Barefoot Contessa Tour (Hamptons, New York)

My cousin and I are huge fans of Ina Garten! She's such an amazing and talented chef. Her recipes uses simple ingredients and are easy to follow and they always turn out so well. We couldn't leave the Hamptons without visiting some of the places she frequents and that are featured in her cooking shows and her cookbooks.

Green Thumb Organic Farm (Watermill) While driving on the main Montauk Highway, we stopped by the farm where they sell local organic fruits, vegetables and local jams since 1978. We picked up some really sweet and fresh cherries and strawberry jam for my mom. (The hand above the Green Thumb sign behind me has a green thumb...it's just camouflaged by the tree).

Tate's Bake Shop (Southhampton)- Ever since Kathleen King was 11 years old, she started baking chocolate chip cookies and now has a national baking empire. Everything that she sells are baked at the Tate's Bake Shop. (http://www.tatesbakeshop.com/) These are Tate's famous thin, crispy chocolate chip cookies. The recipe can be found online, which we are still trying to master. It's a thin-crispy style cookie, as opposed to the thick-soft-chewy style. The recipe calls for a higher butter-to-flour ratio, and the dough spreads quickly on the cookie sheet, leaving a sugary, buttery crispness. This won't help your healthy diet, but it is addictingly delicious.

Cavaniola's Gourmet Cheese Shop (Sag Harbor) - Michael and Tracey Cavaniola opened this cheese shop in 2001. Located away from the main street of Sag Harbor, this corner cheese shop is quaint and small, yet holds the finest domestic and international cheeses and salami. Just by stepping into the store, I smelled the fragrances of France. Inside the cheese shop, you can get some generous samples of the artisanal cheeses and salami.
We bought a panini with soppressata salami, Fontal cheese, roasted tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. This panini was the highlight of the tour - simple, rustic, and elegant. We took a short picnic break near the waters harboring the yachts. The moment was so perfect and serene. Great food, great company, great weather, and great views.
Loaves & Fishes Cookshop (Bridgehampton) - Sybille Pump Van Kempen ran this cookware shop with her husband, where they sell high-quality cookware and tableware. Her mother, Anna Pump (cookbook author, baker, mentored by Barefoot Contessa), had run the Loaves and Fishes specialty food store where they have fresh baked bread, cheese, salami and salads. We didn't get a chance to actually visit the food shop, but next time, we'll stop by and try the fresh breads and cheese.

Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen... This shop is the classic old-fashioned "luncheonette" that prepares grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade ice cream. They also have Greek specialties such as souvlaki and Greek salads with pita bread. Tony is enjoying their creamy, homemade strawberry ice cream.

We wish we could have visit all the places that Ina Garten recommends but then we wouldn't be able to actually experience and soak in all the charm and peaceful ambience of the historic villages of the Hamptons. Our last stop was dinner at Duryea's Lobster Deck. (see next post).

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