On Saturday, August 13th, literary greats commemorated their feats during the East Hampton Library’s 12th Annual Authors Night. Held at 4 Maidstone Lane Field in East Hampton, over 2,500 attendees sought out the chance to leave with a personalized copy of a novel penned by their favorite writer.
The premier literary event of the Hamptons brought out Authors Night Honorary Founding Chair Alec Baldwin, as well as this year’s Honorary Co-Chairs, which included Gwyneth Paltrow, Christie Brinkley, Eric Ripert, Robert A. Caro, Dick Cavett, Mary Higgins Clark, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who were also among the 100 authors that signed copies of their latest books.
One of the longest lines was for Ina Garten, who ran out of her latest cookbook, Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, well before the evening was over. “I asked my assistant what the most frequently asked question was, and she said, ‘Can I make it ahead?’ Well, I thought I know the answer to that so I’ll just write about it,” Garten told Hamptons.com about how the book came to be. When working on a new dish, precision is the key. “I have an idea for a recipe, I work on it for a while, I do it over and over again, and I don’t stop until I get it right,” she shared. And Barefoot Contessa fans will be pleased to know that they can watch new episodes of the Food Network show soon. “I just filmed, actually, so they’ll be airing in the fall,” Garten noted. When in the Hamptons, she likes to source locally. “There are wonderful local places like Pike Farms and Cavaniola’s Cheese Shop, and all kinds of flower shops like Bridgehampton Florist,” she said.
The stunning Christie Brinkley also had what seemed like an endless line of fans who waited patiently for a signed copy of Brinkley’s Timeless Beauty. “My book was written because I believe that it’s easier to change the world on a good hair day, and so these are your tips to get you out the door faster, make you look and feel great, and live a healthy lifestyle,” she told us.
“My book is a memoir which is ultimately an inspirational legacy for young people who graduated and are going to find a job, for people in my industry – since I am a chef – whoever is coming into restaurants and even for parents who are having a tough time,” 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line author Eric Ripert noted. When we asked Ripert for a piece of advice for those trying to break into the culinary work, the Chef and author noted that they should “be passionate, obviously, humble, hardworking and a team player.”
Blue Bloods actress Bridget Moynahan teamed up with Wendy Goldberg for The Blue Bloods Cookbook: 120 Recipes That Will Bring Your Family to the Table. “It’s a book based on the show Blue Bloods and the family dinners that we have, so it’s a book full of recipes from the show and all the cast members’ families,” she explained. “If you watch the show, we have a family dinner every single episode, so we’re all around the dining room table and it was just a natural extension to bring the recipes to the fans.” With the CBS show being in its seventh season, the actress had numerous options to choose from. “A lot of them are inspired by the meals that we’ve had and then just favorite family recipes,” she shared.
“We can’t judge by my body right now,” joked a pregnant Elisa DiStefano of News 12, who gave birth to her son Christian Thomas Cassara the next day, “but we wrote The Bridal Body book because I think a lot of brides crash diet before their weddings and I was able to lose 25 pounds the healthy and safe way.” DiStefano co-wrote the bridal guide with Stacy Moutafis. “It not only changed my body, but it changed my life, it changed my health, it changed my diet, and being on local television people watched the progression of it,” she explained. “People kept asking me questions about how I was doing it, so I felt that it was my gift to other brides to be able to put it in an easy, affordable format that anybody can follow.” Her journey to a healthier lifestyle took away some of the typical wedding pressures. “This took a lot of the stress off,” DiStefano shared. “A lot of my stress was oh my goodness, I gained so much weight, how am I going to feel – more feel than look my best – on my wedding day. So, to have a plan to follow took stress off my life.” And the sooner you start to make changes the better. “The best thing to do is if you want to lose weight for your wedding, start as early as possible – which of course I didn’t necessarily do – and just remember what it’s about,” she added. “It’s about the marriage, not the party and celebration.”
After the cocktail party book-signing benefit was over, guests had the opportunity to attend private dinners with the guest authors throughout East Hampton.
Overall, more than 4,000 books were sold at Authors Night, raising over $300,000 for the East Hampton Library. Proceeds from the benefit will support essential programs and services at the Library throughout the next year.
For more information about East Hampton Library, visit easthamptonlibrary.org.