A New Cookbook Takes Us on a Family Adventure unlike any other.
If you’re like me, you read Cookbooks the way other people read novels. That’s why I was particularly taken with Sybille Van Kempen’s superb new book “2266 Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant”, A Look + Cook Book, which was published under the imprimeur Loaves and Fishes Press.* Sybille is the scion of one of the First Families of Food on the East End of Long Island. And this book and its treasury of recipes is the story of how that came to be. Sybille dedicates the book to her parents, Detlef and Anna Pump, two extraordinary figures who came to the United States from Germany in 1960. They vacationed in the Hamptons in the 1970s. They were so taken with the place that they left New Jersey, where they’d first landed in this country, and were soon an integral part of our community.
Anna Pump launched the Culinary Career of none other than Ina Garten.
Anna Pump, Sybille’s late mother, was a dynamo whom none other than the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten, credits with having launched Garten’s culinary career. “When I met her, I didn’t know anything about cooking. She was incredibly warm and generous to me. Rather than being competitors, we were friends and supporters.” In 1980, Anna Pump opened the Loaves and Fishes Food Store on Sagg Main Street in the village next to Bridgehampton, Sagaponack. The place was an immediate sensation and its $100 an lb. Lobster Salad routinely makes an editorial appearance in the New York Times as summer approaches.
The “First Family of Food” is an appropriate moniker for this Hamptons family.
Loaves and Fishes is also the name given to the Cookshop Anna and Sybille and her husband, Gerrit, opened in 2003. The Cookshop now occupies its own space right next to the Bridgehampton Inn which the Pumps have operated since 1994. The Inn has been enlarged to incorporate a 50 seat Restaurant whose recipes form the backbone of the new cookbook. Fortunately, Sybille has a lot of help with all the various family enterprises. In addition to Gerrit, her son Stefan manages the Food store while her son Kyle, “Master of Mixology”, serves as the Inn’s Bar Manager. His Drinks recipes take up 35 pages of the book. Daughter Karina, a Cordon Bleu graduate, calls New Jersey home but we can’t help thinking she too may feel the lure of home and family in the Hamptons.
The Recipes even have a technological edge that makes them easier than ever to follow.
The recipes in “Bridgehampton Inn and Restaurant” follow the menu of the Inn itself. The Inn serves what it calls “Small Plates”, “Large Plates” and “Sweet Plates”. There are also Breakfast recipes enjoyed by Inn Guests daily. Chef Brian Szostak is responsible for many of them. The Chef cooks with an Asian-influenced style. His recipes are not fussy and he encourages readers to make each dish their own. Take his instructions for a Summer Salad – “No need to overthink, it’s only a salad”. One of the most unique features of the book are nods to new technology. Many of the recipes are accompanied by QR codes. Scan these and you’re taken to videos demonstrating the technique used in the recipe. Sybille explains: “Chef starts one of the recipes with, ‘Poach a lobster.’ Well, how do you poach a lobster? So there we have a QR code. You scan it and Chef takes you into the kitchen, really quick, and shows you the technique. In that way, the book actually comes to life. It comes to you. That’s never been done before.” The other thing that’s probably never been done before is that if you fall in love with the dinnerware, glassware, flatware used in the book, you can contact the Loaves and Fishes Cookshop via FaceTime to purchase whatever struck your fancy. Really!
And here is the recipe…followed by a collection of Anna Pump favorites on Chewing The Fat.
The recipe I chose did not come with a QR code. I chose it because Conor Harrigan’s photographs, taken over a two-year period of recipe testing and developing, jumped out at me. A glorious stack of onion rings topped a perfectly browned short rib. In one shot, the sauce was being drizzled over the plate. And what a plate! Roasted Carrots and Potatoes lay under the short rib, in a shot that made you know how crispy they would taste. When I made the recipe, the ribs were indeed meltingly tender. The rich wine sauce was perfumed with a fresh vegetable essence. And the root vegetables provided just the crunch to counterpoint the tenderness of the ribs. Unfortunately, there was no QR code for the onion rings. Here is the recipe.
*To buy the book, go to www.loavesandfishes.us
Braised Short Ribs with Roasted Root Vegetables
A silken wine and beef sauce tops falling-apart tender ribs atop a bed of roasted root vegetables of your choice.
- For the Short Ribs:
- 4 lb. Crosscut, Bone-In Short Ribs of Beef
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Spanish Onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 Celery Stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 Small Can of Tomato Paste
- 1 750 Ml. Bottle of Red Wine
- 3 Cups Beef Stock
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Fresh Thyme and Rosemary Sprigs
- For the Roasted Root Vegetables:
- 2 lbs assorted Root Vegetables
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fresh Thyme Sprigs
- Step 1 For the Short Ribs:
- Step 2 Preheat oven to 350F
- Step 3 Heavily season the ribs with Salt and Pepper
- Step 4 In a large Dutch Oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Step 5 Sear the short ribs on all sides.
- Step 6 Remove and strain fat.
- Step 7 Add back 2 tbsp. of drippings and all the vegetables
- Step 8 Cook vegetables until lightly browned.
- Step 9 Add Tomato Paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Step 10 Deglaze the pan with red wine and add the stock.
- Step 11 Remove from heat. Add short ribs and herbs.
- Step 12 Cover and cook in oven until tender, about 2 hours.
- Step 13 Remove Ribs, strain and remove fat.
- Step 14 Reduce sauce to desired thickness and serve.
- Step 15 For the Roasted Root Vegetables:
- Step 16 Pre-heat oven to 400F.
- Step 17 Toss Vegetables with oil, salt and pepper.
- Step 18 Place on sheet pan and roast until tender, 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Step 19 Add thyme sprigs for the last 10 minutes. Serve.
More Anna Pump Favorites…