You’ll want to meet Chef Paul Hodges from the Canal Café in Hampton Bays at Dan’s Rosé Soirée presented by Porsche on Sunday, May 27 at the Southampton Arts Center, and not just to sample his delicious food. An avid fisherman, Hodges has a lot of good advice to offer on how to prepare local seafood. He and his brother, Parker Hodges, honed some their skills at Ina Garten’s original Barefoot Contessa shop, which was located on East Hampton’s Newtown Lane. Paul is delighted to celebrate the summer season with its great seafood and produce, but stresses that the hot Hamptons dining scene “continues way into the fall—our best season is the fall—and we have a great group of people working here.”
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Nicaragua, moving to the States at the age of 15.
What’s your earliest food memory?
Watching my grandmother make tamales—my grandmother was a great cook.
What’s the most dangerous dining scenario you’ve ever experienced?
Eating rice and beans behind a mattress during a firefight between the government and rebels in Nicaragua.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
A Nicaraguan delicacy called mondongo—it’s a tripe stew.
How does living on the East End inform your cooking?
I love to fish in our waters. Our abundance of seafood lets me create great, innovative dishes.
What’s your favorite beverage to take on an East End picnic?
Who has inspired your career the most?
What’s the most unusual substitution you’ve ever been asked to make on one of your menu items?
American cheese on seared tuna.
What’s the most important thing to teach the next generation of chefs?
Keep your creativity alive, don’t be afraid to experiment.
What’s your favorite thing about Dan’s Taste of Summer events?
All the different restaurants [coming together] and meeting other chefs.
Dan’s Rosé Soirée presented by Porsche is Sunday, May 27 at the Southampton Arts Center. GA tickets are $140. VIP tickets are $190 and include access to the Rosé After Dark VIP After Party Presented by The Palm by Whispering Angel, from 8 to 10 p.m. For tickets and more information about all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTaste.com. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend.