For millennia, people have eaten under the sun and stars. Early on, this was a function of hardship, of nomads and people forced to migrate eating whatever could be killed or gathered. In recent centuries, starting in France, the picnic has become a favored pastime of the leisure class, particularly beginning in the early 20th century once cars opened up the countryside to those with money and a few hours to spare. Now, in the format's biggest innovation since, businesspeople in the Hamptons have tapped into the niche market of people sick of stopping at the deli on the way to the beach—or having their personal chefs whip up the same old macrobiotic salads—and are offering up prepackaged, farm-to-picnic-table lunches.
The Times has the exclusive:
New to the South Fork this summer is Hamptons Aristocrat, which produces locally sourced and organic takeout picnics. Lexi Stolz, 32, and Louisa Young, 30, its owners, work out of a commercial kitchen in Southampton and a refurbished 1969 Aristocrat camper to prepare and deliver the meals.
Now there's something the salmon-shorts set is sure to get a kick out of: a place called Aristocrat that serves food out of an RV. How fun, right? As if that wasn't woodsy enough, the fixings are served on wooden boards! Pretty neat, no? Hamptons Aristocrat and some of its peers in the burgeoning picnic-packing industry deliver, to the beach, even!
"You just turn your back and you're looking at Shelter Island in the other direction, with the sailboats racing and the fishing boats," Lucy Muellner of East Marion's Fork & Anchor told the Times. "You're relaxing, that's the whole point of a picnic."
A picnic for three from Hamptons Aristocrat runs $85 and comes with a grilled chicken BLT, a barbecue pulled-pork sandwich, a cucumber and dill sandwich, grilled corn, a kale Caesar salad, chips, and some San Pellegrino. But first you have to get a place in the Hamptons. Once you've nailed that down, there are all sorts of ways to commune with your new surroundings, such as: