We caught up with chef extraordinaire and Hamptons local Bobby Flay at the inaugural Belmont Stakes Charity Celebration at Bar American in New York. Flay was honored with the Earle I. Mack TRF Champion Award for his tireless efforts regarding thoroughbred aftercare. He chatted with us about his lust-worthy outdoor kitchen, polo in the Hamptons, and his love of vanilla ice cream.
Any ambitions to open a restaurant out on the East End?
[Laughs] I will never open a restaurant in the Hamptons.
Where do you like to eat?
When I want lobster rolls and steamers, I go to Bostwick's. I live really close to there. Plus they have soft serve ice cream.
And what's your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream, anything in the vanilla-based family.
What are your favorite places in the Hamptons to grab local, fresh ingredients for throwing a barbecue?
Well, I don't know the name of them, but I go to a bunch of farm stands. And I buy my fish at Citarella, because it's always incredibly fresh.
What ingredients are you shopping for this summer?
I like to buy ingredients that are very Hamptons-esque. Corn, tomatoes, and lots of fresh herbs, like basil. Wild striped bass, to me, is the greatest thing to ever come out of Montauk. I eat a lot of wild striped bass. Whatever is at Citarella, I eat it. Also, lobster. I try to utilize things that are as close to where I live as possible.
And what's your East End kitchen like?
[Smiles] I have a great outdoor kitchen! This is the first kitchen that I've ever built from scratch. So when I built my house out east, I built two kitchens: one is indoor and one is outdoors. I have a pizza oven out there and something called a Big Green Egg. It's awesome!
What do you think is the biggest mistake the average person makes when grilling outside?
They flip and turn way too much. People get nervous on the grill, and they forget that grilling is common sense cooking. You should let the grill do its job. The grill should work for you.
Given tonight's horse theme, do you attend polo in the Hamptons?
Yes. The thing that bothers me about polo in the Hamptons is that nobody watches the polo. It's a beautiful sport and the horses are amazing. But, let's face it, it becomes a big party. And that's okay!