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Water Mill driver charged in pedestrian death of cookbook author Anna H. Pump

A nationally renowned cookbook author and owner of a Hamptons gourmet kitchen was killed crossing a street by a man who police said Tuesday was driving without a court-ordered interlock device in his vehicle.

Anna H. Pump, 81, of Sag Harbor, opened the iconic Loaves & Fishes Food Store in Sagaponack a quarter century ago, but it was her 1987 cookbook -- a paperback without photos -- that hooked taste buds off Long Island and explained why Food Network host Ina Garten, known as the Barefoot Contessa, adored her from the moment Pump tested for a chef's job in 1979.

"She made me a meal I'll never forget," Garten recalled. "She made me a frittata. It was so simple and elegant and so country at the same time. It was really how Anna was."

Pump was killed Monday night on Montauk Highway near the Bridgehampton post office, Southampton Town police said.

Luis Ortega, 40, of Water Mill, struck her with his Dodge Dakota pickup and was charged with circumventing an interlock device, which often is ordered by the court for drivers convicted of drunken driving, police said. He also was charged with driving without a license and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, police said.

Ortega could not be reached.

Pump, who grew up on her father's farm in Germany, co-owned a dress shop in New Jersey before going back to what she loved and moving to the Island, Garten said.

She taught cooking in her home, then opened a gourmet takeout shop that Garten called "one of the best specialty food stores in the country."

Her culinary skills built a family legacy. Pump added the Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant in 1994 and the Loaves & Fishes Cookshop in Bridgehampton with daughter Sybille van Kempen in 2003.

Pump's daughter declined to comment Tuesday.

In "The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook," Pump featured a broad range of recipes with clear directions and ingredients that reflected her German roots.

Pump's food was "warm and comforting," Garten said, and she believed every ingredient had to earn its place.

She wrote "Country Weekend Entertaining" with elegant meals in 1999 and "Summer on a Plate" in 2008 with simple recipes.

Garten said she'll remember Pump's generosity most of all: "I was having a business crisis once. . . . I got in bed in her house and she took care of me for three days until the business crisis was resolved."

Detectives said anyone with information could call them at 631-702-2230.

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