When Chef Kyle Garell of Catch at the Terrace at the Charlotte Inn moved to the Vineyard last year, he found something that would excite any chef: an abundance of local seafood. But he also found locally raised beef, sheep, chickens, and greens. And like any chef would, he seized the opportunity to make something of these fresh, local ingredients.
During his busy summer months, Kyle spends most of his time as the chef du cuisine of Catch at the Terrace, a fine-dining establishment in Edgartown, where he trains under chef-owner Christopher Parsons. This winter, he is keeping almost as busy in his own kitchen. Kyle has been creating "Culinary Concepts," a cooking show broadcast on MVTV, the local public access television station that allows members of the community to produce and broadcast their own material.
Kyle can't take all the credit, though. He got the idea to start filming a cooking show from a client of his private cooking classes, who was saying she wished there was a cooking show that only uses locally grown, seasonal products.
Pan-roasted Maple Scallops with Candied Root Vegetables and a Roasted Beet Cream Sauce - serves 4
Pan Seared Maple Scallops
2lb. UIO Sea Scallops
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbs. Oil
Salt and pepper
Place oil in hot sauté pan and wait for oil to get hot. Once oil is ready, place scallops in pan and sear until nice golden color. When all scallops are turned over, add maple syrup and reduce. Remove scallops from sauté pan and place in oven with syrup and bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Candied Root Vegetables
2 carrots (peeled and sliced 1/4")
2 parsnips (peeled and sliced 1/4")
2 beets (peeled, quartered, sliced 1/4")
1 bunch curly parsley (chopped fine)
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup honey
Toss carrots and parsnips with oil, salt, and pepper and lay in a roasting pan. Do same to beets, but place in separate pan so they do not color the carrots and parsnips. Bake both pans at 375 degrees F. for about 25 minutes (or until fork tender). Remove from oven and let cool. (Remove 1/2 off the cooked beets and set aside for cream sauce.) When you're ready to serve, place honey, parsley, and thyme in sauté pan and wait until honey begins to bubble. Then add carrots, parsnips, and beets and cook until hot. Toss in butter and then season with salt and pepper. Once butter is melted, place veggies on serving tray.
Roasted Beet Cream Sauce
1 roasted beet
1/2 qt. heavy cream
Place cold cream and half of your cooked beets to blender. Puree until smooth. If you need to thin it down use milk. Pour into a sauce pan and heat. Once sauce is hot, season with salt and pepper.
The idea wasn't a foreign one to Kyle, who said, "No matter where I'm working, I always look to use local products." He admits, though, that he was nervous about finding an array of local products during winter months.
Kyle must also give credit to his camera crew, the garde manager of the restaurant, Shawn Davis, who films from fun angles and spends plenty of time with Kyle in the editing room. Mr. Davis said, "It's been fun learning how to put a whole TV show together. I'm glad we were given the opportunity to produce this show. From the filming to the editing, it's been a great experience. It's also been nice to keep cooking in the off season."
MVTV station manager Steven Warriner is impressed with Kyle and Shawn's work. "They are putting out a top product and we hope the show will continue on," he said. "And, of course, we're waiting to be invited to a filming so we can taste the final product."
Kyle studied at the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vt. After cooking in Boston for the last five years, moving to the Island has been a dream come true for him. "I'm like a kid in a candy store out here. I can't get enough of all these organic farms." His favorite part of the Island culture is the tradition of sustainable living. "Not knowing where your food comes from is scary."
In on of his winter shows, Kyle's stands outside of what he tells me is "the biggest gem I've found thus far on the Island," the Allen Farm. The farm's owners, Mitchell Posin and Clarissa Allen, take Kyle and his viewers on a tour that shows exactly what they have to offer and what it takes to produce quality local products. We see Angus cows and sheep busily feeding on hay, horses grazing in open pastures, free-range chickens and their eggs, a solar heated greenhouse, and even a root cellar. Kyle was amazed at the array of products. "Even in the dead of winter, Allen Farm produces their own tot soy, arugula, baby red romaine, leeks, kale, bok choy, rosemary, thyme, shard, carrots, parsnips, beets, and garlic," said Kyle. "They offer fresh, free range organic eggs, chicken, beef, lamb, pork, and even have their own clothing line made from their sheeps' wool."
Back in Kyle's kitchen, the final product of this week's show, which is completely based on donated products from the Allen Farm, looks and smells delicious. After thanking Allen Farm for their generosity in product, time, and information, Kyle lists his two favorite things about the farm. "One, they're never closed. And two, they wish to leave as little of a carbon footprint as possible and actually look for and apply the ingenuity to do so."
Kyle's show can be seen on Channel 13. Please call MVTV for show times.
Michelle Nepton is a contributing writer to The Times.