Eighteen local chefs are cooking up something special to support their fellow chef in his time of need.
Ryan Augusta was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, in May 2018. He beat it.
A year after his diagnosis, he noticed a tumor in his neck. It was removed, but the cancer had returned.
To assist with the financial burden of surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, chefs will gather to show support in the best way they know how—by cooking.
"I'm lucky and fortunate to have a strong support system behind me," says Augusta, 35, of Huntington.
The Super Ryan Fundraiser on July 31 from 7-11 p.m. at East Wind Long Island, a hotel and venue space in Wading River, will include a buffet, live DJ, raffles and a Chinese auction.
Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased here.
Augusta, an executive chef at the East Wind for over 3 years and previously of the now-closed Phoenix, has developed quite a reputation for his chicken papu, frutti di mare and his character.
“He’s the type of person that makes your job easier because he’s always ahead of the game,“ says general manager Lou Ambrosio.
On Ryan's GoFundMe page is a photoshopped image of his head attached to Superman’s body under the bold-faced words: “Superman, Super Human, Super Ryan”—what Ryan’s three children call him as he battles his kryptonite, cancer.
“It’s a sad situation,” says Steve Gallagher, chef-owner of The Trattoria in St. James. “Hopefully we get a good turn out and raise some money.” Gallagher is making a grilled peach salad.
Other professional guest chefs include: Steven Scalesse of Tullulah's in Bay Shore, Matthew Birnstill of The Quogue Club’s, John Bauer of Danford’s in Port Jefferson, Jim Liszanckie of Sunny's Diner and Grill in Riverhead, Patrick Gaeta of North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse, Marc Lamaina of Lucharitos's in Greenport, Eric Lomando of Kitchen A Bistro in Smithtown, Josh Eden of August in NYC, Peter Mangouranes of Good Life in Massapequa Park, Justin Scarfo of Ruggero’s in Wading River, John Louis of Maui Chop House in Rocky Point, James McDevitt of Bohlsen Restaurant Group in Islip, Stephan Bogardus of Halyard in Greenport, Tom Schaudel of Jewel Restaurant in Melville and food purveyors Prime Foods & Braun Seafood, all brought together by Ralph Perrazzo from BBD’s Las Vegas-Beers Burgers Desserts.
“You never know where you’re going to be and what you’re going to need,” says Anthony D’Adamo, a chef at The Ritz Carlton based in Manhattan, who donated his kidney seven months ago to his brother-in-law. D’Adamo plans on bringing a strawberry shortcake with lemon cream and a berry chocolate granola crumble.
“We’re looking forward to a fun and special night for Ryan,” says his wife, Christa. “It gives my husband the strength to keep fighting.”
Unable to attend but still want to help? Donate here.
All proceeds for the event go directly to Ryan and his family.