Dan’s Taste of Summer Countdown: Chef Justin Bazdarich, Speedy Romeo

Justin Bazdarich
Photo: Courtesy Speedy Romeo

Chef Justin Bazdarich from Speedy Romeo in Brooklyn will be heating things up at GrillHampton on July 22 at Fairview Farm in Bridgehampton. Working at this notable wood-fired grill and wood oven pizza place puts Bazdarich in good stead as top chefs take sides when 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.

How does cooking with fire affect your mood?
It’s very primitive so it always evokes feelings of excitement and fits of glory!

What fuels your creativity as a chef?
Travel always fuels my creativity. I can always find something inspiring while on the road.

What’s your favorite “off-cut” of meat?
I’m always a fan of the sweet bread. I really enjoy the consistency and texture. Fun to clean and portion as well.

What’s your beverage of choice this season?
I love cold brewed yerba mate. Perfect to sip all day long for focus and mental clarity.

Which of your dishes would you most like to serve to another chef?
Seeing that so many chefs on the East Coast have not had Provel cheese, I’d love to serve them the “Saint Louie” pizza, which has San Marzano tomato sauce, hot soppressata, housemade Italian sausage, Provel cheese, and then is finished with pickled chilies. It truly is the definition of umami.

How has the gluten-free eating trend affected your menu?
People have asked us for gluten-free pizza and we have yet to come up with a recipe. It’s challenging for the pizza section of the menu, but we offer many apps and entrées that are free of gluten so everybody wins!

What are you most looking forward to at GrillHampton?
Swimming in the ocean the day after the event! Just kidding, but it will be nice. I love events because I get reacquainted with old colleagues or meet new ones.

Please complete this sentence: I most feel like a well-fed caveman when: I cook a piece of meat over a wood flame.

I could survive on a desert island if I just had: Peanut butter and jelly and a glass of milk.

Who’s going to win the competition this year—the New York or the Hamptons team?
New York! Nothing more to say!

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, 19 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton. New to the lineup this year is the oceanfront food and drink fest ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk, 290 Old Montauk Highway in Montauk on July 30. Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, rounds out the series on August 20 at McCall Vineyard and Ranch, 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue. For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTasteofSummer.com.

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