I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 3rd annual (my first) GrillHampton, presented by Pat LaFrieda at Sayre Park in Bridgehampton on Friday, July 17th. The event began promptly at 8pm and went until 11pm. It was a battle between chefs from the East End verses New York City where eight East End chefs were put to the test against eight Manhattan chefs in a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and tasting event. The crowd was roaring energy that night. As soon as everyone made their way underneath the tent, event guests raced over to the chefs to taste what they were grilling up.
Just before GrillHampton began around 7:30pm, surprise guest, retired professional baseball player Cecil Fielder arrived. Fielder was autographing limited edition photographs and baseballs VIP guests and sponsors. I was lucky to receive a signed photo, which I gifted to my husband who is a huge baseball fan.
GrillHampton was hosted by Restaurant Impossible star, Robert Irvine, and Judge on Food Network’s Chopped, Marc Murphy. Each host was dynamic, entertaining, and witty from the “green” carpet and going forward throughout the festivities. The judges were Dan Rattiner (Dan’s Papers), Pat LaFrieda (Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors), Bruce Bronster (Windels Marx), Robert Irvine (Restaurant Impossible), Michael Gelman (Live with Kelly & Michael), and Cecil Fielder (retired professional baseball player).
The top three dishes at the event that won me over were Rumba Inspired Island Cuisine and Rum Bar’s Dominican Ribs served with Roasted Corn Grits by Chef David Hersh; Gurney’s Charcoal Smoked Short Rib Sandwich served with Charred Baby Leeks (which won Judge’s Choice), and Deli Counter Fine Foods and Catering’s Short Rib served with Hank’s Peach Corn Salad made with Hank’s Famous Corn, Local Halsey Peaches, Summer Kale Slaw and Chef Michael’s Favorite Wild Rice by Michael Mosolino. The Dominican Ribs were so succulent and the grits so creamy, my mouth starts to salivate just thinking of them. There, I said it! I had two servings during the event and wished I could have had a third.
Guests of GrillHampton had the opportunity to vote for who would win People’s Choice. The winner was from Team NYC: Black Tap | Craft Burgers & Beer by Chef Joe Isidori: Kobe Style Beef Burger with Aged Blue Cheese, Baby Arugula and Organic Buttermilk-Dill Dressing served with Mexican Grilled Corn made with Mexican Chipotle, Fresh Cilantro, and Queso Fresco.
Additional participating restaurants and chefs from Manhattan included Commerce by Chef Harold Moore who made Prime Rib Sandwiches served with Grilled Corn Salad; Costata by Chef PJ Calapa Grilled Short Rib served with Charred Corn; Hill Country Barbecue Market by Chef Charles Grund Jr. who served Green Chile Tri Tip with Summer Corn Salad; L’Apicio by Chef Gabe Thompson with Confit Bacon with Sauce Gribiche served with a Pickle Salad; Le Rivage by Chef Paul Denamiel who whipped up St Louis Pork Rib with Fig Bbq Sauce served with Celery Slaw; T-Bar Steak by Chef Ben Zwicker with Grilled Spanish Octopus with Riviera Potato Salad; and Toloache who made Tacos Al Pastor served with Esquite Salad.
Additional participating East End restaurants were 1 North Steakhouse by Chris Cariello with Grilled Veal Braciole served with a Risotto Cake; Endless Summer Event Catering by Chef Peter Ambrose who grilled up Sea Scallop and Pork Belly Burger served with Grilled Bok Choy Slaw; Old Stove Pub by Chef Julio Quisbert with Grilled Octopus over a Black Eyed Pea Salad; Smokin’ Wolf BBQ & More! by Chef Arthur Wolf with Grilled Surf & Turf Tacos served with Grilled Smashed Potato Hash; and The Inn Spot on The Bay by Chef Colette Connor who made Pecan-Smoked Lamb served with Brown Rice and Chana Dal Pilaf. Each chef really outdid themselves and they all deserve a big round of applause for helping to make this event such a success.
Refreshing beverages graciously provided included Bai, Canti, Polar Beverages, Blue Moon, Corona, Somontano Wines, Hendrick’s Gin, and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum.
I was so stuffed after just under an hour of eating my way through. Just before I left, I made my way over to the full candy bar presented by Town Residential. Candies included Smarties, Jolly Ranchers, NECCO waffers, and Mary Janes.