Dan’s Taste of Summer Countdown: Dishing with Navy Beach’s Franklin Ferguson

We find inspiration everywhere we look,” says Franklin Ferguson, partner and GM at Montauk hot spot Navy Beach. “When talking about new ideas with our partners, anything from a new packaging design to a trip to Dubai to using a different type of glassware for lemonade at home, we’re obsessed with food and beverage and incorporate it into the fabric of our day-to-day routine.”

Obsession with food and beverage is at the heart of Dan’s Taste of Summer weekend, where foodies flock to enjoy offerings of top East End restaurants, wineries and purveyors at Taste of Two Forks and GrillHampton. As we count down to the big event, Ferguson talks about the ideal drink for a summer night, Buddy Guy and BBQ, and the innovative power of local.

What does the phrase “taste of summer” mean to you?
The “taste of summer” gives us the opportunity to taste the new innovations and creations from our culinary friends here in the Hamptons.

What are you most looking forward to as you return to Dan’s Taste of Two Forks again this year?
The event is a great opportunity to see the new restaurants as well as see old friends. The summer goes fast, and sometimes those of us in the F&B industry don’t have a chance to stop and smell the roses—Taste of Two Forks is a brilliant bouquet.

Describe your best/favorite culinary experience since last year’s Taste of Two Forks.
Calf brains in brown butter at Da Silvano in Manhattan—absolutely delicious. You can always rely on Silvano to do something completely out of the ordinary and surprising. They were so good, I went back two more times to have them.

What have been the biggest and best changes you’ve witnessed in the culinary culture of the East End in the past five years?
Fresh new talent is coming out east and setting up shop. It’s a great opportunity for the local farms to be utilized on innovative menus.

When you hear the phrase “local,” what comes to mind?
Gosman’s Fish Market and Dock to Dish, Farmer Frank from Bhumi Farms and Goodwater Farms. They’re all doing incredible local things for the

East End.

Favorite food-related song?
“Closing time”… we get to go home. No, that’s cheesy. Oh! Anything by Buddy Guy makes me crave BBQ something wicked.

If you were packing for an East End picnic, what are three things we’d find in your basket?
Wine, a corkscrew and a wheel of cheese or pâté.

What drink are you looking forward to enjoying on a hot summer night?
Dirty, classic Provençal Rosé

Finish this sentence: An empty plate is…  A job well done. Or “success.”

Dan’s Taste of Summer—held at Sayre Park, 156 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton—kicks off with GrillHampton on Friday, July 11. General admission tickets are $120 (inclusive of all food and beverages). Dan’s Taste of Two Forks is Saturday, July 12. Taste of Two Forks VIP tickets are available for $240, including early admission from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; General Admission tickets from 7:30 to 10 p.m. are available for $160.

For more information visit DansTasteofSummer.com. 

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