Dan’s Taste of Summer Countdown: Chef Drew Hiatt, Topping Rose House

Will Topping Rose House (TRH) chef Drew Hiatt “feel the burn” at GrillHampton on July 22 at Fairview Farm in Bridgehampton, where top chefs take sides as Team Hamptons competes against Team NYC in a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and tasting event? Hiatt says that cooking with fire “excites me and gets my adrenaline pumping.” Patrons of GrillHampton can enjoy the expertly grilled fare, beer and specialty cocktails, then be part of the action as they, and a judging panel of A-List palates, cast votes for the finest food of the night. (The next day, Saturday, July 23, TRH Pastry Chef Cristina La Barbara-Tovar will be offering samples of her delicious work at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, which will also take place at Fairview Farm.)

The Topping Rose House is a full-service, year-round luxury hotel located at Bridgehampton’s main intersection, which offers 22 elegantly appointed guestrooms in its house, studio and cottages. Guests enjoy spa services, a fitness center, heated outdoor pool, private event spaces, house vehicles from Lexus, and a complimentary shuttle to the beautiful beaches and local attractions in Bridgehampton.

What fuels your creativity as a chef?
First off I would say it has to do with my thirsty passion for knowledge and love of making people feel absolute satisfaction eating my food.

How has the nose-to-tail movement influenced your work?
The way I was brought up was not to waste anything. I prefer to cut all my own proteins—it’s a damn shame to see things go in the garbage when they can be used somewhere—either to create new dishes or to fertilize the garden.

What’s your favorite “off-cut” of meat?
Pork necks are good, pig tails, chicken feet, oh, and deer hearts are nice as well.

What is your beverage of choice this season?
Jameson, one ice cube.

Which of your dishes would you most like to serve to another chef?
I would have to go with one of my most recent dishes, which is Squid Ink Fusilli with tomato braised local calamari, Long Island littlenecks and bone marrow. Or maybe—I had a recent dish on the menu, a Duck Trio of duck confit/torchon/housemade duck prosciutto, which [chef] Eric Ripert enjoyed very much. Anything with red meat and fried oysters is my favorite and I would be happy to serve it to another chef.

How has the gluten-free eating trend affected your menu?
I have adapted through the years to develop most recipes to be gluten free. It’s always in the back of my mind when cooking but, of course, some things you can’t change.

What are you most looking forward to at GrillHampton?
Networking, socializing and hopefully getting to know some other local chefs and seeing what kind of things they are doing with different techniques and flavor profiles. And, of course, just showing the people what we do and the love we have for this industry.

Please complete this sentence: I most feel like a well-fed caveman when…
I have a giant piece of bloody meat in my mouth.

I could survive on a desert island if I just had:
Steak (I love steak), clams (very tasty and their shells could be made into weapons), water (preferably sparkling) and Jameson.

Who’s going to win the competition this year—the New York or Hamptons team?
Hamptons, of course, because this is our turf and we are not intimidated by the city chefs—but, really, we are all there to have fun and showcase our talents. This industry is about passion and work ethic and not money and quality of life, cause the hours suck, but, at the end of the day, the only gratification you really receive is knowing that you made someone happy with your food.

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 22, and continues on Saturday, July 23, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, both on the waterfront at Fairview Farm at Mecox in Bridgehampton. The oceanfront food and drink fest ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk premieres on Saturday, July 30. Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, is Saturday, August 20 at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTasteofSummer.com! A portion of this year’s ticket proceeds from GrillHampton and Taste of Two Forks will benefit All For The East End (AFTEE), a 501(c)(3) that showcases and provides support to the more than 1,000 charity organizations in the five East End towns.

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