Five consecutive 15-hour days standing in a cramped space, presiding over borderline pandemonium at temperatures approaching Dante's inferno. Two lazy weekend days at a cool, airy beach house, relaxing by the pool and picnicking on the beach.
It may be schizophrenic, but that's life in the summer for four New York City restaurant pros: Matthew Kenney, whose restaurant, Matthew's, has won acclaim; Bobby Flay, the powerhouse chef and co-owner of two hot Manhattan spots, Mesa Grill and Bolo; Wayne Brachman, who masterminds the desserts at Mesa Grill and Bolo; and Laurence Kretchmer, Flay's partner and the overseer of the wine lists at both restaurants.
Their retreat, near a peaceful beach on Long Island, is the antithesis of their high-pressure restaurants--a big, open house set in a tranquil wooded setting with a pool and a big deck so that they can grill outside. "We want to get away," says Kenney, "but eating and cooking are still a big part of our weekends."