Meet owner/executive chef Marcel Link of Bridgehampton’s Hudson Blue Crab House (formerly Mercado) at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company and hosted by chef, caterer and award-winning actor David Burtka on Saturday, July 21 at Fairview Farm in Bridgehampton, located on beautiful Mecox Bay. Link says that, much like the thousands of patrons at Dan’s Taste of Summer events, his favorite part of the action is “trying other restaurants’ food,” but that’s because “restaurateurs don’t go out much.” Be sure to sample Link’s Jumbo Lump Mini Crab Cakes at the event.
Who inspired your career the most?
When I was in college my father gave me this advice: “If you want to get girls, learn to cook and invite them over for dinner.” I did and it worked, and I’ve been cooking and trying new things all the time.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Brooklyn and have fond memories of barbecuing some great chops of meat with my Argentinian father, which got me into cooking.
How does living on the East End inform your cooking and culinary creativity?
[The East End offers] fresh seafood—which we use for Sea Bass Tacos—to tuna, striped bass and oysters, which make up a nice portion of our menu.
What Long Island wine are you drinking these days?
I don’t drink, but we serve Wölffer Estate Vineyard Chardonnay, which people love.
What’s your favorite beverage to take on an East End picnic?
What’s the most unusual substitution you’ve been asked to make?
Veggie burger with bacon.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
Though not on the menu, I love making smoked, dry-rubbed baby back ribs because they come out amazing. I can’t find any better anywhere this side of Memphis.
What does the phrase “taste of summer” bring to mind for you?
What piece of equipment, or ingredient, do you covet?
A bigger steamer.
What’s a method that you refuse to use?
I can’t boil live lobsters. I feel it’s wrong, though I’m okay killing them with a knife first so they die quickly.
What’s the most important thing to teach cooks today?
Taste it and adjust it, don’t just rely on a recipe.
What else would you like our readers to know about dining, and drinking, on the East End this summer?
Be patient with restaurants. It’s hard servicing 30 people a night for nine months and then all of a sudden doing more than 200 covers a night, with brand new summer help. It’s not the same as dining in a busy year-round restaurant in Manhattan. If you look at Yelp you’ll see every restaurant has bad reviews in the summer due to this, but remember we’re all trying hard, and it’s okay to leave a positive review every now and then.
Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, presented by Farrell Building Company and hosted by chef, caterer and award-winning actor David Burtka, features tastings from top restaurants, chefs and purveyors from both Forks on Saturday, July 21 at Fairview Farm in Bridgehampton, located on beautiful Mecox Bay. Come celebrate our 8th annual premier East End summer event. GA tickets are available now for $195 and grant you access to all you can eat and drink from 7:30–10 p.m. VIP tickets are already sold out and GA tickets are almost gone too, so buy NOW at DansTaste.com. Patrons must be 21 years or older to attend.