Robert Irvine, celebrity chef, entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder of the Robert Irvine Foundation and chef/owner of Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana Las Vegas, is back to host Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda at Fairview Farm in Bridgehampton on Friday, July 21. GrillHampton is celebrating its fifth year pitting top East End chefs against NYC chefs in a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and tasting event that is bigger and better than ever for 2017.
What are you most looking forward to about returning to the smoke and sweat of the annual GrillHampton competition?
I thoroughly enjoy GrillHampton. It really embodies what summer is all about. Amazing seasonal dishes in a beautiful setting, surrounded by friends and enjoying life—it really is the ultimate summer cookout.
GrillHampton pits Team NYC against Team Hamptons. Who might win this year and why?
Team NYC could stand a chance of bringing the title back. They’ve been defeated the past few years, but they could surprise everyone and pull out something big to turn the whole competition upside down. Never underestimate the underdog.
What advice would you give to the chefs from each team?
Make it fresh and interesting—and remember, if you think it sounds good, try it.
What suggestions would you give the home cook about grilling and summer entertaining?
Keep your meals simple yet nutritious and delicious. Opt for lean cuts of meat rather than marbled red ones. Serve grilled vegetables and grain salads (rather than mayonnaise-laden tuna salads) and stick with light vinaigrettes for dressings. By cutting back on sodium with your guests’ food, everyone will feel lighter and able to enjoy the party as it what was meant to be.
What’s your favorite meal to make on the grill?
One of my favorite recipes is for grilled avocados—all natural ingredients and an explosion of different flavors—and all you need is a grill and a blender. It’s a real hit at parties.
You began your cooking career as a chef in the Royal Navy. What did that experience teach you and how did it impact you as a chef?
It gave me an introduction into the great culinary world, really learning how to pair certain ingredients together to produce a particular flavor and helped me to discover the art of food preparation.
Your book “Fit Fuel” includes recipes and fitness tips. What’s a common mistake that people make in their diets?
Many people have a notion that certain foods are off limits. I try to teach them that you don’t have to sacrifice taste to live a healthy lifestyle. I present more nutritious versions of those favorite comfort foods and remind people to keep everything in moderation.
What most inspired your emphasis on a fit lifestyle?
Fitness is one of my biggest [things]—no matter how much I travel or how packed the day is, I make sure to find time to work out, because I know that it will help me take on any challenges thrown at me—both physically and mentally.
What do you like most about hosting your self-titled talk show?
I feel like we’re bringing real results to real people. It’s a conflict resolution program where I’m focused on bringing families together. Unfortunately, there is already so much negativity in this world, so I feel like the show is a small way to bridge that gap and help reconnect loved ones.
What else would you like to tell us about enjoying food and drink during the summer?
Cookouts are my favorite, and it’s so simple to create a healthy one that everyone can enjoy.
A portion of proceeds from Dan’s GrillHampton 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.
Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda is Friday, July 21, at Fairview Farm at Mecox in Bridgehampton. VIP tickets are $195 and include early access beginning at 7 p.m., admission into the waterfront VIP lounge and more. General admission tickets are $140 and include access from 8 p.m to 10:30 p.m.
Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Co. is Saturday, July 22, at Fairview Farm at Mecox in Bridgehampton. VIP tickets are $325 and include exclusive early access at 6:30 p.m., admission to the waterfront VIP lounge with special treats, book signing opportunity with host Alex Guarneschelli and more. General Admission is $185 and includes access from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
Get tickets to all Dan’s Taste of Summer Events at DansTasteofSummer.com.