Stony Brook Southampton faculty, students, staff and visitors craving fresh, farm-to-table fare needn’t look any farther than the South Forks Kitchen café, which opened in June in the Student Center.
The café, which is open for lunch, is a project of the Amagansett Food Institute (AFI), a non-profit organization and business incubator that supports farmers and small-batch food producers on the East End of Long Island. Last spring AFI began leasing the full-service commercial kitchen at the Southampton campus from Stony Brook University to provide local food businesses, entrepreneurs and farms with a well-equipped, spacious area in which to make and store their products.
Part of the negotiations between the business incubator and Stony Brook centered on AFI’s opening and operating a café on the Southampton campus.
“We are so pleased to be able to provide great local food for faculty, students and staff on campus,” said Kathleen Masters, executive director of AFI.
At South Forks Kitchen, the emphasis is on locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Instead of the prepackaged sandwiches and fast food that is often found at most colleges and universities, the café highlights freshly prepared foods and produce that come from local farms.
“At this time of year we’re getting tomatoes, so there will be plenty of tomatoes on the menu, but in December there won’t be any, so the menu will change seasonally according to what’s available,” Masters said. “We hope to provide the campus and visitors with great food as well as a connection to the farmers and producers who are making the East End such a vibrant food community.”
— Susan Tito; photos courtesy of Amagansett Food Institute