Meet North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse Pitmaster Patrick Gaeta

North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse pitmaster and owner Patrick Gaeta
North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse pitmaster and owner Patrick Gaeta

An X-ray technician by day, Patrick Gaeta, pitmaster and owner of the North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse in Wading River, is a very busy person. Bacon waits for no man, after all.

But this East End native is taking one night off to work even harder—to compete on Team Hamptons in Dan’s GrillHampton presented by New York Prime Beef on July 20 at Fairview Farm in Bridgehampton. It’s a lot of sweaty fun for all involved—the primal confluence of meat and fire, the sea air, the celebrities, the icy cold beverages.

Though the North Fork Bacon & Smokehouse opened its doors in 2014, Gaeta is not new to the Long Island Competition barbeque circuit. For over a decade he’s successfully competed in the Long Island Barbecue Championship Festival and the Long Island Kosher BBQ Championship.

Come check out Gaeta’s work against “the big boys” from NYC—and taste it alongside a wealth of other top restaurants’ fare and beverages galore. (No Happy Meals allowed.)

Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in eastern Suffolk County.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Grandma bringing over Happy Meals.

How does living on the East End inform your cooking and culinary creativity?
Living on the East End has given me the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with many local farmers and local produce vendors.

What Long Island wine are you drinking these days?
Palmer Vineyards’ Albariño.

What’s the most unusual substitution you’ve ever been asked to make?
Vegan requests…in a place specializing in bacon and other smoked meats.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
Beef short ribs—they are impressive, tasty and gorgeous.

What pieces of equipment do you revel in?
My smoker and Robot Coupe R2Dice.

What’s an ingredient that you refuse to use?
Fake butter—Whirl butter flavored oil, or others. It’s absolutely gross.

What’s the most important thing to teach the next generation of chefs?

What’s your favorite beverage to take on an East End picnic?

What’s your favorite thing about Dan’s Taste of Summer events?
Barbecue, seafood, local veggies—I love seeing all the places come together and work cohesively.

What advice do you offer about dining, and drinking on the East End this summer?
Spread it around—visit the lesser-known spots.

Dan’s GrillHampton presented by New York Prime Beef is Friday, July 20 at Fairview Farm at Mecox. GA tickets are $99 for admission 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. to see East End chefs pitted against NYC chefs in a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and tasting event. Enjoy an epic live performance by Long Island’s most popular band: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot – Celebrating The Music of Billy Joel!

VIP tickets are $175 and include early access beginning at 7 p.m.; admission to the Waterfront VIP Lounge with special treats and more! Tickets, and info on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events at

Patrons must be 21 or older to attend.

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