Food & Drink

By Carolyn Sackstein

The universe works in mysterious ways. It embraced the Country House, located at the corner of Route 25A and Main Street in Stony Brook, on May 4, 2019, race day for the 145th “Run for the Roses” at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky.

Owner Bob Willemstyn was preparing to open the restaurant when a friend informed him that one of the horses, running in the Kentucky Derby, was named Country House. Never a gambler, Willemstyn went down to the off-track betting to place a $100 bet to win on the horse bearing the name of the restaurant he had worked in since 1978 and owned since 2005. 

Willemstyn was told, “The horse is a long shot with odds 65-1 against it.” Many tried to get him to reduce his wager or not bet the horse at all. “I really don’t care, I didn’t want to be cheap,” Willemstyn said. “I have lost a hundred dollars on other things before. So that was the year that it was a very rainy racetrack, it was mucky. The horses were coming around and something happened that has only happened once in 149 years of the race — the first-place horse got disqualified.”

The winner and 9-2 favorite, Maximum Security, was found to have violated rules against interference when he strayed into the paths of War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Country House. After race officials viewed the video tape, Country House, who never raced again, was declared the winner. Willemstyn’s bet and faith in Country House was vindicated.

The providential windfall from his bet came just in time to allow for renovations to the restaurant building when the COVID-19 shutdown occurred. Willemstyn was able to address structural issues in one of the smaller dining areas used for private parties. It also happens to be the room in which the spirit of former colonial resident Annette Williamson manifests itself. 

The ceiling was removed along with the floor of the room above, and the beams were exposed. This process revealed the upper room and resulted in a more spacious feel to the dining room. The ceiling above was painted to suggest a blue sky. Other tweaks and repairs were done to the building and grounds, while keeping the traditional colonial look so beloved and expected by his patrons.

During the renovations a variety of artifacts and structures from the 18th and 19th centuries were found. Willemstyn is considering ways in which to display some of them. As in years past, he continues to refresh the interior decor throughout the year as seasons and holidays change. Attention to the smallest detail is paramount to Willemstyn’s hospitality.

Just as the building and grounds were refreshed, the menu was also revamped to appeal to family dining and bar patrons. Some 90% or more of all offerings are homemade, and farms from the East End bring their fresh seasonal produce to the Country House. Seasonal foods and bar offerings reflect holidays and special occasions. As an example, mint juleps were featured on the first Saturday in May, Kentucky Derby Day.

The Country House Restaurant is open Wednesdays though Sundays, from noon
to closing. Due to confusion about Country House on the web, Willemstyn requests that people
use the following websites: or

The farmers market will be run by the Three Village Historical Society staff this year. Photo from TVHS

The Three Village Farmers Market is open for business!

Now in it’s 9th season, the market will reopen on the grounds of the Three Village Historical Society (TVHS), 93 North Country Road, Setauket on Friday, May 26 from 3 to 7 p.m. featuring a variety of vendors selling farm fresh produce, artisanal bread and cheese, freshly brewed coffee and tea, local honey, nuts and spices, jams and jellies, baked treats, handcrafted goods, prepared foods, free hands-on activities for children and much more.

Tours of the Bayles-Swezey House circa 1805 featuring two current exhibits Spies! and Chicken Hill: A Community Lost To Time will also be offered free of charge.

The market will be run by the Three Village Historical Society this year, succeeding Linda Johnson, who has served as the market’s manager for the past eight years. 

“We look forward to stepping into our new role and continuing to grow this local treasure in the heart of the Three Village community,” said TVHS Director Mari Irizarry. With the continued support of the community and sponsors like Apple Bank, Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, and Miller Mohr & Kelly Design Group, Irizarry knows that the market’s 9th year will stand out as a great one. 

The Three Village Farmers Market will be held every Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. through Sept. 1 and then from Sept. 8 to Oct. 27 from 2 to 6 p.m. Interested vendors can email [email protected]. For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit

A grilled lamb burger pairs nicely with an El Capitán cocktail

By Heidi Sutton

Memorial Day is the official start of grilling season. The weather is finally warm, making it the perfect occasion for a large celebratory gathering. 

This holiday, step it up a notch by making juicy, flavorful grilled lamb burgers served with traditional bbq sides including potato salad and corn. The meal pairs well with an El Capitán, a signature spring cocktail often served at Mirabelle Restaurant in Stony Brook.

Grilled Lamb Burgers

YIELD: Serves 4


1 1/2    pounds ground lamb

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


2/3 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

1 clove raw garlic, grated

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


1 small English cucumber, thinly sliced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1/4  cup microgreens

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 brioche buns

1 medium tomato, sliced into rounds


Divide lamb into four parts, 6 ounces each, and shape into rounds slightly larger than buns. Place covered in refrigerator, 1 hour.

To make yogurt sauce: In small bowl, mix yogurt, garlic, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard; refrigerate until ready to assemble burgers.

To make salad: In medium bowl, mix cucumber, onions, parsley, mint leaves, dill, microgreens, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil; refrigerate until ready to assemble burgers.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat with direct and indirect zones. Salt patties then add to grill, cooking about 6 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 150 F. As patties near this temperature, or start to brown, move to indirect zone to regulate doneness. Transfer to plate and let rest about 5 minutes.

To build the burgers, add a dollop of yogurt spread to bottom buns. Top each with tomato slice, lamb burger, herb salad and top bun.

El Capitán

Recipe courtesy of Mirabelle Restaurant

El Capitán cocktail

YIELD: Makes 1 serving


1 ½ oz Casamigos tequila

1 oz fresh grapefruit juice

½ oz fresh lime juice

½ oz rosemary simple syrup

Salt rim

Garnish with a torched grapefruit twist & rosemary sprig


Add all ingredients to an ice filled mixing glass. shake thoroughly and strain over a large ice cube in salt rimmed rocks glass, torch grapefruit peel and garnish with rosemary sprig. 

By Heidi Sutton

As the weather turns the corner and temperatures rise, opportunities for dining outdoors and soaking up the sunshine abound. Patio meals often mean fresh flavors, making spring a perfect time for heading outside with your favorite seasonal dishes. 

Recipes for Chipotle Chicken Flatbread and Flatbread with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Arugula make for a perfect al fresco meal. Prepared along with a fresh salad or simply enjoyed by itself, they are simple to make and let home chefs skip complicated kitchen duties without skimping on flavor. 

Chipotle Chicken Flatbread

YIELD: Makes 2 servings


2 naan flatbreads

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic, diced

4 chicken tenders, cooked and cubed

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

1/2 cup ranch dressing

1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped


Preheat oven to 375 F. Place parchment paper on baking sheet and add flatbreads. Sprinkle cheese on flatbreads. Top with garlic, chicken and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 16 minutes until cheese is melted. In small bowl, mix ranch and chipotle seasoning.  Drizzle ranch dressing on flatbread and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Flatbread with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Arugula

YIELD: Makes 2 to 3 servings


1 tablespoon butter

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 large sweet onion, sliced

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 naan flatbread (rectangular shape)

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup fontina cheese, shredded

4 slices bacon


olive oil

lemon juice


To make caramelized onions: In pan over medium-high heat, heat butter and olive oil. Add onions and let sit about 5 minutes. Once onions start sweating, turn heat to low and cover pan. Cook onions to deep golden brown, stirring every 10-15 minutes. With 10 minutes left, stir in balsamic vinegar.

To make flatbread: Preheat oven to 425 F. On flatbread, layer cheese, bacon and caramelized onions. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and edges are golden brown. Toss arugula with olive oil and lemon juice before placing on flatbread.

See video for Chipotle Chicken Flatbread here.


Grapevines at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic. File photo by Alex Petroski/TBR News Media

By Bob Lipinski

Bob Lipinski

Long Island stretches across the land mass of the same name, located east of New York City, and separated from Connecticut by the Long Island Sound. 

The Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound, and the Great Peconic Bay moderate temperatures to ward off frost. It also cools the vines during the hotter summers and barricades against warm southerly currents. The climate is warmer than elsewhere in New York, allowing for the growing of many premium grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling.

Long Island has over 2,500 acres of vineyards and more than 60 wineries. Most of the vineyards are concentrated on the island’s eastern half. Long Island wine country includes the North Fork, South Fork, Nassau County, and western Suffolk County. There are three distinct American Viticultural Areas or AVAs. The larger “Long Island” AVA (established 2001) covers Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and splits into two narrow forks (north and south). Each fork has its own sub-AVA: the “North Fork of Long Island” (1986) and “The Hamptons, Long Island” (1985) in the south.

Grapes were grown on Long Island in colonial times and “Moses the Frenchman” Fournier had extensive vineyards in Eastern Long Island in the eighteenth century and it is speculated that he grew Vitis vinifera grapevines. 

In the early 1800s, William Robert Prince experimented extensively with many varieties of grapes in Flushing, Queens. Through his catalog, he even offered a Zinfandel that was known as “Black St. Peter.” Over the decades, small backyard vineyards flourished, but it wasn’t until the mid-1900s that commercial grape-growing began.

In the early 1970s, local farmer and grape-grower John Wickham, who had years earlier obtained and planted a selection of table grapes from Cornell University, met Alex and Louisa Hargrave. He is credited with introducing the Hargraves to the North Fork’s climate and soil, which was excellent for grape-growing. 

The Hargraves purchased a 66-acre potato farm near Cutchogue and in 1973, they planted 17-acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc grapevines and became Long Island’s first commercial winery. Hargrave Vineyards officially opened in 1976 for wine sales. Since then, dozens of vineyards have been planted and opened, each with a remarkable story and a multitude of wines to try.

Today, Long Island wineries offer many types of wine including red, white, rosé, sparkling, and dessert. Be certain to visit and try a sampling of each.

Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on He consults and conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at OR [email protected].

Upside-Down Honey Cheesecakes

By Heidi Sutton

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a celebration to honor the woman who made you, well, you. After the Mother’s Day brunch is arranged and the cards and flowers are picked out, it’s time to show your mom just how much she means to you by making a dessert fit for a queen. Here are three delicious ideas.

Upside-Down Honey Cheesecakes

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit

Upside-Down Honey Cheesecakes

YIELD: Makes 12 servings


1 cup sugar

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup water

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature

2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large eggs, room temperature

Assorted fresh berries (for garnish)


Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter twelve 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups. Place 1 cup sugar, honey, and butter in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and mixture is blended.

Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Whisk until mixture darkens slightly and candy thermometer registers 300°F, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat; add 1/3 cup water (mixture will bubble vigorously); whisk to blend. Divide topping among ramekins (about 2 tablespoonfuls for each). Divide ramekins between 2 roasting pans and chill while preparing filling.

Using on/off turns, blend cream cheese and brown sugar in processor, scraping bowl occasionally. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla; process until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, processing just to blend between additions. Divide filling among ramekins.

Add enough hot water to pans to come halfway up sides of ramekins.

Bake cheesecakes until set, about 35 minutes. Remove from roasting pans and chill until firm, about 1 hour. 

Run thin knife around sides of ramekins. Invert onto plates, scooping any remaining topping from ramekins over cheesecakes. Garnish with berries.

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of Redbook

YIELD: Makes 12 servings


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup sour cream


1 quart strawberries, hulled, thickly sliced

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Heat oven to 350° F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl with mixer on medium, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream until combined. Continue to beat on medium until batter is thick and smooth.

Spoon batter into a zip-top bag. Snip a 1/2-inch corner from bag and fill liners slightly less than two-thirds full. Bake 24 to 26 minutes, or until lightly golden and a pick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.

Toss strawberries several times in a bowl with sugar and lemon juice until very syrupy. In large bowl, beat cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.

Use a skewer to poke several holes into top of each cupcake. Spoon some syrup from bowl over top, allowing it to absorb into cupcakes. Top with sliced berries and a dollop of cream. Arrange a few sliced berries in cream and drizzle with remaining strawberry syrup.

Frozen Raspberry Layer Cake

Recipe courtesy of Country Living

Frozen Raspberry Layer Cake

YIELD: Makes 8 to 10 servings


2 10 3/4-ounce frozen pound cakes, crusts removed, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices

3 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

4 cups raspberry sorbet, slightly softened

1 pint fresh raspberries, rinsed and picked over

3 tablespoons Chambord, or other raspberry-flavored liqueur


Prepare the pan: Trace and cut out a 9-inch circle from parchment paper and fit it into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Cut out a 3- by 27-inch strip of parchment and fit around inside of pan. Tape to secure parchment paper and set aside.

Assemble the cake: Cover bottom of pan with a single layer of pound cake slices and spread ice cream evenly over cake. Freeze until ice cream hardens – about 25 minutes.

Spread 2 cups sorbet over ice cream, followed by another layer of pound cake slices. Return cake to freezer for 10 minutes.

Combine raspberries and Chambord together in small bowl. Remove cake pan from freezer and place berries evenly over cake. Top with a final layer of pound cake and remaining sorbet. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm  at least 4 hours.

Island Harvest Food Bank and the National Association of Letter Carriers urges residents to leave a bag of non-perishable food near their mailbox on Saturday, May 13, to help Long Islanders struggling with hunger and food insecurity. Photo courtesy of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Island Harvest Food Bank, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), and the United States Postal Service (USPS) are pleased to announce the return of the annual Stamp Out Hunger®, the nation’s most extensive one-day food collection campaign. This year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive is on Saturday. May 13 and all food collected in Nassau and Suffolk counties will benefit Island Harvest in providing much-needed supplemental food support to more than 300,000 Long Islanders who face hunger and food insecurity, including nearly one-third who are children.

“Participating in Stamp Out Hunger is easy,” says Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. “Generous Long Islanders are encouraged to leave non-perishable food items in a bag next to their mailbox before the regularly scheduled mail delivery on Saturday, May 13. Then, your USPS letter carrier will do the rest to help make sure that no one on Long Island goes hungry.”

Non-perishable food items to be donated include canned goods, cereal, pasta, rice, boxed juices and shelf-stable milk (please, no food or juices in glass containers). In addition, personal care items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, and disposable diapers are accepted. All goods donated on Long Island will help replenish Island Harvest’s network of food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding programs in communities throughout Long Island.

“Every donation, no matter how small, helps our neighbors who are in the unenviable position of choosing between paying for such things as housing, transportation, and medicine or putting food on the table,” said Ms. Shubin Dresner. “I am confident that the past generosity displayed by our Long Island neighbors will help make this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive one of the most successful.”

Due to the pandemic, the Stamp Out Hunger food collection was temporarily discontinued in 2020.

Since its inception in 1993, Stamp Out Hunger has collected more than 1.75 billion pounds of food in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help address the issue of hunger in America. On Long Island, Stamp Out Hunger brought in over 519,000 pounds of food in 2019 before the event was temporarily suspended from 2020 through 2022 due to the pandemic.

“The National Association of Letter Carriers and the men and women we represent on Long Island are pleased to once again partner with Island Harvest in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food collection,” said Tom Siesto, 1st Vice President, NALC Branch 6000. “Our carriers often see firsthand the pervasive issue of hunger as part of their daily rounds, and they are eager to help give back to the community and assist in helping Island Harvest Food Bank tackle this important issue.”

This year’s major sponsoring partners with Island Harvest on the NALC Stamp Out Hunger collection campaign include National Grid, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Amazon, Allstate, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Catholic Health, Nonna’s Garden, Long Island Federation of Labor, MCN Distributors, Dime Community Bank and New York Community Bank. All donations to Stamp Out Hunger are tax-deductible because all the food collected benefits Island Harvest, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

About Island Harvest Food Bank

Island Harvest Food Bank is a leading human services organization whose mission is to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island. We accomplish this through innovative programs and services aimed at enhanced hunger awareness, short-term case management, nutrition education, outreach and advocacy initiatives, our Healthy Harvest Farm, a Workforce Skills Development Institute, and efficient food collection and distribution. Our work directly supports children, families, seniors, and veterans who turn to us in times of crisis and supports a network of community-based nonprofit organizations. Island Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America®, a nationwide network of food banks leading the effort to solve hunger in the U.S. To learn more, visit


Photo from Whaling Museum

The Whaling Museum & Education Center, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor will host its annual craft brew tasting event, Whales, Ales and Salty Tales on June 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. with a special VIP hour from 1 to 2 p.m.

The Whaling Museum invites adults age 21+ to join them for craft beer tastings provided by Long Island breweries including Blind Bat Brewery (Centerport), Destination Unknown Beer Company (Bayshore),Ghost Brewing Company (Bayshore), Great South Bay Brewery (Bayshore), Jones Beach Brewing Company (Long Island Location TBD), Long Beach Brewing Company (Oceanside), Secatogue Brewing Company (West Islip), and Take Two Brewery (Bayshore), with more to come.

“Whales & Ales is one of our signature events. We are delighted to get very positive feedback from the community every year. The historic spin on enjoying local brews makes our program unique from other similar events, ” said Nomi Dayan, Executive Director of The Whaling Museum & Education Center.

In addition to tastings from new brewers, this indoor/outdoor event will include a brand-new activity for attendees to partake in. Each ticket includes the chance to try your hand at the signature craft of whalers, scrimshaw. With the help of museum educators, attendees can design their own scrimshaw-style keychain to take home after viewing some of the museum’s impressive scrimshaw collection throughout the museum.

“We are excited to welcome back breweries that attended last year and to announce some new breweries participating for the very first time! We are honored to have them showcase their finest brews with us. New this year we are offering our scrimshaw craft for attendees to design and take home their own scrimshaw-style keychain. We hope it will be a special memento for supporting a good cause while having a great time with friends and enjoying brews!” said Gina Van Bell, Assistant Director, The Whaling Museum & Education Center.

Attendees will be immersed in the who, what, and why of whaling in the 19th century during our Whaleboat Chats presented by museum educators twice throughout the event. These talks will take place around our 19th century whaleboat, the star of the museum’s permanent collection and the only fully equipped whaleboat in New York State with all its original gear.

Brewers will host chats in our workshop twice throughout the event during “Ale Tales”. This gives attendees an opportunity to hear about the brewing process firsthand.

Also included in the day’s activities are live acoustic music with The Other Two, Acoustic Duoperforming classics from the 60s, 70s, and 80s sponsored by Evolution Piping, Steamfitters of NY and the option to stop by our food truck for the day, All American Wontons, offering delicious handheld wontons in a variety of flavors.

Advanced registrants will receive a commemorative tasting cup sponsored by Mercedes of Huntington. Tickets purchased at the door will also receive a cup while supplies last.

General admission tickets are $40, museum members pay $30 and designated drivers can purchase tickets for $15. VIP admission tickets are $70 and include 1pm entry time and a 2023 event t-shirt. Museum members can purchase VIP tickets for $60. Advance tickets are limited, and tickets purchased at the door are $5 more per ticket. The 2023 event t-shirts are sponsored by H&M Powles Marina. Purchase tickets here.

This event supports the museum’s community education programming and helps the museum raise important funds to continue offering innovative and creative programming throughout the year.

This is a 21 and over event, photo ID will be checked at the door. There are still more opportunities for local businesses to get involved. Interested companies can contact Gina Van Bell at 631-367-3418 ext. 12 or [email protected].

# # #

About The Whaling Museum & Education Center

The Whaling Museum & Education Center is the only museum in the world open year-round which explores the whaling history of the Long Island region. The Museum engages the community in exploring the diversity of our whaling heritage and its impacts to enrich and inform our lives. The museum is located at 301 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724. Visit and follow The Whaling Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter@cshwhalingmuseum

Asparagus, Bacon and Egg Salad. Photo courtesy of

By Heidi Sutton

Whether it’s Asparagus, Bacon and Egg Salad with a Dijon vinaigrette for lunch or Asparagus Fries paired with a bright, lemony aioli for dipping as a snack, these tender, green spears makes for a great springtime treat.

Asparagus, Bacon and Egg Salad

YIELD: Serves 2


6 bacon slices

1 pound fresh Michigan asparagus, ends trimmed

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1tablespoon honey

1tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

2/3 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup sliced green onion


In skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan. Set aside. Cut asparagus into four pieces. Add asparagus to same skillet used to cook bacon. Cook until fork tender, about 4 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus. While asparagus cooks, prepare dressing. Whisk oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside. Chop bacon. Remove asparagus from pan and place on platter. Top with chopped bacon, eggs, tomatoes and green onion. Pour dressing over top.

Asparagus Fries with Citrus Aioli

Asparagus Fries with Citrus Aioli. Photo courtesy of Michigan Asparagus


YIELD: Serves 2


1 lb fresh asparagus, ends trimmed

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups toasted breadcrumbs

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For citrus aioli:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp fresh lemon juice


Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Place three plates in the work area. One one place mix flour, salt, and pepper. One second plate, add the eggs. 

On the third plate, add breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Place a piece of asparagus in the egg wash, next dip it in the flour, next dip it back in the egg wash, and finally roll to coat the asparagus in the breadcrumbs.  

Place asparagus on the baking sheet. Complete process with remaining asparagus. Place asparagus in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes. The coating will be light brown and crispy. 

While the asparagus cooks, make the sauce by combining all ingredients and stir. Remove asparagus from the oven and serve with the citrus aioli.

A scene from the 2020 Harry Chapin documentary

By Melissa Arnold

Throughout the 1970s, singer-songwriter Harry Chapin built a high-profile music career that included more than a dozen hit singles, 11 albums and a host of awards, including two Grammys. Despite his sudden death in 1981 at only 38 years old, Chapin left behind a massive legacy through both his music and a profoundly generous spirit.

Most people know Harry Chapin for his prolific contributions to the world of folk and rock music, but the “Cat’s in the Cradle” singer was also involved in a variety of charity efforts. He was especially passionate about ending hunger around the world. In 1975, he co-founded Why Hunger, a non-profit that supports grassroots organizations in 35 countries. He was also committed to making a difference in his backyard on Long Island, and in 1980, he founded Long Island Cares, which runs food pantries throughout the area.

The documentary Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something will be screened on Saturday, May 6.

On Saturday, May 6, the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) in Stony Brook will host a charity food drive and film screening of Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something.

“Like many people, my earliest memory of Harry Chapin is when my dad would have our family listen carefully to ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ on the AM radio in our family station wagon,” said Tom Needham, LIMEHOF’s vice chairman and host of the Sounds of Film radio show on 90.1 WUSB-FM. “Harry wrote songs about everyday people and their struggles, and he had a way of connecting with his audience on a personal level. His life and career serve as a testament to the ability of music and advocacy to bring about positive change in the world.”

The documentary, released in 2020, follows Chapin from a young boy in the shadows of his jazz musician father to finding his own success. When in Doubt, Do Something paints a new picture of the singer-songwriter who used his fame as a launching point to help others and influence politics. It also features testimonials from Chapin’s family, along with fellow musicians including Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Rogers, Pat Benatar and many more.

“I always believed that at some time in our history that there would be a documentary film made about Harry’s life and dedication towards ending hunger,” said Paule Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares. “Half of his annual concert [revenue] was used to raise funds to address food insecurity, and many schools reference Harry when discussing hunger, poverty, and social justice. I was honored to be a part of the film to discuss the founding of Long Island Cares and how we work to continue his legacy.”

According to Long Island Cares media relations specialist Peter Crescenti, there are 230,000 food-insecure individuals on Long Island today, including 68,000 children. The organization’s food pantries have seen significant increases in visitors over the past several years, a trend they anticipate will continue. But Crescenti said they are continuing to expand their reach and programs to meet the growing need.

“In addition to providing millions of pounds of food a year to more than 325 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters, we also run a pantry for pet supplies and a variety of programs for young people, veterans, the homeless and others seeking support,” he said. “We are dedicated to being the voice of those who have no voice, and addressing why poverty, immigration status, racial discrimination and other root causes of hunger still exist.”

Following the film screening, Tom Needham will lead a Q&A session with members of Harry Chapin’s family and staff from LI Cares.

The event will be held at 2 p.m. May 6 at the LIMEHOF Museum, 97 Main Street, Stony Brook. Tickets are $19.50 for adults, with discounts available for seniors, veterans and children at Each ticket also includes admission to the museum. Food donations are strongly encouraged.

LIMEHOF is a not-for-profit organization — ticket sales support scholarships for high schoolers and music programs in local places of need, including hospitals and senior centers. For more information and upcoming events, visit To learn more about LI Cares and how to support their mission, visit