At the height of the busy season, Kristi L. Hood steps away from the to give back to the community in her leadership at the Fishermen's Fair.
Under Hood's leadership in 2010, approximately $11,000 was raised for the Springs Improvement Society. With organizations like and the represented at the fair, local residents volunteer and some may even trade community service hours.
This chef and entrepreneur volunteered her expertise when the former organizer, Chucky Bologna, handed over the reins. In previous years, she had only organized the children’s section.
A native Californian, Hood began cooking in Monterery, CA in 1982. She has worked as a pastry chef at four star restaurants such as Le Pavillion Restaurant in Washington D.C. and the Quilted Giraffe in Manhattan, where she was also the sous chef. When the latter closed in 1992, she worked as a consultant and food stylist for Allure Magazine and the Bronx Zoo.
She has cooked for the likes of Madonna, Dustin Hoffman, Nancy Regan, and Isabella Rosellini.
Nine years ago, Hood bought the Springs General Store, a landmark business that has been there since 1864. She has ingrained herself in the community from behind the register at the store or baking up trays of bacon in the kitchen. “I feed the Bonacs,” she boasts.
She even lives above the store with her children Molly, 16, and Hunter, 13.
While the ever-popular Springs Improvement Society event takes place the second weekend in August, planning for the events takes place year-round. She conceded there is fair amount of preparation with volunteers. Among the event’s volunteer staff are Chief Harbormaster Ed Michels, East Hampton Town Justice Catherine A. Cahill, Town Police Officer Kim Notel and Vito Sisti, the vice president of the improvement society.
Hood credits the fair’s success to them and her neighbors. “It’s definitely a community effort. I just organize the food and ice so that everyone can have a good time,” she said.
Her fellow volunteers sing her praises, too. Sisti attributed Hood’s successes to her leadership and organizational skills. “The Fair is run entirely with the help of volunteers, and Kristi was great at organizing everyone,” he said, adding “The only glitches in the fair this year were a few little things like we ran out of sauerkraut.”
Michels was impressed to see new ideas, “There was a lot of new stuff this year, and she did a great job.” Plans for the upcoming year include a Clam Chowder Cook Off from local restaurants.
“I’m a caterer. I just break things down,” said a modest Hood. Indeed, her professional catering experience is beneficial to the success of the fair. “Pretty much everything with the fair ran smoothly, and I just see it as a great day for friends to get together. The whole idea is for it to be fun.”
With a laugh she said, “For me, it’s a day off. I get to be outside instead of in the store.”