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If you missed out on the first annual Blue Moon GrillHampton event presented by Pat LaFrieda, we bet you are feeling more than a little disappointed this week.

The inaugural competition spun off from the original foodie event, Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, now in its third year.  The premise was simple: 8 New York City chefs competing against 8 Hamptons chefs to see which team could out-grill the other.  The outcome however, was a mecca of grilled delights for attendees to taste.

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Hosted by one of our favorite Iron Chefs, Geoffrey Zakarian, the summer soiree featured a panel of impressive judges that included Dan’s Papers founder (and “granddaddy” of the main event on Saturday evening, Taste of Two Forks) Dan Rattiner, editor of Food and Wine Magazine’s Kate Krader, restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, Iron Chef America judge Karine Bakhoum, and attorney Bruce Bronster.

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Only one “Grill Bite Crowd Pleaser” could be awarded by voting attendees to a lucky pitmaster, and some of the Manhattan’s finest culinary wizards were handpicked to represent the Big Apple:

  • Joey Campanaro, (The Little Owl)
  • Cliff Crooks, (BLT Steak)
  • Paul Denamiel, (Le Rivage)
  • Elizabeth Falkner, (Corvo Bianco)
  • Elizabeth Karmel, (Hill Country)
  • Harold Moore, (Commerce)
  • Niles Noren, (Red Rooster)
  • Chris Santos, (Beauty & Essex)

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Savory burgers from Commerce and Le Rivage (and those chocolate dipped potato chips!) seriously hit the spot, while Red Rooster Harlem pulled out all the stops with the complex side arrangement of warm curried oxtail salad to complement the grilled skirt steak.

And don’t even get us started with the to-die-for Mexican corn and poblano salad from The Little Owl! We cannot wait to hit up some of these hot spots for brunch and dinner soon to experience even more of their menus.

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Next up were the prestigious team from the Hamptons, who were every bit as prepared to knock our socks off:

  • Colin Ambrose (Estia’s Little Kitchen)
  • Peter Ambrose (Hampton Seafood Company/Peter Ambrose Events Catering)
  • Emanouil Aslanoglou  (Old Stove Pub)
  • Bryan Futerman (Foody’s)
  • David Hersh (Cowfish and Rumba restaurants)
  • Billy Oliva (Delmonico’s of Southampton)
  • Victor Tapia (The Palm)
  • Keith Luce (Main Restaurant) + Robby Beaver (The Frisky Oyster) as the “Greenport Team”

While we were happy to see some of our favorite restaurants repping the East End (who doesn’t love The Palm?), it was also exciting to taste some of the newer outpost’s items like Delmonico’s classic steak.  By far and away, the most memorable bite was a surf and turf small plate from Peter Ambrose – an absolute wow!

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Obviously it was an honor just to be invited to compete, but these 16 chefs and their teams really brought their A-game to the tent.  In the end, the esteemed judges awarded Hill Country Barbecue Market the winner, but the East End team snagged this year’s bragging rights for overall grilling champions.

The night wouldn’t have been complete without cold beer and refreshing cocktails provided by Blue Moon (served in their signature pilsner glasses) and Tito’s Handmade Vodka lemonades. As we made our way out of the beautifully lit tents at Sayre Park, echoes of the rollicking band were carried into the wind.  Next year, we plan to arrive the minute the tents open and stay until the very last dance.  Never one to miss out on fun Hamptons outings, we will feed our FOMO with a double-hitter of foodie heaven next year: GrillHampton AND Taste of Two Forks!

– Stacy

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Photos via KB Network News