Authors Posts by Eleni Roriz

Eleni Roriz

Eleni Roriz

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Elizabeth Warren, left, signed books at Bunch of Grapes on Friday. — Lisa Vanderhoop

Elizabeth Warren supporters and admirers from near and far gathered at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore on Main Street in Vineyard Haven Friday to meet the U.S. Senator and receive a signed copy of her new book, “A Fighting Chance.”

Ms. Warren’s handlers shielded her from press questions. In lieu of the senator, The Times asked gleeful patrons, books in hand, to comment.

Barbara Lerner, age 53, of Amherst

“It was so good to have the opportunity and a minute to talk to her. We wanted to encourage her to continue her fight for American people.”

Arlene, 55, and Meg Rhodes, 16, of Amherst, and Adam Rhodes, 27 of San Francisco, Calif.

“We’re big fans and we’re hoping she’ll run for president. We didn’t have much chance to talk to her– really, we just wanted a picture.”

Grant Llera, 22, of West Hartford, Conn.

“I ran down here as soon I heard she was coming, and I told her that if she ran for president, she’d have my vote. She and Hillary Clinton would make a great team.”

Lois, 67, and Ben Wolkowitz, 68, of Chilmark and Madison, Wisc.

“My husband used to work with the Federal Reserve at D.C. so there was mention of that. We just had 15 seconds to talk to her and she is a delightful woman.”


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State and local police are investigating a fatal accident that occurred this afternoon near the Yoga Barn on South Road in Chilmark. South Road is closed between the Grange Hall in West Tisbury and Beetlebung Corner in Chilmark, except for limited local traffic, by permission of police.

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Lampost wings are half-off Thursdays through Sundays from 4 to 7 pm. — Ralph Stewart

Each week, The Times rounds up restaurant specials. Here are the deals for June 5–June 11.


  • At Coop de Ville in Oak Bluffs, get the Dockside Clambake (lobster, steamers, corn on the cob, and chowder) for $35.
  • Bistro Night at Lambert’s Cove Inn in West Tisbury features three courses for $45.
  • Get half-price wings at The Lampost from 4 to 7 pm.


  • Wings are half-price at The Lampost from 4 to 7 pm.
  • June 6 is National Donut Day: Get a free homemade glazed donut at Water Street at the Harbor View with purchase of entree for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • It’s Prime Rib Night at The Wharf.


  • Prime Rib Night at Ocean View, $19.99.
  • It’s also Prime Rib Night at The Newes From America, $19.
  • Half-price wings at The Lampost from 4 to 7 pm.


  • Last day of half-price wings at The Lampost, 4 to 7 pm, until next Thursday.
  • Sushi Night at The Lookout: 25% off.
  • The Wharf features Shepherd’s Pie Night.


  • Monday Madness at Coop de Ville in Oak Bluffs means a lobster roll and fries for $13.50.


  • It’s Twin Lobster Night at The Wharf in Edgartown
  • At The Lookout Tavern, it’s 1/2 lb. Burger Night. Cheeseburgers are $8, specialty burgers are $10, all come with fries.
  • Tuesdays are Lobsterfest at Coop de Ville in Oak Bluffs: get a steamed lobster and corn on the cob for $15.


  • Lobsters are $22.99 at Ocean View Restaurant in Oak Bluffs.
  • It’s Lobster Mania at The Seafood Shanty: 1.5 lb. lobsters with fries are $19.99.
  • The Shuck Shack in Oak Bluffs serves a Shore Dinner: Lobster, chowder, and stuffed quahog for $20.

Ongoing specials

At The Sweet Life Cafe, early birds get half-off prices when dining at the bar before 6 pm.

Enjoy a take-out lunch special from The Square Rigger: cheeseburger, fries, and a drink is $9.95.

Seniors take 10% off daily lunch at the Ocean View Restaurant.

Get two-for-one entrees nightly at The Grill on Main.

Eat early at Giordano’s Restaurant, daily 11:30 to 5:30, and enjoy a $35.99 prix fixe meal.

At Detente, the menu is half-off when dining before 6 pm at the bar.

Coop de Ville serves $1 littlenecks.

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— Ralph Stewart

Each week, The Times rounds up restaurant specials. Here are the deals for May 29–June 4.


  • At Coop de Ville in Oak Bluffs, get the Dockside Clambake (lobster, steamers, corn on the cob, and chowder) for $35.
  • The Grill on Main in Edgartown offers two-for-one entrees.
  • It’s Bistro Night at Lambert’s Cove Inn in West Tisbury, enjoy three courses for $45.
  • Water Street @ the Harbor View, in Edgartown, features a Throwback Thursday menu, three courses are $30.


  • Get two-for-one entrees at The Grill on Main in Edgartown.
  • Local oysters are $10/half-dozen at Water Street @ the Harbor View in Edgartown.
  • It’s Prime Rib Night at The Wharf in Edgartown.


  • Two-for-one at The Grill on Main in Edgartown.
  • Prime Rib is $19 at The Newes From America Pub in Edgartown.
  • Or, get prime rib in Oak Bluffs, $19.99 at the Ocean View Restaurant.
  • Saturday’s mean happy hour food specials at The Lampost in Oak Bluffs, from 4 to 6 pm.


  • The Wharf in Edgartown is serving Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Happy hour food specials from 4 to 6 pm at The Lampost in Oak Bluffs.
  • Two-for-one entrees at The Grill on Main in Edgartown.


  • Monday Madness at Coop de Ville in Oak Bluffs means a lobster roll and fries for $13.50.
  • The Grill on Main has two-for-one entrees.
  • It’s Fried Chicken Night at The Wharf in Edgartown.


  • At The Lookout Tavern in Oak Bluffs, it’s two-for-one Burger Night. Cheeseburgers are $8, specialty burgers are $10.
  • It’s Twin Lobster Night at The Wharf in Edgartown
  • Tuesdays mean Lobsterfest at Coop de Ville in Oak Bluffs: get a steamed lobster and corn on the cob for $15.
  • Two-for-0ne entrees at The Grill on Main, in Edgartown.


  • Get two-for-one entrees at The Grill on Main in Edgartown.
  • Lobsters are $22.99 at Ocean View Restaurant in Oak Bluffs.
  • Wednesday mean Corned Beef and Cabbage Night at The Wharf in Edgartown.

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Grand prize winner Everett Whiting. — Photo by Robert Morrison

Out of nearly 50 dishes entered in the fourth annual Martha’s Vineyard Local Wild Food Challenge (LWFC), the grand prize winning dish was wild cranberry, Russian olive, and local honey glazed mallard duck breast with confit duck leg, fried wild onion, whipped Jerusalem artichokes, sautéed chicken of the woods and watercress salad, in a crab apple grape dressing and served with roast chicory and hazelnut brew, made by Islander Everett Whiting. For his hard work, he won a catered day cruise to Nantucket on a yacht for eight people, a Krug and Ryan chopping board, and a magnum of Whispering Angel from Vintage M.V. Wine and Spirits.

The LWFC is the brainchild of Billy and Sarah Manson, who now organize six challenges around the world. At the Vineyard LWFC, held at the Rod and Gun Club in Edgartown this past Monday, Oct. 14, adults and children alike enjoyed a gorgeous fall day and were treated to a buffet of food including wild boar chili and truffle macaroni and cheese; live music by Mike Benjamin, Wes Nagy, and Anthony Esposito; and could taste the competitors’ dishes when the judges were finished. This year’s judges were Albert Lattanzi of Lattanzi’s Restaurant in Edgartown, last year’s M.V. challenge winner Dan Athearn, and this year’s Finland challenge winner Simo Saarimaa.

Islander Tyler Gibson won first runner up with a conch and scallop ceviche. Second runner up went to Emily Coulter and Jay Kuss for their dish of crispy frogs legs with switch grass crust; pumpkin, sassafras, and Irish moss mousse; venison sausage; and chestnut and pear stuffing. Lila Fischer of West Tisbury won for Wildest Ingredient with her “Junk Food Gone Wild” creation of burdock roots, fried ants, redroot pigweed seeds, dandelion, Jerusalem artichokes, and wild carrot.

Third runner up went to Nathan Gould, executive chef at the Harbor View Hotel, for his Vineyard goose, chicken on the woods agnolotti, bird’s nest carrots, Russian olives, and forest floor greens.

Pete Gilligan and Kevin Brennan received the prize for Best Effort with braised squirrel, wild burdock and sunchoke puree, Johnny cake with chestnuts and blueberries. Best Use of Local Ingredient went to Nikolas Mastalerz, also of the Harbor View Hotel, with his wild Russian olive tart, sassafras root, acorns and beauty berries.

The Hemingway award, aka Best Story, went to David Joseph for his story about his Bloody Martha beverages made with rum, Quahog broth, autumn olives, and porcelain berries.

Mike Harmon won Best From the Ocean with shellfish en brodo with North Atlantic cusk and watercress pesto. Best From the Land went to Doug Werther with crispy confit rabbit legs, puffball mushrooms, watercress, and local beets. Best on the Wing went to Bobbi McLaughlin and JP Shepard for their pan-seared pigeon breast with acorn stuffing and dogwood vinaigrette, and sumac tea.

A kid’s challenge was held earlier in the day. Of the approximate 15 entries, 11-year-old Madia Bellebuono won the grand prize. She made pan-seared venison; wild sweet dumplings; an elderberry wine reduction; dandelion, fig, and wild greens salad; with bacon and homemade goat cheese.

For more information, visit

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Chef Dan Sauer's entry last year: Island Style Pho, a dish of Vietnamese origin. — Photo courtesy of Bill Manson

Since its inception in New Zealand back in 2009, the Local Wild Food Challenge has gone global: in addition to the annual Martha’s Vineyard event, competitions are now held yearly in Finland, the French Alps, and Hawaii beginning this year.

This year’s Vineyard event, at the M.V. Rod and Gun Club in Edgartown, is this Monday, Oct. 14, from 3 until approximately 6 pm (the last call for entries). The challenge, to create the best dish with at least one wild ingredient, is open to anyone, both amateur and professional. “Entries may be hot, cold, liquid, frozen, any form you feel like creating. Make enough for the three judges –Dan Athearn, last year’s Vineyard winner; Albert Lattanzi; and Simo Saarimaa, winner of this year’s Finland Challenge – to taste, and more for the tasting table if you like,” according to a press release. “All dishes must be pre-prepared, but there is a refrigerator, hotplate, oven, grills, prep tables, and boards to finish off dishes. Judging will be based on ingredient, taste, presentation, and effort. Each of these categories is worth the same amount of points so please bring a description/story of your dish with you.” Currently there is more than $9,000 worth in prizes, awarded from 40 sponsors.

Spectators can taste the creations from the tasting table, buy beer and wine during the event, and also tee-shirts, hats, and calendars.

New this year is a Kid’s Challenge, from 3 to 5 pm. Interested children should contact Nicole Cabot of Island Grown Schools at For more information about the event, visit or email info@localwildfoodchallenge.

The Times recently spoke with event founder Billy Manson, who spends part of the year in Edgartown and the rest in the Wellington, New Zealand, area, along with his wife, Sarah, and nine-year-old daughter, Grace.

MV Times: Where did the idea for the Local Wild Food Challenge come from?

Billy Manson: It came from being in New Zealand. I’ve grown up with a lot of people that hunt and gather and fish. For the longest time, people would give away things they’ve gathered, kind of like a barter. Abalone [a New Zealand shellfish] for rock lobsters, garden lettuce for wild pig, just a lot of interesting and yummy wild food that would be swapped around the community. If anyone gets a really good bag or someone gets a big king fish or snapper, there was always kudos to who got that. I thought we’d put together a really fun, casual, mellow contest, showing how people use wild food in everyday life.

MVT: What’s one dish that stands out in your mind throughout all of the challenges?

BM: I’ve gotta say Chris Fischer’s squirrel stood out pretty well [Martha’s Vineyard 2011 winner for Wildest Ingredient]. We also had a guy who did a caramelized cicada [in New Zealand]; he went and foraged his own blackberries and made blackberry ice cream with cream from a local farm, then went around catching cicadas. He caramelized them and sprinkled them over the ice cream. That was really cool.

Then another person went flyfishing for salmon and canned it, and then made the label on the salmon can with photographs of his entire salmon fishing trip. It was so interesting, and a huge amount of effort went into it.

Every time we do them they get more and more outstanding. I could tell you about 100 more astonishing dishes.

MVT: What do you predict will be a popular wild ingredient used in this year’s Vineyard challenge?

BM: I saw acorns featured a lot last year, I thought was great, going back to the old recipes of the Wampanoags making flour out of acorns.

I’ve heard a lot of people talking about Russian olives — or autumn berry, their official name. They’re particularly good this year.

Meanwhile, I’ve been promoting the kousa dogwood berry, the tree you see in everyone’s garden with the red spiky fruit. The inside of those is this custardy, apricoty pulp.

MVT: Do you cook at home? What’s one of your favorite, simple dishes to cook?

BM: I cook a lot, all the time. Any fin fish that anyone happens to be catching. Definitely abalone at home. At the moment here on the Vineyard, albacore or bonito.

MVT: Anything else you would like to add?

BM: We’re trying to say this isn’t really a freak show. We’re trying to say to people, ‘Get into your wild food in everyday life. Understand your space and environment, use your resources, be respectful, and have fun.’

And, we advise to stay ingredient safe. If foraging, go with someone who knows local ingredients! It’s a great way to learn about your island.

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Sunflowers and zinnias are in bloom in the COMSOG flower garden. — Photo by Eleni Roriz

I never knew there were so many varieties of eggplant until I visited the Community Solar Greenhouse (COMSOG) in Oak Bluffs.

Manager Chris Legge, the sole paid employee (the rest of the show is run by volunteers), showed me around on Friday morning. It’s a pick-your-own operation, and what’s available currently are several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers (ever heard of a lemon cucumber?) and eggplant; kale; Malabar spinach, a variety that thrives in heat; collard greens; herbs; and more. I even got a taste of a stevia leaf – which tastes just like sugar.

The produce was so plentiful and Mr. Legge so accommodating that I signed up for a membership on the spot. The yearly fee is $30 for a single, $35 for a couple.

You don’t have to be a member to buy from the greenhouse, but members benefit with a discount. Tomatoes are regularly $3 per pound, and $2/lb. for members, $1/lb. with two hours of volunteering per week, and free if you volunteer for four hours per week. In fact, everything is free if you volunteer for four hours per week. Heads of lettuce go for $2 per head for non-members, $1 for members, and $.50 for two hours of volunteer work.

This year, Mr. Legge, a landscape designer by trade, is growing a range of flowers from globe amaranth to zinnias, and makes bouquets to sell at the Oak Bluffs Open Market on Sundays, and plans to work on wreaths in the future. They are also growing a variety of squash and gourds, including pumpkins, for the greenhouse’s annual Fall Festival in October.

As for pest control, COMSOG uses Neem primarily, a vegetable oil. “We’re as low as you can get,” Mr. Legge said in regards to pesticide use.

COMSOG was founded in 1983. It is located at 114 New York Avenue in Oak Bluffs. For more information, stop by, call 508-693-2019, or email

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Stiltshoppers show the audience their feathers in "Wonderful Webbed Feet, Beautiful Beaks, Fabulous Feathers." — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Built on Stilts, the annual dance and performance festival, celebrates its 17th season starting this Thursday, August 8. Shows continue nightly through August 11, then resume August 17 through 20.

This season features the work of more than 40 choreographers from the Vineyard and beyond. Participating groups include amateur acts, local companies such as The Yard and RISE Vineyard Performing Arts, visiting acts from as far away as Seattle, and professionals from companies in New York City.

“The festival’s all-inclusive philosophy has attracted an enormous range of choreographic sophistication and technical ability, defining Built on Stilts by its collective energy and creative output, as a home in which professional participants are free to experiment and fledgling performers can discover the joy of making dances,” according to a press release.

Festival director and co-founder Abby Bender says that this year’s performances will be more varied and include more visiting artists than ever before. Built on Stilts encourages all styles of performance art, from miming to circus, and it features dancers of all ages. Each year, two workshops are offered: Stiltshop, for kids aged 5 to 11; and Advancedshop, for teens 12 to 16. After a week of working with an experienced choreographer, the youths collaborate to create their own performances for the festival.

This year, there has been a “changing of the guards,” says Ms. Bender. “Many of the locally grown amateur dances are being made and performed by young adults who grew up through the kids and teens workshops and have been part of the festival since they were quite small.”

This year’s festival also includes performances by faculty members from Bard College’s Dance Department, Ms. Bender and co-founder Anna Luckey’s alma mater. “There’s something that has come sort of magically full-circle about these artists’ involvement,” Ms. Bender said.

Built on Stilts, August 8–11 and 17–20, 8 pm, Union Chapel, Oak Bluffs. Nightly drum circles begin at 7:30 pm. Free, donations encouraged. No reservations. For more information, visit

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— Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society (MVCMS), the 43-year-old group that brings world-class musicians to the Vineyard for concerts featuring a mix of classical and contemporary works, hosts three sets of performances in August after a busy July.

Among the remaining participating musicians are members of some of the world’s premiere orchestras who will perform pieces from Mozart to Ellington. The concerts are held twice a week, Mondays at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown and Tuesdays at the Chilmark Community Center.

Coming up next is Ingenious Amedeus on August 5 and 6, with Franklin Cohen, Diana Cohen, Scott Woolweaver, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Sebastian Krunnies, Jacob Braun, and MVCMS artistic director Delores Stevens. The group will perform various pieces by Mozart.

A set of performances on August 12 and 13 called Vineyard Pops! features soprano Karen Benjamin, performing songs by George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and a Broadway medley. “We rarely have two singers in the summer,” Ms. Stevens said.

Lastly, MVCMS presents Infinity Goes to Broadway on August 19 and 20 with Infinity Brass. The group features Christopher Moore and Wayne de Maine on trumpet, Paul Stevens on horn, Andrew Malloy on trombone, and Scott Watson on tuba. Ms. Stevens will accompany the group, which will play tunes including Ellington’s “Rent Party Blues,” highlights from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” and Bernstein’s “Westside Story,” on piano.

Concerts begin at 8 pm. Tickets are $35; $30 with Our Island Club card; free for students. For more information, call 508-696-8055 or visit

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On Friday, Mermaid Farm had ample red onions, heirloom tomatoes, lilies, sunflowers, cheese, and yogurt. — Photo by Eleni Roriz

I set out to visit a few Island farms this morning knowing the traffic would be horrendous because of the gloomy weather, but even as I drove back down-Island through Vineyard Haven at lunch time – awful – I felt it was completely worth it. The quiet calm at Beetlebung Farm and Mermaid Farm, and even the busy Alley’s Farm Stand was a nice break from down-Island.

I had never been to Alley’s Farm Stand before. It’s really a mini-market with a lot of Vineyard-made goods: Net Result dips, produce from various Island farms, M.V. Sea Salt, Not Your Sugar Mamas cookies, and Enchanted Chocolates, to name a few. There were plenty of pints of fresh Island blueberries from Palches Blueberry Farm ($7). Alley’s Farm Stand, behind Alley’s General Store, State Rd., West Tisbury. 508-693-0088.

I had also never been to Beetlebung Farm, and I’ll definitely be going back. First off, there’s obviously the standard farm stand and today there was garlic, kale, chard, small tomatoes ($5/lb.), cucumbers, carrots, beets, flowers, and eggs. But when you go in the small shed to pay, there’s even more to pick from: today there were scones and cookies from the Chilmark Cottage Baker, Chilmark Coffee Company coffee beans, gourmet olive oil, grass-fed beef, as well as paintings for sale by Marie F. Scott, ladles hand-blacksmithed on the Vineyard, pottery, and letterpress cards by farm manager Emma Nicholas Young. Beetlebung Farm, Middle Rd., Chilmark.

I was really looking forward to a mango lassi for breakfast from my last stop, Mermaid Farm, but no luck this morning. Instead, the fridge was packed with cheese and yogurt: whole milk plain yogurt, feta, and “Fromage,” their soft, creamy cheese. Outside on the produce table, the heirloom tomatoes looked great ($6/lb.), as did the red onions, and flowers: lilies and sunflowers, sold on the property from Black Cat Flower Farm. Mermaid Farm, Middle Rd., Chilmark. 508-645-3492.