Chef and caterer Peter Ambrose, who will be at Dan’s GrillHampton presented by New York Prime Beef, and Dan’s Taste of Two Forks on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20 at Fairview Farm at Mecox, is no stranger to Dan’s Taste of Summer. Ambrose is ready for the big weekend.
First word (or words) that comes to mind when you hear “Taste of Summer.”
An excuse to get away from the regular weekend grind, spend a night with my fellow fraternal culinary brethren and serve up some good times and great food.
You can invite three people, living or dead, to your dinner party. Who are they, and what would that meal be?
Grandma Jesse, Arnold Palmer and my wife, Clare. Well, Grandma Jesse is cooking. It would be Sunday gravy with homemade pasta and fried bread with powdered sugar for dessert and then a perfectly cored and peeled yellow apple to seal the deal.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare, and do you enjoy eating it as much as preparing it?
It would be doing paella for hundreds in front of clients from scratch, outdoors in a backyard or on the beach. I enjoy eating it, but the preparing and building flavors is the enjoyment, I am happier with a great slice of pizza.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Freezing super-fresh chowder clams before you open them has come in handy, for sure.
Share your funniest/most unforgettable/oddest kitchen incident.
Sharing half the chocolate chip cookies at a beach event that the client baked for dessert, only to realize they were “weed” cookies when she announced that she recommended guests only eat one.
Who do you most admire in the food/wine world and why?
Eric Ripert—he just seems to get it. If chasing fame gets in the way of continuing to be great at what made you famous, you need to step back, refocus and grow organically.
What is going to be the “next big thing” on the East End food scene?
Maybe it has happened already—CBD and soon to follow “high times” culinary creations.
Tell us a secret…
I can’t fry an egg to save my life.
What’s the oddest request you’ve ever received from a diner?
Not sure about one specific request but it most certainly had to do with removing butter from a sauce or dish that is essentially just butter.
What’s the ultimate cocktail?
My grilled margarita—grilled grapefruits, lemons, limes and oranges, squeezed, agave and a good silver tequila, aleppo sea salt rim.
What talent would you most like to have?
Well, being able to fry an egg would be a good start.
What recent travels have you taken that have inspired you?
Well, I don’t get off the East End that much. So inspiration usually comes from closer at home, and it’s most definitely the effort of “localism” and all things local, practiced by many of the chefs I admire most in the Hamptons.
What is the most memorable thing you’ve tasted?
The first time I had super super-fresh calamari, braised and finished in a really great spicy red sauce, served with stale Italian loaf that, if not soaked in the sauce, would break your teeth.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Seeing so many past employees, catering chefs, front of house, take the skills they learned with me and moving onto success owning there own restaurants, catering businesses, event planning.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
“Piano Man,” which probably is the worst choice possible as everyone knows the words, and I don’t.
We just handed you a glass of bubbly. Now please make a toast to summer on the East End.
Summer, thanks for all the people you draw in during the summer and dismiss on Labor Day, always making sure that those of us who call this home year-round have September and October nearly all to ourselves.