by Michall Jeffers
Leslie Lampert is a dynamo. It’s impossible to spend any time with this lovely, soft spoken woman, and not be impressed by all she accomplishes. Tavern on the Green Featuring Ladle of Love is her newest achievement. Beginning in October, four mobile upscale restaurants are set up daily at the site of the legendary former eatery.
They operate seven days a week, all year round. Lampert , a longtime Chappaqua resident now living in White Plains, worked hard to be selected, and took very seriously the proposal she had to write and present. She managed to put the whole thing together in eight weeks, and get a liquor license. She’s excited about expanding her restaurant empire, even though “dealing with the City means mountains of paperwork.” When Ladle of Love closes for the day in Mount Kisco, cooks who’ve been specially selected by Lampert start to work on the food for Manhattan. The products are picked up at 7 a.m. and trucked into New York.
Lampert has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to caring about the environment.
She buys and uses the freshest food possible in her establishments, and is dedicated to patronizing local farmers. She calls her new venture “farm to truck” cooking, and explains that she’s actually bought an Electric Hybrid Mobile Food Truck.
“I have to plug it in at night,” she explains. “It’s great, even though it only goes 25 miles an hour; it leaves half the carbon footprint. I’m passionate about the environment.”
Her cognac colored eyes sparkle at the idea that “the cups, dishes, cutlery, everything we’re using is completely compostable. It can all go back into the soil.” Lampert also believe in giving back to the community. She donates a portion of her profits each month to local charities and efforts to improve the quality of living.
With her spectacularly successful French-American restaurant Café Of Love; the go-to spot for luscious soups, Ladle of Love; and her innovative new delivery service Love on the Run, how does Lampert manage to maintain the high quality food and service her customers expect?
She’s quick to credit the first class team she’s assembled over the years. “I do expect the very best, and I have that in the people around me.” Michael Cutney is the Executive Chef at Café Of Love, and Mena Popolis is the manager; KC Playford is the manager at Ladle in Mount Kisco; Alexander Kirk manages the New York location. They’re all just phenomenal.”
Michall Jeffers is a well-respected cultural journalist, and an unrepentant Foodie. She and her husband, John Warner, are longtime Chappaqua residents.