Entertaining pros Louisa Young and Lexi Ritsch of Hamptons Aristocrat, an event design and catering company on Long Island, New York, have the right ingredients for a memorable out-east feast: easy dishes full of big, seasonal flavors and a gang of women suppliers who all (literally) bring something special to the table.
cocktail hour women laughing party
Photography by Anna Wolf
| Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Party throwing comes naturally to Louisa Young and Lexi Ritsch, the duo behind Hamptons Aristocrat, a farm-to-fete business on Long Island, New York. Louisa, a chef who had her own catering business, knows her way around a kitchen, and Lexi, an event designer and former restaurant general manager, is no stranger to service. 

But the vision for their company didn't fully crystallize until they bought a 1969 Aristocrat Lo-Liner (picture a cute retro trailer) off Craigslist, which became the namesake of their brand. After converting the caravan to serve apps and drinks, they embarked on a stream of food truck gigs, weekend grocery deliveries, off-site weddings, and dinner party drop-offs, which quickly grew into demand for a full-service event planning and catering operation. (All services are still available for customers; go to hamptonsaristocrat.com for more info.)

Needing a headquarters, the pair just opened Salt Drift Farm, a commercial kitchen, farmhouse-style eatery, and gathering space in Bridgehampton, New York. It's the kind of place where you can stop by for a quick daytime bite or throw a big brunch for your #squad, which is exactly what Louisa and Lexi like to do on a rare afternoon off. On the guest list today are the local growers and suppliers they work with—all women, all friends.

louisa and lexi portrait barn women
Louisa (left) and Lexi (right) named their brand off a 1969 Aristocrat Lo-Liner.
| Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Everyone brings their bounty: wine from Ros Baiz and her daughter Perry Bliss of the Old Field Vineyards in Southold, baked goods from pastry chef Carissa Waechter's shop in East Hampton, and so on. After cocktails and shrimp corn dogs outside, the ladies file in for the main meal.

The menu, like most Hamptons Aristocrat fare, is seasonal and fuss-free—whole fish marinated the night before, fresh greens, and steamed clams—and so is the atmosphere, from the family-style platters of food to the loose bouquets of ranunculus that line the table. Louisa, Lexi, and the rest of the women toast the summer ahead that's sure to be busy but fun—and definitely full of good eats.

"If you cook with what's in season from the farmers' market, you don't need difficult dishes with a million ingredients," says Louisa.

chalkboard portrait woman
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Chalk artist and illustrator Kara Hoblin creates a custom drawing for Salt Drift Farm, which officially launched in April in Bridgehampton, New York. 

"A vintage chalkboard is great for posting your menu," says Lexi. "Or use it as a backdrop for photos."

portrait louisa and lexi
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Louisa and Lexi cut and arrange blooms from Sag Harbor Florist for the dining table.

women group at table dishing food
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Plating feels too formal for good friends, so Louisa and Lexi set out dishes for guests to pass. Dark flatware and plain black and white serving pieces lend some modern edge to the rustic setting.

fish cakes on black plate
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Chevron paper adds a nice touch of pattern to a platter of chilled salmon cakes.

bread delivery portrait
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

It doesn't get fresher than hand-delivered loaves from Carissa Waechter of Carissa's The Bakery in East Hampton, New York.

group women cheers table drinks party
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Guests at the party include Katie Baldwin (second from left) of Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett and Louisa's college pal Patrice Kiely (far right), an ordained minister who has officiated weddings for Hamptons Aristocrat.

Hampton's Aristocrat Brunch Menu

Steamed Clams with Salsa Verde

steamed clams with salsa verde
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

"Pair the clams with bread so guests can soak up the broth," says Louisa. "And toss the pan drippings from the fish with quinoa or couscous and serve as a side."

Recipe: Try Hamptons Aristocrat's Steamed Clams with Salsa Verde

Roasted Whole Fish with Lemon & Herbs

roasted whole fish with lemon herbs
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Recipe: Try Hamptons Aristocrat's Roasted Whole Fish with Lemon & Herbs

Roasted-Beet Salad with Parmesan Mousse

roasted beet salad with parmesan mousse
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Recipe: Try Hamptons Aristocrat's Roasted-Beet Salad with Parmesan Mousse

Mixed Lettuces with Red Wine & Shallot Vinaigrette

mixed lettuces with red wine shallot vinaigrette
Credit: Photography by Anna Wolf

Recipe: Try Hamptons Aristocrat's Mixed Lettuces with Red Wine & Shallot Vinaigrette