In the 1960s, renowned New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne and legendary French chef Pierre Franey introduced Americans to adventurous cuisine. Both East Hampton residents promoted the use of local ingredients and wrote influential cookbooks and food columns. The two are also known for organizing "the two grandest picnics of all time" on the beach of Gardiner's Island with notable French chefs including Jacques Pepin and Roger Fessaguet.
Now, the East Hampton Historical Society celebrates the East End gastronomic adventures of these culinary giants in an upcoming exhibit. Rare family images show the duo cooking and entertaining in East Hampton, with guests such as Lauren Bacall, Warner LeRoy, Burgess Meredith and Danny Kaye. Also on display will be illustrations, menus, cookbooks and artifacts from the Gardiner's Island picnics. The exhibition runs from May 31-July 13 at Clinton Academy, and the opening reception is Friday, May 30, from 5-7PM.
· East Hampton Historical Society [Official site]
["The grandest picnic of all time," on Gardiner's Island. Left to right: Chefs Pierre Franey, Jacques Pépin, Roger Fessaguet, Jean Vergnes, and René Verdon (1965). Courtesy East Hampton Historical Society]