Bronx-based Hudson Smokehouse won the people’s choice award for best barbecue pit master and Chef Peter Ambrose was the judge’s pick for the title of top chef on August 5 at GrillHampton, the annual grilling competition that pits East End chefs against their New York City colleagues.
Hudson Smokehouse was the first NYC-based restaurant to beat Hamptons chefs in years. GrillHampton kicked off Dan’s Signature Weekend, part of the 2022 Dan’s Taste Series presented by Yieldstreet, which concludes on August 6 with the inaugural Dan’s Bubbles — don’t miss out, general admission and exclusive VIP lounge experience tickets are still available DansTaste.com for tonight! —celebrating champagne and other bubbly beverages. The food was delicious, the drink selection was stellar, and the crowd was lively during GrillHampton at Nova’s Ark in Water Mill, a sprawling sculpture park that made for an eye-catching venue for the contest.
“I postponed a big European trip to stay here because I think it’s important for people to come back to these festivals, especially in the Hamptons where I’ve been coming for 20 something years,” said Foodgod, the celebrity television personality who hosted the event. “It’s really nice to see there’s still a few big amazing events left … I’m glad I’m a part of it. The bigger, the better, for me.”
Participating East End grill masters for Team Hamptons included chefs from Showfish at Gurney’s Star Island Resort and Marina in Montauk cooking up butter- and beer-braised carnitas with adobo cream, pickled red onions and cilantro on a flour tortilla; Greenport-based Green Hill Kitchen & Que serving up smoked St. Louis rib pastrami with hot mustard and dill chimichurri; Southold-based Grace & Grit passing out pulled chicken sliders with Alabama white sauce and spicy pickles; and Sydney’s “Taylor” Made Cuisine making its house marinated grilled skirt steak with tomato, onion and avocado salad.
“It’s awesome — especially the people’s choice, those are the customers,” Kenneth McPartlan, a self-taught pit master and owner of Hudson Smokehouse, said after earning the trophy for his grilling up smoked brisket sliders topped with pickles, pickled onions and a drizzle of Hudson sweet BBQ sauce. “Those are the people that come in, spend money, and those are the ones you really want to impress the most.”
Barbara Barry, general manager of Hudson Smokehouse, noted that the win is extra special for them because last year’s GrillHampton was the first food event they participated in since opening the restaurant in 2020.
“GrillHampton will always be our first,” she said. “The other events are cool, but GrillHampton is special.”
Chef Peter Ambrose with Events by Peter Ambrose, who caters events in NYC and on the East End, represented Team Hamptons with his award-winning turf & turf taco featuring slow-smoked chimichurri pork, coffee-rubbed brisket topped with grilled kimchi, local hot pepper harissa aioli and grilled avocado lime crema on a flour tortilla served with a side of miso butter grilled balsam farm corn.
“It’s always exciting being a part of something like this,” said Justin DeMarco of Westhampton Beach-based Justin’s Chop Shop, the 2021 GrillHampton winner that wowed the crowd this year with smoked meatballs in a bourbon barbecue glaze on a bed of Southern-style slaw. “It’s nice to see people putting some effort in. The vendors showing off their products is next level, which is fun. They crushed it.”
Besides Hudson Smokehouse, also repping Team NYC were Battery Park City-based Blue Smoke making Kansas City ribs with blue smoke barbecue sauce and pickles, Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue grilling up smoked pork ribs with Morgan’s BBQ sauce and homemade coleslaw and Freeport-based Backyard Barbeque Inc. cooking up smoked jerk chicken wings with house-made pickles.
Serving dessert was Shmayley’s Chef Hayley Pierce, who dished out peach cobbler with classic vanilla ice cream rolled with fresh peaches and pie crust topped with brown sugar sprinkle and whipped cream. And North Fork Doughnut Co. served up caramel coffee cake in a homemade cinnamon streusel with a caramel drizzle, Oreos topped with vanilla icing and covered in crumbled Oreos and vanilla drizzle, and chocolate- and strawberry-frosted donuts with rainbow sprinkles.
The Dan’s Taste Summer Series presented by Yieldstreet is hosted by Schneps Events, a division of Dan’s Papers parent company Schneps Media.
”It’s a great opportunity for people to come out and taste what these restaurants on the North Fork, South Fork and New York City have to offer,” said Joshua Schneps, CEO of Schneps Media and publisher of Dan’s Papers. “They’re all really talented, they come out here to serve up their best dish and I hope everyone enjoys it.”
A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit local nonprofit organizations including All For The East End that showcases and provides support to the more-than 1,000 charity organizations in the five East End towns.
Sponsoring the event were Yieldstreet, Angels Envy, Barton & Guestier, Blacklane, Blue Moon, Modelo, BMW of Southampton, Dime Bank, La Croix, Listel, Mohegan Sun, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, White Claw, Adamas, Quintessence Hotel, Balsamic Vinegar of Moderna, Stutman Stutman & Lichenstein, LLP, Veuve du Vernay and the Hard Rock Hotel New York
“Dan’s Taste has created an audience over the years in the Hamptons, people love to come to these events,” said Yieldstreet CEO Milind Mehere. “For Yieldstreet, we want to get the word out there, partner with companies like yours to reach the right target audience so people can come, enjoy with us and understand what Yieldstreet does as a company.”
From the moment guests arrived, it was clear that this was going to be a great evening. The conversation flowed easily and before guests knew it, they were laughing and having the time of their lives. The food was incredible, and the beverages were even better. As the night came to an end, new friends were made.
“Initiatives such as this elevate the culinary game in the Hamptons as a whole overall,” said Michael Pitsinos, operator of Capri Southampton and founder of Naya Hamptons who judged Grillhampton along with Foodgod. “I’m thrilled about the opportunity. This year is phenomenally busy. People are really enjoying themselves.”
Dan’s Bubbles will be held from 7–10 p.m. on August 6 at Nova’s Ark, 60 Millstone Road in Water Mill. Visit DansTaste.com for tickets and info.
Hungry for more? Get tickets for Taste the Greats at The Mansion at Oyster Bay on October 20. Visit tastethegreats.com for more information.