“Jack Biderman?” a young guy once responded. “That’s the ‘Old Hamptons.'” That was 20 years ago and Jack and I had quite the laugh about it.
He is a Warsaw Ghetto survivor whose family moved to Nicaragua when he was eight. Hardly the profile. But, fast forward to today and he’s putting a new face on the “Old Hamptons.” His Colombian born wife, Isabel Barnard Biderman, is a private art dealer and high end real estate broker at Corcoran, who has filled every inch of their Southampton estate section home with carefully curated paintings. They filled their Memorial weekend party with community leaders and social presences — their collection of cultured intelligentsia.
He’s been throwing wine, women and song dinner parties seemingly since time immemorial. But, to participate in his joie de vivre, there are rules. Here then, for the uninitiated who have never been told “Don’t ask what to wear and don’t ask who’s coming,” are more Biderman bullets for a successful soiree:
“The most important thing about the party is the people. It’s not the food,” says Jack, although, trust us, his cooking is outrageous. “The group should be diverse — a mixed salad, not a tomato salad. Interesting people from different ages, professions, countries and backgrounds. If you have the same people from the same backgrounds, they will end up talking about what they do as opposed to what they feel and think.” Jack put his teenaged granddaughters behind the bar. “The guests love it and the girls have something to do,” he explained.
Among Isabel and Jack’s guests: Southampton Village lawyer Beau Robinson and lawyer Silvia Bolatti (who brought an Art History Professor from Brown), Cheri Kaufman and architect Bill Sclight, real estate developer Les Feldman and wife Katarina, local commercial landlady and big ticket realtor Esther Pastor, world-renown French architect Olivier Vidal and wife Lorraine, once voted best looking in Southampton High, Edgar and Roberta von Schlossberg, who owned the RVS Gallery on Jobs Lane.
Oh, did you think we were done with Jack’s rules? Here are more:
“Don’t serve anything that requires a lot of work on your part!” Jack doesn’t do barbecue! “You’re cooking all the time,” he says. “People want it rare, medium rare. You control the guests. They don’t control you. Make it easy to cook and easy to eat. Make something universal — fish or chicken. A spicy sauce — soy, ginger or hot — will keep it tasty if it sits around. Remember, it’s your house. Don’t worry about what you think people want. Just worry about what you like.”
How to end a party? Once upon a time, Jack stripped down and dove into the pool. These days, he serves Zacapa Rum from Guatemala. The Cuban rum is so 2015.