“Forty restaurants, 20 wineries, one night!” As the cheer went up from an incredible gathering of top chefs and restaurateurs from the East End at Plaza Café in Southampton for the second annual Dan’s Taste of Two Forks on July 14, anticipation for the hottest food-and-wine event in the Hamptons officially hit fever pitch.
“It’s going to be a great night—it is a who’s who of food on the East End,” says Chef David Diaz of Beaumarchais East Hampton, who’ll be joining the likes of 75 Main’s Victor Pastuizaca, Southampton Social Club’s Scott Kampf and others as part of that select company for the first time this year. “I’m looking forward to being with other chefs and restaurants in the Hamptons and seeing what they’re doing.”
Looking around the room and seeing Keith Luce of Luce & Hawkins with a glass of vino at a table, or Sam McCleland of Beacon chatting with co-owner and restaurateur David Loewenberg, the air of culinary creativity is certainly palpable. The same inspiration that will bring food-and-wine lovers to Sayre Park on July 14 is at work on the chefs here.
Fellow first-timers Brian Gruskin and Isao Yoshimura from Banzai Burger on the Napeague stretch in Amagansett are excited to show people that sushi and burgers are perfect together. Plaza Café owner and chef Douglas Gulija, talking about being part of not just the event but the culinary community in the Hamptons, is so inspired that he creates, while he’s speaking, the concept for the dish he’ll be dishing out at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks—seared sea scallops and roasted corn polenta with a few other local ingredients we’ll keep a surprise until July 14. But the can’t-wait-to-show-my-stuff mood is not reserved for the newcomers. Far from it.
Veterans of the first Dan’s Taste of Two Forks last summer have a heighted sense of excitement, recalling that inaugural night with smiles and a sense of energy for what will be an even bigger event this year. Chef Robby Beaver of The Frisky Oyster in Greenport lets a knowing smile escape while reminiscing about the Oysters Friskafeller he served to great acclaim last summer, while Arthur Wolf of Smokin’ Wolf BBQ & More in East Hampton recalls the success of his brisket sliders—“People did love them. I just put my head down and keep turning them out—they were four-deep at the table”—with a promise that they’ll be back again!
As will we, raising a glass (and a cheer) to 40 restaurants, 20 wineries, and one great night.