Paul Denamiel of Le Rivage Grills for Team NYC at Dan’s GrillHampton

Chef Paul Denamiel of Le Rivage
Chef Paul Denamiel of Le Rivage

The grills will be firing on Friday, July 17, when Team Hamptons and Team NYC face off in the ultimate charcoal competition. Chef Paul Denamiel of Le Rivage, a traditional French restaurant in New York, asserts that he and his city brethren will smoke the Hamptons come gameday. Here, he dishes on the East End culinary culture—and the importance of trying grilled lobster:

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Dan’s Taste of Summer this year?
Fresh air, getting out of the city, lots of great food and great competition

Why will Team NYC win GrillHampton?
Because city folk are better than country folk. Just kidding!!! We’ll win because we’re tough and used to lots of competition.

How are you preparing for the competition?
To prepare for the competition, I’m testing a lot of new recipes, and of course eating a lot of food.

What is one thing everyone should try to cook on the grill at least once?
Definitely lobster. I don’t think people think you can grill lobster, but if you prepare it the right way, it tastes amazing on the grill.

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors 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 more information on all three events, including tickets and VIP packages, visit

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever cooked on the grill?
Rabbit. If you want to try something different, just replace chicken in any recipe with rabbit.

Why is the grill the ultimate summer accessory?
It allows you to be outside and cook in open air. Brings you back to nature.

What is the best pairing of food and Long Island beer? Long Island wine?
Bacon cheeseburger with a Blue Point toasted lager. It’s a great food beer. Light body, but full of flavor. For something lighter, some local seafood, oysters with a great earthy white wine, which is plentiful on Long Island.

The perfect drink for a summer night:
Moscow mule with Tito’s Vodka!

Food that defines summer on the East End:
Of course any local seafood. Grilled shrimp is my favorite East End meal or snack

If you had two forks in your hands right now, what would you like to stick them in?
Dumplings and noodles. Probably anything Asian, which is usually what I’m craving.

Favorite East End-inspired meal?
Lots of fish and shellfish. Anything local that came out of the water or that any of my chef friends went fishing for.

What is your favorite local ingredient?
Local cheeses, great veggies [like] corn and of course the clams, oysters—all the fresh fish

When you “local,” what comes to mind?
Fresh [and] seasonal

Where do you find inspiration, inside and outside the kitchen?
Eating out, friends’ restaurants, chatting about food and collaborating with other chefs. I also find inspiration being outside at farmers markets, old cookbooks, even in gardens and museums. Any kind of art can spark a great idea.

If you were to pack a meal for the beach, what are three things you’d bring?
Baguette, cheese (camembert) wine

A great meal always begins with…
Great friends. The best part of a meal is always who you share it with.

Le Rivage
340 West 46th Street, New York.

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