Professional Staff

Kate Fullam

Executive Director

Prior to joining East End Food Institute, Kate built her career at Group for the East End, Southampton Hospital (now Stony Brook Southampton Hospital), and most recently at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. To complement over a decade of experience, Ms. Fullam earned a Master of Nonprofit Administration in 2011. She is a founding member of the Good Ground Community Garden in Hampton Bays, where she resides. Her wide range of experience with local and regional issues related to environment, economy, science, and human health are now united toward the goal of creating a more sustainable and equitable local food system.

Bob Hatton

Associate Director

Bob grew up in Western Suffolk County in Lake Grove, NY where he attended Centereach High School. Bob holds a B.A. Drama degree (with a minor in Religious Studies) from Ithaca College. After short stints living in Nantucket, New York City, South America, and the Catskills, Bob lived in Portland, Oregon for 10 years. While in Portland he earned a Masters degree through the Leadership in Ecology, Culture, and Learning program at Portland State University. Upon graduating, he worked with Portland Fruit Tree Project for 7 years where he finished in the role of Program Manager. Bob joined East End Food Institute in July 2018 as the Operations Manager and was promoted in July 2020 to Associate Director. Bob is now a resident of Hampton Bays where he lives with his wife, two sons, and 4 chickens. He is very grateful to be in a position where he can use his skills and direct his energy towards helping to improve the local food system here on Long Island.

Heather C. Meehan

Outreach & Education Manager

As Outreach & Education Manager at East End Food Institute Heather Meehan oversees the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farming Training (CRAFT) and Farm Apprentice Matching Program. She coordinates "Eat Real to Heal" culinary medicine classes for Stony Brook Southampton Hospital's Residency Program in Social Medicine and patient groups from the Coalition for Women's Cancers and Center for Parkinson's Disease, and oversees EEFI's community education & outreach initiatives. Prior to starting with the East End Food Institute in September 2018, she served as the Partnerships & Development Manager for Allergic to Salad, a NYC-based organization that provides seasonal cooking classes to students in over 150 schools throughout New York City from 2016-2018. During her time at Allergic to Salad, she pioneered their “Cookback to Kids” program which brings students from underfunded public schools into neighborhood restaurants and urban farms to learn from Chefs and Growers. Heather has been involved with the East End Farm to School Project since she started at EEFI and was part of the team who attended the inaugural Farm to Institute NYS (FINYS) summit in August 2019. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing, summa cum laude, from Bard College at Simon's Rock. Heather is part of the Class 18 cohort of LEAD NY, a two year training program for emerging leaders in the Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource sectors facilitated by Cornell University's Community and Regional Development Institute.

Jay Lippin

Chef in Residence

Chef Jay Lippin’s background includes tenures as Executive Chef at The Odeon and Cafe Luxembourg in New York City, Executive Chef at Crabtree’s Kittle House Restaurant in Chappaqua, NY, and most recently as Executive Chef at Baron's Cove in Sag Harbor, NY. He was also a winner of the TV show "Chopped" and WFAN’s “Tailgating Essentials & Barbecue Contest.” Jay is a member of the Slow Food East End board of directors and a tireless advocate for local food and producers. He is especially interested in cooking endangered heirloom produce to ensure future biodiversity for the planet and for diverse flavors in the kitchen. Working in partnership with Glynwood, and Hudson Valley Seed Library, and local farms, he participated in the Kitchen Cultivars grow out projects, a program combining seed saving, education, and tastings of heirloom varieties. Now serving as a guest chef at East End Food Institute, Jay is using his talents to benefit local farms and foodies by creating delicious products from surplus local farm produce.

Esther Ramos

Food Production Associate

Esther Ramos started her professional cooking career at Topping Rose house and has worked at Wolffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor, among other local restaurants. A Food Production Associate at East End Food Institute since May 2018, Esther plays a key role in helping us fulfill wholesale orders for local farms and restaurants. Originally from Mexico, Esther now lives in Southampton with her son.

Alayah Hewie

Food Production Associate

Alayah Hewie is a lifelong resident of East Hampton, NY. Her grandmother, Rena Hewie-Stout migrated from her native country of Jamaica in the 1980s and opened the first Jamaican restaurant on North Main Street in East Hampton. Alayah's business, Rena's Dream Patties, revives her grandmother’s spirit. It is a re-born Jamaican patty experience that incorporates the local food movement while preserving traditional Jamaican flavors. Alayah’s goal is to bring Rena's Dream Patties to the masses, and she is working on growing her business.

Viola Bennet

Food Production Associate

Viola is a Food Production Associate here at East End Food Institute and has been with us since August of 2020. She had only recently returned to her hometown of Southampton from her previous residence in Boston after the closure of the restaurant she had been working at prior to the pandemic. During her time in Boston Viola worked at several restaurants where she cultivated a passion for the Hospitality and Food Industries. Upon returning home and with the surplus of downtime due to quarantine Viola also developed a passion for gardening. So when the opportunity to work closely with both local food businesses and farms presented itself it was a nice marriage of several of her passions so she knew it would be a good fit. Viola hopes to develop her culinary skills here at EEFI as well as get more connected with our local agriculture community.