Good Taste: The new chef in town: Giordano Smiroldo gets settled at Alchemy

Alchemy's new chef Giordano Smiroldo boasts an impressive résumé including Del Posto, the French Laundry, and Bouchon. — Photo by Marnely Rodriguez-Murra

A new chef took the helm at Alchemy’s kitchen this season, Chef Giordano Smiroldo, when former Chef Craig Decker moved on to Rockfish. A first-timer on the Vineyard, Chef Smiroldo first visited the Island on a cold February day this past winter, and fell in love with the calmness of the place. Originally from St. Martin in the Caribbean, Chef Smiroldo has worked in some of the best restaurants in the country, including celebrity chef Mario Batali’s famed Del Posto in New York, and Chef Thomas Keller’s creations, the French Laundry and Bouchon, in California.

Chef Smiroldo’s Italian heritage is what brings him to Alchemy, where owners Scott and Charlotte Caskey focus on creating a contemporary casual American restaurant with a strong Italian and French foundation. But if you’re wondering if Alchemy will become an Italian restaurant, the answer is no. The reasoning behind the Italian influence of the restaurant is explained to us by Mr. Caskey: “An old friend of mine, Chef Jimmy Bradley [now chef and owner of the Red Cat and the Harrison in New York City], got us into the Italian motif, around 1990. His philosophy on Italian was that it was overdone, Americans putting too many ingredients in dishes. Great Italian food should be two or three great ingredients that shine. Jimmy set us on that road — and when I read Gio’s résumé, and seeing him come from one of Mario Batali’s restaurants, Del Posto, I knew I had found what I was looking for.”

Chef Smiroldo’s résumé, including his education at Johnson & Wales in Providence, as well as his positions in New York and California, plus his Italian heritage and skills, are what landed him the job. And that first visit in February set the stage for his entry into the Edgartown restaurant scene, a scene that every year becomes even more competitive, across a diverse group of restaurants offering some of the best food on the Island, and a scene that’s incredibly exciting to be a part of.

Chef Smiroldo talks about how his new menu is focused on seasonal, fresh, and simple, ingredients, sourced from many Island farms, as well as the restaurant’s own. Fresh produce comes from Morning Glory Farm, North Tabor Farm, and Blu Tick Farm (owned by Alchemy), where they smoke potatoes, bluefish for their fritters, and tomatoes.

For their meats, they are working with a variety of purveyors, trying to source some of the best meats possible as well as supporting local butcher Shiretown Meats, which make an exclusive burger blend for Alchemy. Fish and seafood are sourced from the Net Result, Edgartown Seafood, and Menemsha Fish House.

Celebrating the Italian American he is, Chef Smiroldo’s fresh pasta is made in house, using the best ingredients, and you can taste it when you order their housemade pappardelle & daube of lamb ($28). Laced with pecorino and mint, the lamb is sourced from Virginia, and it’s a stick-to-your-bones kind of dish that will leave you craving more.

We’re looking forward to seeing how the menu develops this season under Chef Smiroldo’s guidance. Alchemy, serving dinner seven nights a week, is always a good idea on Main Street, Edgartown. For reservations, call 508-627-9999.