Presenting a dinner at the James Beard House is one of the jewels most Chefs would love to have in their resume. Chef Robert Rizzuto CEC, CCE of the New York Institutes of Technology (NYIT) de Seversky Conference Center in Old Westbury New Yorkhosted two events there in 2002. The first one was an Easter Brunch and the most recent, December 28th 2002 a "Palm Springs Christmas".
To get an overview of the process involved in putting on one of these events I spent two days prior to the dinner in the kitchen at the de Seversky, taking pictures and talking to the staff. I am pretty comfortable in this kitchen; I worked there under Chef Rizzuto (Bobby or Robert, as he prefers to be called by the staff) for over a year. It was like a home coming. In the small world category I have also had most of the staff as students my self.
The Center is housed in the neo-classical Georgian Gold Coast Mansion commissioned by Alfred I. Du Pont in 1916. An active Culinary Arts program under the auspices of the NYIT Culinary Arts Program at the Islip Campus is on the site, with classrooms and practical kitchens. School functions for NYIT and a from scratch Gourmet lunch buffet during the school year keep them busy. (It's open to the public but don't tell anyone, it one of the best kept secrets on Long Island. For specific information, please call 516-686-7675) The Center is noted for its very high end weddings and catered special events on the weekends. No advertising is permitted to promote catering at the Center by the local town, but the word of mouth keeps the weekends booked. The annual Gold Coast Wine Classic, Vatel Club picnics, Chaine des Rotisseurs dinners and monthly Epicurean Club Dinners are some of the other numerous culinary events that keep Chef Rizzuto and his fine staff from getting bored.