How to make a salad like a Hamptons private chef

It's salad, but fancier.
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It’s getting warmer, the sun is shining. Enter, salad season! Now’s the time to find the ultimate salad recipes to have on high rotation. But not just any salads, the kind you’re dying to dig into on a hot WFH day but also wouldn’t mind serving to even the most discerning of friends at a sunset soiree. Yes, you guessed it. It’s time to elevate your salad game.

That’s where TikTok’s Hamptons Private Chef Summer trend comes in. For those who missed the memo, there’s been a cult-like obsession with following Hamptons private chefs over the recent New York summer (we’re talking one billion views and counting for #privatechef). The content involves sharing their days making meals for millionaire clients in enviable Hamptons homes, and it’s turning these otherwise ordinary chefs into major names in their own rights.

Probably the most popular of the bunch has to be @wishbonekitchen, with two million followers watching her every upload. The chef and recipe developer behind the account, Meredith Hayden, works for fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra and his husband, Seth Weissman, and TikTok is full of people trying to replicate her recipes which invariably involve simple ingredients picked fresh from the kitchen garden.

We’ve stalked Meredith’s videos to steal her Wishbone Kitchen salad tips so you don’t have to and these are the best salad-making pointers we found.

WishBoneKitchen Meredith Hayden
Wishbone Kitchen chef Meredith Hayden works in the Hamptons over summer. (@wishbonekitchen via Instagram)

What can I put in a salad to make it more interesting?

  • Vary the texture: A tasty salad is so much more than a bowl of leafy greens. It includes a variety of textures, from juicy to crunchy.
  • Think seasonal: The best salads start with in-season produce. That might be tomatoes, kale, melon or zucchini, then go for other flavours to complement these.
  • Add protein: Introduce crab, chicken or prosciutto, a cheese like mozzarella, beans or lentils to make your salad more satisfying.
  • Layer in carbohydrates: For a salad that’s still light but will keep you full for hours, add potatoes, pumpkin, noodles or other tasty carbs.
  • Include yummy, healthy fats: A handful of cashews, sprinkle of pepitas or a sliced avocado makes all the difference.
  • Dress to impress: Nail the balance of salty, sweet and sour in your dressing and it’ll be so good you could drink it.
  • Make it pretty: We eat with our eyes so go the extra mile to serve it on a gorgeous plate, spread out the new table linen and channel that Hamptons private chef life.

Take your pick from these tasty salad recipes that pass the Hamptons-private-chef vibe checklist:

Summer salad recipes

heirloom tomato grilled zucchini mozzarella salad
(Photography: Cath Muscat / Styling: John Mangila)


Heirloom tomato salad with grilled zucchini mozzarella

We love heirloom tomatoes! Considered by many as the best tomatoes for growing, this simple and wholesome salad recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy the lush heirloom tomato flavour and level up from eating them simply with a sprinkle of salt.

Sriracha Roasted Pepita & Cashews with Buckwheat Pumpkin Salad
(Photography: Cath Muscat)


Sriracha roasted pepita and cashews with buckwheat pumpkin salad

This salad makes for a tasty side or hearty main meal. Buckwheat is high in fibre and nutrients, and tossed through with other crunchy, flavoursome fillings like pepitas and cashews, it’s delicious too.

melon with crab salad
(Photography: Nicky Ryan)


Melon with crab salad

A fresh melon base topped with zesty, sweet crab, this salad looks exactly like it was made by a Hamptons private chef and is an excellent one for entertaining. It not only tastes so good, but also looks impressive even though it’s beautifully simple.

Chicken soba noodle salad
(Photography: Cath Muscat)


Chicken soba noodle salad with sesame peanut dressing

Sliced chicken, soft noodles and crunchy cucumber, all coated in a tasty peanut dressing. It’s a classic noodle salad combination that never fails.

Quinoa warm brunch salad
(Photography: Cath Muscat)


Quinoa warm brunch salad

Eggs, asparagus, mushroom and garlic go into this baby spinach and quinoa salad which is as yummy as it is good for you.

Lentil salad with celeriac and apple
(Image from Australian Food Coast + Country by Matt Moran, Murdoch Books)


Lentil salad with celeriac and apple

Australia’s very own chef Matt Moran came up with this winning salad combination. “Lentils are great to give a bit of grunt to a salad,” he says. Keep it as a vegetarian salad or add chicken or pancetta.

Watermelon with pistachio, nigella seeds and cardamom
(Photography: Cath Muscat / Styling: John Mangila)


Watermelon with pistachio, nigella seeds and cardamom

It doesn’t get more summery than a bowl of watermelon. This salad recipe elevates it with simple additions that make the fruit really sing.

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