Merrick Carreiro is the co-owner and chef at the Little House Cafe in Vineyard Haven, which reopened Wednesday, March 7, after closing on February 25 for a short break. In the third of a series of conversations with chefs, The Times asked Ms. Carreiro a few questions to get to know her better.
After graduating from the Stratford Chef’s School in Ontario, Canada, Merrick Carreiro moved to Martha’s Vineyard where she exercised her newfound professional cooking skills at Cafe Moxie. She worked as head chef there for three years and then took a break from restaurant work to focus on raising her two young sons.
Almost 10 years later, another opportunity arose and Ms. Carreiro joined in partnership in a new adventure, the Little House Café, which opened last year. While Ms. Carreiro’s focus is on the kitchen, she and co-owner Jenik Khelalfa collaborate on everything. Here are some of Ms. Carreiro’s thoughts on cooking and eating.
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What’s your favorite ingredient right now?
Lime. I use it whenever I can. It livens things up – makes them zesty.
What is your most memorable meal?
My most recent memorable meal was Thanksgiving dinner with friends. I didn’t cook, just enjoyed. All professional cooks love to be cooked for.
What is one kitchen tool you can’t live or cook without?
My favorite tool varies but for now I love my salad spinner. I use the basket for everything.
Where in the world would you most like to travel, in the name of food?
In the name of food I would love to travel back to Austin, Texas on an eating vacation. I was able to just scratch the surface in terms of what the “food truck” culture has to offer.
What’s for dinner when you have less than 15 minutes to make it?
An omelet and Rickard’s 16-grain bread, my favorite.