In addition to drinks, the Hut offers “tacos and tapas in summer, just light bites.” She highly recommends her “Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos with fresh herbs and peppers and, of course, our secret sauce!” Calvo looks forward to meeting you at Dan’s Corona MonTaco Oceanfront Fiesta on Saturday, August 4 at Gurney’s Montauk Yacht Club and sharing her love of all things fresh and Montauk.
As she points out, the East End has “some of the most talented chefs and mixologists here and you really should experience it. We also have the best produce, wines, cocktails and, of course, world-class seafood.”
What makes a cocktail a “craft cocktail?”
It’s a perfectly balanced cocktail with a unique twist, [featuring] unexpected flavors that work beautifully together.
Which Long Island wines are you drinking these days?
I started carrying Montauk Wine Company’s Montauk Summer Rosé last season and I really enjoy it. They’ve now come out with Montauk Great White, which is a blend, and it’s very refreshing for summer.
Where are you from?
Massapequa—and Montauk every summer. Coming from an Italian and Spanish family, the entire family would gather at a table full of amazing food and homemade wine, made with passion and love, every Sunday. The best memories [I have] are from the garden with my grandmother and the kitchen with her and my mom, preparing a feast for the entire family. They put love and passion into everything they did. I would like to think a little bit of that rubbed off on me.
What’s your earliest food memory?
My mom’s grilled baby lamb chops. She would rub them with just a little bit of olive oil, black pepper, fresh basil and garlic. I’ve tried to reproduce them and it’s impossible.
How does living on the East End inform your cooking and culinary creativity?
First of all, the abundance of fresh seafood and amazing farmstands make it easy to get creative. I love to go to the farmers market and pick up some unique peppers and herbs to infuse my spirits. I’m always experimenting with new purées for my cocktails. Also, there are so many really talented chefs out here. I consider myself more of a “bar chef” than anything else.
What’s your favorite beverage to take on an East End picnic?
My shark bite margaritas. They’re made with fresh purée of cilantro, cucumber and jalapeño.
What does the term “taste of summer” bring to mind for you?
Fresh fish, vegetables and fruits. Light, clean salads like watermelon and feta. [And], of course, ice cold tequila with lime.
What do you refuse to serve?
What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
Ceviche. I grew up eating it and, living in Montauk, it doesn’t get any fresher! I like eating clean food.
What equipment do you treasure?
My infusion vessels.
What’s the most important thing to teach the next generation of chefs?
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
What’s your favorite thing about Dan’s Taste of Summer events?
I love tasting all the dishes from all the great chefs on the East End, and just basically getting together with them is always fun because all of us are so busy we never have time to really chat.
Dan’s Corona MonTaco Oceanfront Fiesta is Saturday, August 4 at Gurney’s Montauk Yacht Club. GA tickets are $125 for admission 7:30–10 p.m. Featuring celebrated chefs’ culinary twists on classic Mexican cuisine. VIP tickets are $199 and include After Party 10 p.m. to midnight. For info on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit DansTasteofSummer.com. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend.