There are so many markets this time of year where you can find all sorts of local makers plying everything from food to chocolate to jewelry to clothing and so much more. If you somehow manage to miss all of these local shopping opportunities however, the beautiful new shop, Gift and Box, will be open throughout the season. Owner Kate Ortega has the shop stocked full of amazing small producer and local goods.
Evenings at Pumpkin Pond Farm are when the magic begins.
Although, perhaps that could be said about any farm: that the hours that cap the long, sweaty days of hard labor - the early morning when the mist is rising off the fields and dusk when the fields are backlit by the setting sun - are always magical on a farm. As if the people and the land take a breath in unison. A deep breath of fortitude in the morning. A sigh of relief in the evening.
But there could be just a little more of this magic at Pumpkin Pond. A by-product of the rhythms of being a biodynamic farm where leaves are planted on leaf days, fruit on fruit days, roots on root days, all as demanded by the moon and its movements.
Or, perhaps the magic is a by-product of the sense of other-worldliness, a European flair, brought to the farm by the vision and artistic sensibilities of owners Marty and Holly McGowan. A farm where greenhouses filled with tropical plants, look more like a personal collection of a Victorian orchid-hunter than a garden center storefront and provide respite from a busy summer. It could be the antique steel and timber gates that protect the fields from deer and rabbits. Gates that have the weight of history creaking in their hinges every night when they are locked. But, whether the moon and her influences or the magical spaces and vignettes dotted throughout the farm that the McGowans have created, it is a place where art and agriculture collide and it was a perfect venue for an evening born out of a shared sense of stewardship over the island’s natural beauty and a menu wholly inspired by the bounty of Nantucket’s farmers.
Most of our events start, at the very beginning, with a small-producer or a season. We have had events inspired by Taza chocolate, Dovetail Sake, Jasper Hill cheese and just plain-old root vegetables. But this event was different for us. We had taken a break over the summer as various things outside of 100 Mile Makers took precedence. Things like new jobs and fledgling political careers. But what caught our attention and reset our local food radar after a busy Spring was a conversation with Morgan Raith, from the Nantucket Watershed Project, about the need to come together as an island to protect our water quality. To tell stories, to share stories, to create new dialogues around water and the way we think about water because as an island, our water is our everything - both our harbors and our aquifers, and it is threatened in all its forms by the impacts of development and let’s face it, humans being humans.
So how to inspire these conversations?
With food? And a movie? And some local cookies?
Like many seeds of ideas, this one took some turns and loops and circles as we went through the creative process as a collaborative effort with Morgan and also The Dreamer Collective, a grassroots group who are focused on finding ways to protect our island’s waters. In the end, on Morgan’s recommendation, we decided to screen the film ‘Island Earth’, a visually-stunning documentary that highlights the philosophical and ethical conflicts inherent to GMO foods and industrial agriculture as well as the small-scale, local responses.
The film takes place in Hawaii. It was not an easy film to watch. Most films with anything environmental as the subject are not easy films to watch.
They engender important conversations but definitely not easy conversations, whether they are internal monologues or heated debates with friends and family. You have to be mentally prepared for these movies which is why we started the evening with a beautiful meal and followed with piles and piles of local cookies. My favorite quote of the evening was from one of our local farmers who came out of the movie and said ‘That meal was even more meaningful after a movie like that’.
So even if it was just one person, the idea had worked.
Local Food + Eco-Movie = Thoughtful contemplation around environmental issues.
We had paired local food, that is so important to us, with a movie about small-scale farming and the two made each other stronger.
At this point, you may be wondering what the heck this meal WAS seeing as most people are here for the food and not the self-indulgent story about how that meal and the whole event came about. So here it is, the short and long of it as for us, every dish and almost every ingredient we choose has a story.
Bluefish Pates from 167 Raw and Nantucket Fresh Catch
Bartlett Farm Watermelon Tasting
Dish #1: Deviled Eggs
The Details: A classic garnished with chive blossoms
Boatyard Farm - Eggs
Nantucket Native - Chive Blossoms
Nobska Farms - Hot Sauce
Someone says picnic. We say deviled eggs. Even though they are a beast to prepare in quantity and we didn’t even know if we could get eggs from Boatyard these days as they are more precious than gold. We have been there many a time this summer in a line for eggs! And, after waiting in line, there may not even be enough to go around. Is it because so many of us love getting local eggs they just can’t keep up? Or is it one of the myriad reasons why chickens might cut back on the laying of eggs. For example: they are broody, it’s too hot, not enough daylight, new additions to the flock, diet change, certain breeds just don’t lay as many eggs…and more. Who knew it was actually so tough to get an egg!
Dish #2: Corn Chowder with local fish
The Details: A delicate, light chowder made with Bartlett’s corn and a broth meant to showcase, not smother, the local Bass
Bartlett’s Farm - Corn
Glidden’s - Fish Racks and Bass
Moor’s End - Fennel, Leeks and Potatoes
The Thinking: We initially wanted Dogfish for this chowder as Dogfish are a common bycatch with very few willing buyers - 99% of the Cape’s catch is shipped to Europe. Of course, the one day we wanted them, none were caught. So we substituted local bass.
Dish #3: Composed salad of Burrata, Greens and Pickled Blackberries
The Details: hand-pulled, individual burrata served with mixed greens and more
Gioia - Burrata
Moor’s End - Cucumbers
Nantucket Native - Blackberries, herbs
Nantucket Organics - Kale, Turnips
Pumpkin Pond Farm - Lettuce Greens
Washashore Farm - Edible Flowers
Five farms. One amazing local cheesemaker. Heaven.
Dish #4: Tomatoes and Basil
The Details: A medley of local heirloom tomatoes dressed with a trio of basils, olive oil, edible flowers and fennel pollen
Bartlett’s - Heirloom Tomatoes
Lazy Man Gardens - Basils
Nantucket Organics - Lemon Cucumbers
Pumpkin Pond - Tomatoes, Fennel Pollen, Edible Flowers
Because it’s summer and you just have to.
Dish #5: Stuffed Eggplants
The Details: Weatherlow Pork Sausage and Herb Stuffed Eggplants with Sungold Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Shishito Pepper Relish
Bartlett’s Farm - Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplants
Moor’s End - Shishitos
Nantucket Native - Herbs. Edible Flowers
Pumpkin Pond Farm - Tomatoes, Zucchini
Washashore Farm - Edible Flowers
Weatherlow Farms - Pork Sausage
The pork in this dish is a big deal. Supplied by Weatherlow Farms in Westport, MA, a very special farm - they follow the principles of restorative agriculture where crops and livestock are seen as mutually benficial and necessary to each other in this struggle for achieving self-sustainability in agriculture. Goats are the landscapers, the ocean is near - go for a visit if you get a chance. You may never come back. If you end up staying, you can find their meats in the freezer section at Bartlett’s Farm.
Dish #6: Seared Nectarines
The Details: Seared Nectarines with Husk Cherries, Micro-Basil, honeyed Ricotta and Maine Grains oat crumble
Bartlett’s - Husk Cherries
Bee Happy - Honey
Carlson Orchards - Nectarines
Maine Grains - Oats
Pumpkin Pond Farm - Micro-Basil
Carlson Orchard grows nectarines and peaches that dreams are made of. Stone fruit like the good old days when they didn’t travel far and had all the flavor and juiciness in the world. There were almost no Massachusetts peaches or nectarines last year because of a warm spell too early in the season so this year, we are making sure everyone gets a chance to enjoy the harvest.
The Producers and where to get their goods:
Bartlett’s Farm - their farm market, open every day of the week
Boatyard Farm - at their farm stand on Hummock Pond Rd
Carlson Orchards - Bartlett’s
Gioia - Bartlett’s Farm
Glidden’s - at their shop
Lazy Man Gardens - Farmer’s Market
Jack’s Abby - Brix, Nantucket Wine and Spirits
Lieb Cellars - Bartlett’s Farm
Moor’s End - their farm market, open every day of the week
Nantucket Fresh Catch - Bartlett’s Farm
Nantucket Organics - sometimes Annye’s, Farmer’s Market
Nantucket Native - Farmer’s Market
Pumpkin Pond Farm - stop by the farm or at the Saturday Farmer’s Market
Washashore Farm - Farmer’s Market
photos thank you to Dan LeMaitre unless otherwise noted.
Leah Mojer's quick visit to check in on the Sake for our Chef Series #3 Dinner turned into an epic 3 hour long conversation. She captured a fascinating bit of that conversation on tape. Listen below.
For those of you who were able to make it to our second Chef Series Dinner, you were fortunate to experience soup in a way that glorified simple and seasonal ingredients: leeks and potatoes. I can't help but feel that not only the presentation but the nuanced flavors of Leah's Leek Velouté were nothing less than a show of not just pure talent but even purer passion for food. And if you were to sit with Leah for even a moment and listen to her talk about sourcing and growing and producers, you would know that her passion for the ingredients themselves is unparalleled. So, below, you will find Leah's recipe and while they say the chef is always the 'secret' ingredient, this is a recipe anyone can master with just a little love.
3 large leeks, trimmed, washed well and sliced into half moons
3 Yukon gold Potatoes peeled, sliced
1/2 c celeriac, peeled diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 stick butter or 1/4 c olive oil
4c vegetable stock- home made is best
Splash white wine (Something French, naturally)
Salt and pepper to taste
Tools: high-speed blender or immersion blender
Melt butter in heavy-bottomed pot. Add leeks and garlic, season liberally with salt and sweat for 10 minutes on medium heat or until translucent and very soft
Add half the wine from your just poured wine glass and let reduce 3 minutes.
Add potato, celeriac and enough vegetable stock to cover everything by a 1/4 inch.
Simmer until vegetables are very tender.
Blend in batches on high speed until velvety smooth. Finish seasoning with salt, pepper and fresh picked thyme.
Garnish with lemon zest, micro-greens and crispy potato curls.
Where we sourced our ingredients for the dinner:
Potatoes, Celeriac - Sienna Farms at Boston Public Market
Leeks - Dylan Wallace at the Community Farm Institute and Pumpkin Pond Farm
Microgreens - Lazy Man Gardens at the Community Farm Insitute
Lemons - Bartlett's Farm
Thyme - Pumpkin Pond Farm
The inspiration for Dinner #2 started with Winnimere Cheese but quickly led us to Marthas's Vineyard, the place we reckoned would be a jackpot for produce this time of year. We were not wrong but it wasn't only produce we found, it was island-grown and milled flour, meat, cheese and more. Some photos below:
An infographic depicting our menu-creation journey with Leah Mojer
1. What Season is It
2. Who will be our Chef. Leah unwittingly and enthusiastically made herself our only option.
3. Getting Inspired by Small Producers
4. Re-visiting the season
5. Seeing what the small producers have.
6. Putting together the list of available ingredients and being inspired again.
7. And finally, the Menu.
It all started with chocolate. Taza chocolate to be exact. I had been intrigued by this chocolate from the first moment I sunk my teeth into a wedge of a Taza chocolate disc and felt the urge to spit it out. This chocolate was unlike any other chocolate I had ever tasted and the texture was radically different from what I was expecting. As I came to find out more about Mexican stone-ground chocolate, how it is the least processed style of eating chocolate available, and more about Taza as a company, the more I became obessed with both.
Ultimately, this obsession led to the idea for a dinner inspired by Taza and led us to things like Champurrado, Mole Poblano, Nicuatole (the dessert) and Clown Shoes Sombrero Mexican Chocolate Stout. Chocolate seemed fitting for many reasons however:
1. Chocolate is in 'season' or at least the harvesting of cacao beans in Mexico is in season from October-April.
2. I had one of those food 'moments' with Taza chocolate when you remember where (Bartlett's Farm parking lot) and when (2012) you were when you first tried it. The flavor and the texture were incredibly distinct and the more I learned about stone-ground chocolate and how it is minimally processed and the more I found out about the ethos of Taza Chocolate, the more I fell in love with everything about it.
What was interesting about how Andre's menu developed was that this concept of 'time and place' became an underlying theme of the meal. I had my Taza experience, Andre Miller had his experience in Mexico and these two moments collided at the dinner table in January on Nantucket. This first Chef Series dinner was an excellent test for us and our sourcing skills and a challenge for Andre Miller who pulled off his menu (due to it being a rough month to be sourcing local produce) effortlessly as you will see from the photos below.
Evidence of our sourcing and taste-testing the week before...
The drinks were also a fun and integral part to the meal. We started with Champurrado made from Taza's cinnamon flavored chocolate and served up in the beautiful tasting cups the talented Tracy Daily custom-made for us.
and then had Clown Shoes Brewery's Clementine, Whammy #1 and Mexican Sombrero Chocolate Stout as our beers. Clown Shoes is out of Ipswich, MA and their beers not only have some of the funnier label graphics but also are solid, easy drinking beers across the board full of flavor and just enough Hops. It was hard to choose a favorite of the three we had - the Whammy was number one for the hoppy IPA lovers but the Sombrero was distinct in the intensity of it's chocolate flavor followed by a slight kick of chile pepper. I loved the Clementine as I find it to be a 'not-too-sweet', smooth white ale. Keep an eye out for these guys at Nantucket shelves.
Leah chose Pares de Balta as the wine as they are biodynamic, organic, family-owned and run in addition to being beekeepers!
And our pioneers had a selection of traditional Mexican drinks: Flor de Jamaica made with Hibiscus leaves, Yerba Buena Limonada and Horchata to finish.
Front of house, back of house, a hectic week of sourcing all came together for one special moment in time where a passionate and talented chef shared his love of Mexican cuisine, flavored by New England, with a guests equally passionate about supporting our local food network and all its players. And as always, a big thank you to Joy and Greg Margolis for having us in their kitchens.
The Chef - Andre Miller
of Straight Wharf Restaurant on Nantucket and Hungry Mother in Boston. Andre hails from the coast of Maine and although quiet, expresses his intense passion for food, community and impeccably sourced ingredients in every dish he prepares.
100 Mile Makers: “Where did this menu come from?”:
"The world of Mexican cuisine is fascinating in its history, complexity, and variation. Traditions there date back thousands of years, with the strong European influence of Spain and France, and more recent developments in cuisine coming from Lebanese and Japanese immigrations. The food of Mexico started me on the path to becoming a cook. Just after graduating high school in Texas, I spent 14 weeks living in Mexico city and Veracruz. The food blew me away, outrageously different and flavorful, I’d found myself immersed in a completely new cuisine that even some of the most authentic taquerias in South Texas and just over the border barely touched upon. I had to learn how to make it to eat it again, and thus began my journey into food and cooking. By no means would I call this menu authentically Mexican. It is inspired by the bounty of New England, by January, by my history with food, while ever leaning on the uniqueness and flavors of the cuisines that Mexico has to offer. Moles from Puebla, Gorditas from Mexico City, Flautas and Aguachile from the north, Sikil Pak from the Yucatan. An adaptation of a different world of flavor to this time and place.”
Weatherlow Farms, Westport, MA.
Owner Ryan Wagner - Lamb. Buy Direct.
Lazy Man Gardens, Nantucket, MA.
Farmer John Kusczpa - Kale. Buy Direct
Mi Tierra, Springfield, MA
Tortillas. Buy here
Ambrosia, Nantucket, MA
Owners/Farmers Dylan and Claudia - Smoked Anchos, Maple Syrup, Pimenton, Cinnamon. Buy Direct at their shop on Center St.
Narragansett Creamery, Narragansett, RI
Angelito, Ricotta, Queso Blanco - Buy here.
Stillman's Quality Meats, Gilbertville, MA
Pork - Boston Public Market
Nantucket Fresh Catch, Nantucket, MA
Owners Joan and Jeff - Oysters, Crab and Scallops. Bartlett's Farm
Stillman Farms, Lunenburg, MA
Potatoes, Radish, Celeriac - Boston Public Market
Clown Shoes Brewery, Ipswich, MA
Beer - Hatch's, Nantucket Wine and Spirits, Atlas Restaurant.
Pares de Balta, Spain
Wine - Buy at Bartlett's Farm
Pete's Greens, Stowe, VT
Beans, Beets - Buy at their store in VT.
Taza, Somerville, MA
Cinnamon, Guajillo and Original stone-ground chocolate, Chocolate Cocoa Nibs. Buy at Bartlett's Farm
It was an incredible night of Root Vegetables, Drinks on the Rocks and Reggae Music on a Monday night 30 Miles out to sea in December.
There was eating, there was dancing, there was drinking and there was one heck of a mix of Nantucketers.
How this happened:
- The 100 Mile Makers Team decides they want to do a night that gives us all inspiration for eating seasonally.
- Then they realized eating seasonally in December involves a lot of root vegetables which may not exactly be the excuse to get out of the house people are looking for
- So they decide they might need some music because who doesn't love a dance party
- And if there's dancing there might need to be a little booze
- And if there is food, dancing and drinks then we need some help
- So in comes Atlas Restaurant for the space, Bully Boy Distillers for the booze, the Nantucket Coastal Conservancy for the extra hands, Leah Mojer with the inspired menu and Tracy Daily for the cocktail-ready tasting cups.
- And lastly, throw in about 50 locals looking to cause some trouble on a Monday night where trouble comes in the form of eating seasonally and drinking locally.
How it all went down:
We had the producers.
We had the food.
We had the people to make it all happen.
And then we had the aftermath.
1 large Macomber Turnip*, coarsely chopped
5 large Carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup Ghee
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper (an intuitive dash of each)
- Roast veggies with Ghee, Maple Syrup, salt and pepper until semi-tender.
- Saute onion and garlic in a good size soup pot with approximately 2TB of Ghee
- Add roasted veggies to pot
- Add enough water to cover and simmer until veggies are very tender
- Blend with an immersion blender until smooth
- Add cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
- Blend in a Food Processor (ie Vita-Mix) in batches for an even smoother soup
More about the amazing Macomber Variety Turnip:
Originally bred by the Macomber brothers in Westport, Massachusetts circa 1867.
Nutrition: "If you ate a portion of turnip greens and roots daily, you could practically stop taking your daily vitamins. The roots contain vitamins A and C, and the greens are rich in calcium and iron, as well as thiamine and other B vitamins. A daily diet of turnips might be boring, but it sure would be good for you." - National Gardening Association
Tasting Notes: "The Macomber variety is very good eaten raw. Raw roots are moderately spicy and sweet, very juicy, and have a firm, crisp texture. Cooked roots are soft and creamy with an earthy potato-like flavor that is slightly bitter. Large white roots have red or green coloring around the top and range in shape from elliptic to triangular. " -
AKA: Swede or Rutabaga
This all started with Eidolon and Burrata. Two cheeses that I have been obsessed with all summer and two cheeses that, each time I arrived at the cheese case and promised myself I would try something new, I kept going back to - they were my habit, my comfort. And yet, their 'sisters' - Mozzarella and Prufrock - sat there in the cold case, calling my name, beckoning me to them, like the Sirens calling to Odysseus. Rather than cave, I decided a tasting was in order and since I surely couldn't eat all that cheese on my own, perhaps it would be better as a party and once it became a party, I needed more than just cheese and then all of a sudden, all the things that I wonder about how they taste and how they differ from each other - honey, meats, cookies, apples - had to be a part of this party. So that is how this began and below are our thoughts on and other's thoughts on how it went: comments, notes, the things we said and the things we didn't have time to say. All of this recorded in an effort to put the information out there for those who want to know more about local and learn more about the food we are eating.
#1 Cheese-Honey-Apple Course
Trio of Vineyard cheeses, late-season apples and duo of Nantucket Honeys
Mulled Cider with a splash of Bourbon
For the first time, watching Claudia masterfully simmer the cider with her own mulling spices, I realized mulled cider is a slow, patient process of love. Claudia had the cider simmering for almost two hours - about 2 hours longer than I have ever mulled my cider and what a difference it made. Being in the kitchen with Claudia, Leah and Dylan was an opportunity to watch passionate craftspeople in action - plates carefully selected for each course, punchbowls pre-warmed and then wrapped in blankets, cheese and apples artfully placed - all the details accounted for.
Grey Barn Farm, from the Vineyard, supplied us with the three cheeses:
Wild Pear and Lavender Jam was brought in at the last minute by Teddy, owner of Nantucket Jams, and it served as the perfect accompaniment to the cheese with a delicate lavender note.
Fraise de Bois - These were the little gems of strawberries that perhaps you thought were unripe. Rather, they are one of the more unusual varietes of strawberries, missing from our palettes because they don't ship well. Dylan grew a 'yellow' variety and for those who were brave enough to eat the garnish you may have had your own transcendtal moment:
"...strawberries don’t have to taste like vaguely strawberry-scented air. They can be transcendent. You just have to pick the right ones."
- Modern Farmer, July 2016
Apples, apples, apples. So many wonderful memories of apple picking in Upstate New York every autumn in my wool sweater and corduroys, each stop on the haywagon a different apple - the must-haves were the Northern Spy, the Jonah Gold and Empire. To me, this is one of the most stark losses in a network of food where things need to be bought in bulk and grown for shipping rather than flavor. It is so rare that we see any of these varieties in our stores. They have been replaced by mealy-Macintosh and Fuji's who somehow hide their bruises until you bite into them. But, we are lucky enough that Bartlett's Farm gets in Massachusetts apples from Carlson Orchards in Harvard, MA. Although the season was getting a little late, the Empire, Northern Spy and Gala were still available and ready for tasting.
Empire - crisp, sweet and tart all around apple
Gala - sweet and floral snacking apple
Northern Spy - juicy, a bit tart but with a more cider-quality and hints of pear. Great all around apple, late-season and stores well
Ambrosia's mulled spices, which are available at their shop, were perfect with the Nor-Easter Bourbon from Triple 8 and the Carlson Orchards Cider.
#2 Burrata v Mozzarella
Two beautiful cheeses served with greens and topped with Chive Blossom Vinegar Dressing
Anything, I would give anything to have an opportunity/excuse to eat mozzarella and burrata side by side - hence course #2 where cheese lovers were spoiled by Elizabeth Hitchcock's (Gioia) classic semi-soft italian cheeses.
Both of Gioia's cheeses are hand pulled and are fresh cheeses as opposed to aged.
Mozzarella has a 'delicate, milky flavor'. - the kitchn
Burrata is 'has a solid outer curd made from mozzarella, which is formed into a hollow pouch, then filled with a soft, stringy curd and fresh cream.' -the kitchn
2 Friends Farm Microgreens come in several different mixes and are available at Bartlett's. Microgreens are beautiful as garnishes but also additions to smoothies or as a salad on their own. Many microgreens provide a potent yet delicate version of their more mature counterparts. They are a great way to eat greens and get good nutrition even in the dead of winter as they grow year-round.
The chive blossom vinegar from Ambrosia with a bit olive oil and rose sea salt is both beautiful and delicious as a simple dressing.
The beautiful salad greens, pea shoots and radishes all came from the Community Farm Institute which is still quite productive at the moment. The CFI is an incubator farm run by Sustainable Nantucket. New farmers are given 3 to 5 years to learn not only how to grow and what to grow but how to work with chefs and consumers. If these farmers are successful after the incubation period they will have an opportunity to move onto a larger plot, provided by the Land Council. Getting our hands on more of the beautiful produce from the CFI is something we can all discuss with Michelle from Sustainable Nantucket.
Cisco has started doing ciders and actually has 3 different types at the moment: dry, semi-dry and extra-dry. The apples they use are coming from Western MA and with three different levels of sweetness to choose from there is a cider fro everyone.
#3 Two Squash Course
Amber Cup puree and roasted Carnival Squash topped with toasted Vadouvan Curry-Wild Nantucket Filberts
Amber Cup puree and roasted Carnival Squash topped with toasted Vadouvan Curry-Wild Nantucket Filberts
Wild Filberts are smaller and harder to husk than the cultivated filberts we are more accustomed to (aka hazelnuts). As we begin to re-cultivate our connections with our foods, appreciating the people finding them (aka Dylan) and appreciating every bite of these labor-intensive foods that often cannot be bought, is uber-important.
Dylan very lightly toasted these filberts in Ambrosia's Vadouvan Curry. The Vadouvan Curry is French derivative of a Masala blend whose flavor is made distinct by caramelized shallots and onions.
'A relative of the buttercup squash that resembles a small pumpkin with orange skin. Bright orange flesh has a dry sweet taste. Peel it, cube the flesh, roast it, and serve like cut-up sweet potatoes.
Great texture with no stringyness, is a sweet mild flavor, and is a gorgeous color. Has an extraordinarily long storage life.'
Great for soups.
'Cream colored with orange spots or pale green with dark green spots in vertical stripes. Carnival Squash have hard, thick skins and only the flesh is eaten. It is sometimes labeled as a type of acorn squash.
The delicious yellow meat is reminiscent of sweet potatoes and butternut squash and can be baked or steamed then combined with butter and fresh herbs. Also great in soups.
The Nantucket Vineyard Chardonnay served with this course was a real hit. It is a French style Chardonnay so has a light but full flavor.
#4 MEAT AND 7 VEG
Herbed Roast Beef and Spicy Italian Sausage with Sautéed Greens and Roasted Roots
Weatherlow Farm's spicy sausage and beef were the stars of this course. Weatherlow Farms, in Westport MA, is a new farm with a wise-old approach to farming.
Weatherlow has beef, poultry, goat, pork and cut flowers. They deliver to our island once/month. Read more about them here.
The Rantum Scoot is one of Cisco's Reserve Series and happens to be one of my favorites although beware as it is potent as well as delicious. The flavor is smooth, not too hoppy and easy to drink.
If you are a black tea fan you MUST head to Ambrosia and try one of Claudia's black tea selections. You haven't tasted real tea until you have tried on of her beautiful black tea blends. The Assam, which is the base for many English Breakfast Teas, was the one we tasted. I would also recommend the Temi to real black tea lovers.
#5 dessert at last
Toffee, Honey-Walnut, Chocolate Bark, Chipotle Pepita Brittle, Russian Teacakes
This course really speaks for itself. It is impossible to have highlights when everything was so beautiful.
Dylan and Claudia pulled out all the stops on this beautiful dessert plate of treats from Small Town Girl, Ambrosia and Lark.
Just a note to keep in mind: Cookies from Lark have a season. Enjoy your Russian Teacakes all winter as they will be out of season come the warmer months. What I really love about this is that Lark has made the decision not to send their goods in refrigerated vehicles - one big decision for a small business, one small step towards a more sustainable food system. Thank you Lark...
Lastly, the Rooibos Chai must be mentioned as Ambrosia has basically taken two of the best teas out there and combined them for a spicy, naturally sweet blend that you can't overbrew. Rooibos, by the way, is a tea that comes from a very specific plant that will only grow in a certain area of South Africa - another food item to cherish every sip and every tea leaf as it's not easy being a Rooibos farmer.
Below are the details of each course: the goods, the makers and where to find them. For even more details to geek out on, check out our tasting notes page here.
#1 CHEESE - HONEY - APPLES - JAM
To Eat: A trio of Vineyard Cheeses, late-season apples, a Nantucket jam and a duo of Nantucket Honeys
To Drink: Mulled Cider with a splash of Bourbon (or not)
Honey - The two honeys came from two different Nantucket Honey producers Pond Lot and Bee Happy Honey.
Apples - We tasted three different types of apples: Gala, Empire and Northern Spy.
Cheese - The three cheeses were all from Grey Barn and Farm on the Vineyard.
Bread - We had two different Pain D'Avignon breads toasted - the cranberry pecan loaf and the 7 Grain Loaf.
Jam - Teddy from Nantucket Jams made a beautiful Wild Pear and Lavender Jam.
Mulled Cider with Bourbon - The apple cider from Carlson Orchards was simmered with mulling spices from Ambrosia and then, upon request, a splash of Triple Eight's Nor'Easter Bourbon
Ambrosia - Nantucket, MA
Mulling Spices. Available at their own shop on Center St.
Bee Happy Honey - Nantucket, MA
Honey. Available at Bartlett's and online.
Carlson Orchards- Harvard, MA
Cider and apples. Available at Bartlett's in season
Grey Barn and Farm - Chilmark, MA
Prufrock, Eidolon and Bluebird organic cheeses. Available at Bartletts (in season).
Nantucket Jams - Nantucket, MA
Wild Pear and Lavender Jam. Available online or at events
Triple Eight - Nantucket, MA
Nor'Easter Bourbon Whiskey. Available at the Brewery or in liquor stores.
Pain D'Avignon - Hyannis, MA
Cranberry Pecan Loaf and 7 Grain Loaf. Available at Annye's and Stop and Shop or at their cafe in Hyannis.
Pond Lot - Nantucket, MA
Honey. Available at Ambrosia
#2 BURRATA V. MOZZARELLA
To Eat: Two beautiful cheeses served with greens and topped with Chive Blossom Vinegar Dressing
To Drink: Lady in the Woods, Dry Cider or Lemon-Verbena Tea
Cheese - The two incredible cheeses - Burrata and Mozzarella - were both from Gioia.
Greens - The bed of beautiful salad greens came straight from the Community Farm Institute and included Pea Shoots, Radishes and Salad Greens
Microgreens - the tiny and lovely microgreens from 2 Friends Farm topped the salad, providing us with a bit of color and a lot of nutrition.
Dressing - Dylan used Ambrosia's Chive Blossom Vinegar as the base for the dressing on the salad
Beer and Cider - Lady in the Woods was the beer - an aged ale, slightly sour and the Cider was Cisco's Dry Cider.
Tea - The Lemon Verbena Tea was island-grown by Dylan and Claudia from Ambrosia.
Ambrosia - Nantucket, MA
Chive Blossom Vinegar. Available at their own shop on Center St.
Community Farm Institute - Nantucket, MA
Pea Shoots, Radishes and Salad Greens. Available directly from the growers or at the weekly Artisan's Market
#3 TWO-SQUASHES SIDE BY SIDE
To Eat: Amber Cup puree and roasted Carnival Squash topped with toasted Vadouvan Curry-Wild Nantucket Filberts
To Drink: Saison Farm House, Chardonnay, Oolong Tea
Squash - We wanted to have an opportunity to try two different squashes to discover the difference (if any) in flavor and texture. The two we chose were the Ambercup and the Carnival, both from Bartlett's.
Vadouvan Curry Spice - A French-style curry blend from Ambrosia, set apart from other curry blends in that it features caramelized shallots, giving it slightly sweet/savory complexity.
Filberts - harvested by hand by Dylan from Polpis Road. Keep an eye out for the beauties and appreciate every bite as they are slow to husk.
Rose Sea Salt - A custom Sea Salt blend from Ambrosia using Wild Roses to add flavor and color.
Beer and Wine - The Saison Farm House is a Cisco Brewery reserve beer - quite strong and not too sour. The Chardonnay is a French-Style (so a little less buttery, more clear texture) using California grapes.
Tea - Ooolong is a 1/2 black - 1/2 green tea blend from Ambrosia
#4 MEAT AND 7 VEG
To Eat: Herbed Roast Beef and Hot Italian Sausage with Sautéed Greens and Roasted Roots
To Drink: Rantum Scoot, Wash-Ashore Red and Assam Tea
Beef - From Weatherlow farm. Roasted with the Juniper Woods Rub from Ambrosia.
Sausage - Spicy Sausages from Weatherlow Farms.
Beans - These were Scarlet Runner Beans grown by Dylan Wallace himself.
Juniper Woods Rub - a beautifully seasonal spice blend from Ambrosia that works on meats and vegetables.
Sea Salt - from Cape Cold Saltworks was used as a finishing salt. Cape Cod Saltworks is owned by CapeAbilities, a non-profit organization that provides work opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Greens and Roots - a mix of greens and root vegetables all from Nantucket Farms including carrots, kale
Beer and Cider - Rantum Scoot, another Cisco Reserve Beer, the Wash-Ashore Red - a blend of grapes
Tea - Assam, a classic black tea that is the base of many English Breakfast Blends.
Ambrosia - Nantucket, MA
Juniper Woods Rub, Beans, Assam. Everything but the beans available at their own shop on Center St.
Community Farm Institute - Nantucket, MA
Kale and Carrots. Available directly from the farmers or at the Artisan's Market
Moor's End - Nantucket, MA
Greens and Root Vegetables. Available at their farmstand.
Pumpkin Pond Farm - Nantucket, MA
Greens and Root Vegetables. Available at their farm.
Weatherlow Farm - Westport, MA
Beef and Sausage. Available through their website.
#5 DESSERTS AT LAST
To Eat: Toffee, Caramels, Chocolate Bark, Chocolate-Dipped Peaches, Chipotle Pepita Brittle, Russian Teacakes
To Drink: Rooibos Chai
Toffee, Caramels and Brittle - All from Taylor at Small Town Girl
Chocolate Bark - a beautiful bar of dark chocolate from Ambrosia with rose
Chocolate Dipped Peaches - Organic Peaches dipped in chocolate.
Russian Teacakes - from Lark Fine Foods, these are only available in the cooler months as they don't ship well in hot weather. Which means it is officially Russian Teacake Season...
Tea - The Rooibos Chai was a beautiful finish to an incredible meal. Naturally sweet and caffeine-free the Rooibos Chai is a great tea as you can't over-brew.
Ambrosia - Nantucket, MA
Rooibos Chai, Chocolate Bark and Chocolate-Dipped Fruits. Available at their own shop on Center St.
Lark - Essex, MA
Russian Teacakes. Available at Bartlett's and Annye's.
Small Town Girl - Nantucket, MA
Toffee, Caramels and Brittle. Available at markets and at Pi Pizza's take-out shop.
OTHER MAKERS GOODS
Mugs and Dinnerware from Tracy Daily whom you can find at many island markets
Candles from Bee Happy Honey
Cut Flowers from Weatherlow Farms
AND LASTLY, A BIG THANK YOU TO DYLAN AND CLAUDIA FROM AMBROSIA FOR MAKING THE FOOD HAPPEN AND THE NANTUCKET CULINARY CENTER FOR PROVIDING THE SPACE.