Big Weekend: James Beard Foundation Chefs And Champagne 2013

There is not much that can rival a weekend sprawled out on the pristine beaches of the Hamptons. Add on a James Beard Foundation event featuring nearly 40 of the (mostly) tri-state area's most acclaimed chefs, and you've surely got a recap worthy of our "Big Weekend" rubric. Yes, it was good living for us at Food Republic these past few days.

The annual Chefs and Champagne celebration took place Saturday evening at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack. This year's festivities honored Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel's popular programs Bizarre Foods and Bizarre Foods America. Guests tasted dishes from New York City and Long Island hotspots including Dan Kluger's ABC Kitchen, Floyd Cardoz's North End Grill, Masaharu Morimoto's Tribeca Canvas, Alex Guarnaschelli's Butter and Abby Swain's Craft. Wine and bubbly flowed all night long and FR favorite Tito's Handmade Vodka was on hand serving a refreshing cocktail called "The Go-To," with elderflower liqueur, ginger beer and lime.

Our plan to trail the evening's honoree and sample only what he tried may have stalled when Zimmern spent a solid 15 minutes at the BluePrintCleanse station – true story. Our personal favorite dishes were the sweet corn with lobster and epazote mayonnaise from Alex Stupak's Empellón Cocina, and salmon tartare with kalix caviar, potato cream, onion emulsion and crispy cheese from Swedish chef Stefan Karlsson. Hats off to Zac Young of David Burke Kitchen for improbably pulling off an Arnold Palmer mousse with lemon granita. Mmmm. Take us back. At last check, the evening's silent auction had raised over $60,000 for the James Beard Foundation.

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