“At Hayground, the 3 R’s can sometimes stand for recipe, roast and roux, since one of our most innovative features is Jeff’s Kitchen.”                                                                                                                                                      -- Marcelle Langendal, Hayground Faculty Coordinator. 

Jeff’s Kitchen was named for Jeff Salaway, one of the founders of Hayground School.  Just prior to his death in 2001, Salaway was planning the professional kitchen/classroom supported by a science lab, garden and greenhouse,  Nick & Toni’s Toni Ross, Salaway’s wife, “Jeff believed that the growing, preparation and sharing of food is a primal human experience and the foundation of family and community.”  Thanks to the first Chefs Dinner, organized in 2003 by event founder and Jeff's sister, Lizz Salaway, several of his culinary celebrity friends and many volunteers more than $300,000 was raised to make the freestanding building on the sprawling Hayground campus a reality.

Jeff’s Kitchen has grown over the years to include a full-service professional kitchen and classroom fitted with top-of-the-line Viking appliances. Classes in nutrition, food science and cooking are held there for both children and adults. Completing the facility, a professional Farmtek greenhouse was recently erected by Hayground students, staff and friends with funds provided by Slow Food.

Funds from Hayground School’s Chefs Dinners have supported these culinary programs as well as the overall curriculum at Hayground School, which allows the school to be readily available to a diverse spectrum of East End children. To date almost $1,000,000 has been raised to support Jeff’s vision.

Advisory Board

  • Josh Capon  
  • Leslie Close  
  • Tom Colicchio 
  • Brian Halweil
  • Tony Hitchcock
  • Ron Kaplan
  • Victoria Munroe
  • Joseph Realmuto
  • Susan Ringo
  • Eric Ripert
  • Sandra Ripert
  • Clifford Ross
  • Lori Silverbush

Chefs Dinner Committee
Toni Ross, Chair Emeritus, Almond Zigmund, Co-Chair , Elaine DiGiacomo, Co-Chair
Perry Burns, Cindi Crain, Erica Lynn Huberty
Scott O'Neil, Laura Ruiz, Christian Troy, Jamie Wilson, Craig Wood


On May 7-9, 2015, Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York, hosted ‘Five By Seven,’ an exciting exhibition and sale to benefit Hayground School. The show was comprised of over 200 5”x7” artworks created by artists, writers, actors, musicians, sculptors and celebrities, as well as Hayground School students and campers. Participating artists and notable personalities included Alec Baldwin, Mary Heilmann, Maira Kalman, Ross Bleckner, Toni Ross, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, and Clifford Ross among many others. A silent auction during the opening reception featured a special piece by the legendary Paul McCartney, which was created for the show.

100% of the proceeds from the exhibition directly support Hayground School’s tuition assistance program which, in keeping with the inclusionary mission of the school, provides nearly 70% of Hayground students with tuition assistance.

Video Courtesy of Ron Kaplan