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Chef Billy Oliva of Delmonico's Talks Competition & Burgers!

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Delmonico's of Southampton at 268 Elm Street has quickly become a favorite haunt among Hamptonites for serving up local seafood and killer steaks. The Pearl Oyster Bar, which offers $1 oysters and $5 rose from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, is new this year. We sat down with head chef Billy Oliva to discuss competing in Dan's GrillHampton on July 11th, tips for grilling at home, and all things new at Delmonico's.

How are you planning on impressing host Robert Irvine at Dan's GrillHampton?
Well, we're just going to do what we do! We have a couple of tricks up our sleeve.

Tell us, what tricks?
We start with a good product, and we end up with something that we think is a little bit different. When you have good ingredients it's easy. We've got so much to choose from out on Long Island.

Since you are competing in the grilling competition, what are your tips for the at-home grill master?
Burgers tend to have a high fat content, and people usually just throw them on an open flame and leave them there. That's not good.

So, what should you do?
Let the charcoals get white hot and let the fire go out. Then, you want to cook the meat a little off the heat, so it doesn't turn into a hockey puck.

Anything else?
Yes, resting is a big one.

How so?
People often forget to rest the meat after it's cooked. This is more about steak, but this process lets the juices come back to the center. If you cut into a steak right after you take it off the grill, the juices run out, and you lose a lot. The meat gets dry and kind of gritty.

So, what's your favorite kind of burger?
Me? Oh, I'm easy. I like old school burgers. I enjoy bacon with American cheese. But, there probably isn't a burger that I don't like- fried egg is always good. Fried egg, bacon, and American cheese, you can't go wrong!

Speaking to Delmonico's in Southampton, what's new on the menu this season?
We're really excited about the local seafood, and the steak always stays the same. We're not making major changes, but there are some new seasonal ingredients. It's only our second year out there, so fresh and local is the way we are going to stay.

The Pearl Oyster Bar is new this year. How are customers responding?
It was a little a tough at first with the rainy weather. But, now, people are really getting into it. As soon as the business gets steady, I think it's going to be a really fun place to hang out!