A Chat with Dan’s GrillHampton Host Robert Irvine

Grillmaster Robert Irvine hosts Dan's GrillHampton on Friday, July 17
Grillmaster Robert Irvine hosts Dan's GrillHampton on Friday, July 17, Photo: Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision

Nothing says summer in the Hamptons quite like an outdoor barbecue. The fun of the quintessential seasonal meal is amplified at Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 17, as 16 grillmasters—eight from New York City and eight from the Hamptons—compete against one other in the ultimate grill-off and tasting event.

Celebrity chef and Restaurant Impossible star Robert Irvine will be back to co-host Dan’s GrillHampton. Irvine will be joined by fellow Food Network star and chef Marc Murphy, who recently released his cookbook Season with Authority. The duo will be charged with keeping the competition hot while attendees and a panel of A-list judges each decide their favorite dish of the night. Votes are then also tallied to declare the top dishes of the night and the winner between Team Hamptons and Team NYC.

Irvine dishes on the mouth-watering event, what it means to eat local and the excitement of cooking on the grill.

What are you most looking forward to about coming back to host GrillHampton for a second year?
GrillHampton brings together all of the best elements of summer—good friends, leisurely fun and relaxation; as well as iconic seasonal dishes and refreshing drinks, all in the gorgeous setting of this celebrated coastal destination. What isn’t there to look forward to?

This year Marc Murphy is your co-host. What can guests expect to see from the two of you that night?
Marc and I are great friends and we also get the privilege of working together at various events and festivals throughout the year. With Marc and me at the grill, guests can expect lots of laughs and some incredible food.

What’s one thing everyone should try to cook on the grill at least once?
Everyone should try to create a “bottleless” grilling experience, which means no bottled seasonings, high-sodium marinades or sugary sauces. Instead, create a fresh citrus marinade with lemons, limes, oranges, vinegars, fresh herbs and grape seed oil.

What makes grilled food unique?
Grill heat is more intense and less manageable than indoor heating equipment, making temperature regulation more challenging. It’s important to make sure you are working with well-marinated foods and have an understanding of how each protein responds to high grilling temperatures.

What does the phrase “local” mean to you and why is eating local so important?
In the simple act of cooking and preparing food, local means flavor. But in the greater context of what I do, local means so much more: health, nutrition, sustainability, community and economic development are only a few of the ideas that come to mind. So the fact that local food tastes better is just one of those really great and rare concurrences that we can all benefit from.

What is the perfect summer drink?
Water! Not only is hydration incredibly important in the hot summer climate, but nothing tastes better than an ice cold glass of H2O when you’ve got the grill going and the sun boiling down on you.

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 17, and continues on Saturday, July 18, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, both at Sayre Park, 156 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton. Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, rounds out the trio of events on August 22 in Cutchogue. For tickets and VIP packages for all events, visit DansTaste.com.

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