Dan’s Taste of Summer Countdown: Mark Rosati, Shake Shack

Photo: Courtesy Shake Shack

Shake Shack’s Culinary Director Mark Rosati will be heating things up at GrillHampton on July 22 at Fairview Farm in Bridgehampton. Top chefs will take sides as Team Hamptons competes against Team NYC in a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and tasting event. Enjoy the expertly grilled fare, beer and specialty cocktails, then be part of the action as you, and a judging panel of A-list palates, cast votes for the finest food of the night.

Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack chain began as a hot dog stand in Madison Square Park in 2001. Its now famous burgers are 100% angus beef and free of hormones and antibiotics. Today the fast casual restaurant chain has over 70 outlets—the nearest to the Hamptons, when it opens later this year, will be in Lake Grove.

How does cooking with fire affect your mood?
It amps me to a 10 every time! The minute charcoal is lit, I’m flooded with memories of cooking up charred meats and fish with my friends and family.

What fuels your creativity as a chef?
Travel and experimentation, but I often find myself creating modern takes on classic American comfort foods that I grew up eating back home in Connecticut.

Which of your dishes would you most like to serve to another chef?
Burgers, hands down. It’s our wheelhouse! I love how simple, comforting and uncomplicated they are.

How has the nose-to-tail movement influenced your work?
I’m always trying to minimize waste in our kitchens and maximize every ingredient we use. We recently added a crispy chicken sandwich to our menu that includes shredded lettuce; while the shredded lettuce adds great texture and flavor balance to the sandwich, it also helps us to utilize parts of the green leaf lettuce we use on our burgers that would otherwise be discarded.

What’s your favorite “off-cut” of meat?
Sweetbreads all the way. I love cooking, cleaning and eating them, especially when they are prepared crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.

What is your beverage or cocktail of choice this season?
I don’t know how or why I got into these, but Aperol Spritz has been a recent warm weather favorite. There’s something so refreshing about an Aperol Spritz on a hot summer day. Oh, tequila is always welcomed in the summer months, too!

How have eating trends affected your menu?
We’re always looking to improve and offer the best possible ingredients to our guests, making the Shack experience enjoyable for all. Our menu is very focused, and when it comes to tweaking or adding a new menu item, we take our time researching the best ingredient profiles to make every item on the menu exceed guests’ expectations and taste delicious.

What are you most looking forward to at GrillHampton?
Getting a taste of the Hamptons burger scene!

Please complete this sentence: I most feel like a well-fed caveman when I….
tear into a rare dry-aged ribeye. Even better if that ribeye is dry-aged by the meat magician, Pat LaFrieda.

Who’s going to win the competition this year—the New York or the Hamptons team?
I’ve gotta say, New York City is one of the top-three burger epicenters of the world, but I’m totally excited to see what the Hamptons has to offer!

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 DansTaste.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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