Dan’s Taste of Summer Concludes with GrillHampton & Taste of Two Forks

Dan's Taste of Two Forks chefs assemble
Dan's Taste of Two Forks chefs assemble, Photo: Barbara Lassen

The biggest season ever for Dan’s Taste of Summer—starting with Rosé Soirée on Memorial Day weekend and continuing with MonTaco and ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk right after the Fourth of July—came to a delectable conclusion with a weekend of food, drink, food, live music, food and more at the 2017 Dan’s GrillHampton and Dan’s Taste of Two Forks extravaganzas at Fairview Farm in Mecox.

On Friday, July 21, the fifth annual Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda and hosted by 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—pitted East End and NYC chefs against one another in a friendly but very competitive grill-off. Then, on Saturday, July 22, the seventh Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Co. and hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli—chef/owner of Butter, Judge on Food Network’s Chopped, author of Old School Comfort Food and soon-to-be released cookbook The Home Cook—brought forth the finest food and drink from the top chefs and restaurants in Hamptons and North Fork.

With glass still in hand, we raise a toast to some of the most memorable moments from the biggest weekend for foodies in the Hamptons!

Dan Rattiner with Robert Irvine
Dan Rattiner with Robert Irvine, Photo: Barbara Lassen


Smoked brisket and rack of lamb, sensational sliders and cowboy ribeye, beef bourguignon tacos and surreal pastrami and ridiculous ribs —even octopus!—were plated and passed to the masses from 18 teams of chefs at GrillHampton redefining everyone’s idea of getting fired up as guests and celebrity judges voted for the top food of the night.

Thanks to Grassi & Co., the Official Tabulators for GrillHampton, La La Land did not win the Blue Moon People’s Choice Award. That honor went to…

NYC’s Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, which won many a Hamptonite vote for their Greg Norman Wagyu Beef craft burgers, which OOZED with fabu flavors, including house buttermilk-dill, blue cheese & arugula, and Mexican street corn. Big cheers went up as Chef Joe Isidori and crew repeated as champs.

As for GrillHampton’s Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors Judges Choice award, that honor went to Chef Matty Boudreau of Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor for his Baby Back Rib’wich with sweet BBQ glazed baby back ribs, pickled red onions and cucumbers on a potato bun with charred corn and avocado salad. And the crowd went wild!

Matty Boudreau of Baron's Cove with Judges Choice win!
Matty Boudreau of Baron’s Cove with Judges Choice win! Photo: Barbara Lassen

The Hamptons also took the Bai GrillHampton Team Award. The collective winners: 1 North Steakhouse, The Beach Club at Gurney’s Montauk, Boom Burger, Calissa, Hoodoos MTK, North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse, The Restaurant at Baron’s Cove, Smokin’ Wolf BBQ and Sydney’s “Taylor” Made Cuisine. Here’s to local love!

It wasn’t just food! There were plenty of top-shelf beverages at GrillHampton and Taste of Two Forks—including Aperol, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Don Julio Tequila, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Corona and Blue Moon, Hendrick’s Gin, Ancho Reyes, Fishers Island Lemonade and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, among other lovely libations.

“This might be the perfect summer concoction” gushed one of the many guests sipping a Coronarita—the perfect combination of a margarita and a Corona—all evening.

Dan’s Taste of Summer fave Bai was back at GrillHampton and Taste of Two Forks this year with their usual panoply of beverages, including Bubbles antioxidant infusion, Cocofusions and Supertea. With great service from Kristal, Mariana and the team, their lounge was always a great place to cool down and chill—or even shoot a video in front of the wildly popular wall of roses.

Did you ooh and/or ahh at the sleek cars on display by Audi Southampton at GrillHampton? How about the gorgeous rides from Alfa Romeo at Taste of Two Forks? Guests snapped selfies with the sexy vehicles throughout Friday and Saturday nights.

In the unofficial fashion category for the weekend, Eddie Macari won best-dressed oenophile in his brown suit.

Golf fans could barely contain their awe at seeing the actual U.S. Open trophy right there in front of them, courtesy of the USGA. Can’t wait to see who’ll win next year, right here in the Hamptons at Shinnecock Hills.

Even getting to and from the big tent was part of the experience. The expert golf cart drivers at both GrillHampton and Taste of Two Forks shuttled guests from parking to eating with the deftness of NYC cabbies. “Best place I ever rode to on a golf cart, bar none,” one guest said.

The waterfront VIP Lounge was amazing with pours by Rosé Piscine, fresh shucked clams from Shuckers, and sweet treats from Fat Ass Fudge and 68 Chill Street ice cream, but so was simply slipping out to the water’s edge and enjoying that stunning Mecox Bay view and sunset.

The East End’s ultimate party band and Dan’s Best of the Best Hall of Famers New Life Crisis returned for yet another year of performing at GrillHampton. No one will forget Robert Irvine hopping onstage with the band and joining in their jump-up-and-dance cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Woman” cover as GrillHampton came to an end.

Diver Scallops a la The Maidstone
Diver Scallops a la The Maidstone, Photo: Barbara Lassen

Taste of Two Forks

It was a scallop showdown in the southeast corner of the tent at Taste of Two Forks, and everyone was a winner. Mouths watered watching The Maidstone’s Chef David Standridge sautée their huge but tender diver sea scallops to golden brown (served in the shell with black lentils and turmeric lime butter), while a few steps away, Montauk Yacht Club Chef Richie Hebson created his pan roasted scallop over heirloom tomato grilled corn salad.

Locals and visitors alike recognized Sam Johnson, one of the friendliest faces from Stop & Shop in Southampton Village! And he brought trays and trays of brownies, cupcakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls and more decadent sweets.

Speaking of sweets, there was a notable local flare with the North Fork Chocolate Company’s artisanal chocolate and desserts, Main Road Biscuit Co.’s peachy treat and those pies from the Ludlow’s of Fairview Farm.

Overheard at the Farrell Building Company VIP Tent: “Only Farrell could build an ice sculpture that isn’t melting!”

Cooked? Raw? Take your pick. Chef Scott Kampf did double duty with Union Cantina’s Chili Spiced Skirt Steak Taco and the Southampton Social Club’s Social Club Roll.

Always identifiable from the splash of orange beyond the crowds around them, the Aperol team—Gabrielle, Carla and Victoria—were as bubbly and fun as the Aperol Spritz cocktails they served. The ladies also made sure everyone walked away with orange T-shirts, bandanas or wayfarer sunglasses, courtesy of the beloved Italian aperitif.

Lynn’s Hula Hut chef Lynn Calvo proved she can make more than epic cocktails, with her brilliant Chimchuri Seafood Salad. The refreshing, tasty spoonful was magic for the mouth.

Two Words: Oysters Friskafella.

Gazpacho was definitely on trend among Taste of Two Forks participating chefs. The North Fork Table and Inn chef Stephan Bogardus brought Chilled Zucchini Soup with tomato foam and summer herbs; Lulu Kitchen and Bar chef Philippe Corbet served Corn Gazpacho with goat cheese panacotta, fava beans and duck prosciutto; Kirk Basnight’s Red Bar Brasserie chef Todd Jacobs made Local Sweet Corn Chowder with Scallions & Cilantro; The Halyard at Sound View Greenport’s Bruce Miller and Galen Zamara dished out Zucchini-Mint Soup with Crab Salad; and American Beech chef Kyle Romeo offered Tomato and Melon Gazpacho-Smoked Bluefish.

Alex Guarnaschelli signs "Old School Comfort Food,"
Alex Guarnaschelli signs “Old School Comfort Food,” Photo: Barbara Lassen

Host Alex Guarnaschelli signed her book Old School Comfort Food for fans in the American Airlines MasterCard Lounge. One head-over-heels fan, songbirdlizzytish (@armysongbird), tweeted, “@guarnaschelli I was within a 12″ of u @danspapers taste of 2 forks- but was 2 stunned 2 tell you how much I admire you. #urmyhero.”

Share your favorite moments, photos, memories and more from Dan’s Taste of Summer on our Facebook, Twitter or upload your pics to our photo pages. See you for more foodie fun in 2018!

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