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INTERVIEW: Backal Hospitality Group CEO, Arthur Backal, On Hampton Road Trip

Nicole Barylski

One of the Hampton Rod Trip experiences. (Photo: Backal Hospitality Group)

Most have spent a lot more time in their abode - and kitchen - than normal recently. For those looking to create a special at home dining experience, Hampton Road Trip (HRT) is ready to bring the festivities straight to your front door.

The curated food & beverage experience is helmed by Backal Hospitality Group (BHG), in collaboration with Minuty Rosé. HTR, which can be enjoyed in your backyard oasis or favorite picturesque spot, encompasses a variety of unique packages named after iconic tunes - including "Down By The Sea," "Me & Julio Down By The Backyard," "Where the Grass is Green and the Girls Are Pretty," "Good Vibrations," and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" - which highlight seasonality and locality.

We chatted with Arthur Backal, CEO of Backal Hospitality Group, about the Hampton Road Trip experience, a special collaboration with Spanish-American artist, writer and fashion designer Domingo Zapata and more.

What led to the creation of Hampton Road Trip?

AB: Pre-COVID, we have produced a variety of special events throughout the Hamptons and have partnered with T-Bar Southampton in the past. Since the start of COVID-19, when we had to temporarily close a variety of our properties throughout New York, we quickly pivoted and created new offerings for our guests in a safe and responsible way including the launch of #HamptonWaterPicnic to bring the Hamptons experience to NYC with picnic deliveries available throughout Manhattan. Coming off the heels of the picnic experience, coupled with the rise of New Yorkers staying in the Hamptons during the pandemic and to cater to our Hamptons resident guests, we collaborated with Minuty Rosé and expanded our offering with the launch of Hampton Road Trip (HRT), curating an individualized F&B experience for our guests in the Hamptons from Sag Harbor to Southampton and throughout the Tri-State area.

HRT's motto is "We Bring The Party." Could you speak about the different experiences and what went into curating each?

AB: With an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients, our culinary team turns any space - whether at the beach, backyard boat and beyond - into a gastronomic dining room to create a memorable and safe experience for our clients. Guests can choose from specialty items such as lobster rolls, pesto pasta salad, and Chateau Minuty Rosé and customize a package with our team. Depending on budget and individual requests, we have six different thematic options that guests can choose, including our signature Domingo Zapata Experience where contemporary artist by trade and chef at heart will virtually guide guests through their specialized culinary journey.

Speaking of which, Hampton Road Trip partnered with famed Spanish-American artist, writer and fashion designer Domingo Zapata. Tell us about the exciting collaboration.

AB: We are thrilled to collaborate with Domingo Zapata to introduce the finest and authentic Spanish ingredients to individual homes across the Hamptons. Guests will begin their meal with Osetra Caviar on a Truffle Spanish Omelet, Jamon Pata Negra with Pan Con Tomate, Manchego Cheese and Gazpacho ("Zapacho"). For the main course, guests can choose from two types of Paella - A5 Wagyu Beef Paella or Lobster and Toro Paella. To finish, there's Tarta De Manzana or Spanish Apple Pie. Domingo will be virtually guiding guests through the cooking experience. However, we can also send a private chef to cook the meal for our guests too, so all can be customized.

How long will Hampton Road Trip be available?

AB: We are planning to offer the Hampton Road Trip experience until October, but may continue to offer HRT throughout the holiday season based on availability and requests for our Hamptons guests and those in the Tri-State area.

When in the Hamptons, how do you typically spend your time?

AB: Since launching HRT, we generally spend most weekends in the Hamptons, with some of our team based in the area full-time. Now with Labor Day behind us, we will be in the Hamptons on a reservation basis with an additional focus on New York City and the Tri-State area.

What's next for Backal Hospitality Group?

AB: HRT was born in the Hamptons as a product of the pandemic. It has evolved now into a niche experiential service that can travel to the Hamptons, but will also be available in the city and throughout the Tri-State area come fall and winter. There are still many individuals who are not comfortable dining out or don't want to deal with that hassle. We also operate a variety of properties and event spaces in New York City, including VERSA Rooftop & Restaurant located in the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel steps from Madison Square Garden which has an 8,000 square-foot open-air rooftop space which we recently reopened this summer. Looking ahead into the fall and winter seasons, we hope to be able to continue to welcome our guests in a safe and responsible way and provide the best in hospitality.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

AB: To experience Hampton Road Trip, please visit our website at hamptonroadtrip.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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