With our first print issue under our collective belts, it was time to throw a party and toast the launch of Edible Long Island. The real cause for jubilation, notwithstanding, was to extol the burgeoning interest and enthusiasm for local food and drink here in Nassau and western Suffolk counties. Speaking for our publishers, writers and photographers, our job is to tell the stories of what Long Islanders eat and drink, of who creates the magic in our restaurant kitchens, grows our food, produces our wine, crafts our beer, bakes our bread, digs our shellfish and so on. Your job, as readers, is to continue to do what you have been doing and support our local food economy. Hence, the need to come together, as a community, for a celebration…and celebrate we did! In the capable hands of our very-seasoned Edible event organizers, we threw a launch party on Wednesday, November 6, at the spectacular Jewel in Melville. Over 400 exuberant new readers (and now, friends) came to savor both our launch and our Edible community.
In addition to a multitude of enthusiastic guests, we had an outstanding show of force in the food and drink department (we are, of course, all about food and drink!), with some of Long Island’s best restaurants, markets, breweries and wineries serving their tasty wares. Nobody left hungry or unquenched. Our host for the evening was Long Island restaurateur extraordinaire and Edible friend, Tom Schaudel. Tom and his staff at Jewel couldn’t have been more helpful, gracious or accommodating (Tom, a personal thank you from me for securing my parents two chairs, while in the midst of oyster shucking). In the eats category we sampled from West East All Natural Bistro, Roots Bistro Gourmand, Besito, Lombardi’s Market, Monsoon, The Big Cheese, Whole Foods Market, Jack Halyard’s, Mirabelle, Jackson’s, Morrison’s, J. Kings, Blue Island Oysters and Frosae. Craft beers were poured by Southampton Publick House, Montauk Brewing, Greenport Harbor Brewing, Crooked Ladder Brewing and Blue Point Brewery. Always a huge supporter of all things we do, the Long Island Wine Council was represented by Comtesse Thérèse Vineyard, Osprey’s Dominion, Palmer Vineyards, Lieb Cellars, Roanoke Vineyards, Suhuru Wines, Sherwood House Vineyards, Waters Crest Winery, Sparkling Pointe, Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard and Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Not a beer or wine drinker? No problem, as we had vodka from Long Island Spirits, gin from Tuthilltown Spirits and gourmet lemonades from Sweet’tauk Lemonade. In our house, it is not a party if there is not live music, and Klyph Black and John Sparrow, collectively Black and Sparrow, made it a party (thank you for letting my husband, Brad, join in on “Good Shepherd”).
While we were clearly in a festive and celebratory mode, we never stray from our mission of connecting our readers to the chefs, farmers, fisherman, brewers, vintners and food artisans that feed us. To that end, Linda LaViolette, director of farmers markets for the Empire State Development Corporation joined us on Wednesday evening. Representing Governor Andrew Cuomo in support of the governor’s Taste NY initiative, Ms. LaViolette asked our participating chefs to sign the Pride of New York Pledge. By signing this pledge, these chefs have agreed to support New York State’s agribusinesses and spread the message to choose locally grown and made food and beverage products.
What an amazing evening it was; scrumptious eats, enticing drinks, new friends and business associates and a furthering of our commitment to the local food movement. This is one gratified editor who is proud to be a part of the Edible family.