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NYC Chefs Try, Fail to Beat the Heat at Chefs and Champagne

Hundreds of well to do (or well connected) food and champagne lovers sweat it out Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack on Saturday evening for the James Beard Foundation's annual event Chefs & Champagne. The guest of honor this time around was Emeril Lagasse, but a score of New York City-based chefs trekked out to Long Island to cook and party it up. Though everyone mostly sweat through their polos and sundresses, attendees recognized the marginal improvement over the apocalyptic heat in the city this weekend. Some hangover observations below, some on the scene pics above.

1. The coolest places to hang out: right by some of the massive standing fans (where one television reporter decided to do all of her interviews after awhile), and the super swank Port a Potties. They not only had tile floors and automatic towel dispensers, they were air conditioned.

2. Though Emeril was ostensibly the star of the night, Marcus Samuelsson, dapper in a straw hat, seemed to be a bigger draw with the paying customers.

3. Most refreshing bite of the night: Veritas' oyster escabèche with heirloom tomatoes and watermelon. Smartest thing to do at a hot dine around is to just open oysters and hand them to people. There were also a large number of cold soups. Apparently, during the planning stages, the Beard folks had to start telling chefs they couldn't serve gazpacho because there were so many renditions (from Sara Jenkins, George Mendes, Marcus Samuelsson, and Shea Gallante to name a few) already being served. Also popular items includes ceviche (four) and lobster (three).

4. Reason number 457 Daniel Boulud is the man: he was out in the blazing sun grilling up lamb over an open fire while everyone else tried to stay cool in the tent.

5. Our favorite fashions of the night mostly made it into the slideshow above, as did a man who had a giant glass of wine specially made for him and a woman who kept on asking to pose with it.

6. Also in the house from NYC: Wolfgang Ban, Missy Robbins, Sisha Ortuzar, Elizabeth Karmel, Zac Young (serving something called "disco blueberries"), Matteo Bergamini, Jim Leiken, Marc Forgione, Kerry Heffernan, Jehangir Mehta, Dave Pasternack, and Matthew Weingarten.
· Chefs and Champagne [Official Site]
· All Hangover Observations [~ENY~]