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Chef Steve Gallagher

In the heart of Smithtown is a 22-acre pastoral oasis bordered by barns and cottages. The Smithtown Historical Society hosts a diversified array of events. Programs include an annual heritage fair, summer camp for children, old-time baseball, goat yoga, technology help for seniors, and most recently, a cooking series.

On Tuesday, August 16, at 6 p.m, Chef Stephen Gallagher of The Trattoria in St. James will perform some Long Island summer harvest magic as attendees will get to experience a taste, tips, and techniques, This program will be veggie-centric and the final program of the Cooking with the Stars series in 2022.

“I underestimated the power of food and how it brings people together,” said Priya Kapoor, Executive Director of SHS.  “We were pleasantly surprised by the success of Cooking with the Stars.”

During the height of the COVID pandemic, most 501-C non-profit organizations were faced with fundraising challenges.  A pivot to the great outdoors was made. “The Smithtown Performing Arts Center constructed our outdoor theater during the pandemic for rehearsals and performances. Once they could resume indoors, the outdoor theater became available for use by others,” explained Kapoor.

Kapoor and local food writer, Nancy Vallarella entertained hosting cooking classes at the Smithtown Historical Society years before the pandemic.  Vallarella explained, “We weren’t sure who, what, or when, but once the outdoor theater became available, we had a special where.  Cooking with the Stars was born and the rest fell into place.”

The series was launched in June 2022, and features local culinary businesses and accomplished cooks.

First up, Myra Naseem (Elegant Eating) and Nancy Vallarella (Long Island Locavore) demonstrated Board and Platter recipes and techniques. Chefs Marco Pellegrini and Sabrina Vallorini (Osteria Umbria) followed in July with Italian favorites. A special program in late July honored Smithtown Town Historian, Brad Harris.  Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim and his wife Diana demonstrated a favorite family tradition, Mussels in White Wine sauce, in his honor.

The Smithtown Historical Society pays tribute to Long Island’s rich history while creating new traditions for the present community.

Tickets for Chef Gallagher’s presentation of Cooking with the Stars at the Smithtown Historical Society, 239 East Main Street, Smithtown are $25 in advance here, $35 at the door (cash or check). For more information, call 631-265-6768.