and cheese calzones; mint pesto pasta; and Thyme and gruyère Popovers.

Martha Stewart’s Grilling
By Martha Stewart
The queen of DIY and longtime Hamptonite Martha Stewart’s book Martha Stewart’s Grilling contains more than 125 recipes for gatherings large and small. If you can’t imagine what the other 123 things to make on the grill are, go out and grab this book. Stewart will lead grillers from novice to master through making kebabs, desserts, and classics like pork chops all in the beautiful outdoors. The book also contains recipes for refreshing, barbecue-friendly cocktails and pro-tips to make grilling outdoors as relaxing as it should be.

Smoke & Fire: Recipes and Menus for Entertaining Outdoors
By Holly Peterson
Rosemary and orange-garnished highball glasses. Grilled Mexican street corn. Blackened zucchini on skewers. These dishes and drinks are the hallmark of Peterson’s backyard entertainment centered guide. Beyond a simple compilation of summer meals, Peterson has gone to the lengths of creating entire menus from appetizer through to desert, with a few cocktails in between. This allows readers to flip to any page, and have the most important part of outdoor entertaining halfway done.

Kathleen King at Tate's Bake Shop
Kathleen King at Tate’s Bake Shop, Photo: Brendan J. O’Reilly

Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Home-Style Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads
By Kathleen King
Tate’s cookies are so delicious that author Kathleen King put herself through college by selling them. Now the little bakery with a national and local following has pulled back the curtain to teach readers how to prepare sweet treats like blueberry muffins, ginger scones, sour cream pound cake, and Zvi’s cinnamon swirl bread. This book is full of insider secrets from your neighborhood bakery, but if you just buy the cookies and plate them next to the book nobody will be able to tell.

The Vineyard: A Memoir 
By Louisa Hargrave
In 1973, the North Fork’s first winemakers bought an old potato farm and planted 10,000 European grapes. It was a huge risk, but one which drastically transformed the economy of Eastern Long Island. Written by Louisa Hargrave, who along with her husband Alex founded Long Island’s first winery, The Vineyard is the story behind the hard work, science, and love that went into Hargrave Vineyards. Local history enthusiasts and winos alike will enjoy reading this memoir.

Wine Reads: A Literary Anthology of Wine Writing
By Jay McInerney
From the mind of a wine columnist and novelist whose by-line has graced the pages of Town & Country, The Wall Street Journal and House & Garden, Wine Reads by Jay McInerney presents an anthology of writings, both fictional and factual about making, selling and drinking the nectar of the gods. Readers will follow along as McInerney travels everywhere from Rhone to Paris, each leg of his wine-soaked journey characterized by a different eccentric expert or celebrity companion.

Jackson Pollock, Robyn Lea’s book
Jackson Pollock, Robyn Lea’s “Dinner with Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature,” Photo: Courtesy Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center

Dinner with Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature
By Francesca Pollock
Written by the late artist’s wife, Dinner with Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature is a collection of food and stories gleaned from handwritten pages and conversations among friends. Pollock’s art offered a glimpse into his mind. This book offers a look into his kitchen, garden and life in Springs. Thrown into the mix with the 50 recipes are photos of their time on Long Island, of Pollock’s works, and stories from friends and family members.

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