Martín Granados, head chef at New York’s Mexican coastal cuisine hotspot Pampano, has some advice for East End diners and drinkers this season: “Get to know other styles and techniques for the preparation of dishes and drinks.” Granados has experience dealing with crowds from “when I had to work at hotels in my country’s tourist spots, because of the large influx of people.” You can find him handling things smoothly—and handing out some of his delicious food—at Dan’s Corona MonTaco Oceanfront Fiesta on Saturday, August 4 at Gurney’s Montauk Yacht Club.
Where are you from originally?
Mexico City. I’m grateful for my mother’s cooking and my country’s traditions.
What’s your earliest food memory?”
Seeing my mother among her dishes.
What person, or what moment, has inspired your career the most?
The first person was my mother. The moment was when I began to work as a dishwasher in my country. I knew that I needed to learn to cook to get ahead, and now I do it with conviction.
What’s your favorite thing about Dan’s Taste of Summer events?
It’s an unforgettable experience getting to meet other people with culinary backgrounds.
What’s the most important thing to teach the next generation of chefs?
What are your favorite dishes to prepare?
Camarones al ajillo (fried shrimp with garlic) and carnitas (shredded pork), which are two dishes that represent my country. I also enjoy slow-cooking meats all day.
Do you ever eat at your own restaurant on your days off?
Sometimes, to learn about the customer service and quality of the meals that I’m responsible for, even when I’m not at the restaurant.
What ingredient do you refuse to use?
Truffles and quinoa—because in Mexican cooking there are no truffles, and quinoa is very common in all other parts of the world.
What’s your definition of “succulent?”
Delicious, a unique experience of flavor.
What makes a cocktail a “craft cocktail?”
It takes different preparation, with local ingredients unique to the region.
What does the phrase “taste of summer” bring to mind for you?
Freshness, color, happiness, love and warmth.
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 DansTaste.com. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend.