As we prepare for our first annual Martha's Vineyard Oyster Fest, we were asked by @marnely_murray for the @mvychamber where our love for oysters all started. It was cool to think back to our first time. We would love to bliss out on Oysters with you on May 8th+9th! Check out the line up here: mvoysterfest.com.
It's an oyster and wine festival - so tell us, what would be your ideal wine for an island oyster?
My obvious go-to is Veuve Clicquot (anytime really :)). I also love Naissance Sauvignon Blanc from Jackson Family Wines or any Rose. According to my co-producer John Clift, sommelier, and owner of MV Vintage Wines - Muscadet makes for a 'heavenly pairing' that makes oysters 'dance.' For fried or cooked oysters, my goto is Brewer Clifton Chardonnay. Come taste for yourself at the 2020 MV Oyster Festival!
Did you grow up eating oysters? Can you recount an early oyster experience you had?
No! But my son has downed raw oysters and clams like a champ since he was two years old. My first experience with oysters was when I lived in London. On one fateful day, under a little friendly prodding from friends, I tried raw oysters, escargot, steamers, and sushi - and I never looked back.
Follow our story @mvoysterfest
IT'S A DELICIOUS BUSINESS
From food trucks to restaurant kitchens, bakeries to homemade bread, Island women are behind many of the exciting culinary offerings we've seen fly in 2019.
IN THE KITCHEN
Behind the scenes (and often at the front of the house, too), we are lucky to have fierce, focused females topping the food chain.
Since the year 2000, Gina Stanley has been the engine behind both the successful Art Cliff diner and its partner food truck, making welcome appearances at Island events and keeping summer drive-through customers coming back for more. (Crowd favorites are falafel and fries with basil aioli!). You can also find her treats at the new Martha's Vineyard Museum cafe. Treat yourself to a lunch with a delicious view!
And the Island take-out scene is hard to beat thanks to Danielle Dominick and the Scottish Bakehouse, serving up locally-sourced classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant uses many natural and local ingredients from the farm behind the bakery farmed by the talented Zephir Plume. In Vineyard Haven, you'll find her joint-venture (with Island farmer Jefferson Munroe) The Larder, selling to-go soups, local meat, and specialty pantry items.
Cardboard Box's Erica DeForest (aka @tiny_baker) is not only in charge of scrumptious (and mind-blowingly original) desserts, but also manages the restaurant's social media and busy calendar of events.
Chef Ky Keenan of Frankie's Flatbreads and Not Your Sugar Mamas is continuously on the hunt for new ways to keep her plant-based, high-vibrational offerings creative and conscientious. From raw chocolate (see her cookbook with partner Bennett Coffey Chocolate Everyday) to vegan flatbreads, Ky is inspired by global travel and a commitment to making food that not only tastes good, but also is good for us and for our planet.
Martha's Vineyard Sea Salt's Heidi Feldman is the Vineyard's first operating saltworks in over 200 years. With specialty flavor blends like Blueberry Honey and Locally Smoked Oak, Feldman is a fixture at markets and fairs across the Island. (Not local? Get salty online!)
New to the Island's bread scene, Cinnamon Starship's Olivia Pattinson has quickly risen to star baker status. A regular at Ghost Island Farm and the West Tisbury Farmer's Market, check out her Instagram (@cinnamonstarship) for weekly loaves and news about pop-ups and events.
Melanie Flanders of Menemsha Oysters holds the seat as the only female-led oyster farms on the Vineyard (so far). Setting an example for young women who want to make a career working on the sea - we look forward to downing some of her oysters at the Martha's Vineyard Oyster Fest!
She's “wwoofed” (Worldwide Organic Farming) and didn't have much farm experience - but Mallory Watts had a hankering for growing speciality vegetables (have you tried her baby eggplants?) and has made Milkweed Farm 'fly'.
At Slough Farm, farm manager Julie Scott is in charge of everything from veggies to livestock and often collaborates with the farm's nonprofit to bring culinary workshops and family-friendly events to the community at large.
Just a short (on-time) ferry ride away, Lily Walter and her team have been busily growing at Chappaquiddick's Slipaway Farm and sharing the fruit (and veggies) of her labor with Chappy and "big Island" neighbors alike. For notes on Island farming, check out her Farm and Field column at the Vineyard Gazette.
No tablescape is complete without flowers, and Krishana Collins of Tea Lane Farm works hard through the seasons to bring us locally grown and lovingly curated arrangements. She is also working with Beetlebung Farm - where new owners are bringing the much loved farm back to its glorious roots.
From mother to daughter, North Tabor Farms' Rebecca Miller shares her hands-in-dirt profession with her daughter Ruby - keeping the greens flowing and the flower blooming.
No visit would be complete without a visit to Rose Willett's North Tisbury Farm. This quaint little farm and market offer local produce, fruits, flowers, artisanal cheese, local meat, fresh baked goods and bread, Chilmark coffee, and more. We hear she might take on another farm (most produce on the stand is from her farm behind the store). Stay tuned for news.
SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT
Sweet tooth? These women-owned Island bakeries and businesses have you covered:
Juli Vanderhoop has been baking bread, pastries, pizza, and other sundries (a great Vineyard night out!) out of an outdoor stone oven since 2007. Her baked goods are available at the bakery and down-Island at Cronig's market.
For hand-crafted, artisanal pies look no further than Pie Chicks, owned and operated by Chrissy Kinsman out of a commercial kitchen in Vineyard Haven. With homemade pies, cookies, and granola available at Ghost Island Farm, Alley's General Store, Cronig's Market, and the West Tisbury Farmer's Market, Pie Chicks desserts are a welcome end to any Island meal.
RECIPES THAT ROCK (the rock)
Want to try your hand at the perfect Island meal, snack, or dessert? Island cookbook authors and bloggers have the recipe for whatever you're craving.
Sarah Waldman (author of Feeding a Family and Little Bites) makes "family dinners" feel effortless and fun. Check out her blog (sarahwaldman.com) for recipes, inspiration, and notes on Island life.
Former chief editor of Fine Cooking Magazine Susie Middleton is now in charge of special projects at the Vineyard Gazette, including their new Cook The Vineyard newsletter and a monthly column in the MV Magazine. Susie is also the author of favorite Island cookbook Simple Green Suppers and many others.
Social Media mastermind Marnely Murray will curate your Instagram feed while sharing her favorite recipes. Check out her blog Cooking With Books (or visit her for something sweet at The Vineyard Golf Club in season!)
Have any other women food stars to share? Give us a shout - we'd love to learn about what they do.
Roasted Habanero Carrot Salsa
This recipe by Vanilla and Bean strikes the most perfect combo of sweet and spicy (real spicy!) and is not for the faint of heart. Bottle it, share it - dip it , sip it - this concoction is for us - elixir from the hot food gods. Vegan + Gluten Free.
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 Cup (335g)
Author Traci York | Vanilla And BeanIngredients
Penned by the staff of Farm. Field. Sea. and inspired by the experiences of working with Martha's Vineyard's chefs, farmers, fisherman, oyster cultivators, artisan producers and food educators.