East Hampton was well represented over the weekend serving up some delicious food at a tasting event in Vermont.
Laurie Trujillo-Mamay and Scott Elley got to show-off their cooking talents in A Taste of Vermont at the Stratton Mountain Ski Resort on Saturday, which also serves a competition for amateur chefs. Over 500 guests were in attendance at the ski lodge, raising nearly $25,000 for families from the area who are in need.
Trujillo-Mamay's bay scallops — from East Hampton waters — with balsamic vinaigrette were so popular that she ran out 45 minutes into the evening. Elley's table stayed busy as he served up "Elmo's Fire House Rice Pudding" — a nod to the East Hampton Fire Department, in which he is a volunteer. He even brought his firefighter's helmet for the display.
Good friends who have a house in Vermont, Trujillo-Mamay and Elley also share a passion for cooking.
She owns Hamptons Foodie, which is a mobile food kitchen mainly found at Sagg Main Beach in Sagapoanck during the summer, as well as a line of aprons, shirts, and hats. Elley, who works as an East Hampton Village 911 dispatcher, often cooks for friends and fellow firefighters. He's taken home first place before in the Vermont competition with his lobster mac and Vermont cheese.
"Scottie is the one who got his involved," Trujillo-Mamay said, adding that it was her second year.
Elley has participated in the annual event for the past seven years — back when there were just 15 locals taking part, he said. In fact, Tammy Mosher, the executive director of The Stratton Foundation, which organizes the event, said, "It just wouldn't be the amateur chef event it is without him."
The event has grown each year. "That was the most I've ever seen there. I haven't seen the lodge that packed in a long time," he said.
While he and Trujillo-Mamay didn't place this year, he said they do it more for the enjoyment of cooking for others. "If we win, we win. If not, we just had some fun," he said.
Still, everyone who sampled their food seemed to enjoy it. "The response was so positive. I didn't expect it," Trujillo-Mamay said.
Even though they have friends in the area, there were a good number of guests who had some connection to the South Fork. Stratton, which is only two-and-a-half hours from the Orient-New London ferry, is a popular winter getaway for East End residents.
"One woman came up to me and said, 'I live on Egypt Close and I think I recognize you'," Elley said.
"Somebody said to me, 'What are you doing all the way all up here?' I said, well, we do ski!," Trujillo-Mamay laughed. "It's funny when you tell people you actually live here [in the Hamptons] because so many people have second homes," she said.
They also had a local fan base that happened to be in Vermont for the event. Members of the Bridgehampton and Southampton Fire Departments were in Stratton for a ski trip.
Trujillo-Mamay's husband, Richard Mamay, an East Hampton Village Police sergeant. couldn't make the trip at the last minute, so her 10-year-old daughter, Molly, filled in as sous-chef for the evening. Molly grew up in her mother's mobile kitchen. "She loves to cook now," her mother said.
Elley said he likes taking part in the event as a way to give back to the community that he has been apart of for 19 years, helping to raise money for the Stratton Foundation. "I know everybody up there. I know my way around there just like I do here," he said.
A Taste of Vermont also included tastings from area restaurants, bakeries, and farmers, as well s cookbook author signings. The annual event serves as a benefit for The Stratton Foundation, which identifies families within the community who are in need as a result of life changing events. A non-profit organization, the foundation serves 16 towns in the greater Stratton Mountain area.