Loaves & Fishes is known for its breads, desserts, cheeses, salads and other prepared takeout foods — not to mention its well-heeled clientele and premium prices.
Anna Pump, a chef and a cookbook writer whose national reputation for deceptively simple gourmet fare emanated from her place of business, the Loaves & Fishes Foodstore, a humble-looking fixture of high-end living in the Hamptons on Long Island, died Monday after she was hit by a pickup truck in Bridgehampton, N.Y. She was 81.
Mrs. Pump was struck as she crossed a street. She was taken to a hospital in Southampton, where she was pronounced dead, said her daughter, Sybille van Kempen, a chef and a co-owner with her mother at Loaves & Fishes.
The driver of the pickup was identified by the police as Luis Ortega, 40. He was charged with driving without a license, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and disabling a court-ordered interlock device on his truck that is meant to prevent drunken driving.
Loaves & Fishes, in Sagaponack, is known for its breads, desserts, cheeses, salads and other prepared takeout foods — not to mention its well-heeled (and sometimes celebrity) clientele and premium prices. The lobster salad has been famously priced at $100 a pound.
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“Some people call this place Loaves and Riches,” radio personality Joan Hamburg, a frequent customer, told The New York Times in 1997.
Mrs. Pump opened her store in 1980 after buying the property from its previous owners. A German-born chef who trained with James Beard, among others, she moved with her family to the Hamptons in the 1970s from New Jersey because the area reminded her and her husband, Detlef, of the Baltic region of northern Germany, near the Danish border, where they grew up.
For a time, she cooked for the Barefoot Contessa store in Westhampton Beach, the specialty-foods business that propelled its owner, Ina Garten, to television fame on the Food Network.
“She was a great home cook,” Garten said in a phone interview Friday, describing Mrs. Pump as a tireless worker and generous advice giver, with wide-ranging kitchen instincts and expertise.
Garten added: “Her food was very earthy but served with unbelievable style; she understood the simple elegant country style. From growing up on a farm she knew the importance of quality, fresh ingredients — people here caught up to her — and she always knew the ingredient that would unlock a flavor.”
In 1985, with the writer Gen LeRoy, Mrs. Pump published “The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook,” the first of several volumes of recipes and kitchen advice that earned her a following among cooks whose aspirations lean toward sophistication and away from fussiness and pretension.
“I love simple foods as well as grand,” she wrote. “Dinners that take a half-hour from skillet to plate are as important as a five-course dinner. A meal that can materialize in an hour and be presented with care, love and pride is something every busy person longs to be able to do. You can; the recipes in this book will show you how.”
Anna Heitweg Tutjer was born on April 11, 1934, on a 70-acre farm in Tarp, Germany, where her parents grew potatoes, rutabagas and other vegetables; raised cattle, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese; and smoked their own meats and made their own sausages. During the winters, when farming slowed, the family entertained frequently.
She married Detlef Pump, who became a master stone mason, shortly after graduating from school, and they immigrated to the United States in 1960, settling in Frenchtown, N.J. They moved to the Hamptons in the late 1970s, after spending a two-week vacation there. Detlef Pump died in 2007.
Mrs. Pump, who lived in Sag Harbor, not far from Bridgehampton and Sagaponack, had joined with her daughter to create a small kingdom of cultivated, tasteful living in the Hamptons.
Along with the food store, they operated a 12-room hotel and fine-dining room, the Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant, and in 2003 opened a kitchen and dining store, the Loaves & Fishes Cookshop.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son; three sisters and four grandchildren.