Home-grown cooking with heart

Gina Stanley, Chris Chaput, and Tina Miller
Taking a photo break in the ArtCliff's kitchen were busy chefs (from left) ArtCliff owner Gina Stanley, Chris Chaput, and Tina Miller, whose cookbook "Vineyard Harvest" highlights local food. Photo by Danielle Zerbonne

By Pat Waring - February 8, 2007

Love was in the air along with scrumptious aromas from the kitchen at the ArtCliff Diner in Vineyard Haven on Valentine's Day evening for Slow Food Martha's Vineyard's inaugural local food restaurant dinner. Despite the cold and blustery weather, hungry Islanders turned out in force to enjoy hearty gourmet meals featuring local ingredients.

"We felt the event was history in the making," said

Elizabeth Germaine of Chilmark who helped organize the event. She explained that other Slow Food groups across the country have been sponsoring restaurant events with local menus for years, but this was an Island first.

"Gina (Stanley) and Tina (Miller) really did pour their passion for this type of food and a lot of hard work into the evening," said Ms. Germaine on Tuesday.

A glowing orange slice accents the color and flavor of a salad of red cabbage and bleu cheese, both regionally produced.

Tantalizing dishes included yellowtail flounder with parsley potatoes and roasted carrots; pasta with Katama Farm lamb ragu and Vermont marscapone; Vineyard bay scallops with Massachusetts parsnip purée, sage brown butter and carrots; and Lobster pot pie. Ms. Germaine, a chef and food writer, said her favorites were purée of sunchoke soup and red cabbage salad with Great Hill bleu cheese, walnuts, and oranges.

Slow Food M.V., the local chapter of the worldwide Slow Food organization, is a non-profit group aiming to raise awareness about the pleasures and benefits of consuming food grown on the Island or as close to home as possible. The Valentine's menu featured lamb, chicken, steak, and ground beef produced at Katama Farm as well as Vineyard bay scallops, fish, and oysters. Many of the vegetables came from the mainland but the fingerling potatoes were raised at West Tisbury's Stannard Farm.

The culinary fun continues on March 14 at the Coach House in Edgartown as the group joins with the Martha's Vineyard Museum to present a family-style "Winter Harvest Dinner."