Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Hampton Classic 2011. What we loved, what they wore and what we ate.

Our Table Decor Yellow Calla Lillies and Horses

Summer Corn and Scallop Salad adapted from Sylvia Lehrer
Andrew's Cookies and Michael's Color Co-ordinated Devilled Eggs
         The Grand Prix marks the end of The Hampton Classic Horse Show, one of the pre-eminent equestrian events in the country.  It also means the end of our summer season.  Thanks to our very great friends, Jim Osburn and Michael Grim, we’ve gone to the show year after year.  It’s a wonderful afternoon of star gazing, Rose drinking, beautiful table settings and incomparable horsemanship--although the horses always seem to take a back seat to the extra-ordinary people watching.  This year was no exception.  And this year, Andrew and I were charged with providing the lunch.  It was a big success!  Michael provided Devilled Eggs which, as only he could, matched the table décor flawlessly.  We did a wonderful Summer Corn and Scallop Salad and Andrew went all out with two cookies and an incredibly delicious Peanut Butter and Jelly bar.  While the 8 guests at our table enjoyed the salad, the cookies reached a wider audience:  The VIP tents are a virtual catwalk of people who walk through greeting their friends and, in our case, snagging one of Andrew’s cookies. 
The Mayor of the Greatest City in the World, Michael Bloomberg

Joy Marks in Outfit # 1 (above) and Outfit # 2 (below)

Zsa Zsa of Los Angeles in her picture hat

As you can see from some of these pictures, you can wear just about anything to the 
Classic.  It’s truly incredible what you can wear and get away with.  A while ago 
someone wrote, ‘the only thing  you can’t ever wear in the Hamptons are socks.’  But 
everything from minis to maxis, from flip flops to Jimmy Choo’s are on display, 
sometimes not always to great effect. One perennial Classic-goer named Joy Marks is 
always a stand-out.  This year Ms. Marks made a wardrobe change midstream.  We’re not 
quite sure where she switched, but one minute she was in one outfit and not too many 
minutes later she appeared in a second one.  But the prize in both the hat and dress 
contest was unquestionably a two year old whose Mother told us her name was Zsa Zsa. 
We were not quite sure whether or not anyone would name their child Zsa Zsa at this 
point however when they also told us they were from Los Angeles, we weren't quite as 
Paige Nagle and Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras
         The highlight of all our star-gazing was not Mayor Michael Bloomberg or any one of the Pretty Young Things but none other than Ignacio Figueras, ranked as one of the top 100 Polo Players in the world.  In fact, he’s sometimes called the David Beckham of Polo.  But you may know him as “Nacho” Figueras, the Face (and body) of Ralph Lauren’s Black Label.  “Nacho” stopped by for a photo op with one of our tablemates, Paige Nagle.  As you can see, Paige was all smiles and shot the pictures off on her I-Phone.  It was all in fun  which is what the whole thing is all about.  And hometown pride won out: The winner of the Grand Prix was Ward McLain, a Southampton native who won for the third year in a row! 
Nacho's worth another look, don't you think?
         Now about the food.  Andrew’s cookie recipes will appear later this week.  For right now, I want to share our Summer Corn and Scallop Salad with you.  I turned to Sylvia Lehrer’s  "Savoring the Hamptons: Discovering the Food and Wine of Long Island's East End" (Running Press: 2011).  I just featured this wonderful cookbook last week but this recipe is well-worth savoring and even if Labor Day has come and gone, this would make a wonderful September luncheon dish over the next couple of weeks.  It uses our great sweet summer corn, pairs it with arugula, tiny grape tomatoes and some beautiful sea or divers scallops that are quickly cooked in brown butter.  We were able to assemble it all at our table which was quite a feat!  We dressed the arugula, mounded the corn in the center of the plate, surrounded it with tomatoes, topped it with our scallops and garnished it with our own chives.  It was absolutely delicious.  The scallops were tender, the corn sweet and the dressing just saucy enough to give the arugula and corn a little kick.  Here is the recipe:
Recipe for Summer Corn and Scallop Salad adapted from Sylvia Lehrer:
For the vinaigrette:
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the salad:
8 ears fresh corn, shucked
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and light green parts)
24 diver or large sea scallops, side muscle removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bunch baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1 cup pear or cherry tomatoes, halved
Chive stems, for garnish

Make the vinaigrette:
Put the shallots in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and white pepper.
Make the Salad:
Cook the corn in its husks in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. When it is cool enough to touch, husk the corn. Cut the kernels from the cobs into a mixing bowl. Add the scallions and about 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette; toss to mix. The salad up to this point can be prepared up to a couple of hours ahead.

Rinse the scallops. Pat them dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper to taste. Melt the butter with the oil in a skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat until hot and the butter is a light golden brown. Working in batches, put the scallops into the hot pan and cook, basting with the foaming butter, for about 1 ½ minutes on each side, until a golden crust is formed. Transfer to a warm platter.
To serve, toss the arugula with about 1 ½ tablespoons dressing and place on a serving platter or divide equally among six individual salad plates. Spoon the corn and scallion mixture over the arugula and artfully arrange the scallops and tomato halves around the platter or plates. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the scallops and tomatoes. Garnish the platter or plates with chives and serve at room temp.
Serves 8.  You can vary the amounts easily making this for 4 by halving the recipe or for 6 by cutting everything down by a third. 


  1. What a lovely happy event this was! So pleased you shared it with us, I love the recipes and am so anticipating the PB&J bars from Andrew. Though we are experiencing well over 100 degree temps, I guess I can start the baking at 5:00 and channel the bakery shop in me! I love the photos, the table display and though sweet Zsa-Zsa and Ms. Marks made a valiant effort, the day was won by Ms. Paige! Her smile was as bright as the Calla Lillies! Bravo all around!

  2. Monte and Andrew

    What an amazing meal the salad was perfect. The peanut butter and jelly bars were so good I ate 4(No Comment please) Having Monte and Andrew doing the food was a no brainer it was light and just right for a summer meal. And for those who don't know them they are 2 of the sweetest friends one could ask for and that they both are great chefs is Icing on the cake, Thank you for all your hard work. And for those who can't wait till next year I over heard a duck salad may be on the menu, stay tuned. We love you both.
    Jim and Michael

  3. Dear Ana, Jim and Michael, You guys really make writing this blog a treat. Ana, you will have your wish tomorrow! I remember going to a wedding some years ago this same week in Pasadena. It was 106 and just so terribly hot that the Air Conditioning at the reception couldn't handle it so we ended up all looking like drowned rats. Ah September in Southern California!
    Jim and Michael, you are so dear to us both. But you knew that!