Photos & results: Local Wild Food Challenge

Hal Ryerson, grand prize winner at the Local Wild Food Challenge held last Sunday evening. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Hal Ryerson of Détente Restaurant won the second annual Martha’s Vineyard Local Wild Food Challenge held last Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club in Edgartown.

Mr. Ryerson prepared local bay scallops on a parsnip puree made with The Grey Barn and Farm’s cream and smoked sea salt with a Russian olive gastrique alongside a salad of arugula, Quitsa pond sea beans, and Tiasquin Orchard McIntosh apples. The dish also included dolmas made with wild grape leaves, stuffed with rice, homemade lemon confit, wild oregano, and locally made pancetta. His creation won him a cruise on the luxury motor yacht Keldi to Nantucket, for eight people, with food from Soigne, and also a handcrafted chopping board from Krug & Ryan Co.

Winner of the first runner-up amateur prize was Michelle Manfredi, who made Sweet Bitters Liqueur: a sparkling cocktail with sweetbitter Prosecco with organic orange zest and sweet pepperbush honeysuckle.

Charlotte Rooney, 10, won the Best Kids Dish category for her M.V. PB&J, a sandwich made with wild black chestnut butter with wild raspberry jam on wild yeast flatbread cooked in a wood fire oven. It was served on a dish with wild greens — purslane and dandelion — with homegrown cucumber, carrots, and garden herbs, with a wild raspberry and fresh yogurt dressing. For dessert, she made a wild pear crisp with wild autumn olive, blueberry, and strawberry syrup and black chestnut topping. Her prize: a pizza and gelato party for 10 friends at Lattanzi’s.

Charlotte’s mother, Rachel, and her friend Kira Shepherd won the Best Use of Local Ingredients category for their dish: braised home-raised and slaughtered rooster in homemade, one-year-old wine made with wild beach plums, wild grape, and wild autumn olive with garden vegetables and homemade chicken stock. Their prize was a giant basket of produce from Morning Glory Farm and lunch for two at Right Fork Diner.

Perhaps the most interesting dish? Lila Fischer and Rachel Curtin’s second runner-up win in the amateur category for their Wild Primrose and Artichoke Soup with Acorn Biscuits, served with sauteed grasshoppers and crisped dandelion greens.


Grand prize: Hal Ryerson

1st Runner Up Amateur: Michelle Manfredi

1st Runner Up Professional: Chris Fischer

2nd Runner Up Amateur: Rachel Curtin & Lila Fischer

2nd Runner Up Professional: Marc Brasefield & Daniel Zunigs

Best Effort: John Searle

Wild Ingredient Use: Chris Fischer

Best Ingredient Story: Ben Cabot

Best Use of Local Ingredient: Kira Shepherd & Rachel Rooney

Best Ocean: Jane Howie

Best Kids: Charlotte Rooney

Best Winged: Rachel Curtin & Lila Fischer

Honorable Mentions: Mike Harmon, Ned Casey, Charlotte Hurley, Emily Coulter, Donna Vose.