Jan Buhrman, M.S. Ed., has been working with island farmers and local fisherman long before the words “farm to table” and “sustainability” became part of mainstream culinary. She combines her passion for food with a love of teaching to enhance people’s understanding of food through farm tours, cooking classes, and nutritional workshops. Jan has felt a responsibility to the earth and her community, and has been running Kitchen Porch, a community conscious catering company on Martha’s Vineyard since 1985. She is a founding leader of Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard, and has been working to educate the community on the issues surrounding GMOs and appropriate labeling. She regularly leads classes and workshops on healthy lifestyles and locally viable food systems.
Chef Michael Brisson has been in the food industry since he was 15 years old. His first job was at a butcher shop/fresh produce market in his hometown of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He went on to the nearby Uncle Tony's Pizza where he got his first taste of the restaurant kitchen atmosphere as a dishwasher and he was hooked. Michael then continued to a Hungarian/Italian restaurant, starting as a dishwasher, then moving into food prep, Viennese pastry baking and eventually rrunning the kitchen when he was only 18. He then moved to Martha's Vineyard and on to French cuisine at Chez Pierre in the Charlotte Inn in Edgartown, where he became Sous Chef and expanded his repertoire into classic French baking. After travelling in Europe and considering attending culinary school there, Michael ended up in Boston where he cooked simultaneously at the renowned Cafe Budapest and at the highly-rated l'espalier as Assistant Pastry Chef. He was at l'espalier for four years under Chef Moncef Meddeb and eventually held all positions in the kitchen, including Chef de Cusine. Upon hearing that the restaurant space in the Charlotte Inn was vacant, Michael and his partner opened l'etoile in May of 1986.
Bernadette Cormie is a caterer and private chef who lives with her husband and two children on Martha’s Vineyard. Bernadette and her husband Leigh started Herring Run Kitchens and Provisions five years ago in order to incorporate her passion for the Island and its farmers, into her love of cooking.
Kevin and Suzanna Crowell founded their restaurant, Détente, after spending time in Paris gathering gastronomical inspiration. Détente mimics the European experience they want to bring to Martha’s Vineyard, focusing on seasonal, fresh ingredients.
Jeremy Davis is the Executive Chef at The Port Hunter. Originally from Palm Beach, FL, Jeremy has worked under many talented chefs at clubs across the United States. Since his arrival on the Vineyard five years ago, his entire culinary concept has shifted. Long accustomed to receiving produce and protein off a truck, he now has the privilege of meeting the farmers and fisherman behind his bounty. Jeremy values these relationships and takes pride in presenting farm and ocean fresh goods simply and deliciously.
West Tisbury & Chilmark Schools, executive chef Location: West Tisbury & Chilmark Website: wtisburyschool.org
Chef Devivo is the head cook for the West Tisbury & Chilmark Schools on the Island. Her passion for cooking healthy & delicious lunches combined with her commitment to source Island-grown ingredients for the Up Island School's lunch menu, has earned her national recognition in Bon Appetit magazine.
Chef-Farmer Chris Fischer's family has lived on the Island since 1670. After working his way up in the kitchen at Mario Batali’s Babbo, London’s River Cafe, St. John Bread & Wine and Alice Water’s Rome Sustainable Food Project, he returned to the Island to run his family’s five-acre vegetable farm. In 2013, Chris took over the kitchen at the Beach Plum Restaurant in Menemsha, After a successful first season, the Beach Plum team launched the pop-up restaurant Fish and Rose in Manhattan, to critical acclaim. When he’s not cooking or farming, Chris, a self-taught writer, contributes to the Vineyard Gazette, Diner Journal, Meat Paper. His first cookbook - The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook: A Year of Cooking on Martha's Vineyard hit the shelves this summer.
Robin is IGS’s coordinator for the Harvest of the Month Program. She has always been in the food business, whether it be in kitchen at The Inn at Blueberry Hill in Chilmark, growing salad greens and edible flowers for the West Tisbury Farmers Market, or commercially fishing for scallops in Cape Pogue Bay. Robin lives in Edgartown with her husband Joe.
After a decade long culinary career, Jacqueline began to explore her interest in the ancient craft of cheese making. This step into a budding American industry was fueled by a passion for the preservation of a cultural traditional, as well as a fascination with the complexity of such a seemingly simple food. Four years ago Jacqueline arrived on Martha’s Vineyard as the first cheese maker in a place rich with agricultural history and lush farm land. She has provided this small community of Islanders and visitors with fresh and aged cheeses from the two existing dairies - Mermaid Farm and The Grey Barn Farm. Jacqueline’s knowledge and inspiration has been gleaned from many places but most of her learning happens in the vat and in the cave as she watches the transformation of milk to that delightful, remarkable thing we call cheese. Photo by Molly Glasgow.
Nathan Gould is currently at The Beach Plum Inn. His resume includes serving as Executive Chef at The Harbor View Hotel’s Water Street and Henry’s Hotel Bar, a private chef and caterer in New Jersey, featured chef at Princeton’s Art Council Dream Dinner Auctions and a feature article in Bucks Life magazine. He has also consulted on the menu design and redevelopment of a variety of restaurants in central New Jersey and interned with the Food Network, working alongside Charlie Trotter, Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray and Sarah Moulton. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Gould enhanced his culinary education with wine training at the German Wine and Sommelier School of Koblenz.
Caleb Lara is the executive chef at Martha’s Vineyard’s historic Harbor View Hotel where he oversees the hotel’s food and beverage program, which includes Lighthouse Grill, its signature restaurant, and the popular gathering spot Henry’s Hotel Bar, as well as event and wedding catering. He continues to build on the hotel’s long-standing relationships with local farms and fisheries by heavily utilizing locally sourced ingredients. Most recently, Lara was the chef de cuisine at the renowned Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts. He has also worked as a sous chef at Steel & Rye in Milton, Massachusetts and at The Ritz Carlton in Boston, and held the position of chef de partie at The Ritz Carlton, Naples and Harbor View Hotel. Lara is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York and received his Chef de Cuisine Certification from the American Culinary Federation.
Growing up on a dairy farm in New Hampshire, food was a part of Robert culture from the very start. After a culinary journey that included many top restaurants in the Boston area among them, Garden of Eden, a restaurant in the South End that was one of the first farm-to-table restaurants in the city, Robert returned to the Island to run the kitchens of budding restaurants before finding a home at Morning Glory Farm. He is now Prepared Food Curator and Head Chef. Photo by Kristen Leigh Conklin.
Blue Crab was created on the island of Martha's Vineyard during the summer of 2004 by Chef Peter Lodi and his wife Whitney. Based on the foundation of the classic New England style of service perfected by the 'domestic couples' of the 18th century, Peter and Whitney have redefined traditional methods through modern 20th century interpretations of preparation and service. Utilizing skills acquired through years in the restaurant industry and a decade of experience traveling and cooking around the world, Chef Lodi had cultivated relationships and learned techniques from purveyors and chefs of the highest level, enabling him to create unrivaled dining experiences for clients with the most discerning tastes.
Chef Justin Melnick trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, with on-the-job experience alongside celebrated chefs Todd English (Olives) and Barbara Lynch (The Butcher Shop). Justin then spent six years (including four as Executive Chef) at Southborough’s Tomasso Trattoria, where he garnered awards and accolades from Zagat, USA Today, Yankee and Boston magazines, among others. During a three-month sabbatical in Italy, Justin and his wife, Emily, an accomplished pastry chef, honed their considerable skills working in restaurants, wineries and farms throughout the country, gathering inspiration along the way.
Tina Miller was born on Martha's Vineyard and lives in West Tisbury. She studied cooking in France and opened her first Island restaurant-the Roadhouse when she was twenty four. She is the author of Vineyard Harvest, A Year of Good Food on Martha's Vineyard, 2005, Broadway Books and has contributed to Bon Appetit, MV Magazine, Edible Vineyard, Vineyard Style and other publications. She currently is Chef and Managing Partner at Rosewater Market in downtown Edgartown.
During his 22- year career in the restaurant industry, Chef Joe Monteiro has worked with Emeril Legasse and Kevin Rathbun, cooked at the James Beard House, held the position as Chef de Cusine'd for one of the Top 10 Zagat Restaurants, and the position as Executive Chef at Giants Stadium and the top seafood restaurant in South Beach. Joe is now Executive Chef at Atlantic Fish and Chop House and participates in many charitable events including Taste of the Nation, Red Cross’ Hurricane Katrina Relief, March of Dimes, and more.
Carlos Montoya, Executive Chef of farm-to-table focused Farm Neck Café, is a creative local food enthusiast, proud graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and former chef at The Sweet Life Cafe.
Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Culinary Program Location: Oak Bluffs
Jack has been teaching culinary arts at the high school for over a decade. He believes in building a base for his students “learn the basics first".Too many people see cooking-made-easy on the Food Network, he says, when really the key to success as a chef is enjoying the hard work involved. That sense of accomplishment comes "once basic mastery and individual creativity collide.” His students have gone on to work in restaurants all over the world – the program provides direct access to an incredible array of restaurants, chefs and farms giving his students incredible connections and real life training for a bright future in the culinary arts.
The Winnetu’s Executive Chef Matthew Passalacqua is in his sixth season at the resort’s popular and award-winning ocean view restaurant, The Dunes.
Matthew is a native of Sarasota, FL. He received his training at the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach and has worked in some of the most prestigious restaurants in both Palm Beach and Sarasota including Ophelia’s on the Bay and Amici Ristorante.
Matthew has embraced and mastered seasonal New England Coastal and Farm Cuisine adding his own global influences. He is lauded for his picturesque food presentation. His clam chowder, lobster pot pie, filet mignon, short ribs, scallops, vegetable pad thai, and bouillabaisse are all perennial Dunes favorites.
Jenna Sprafkin is completing her second season as Executive Chef of Chilmark Tavern. Her menus are inspired by the vineyards bounty of fresh produce and responsibly raised ingredients. Although Brooklyn born and raised, Jenna’s culinary career has taken her to distinctly non-urban settings. Prior to Chilmark Tavern, Jenna helped launch Shed in Sonoma County, California. Before her West Coast foray she spent five years work under two time James Beard award winning Chef, Melissa Kelly at Primo in Rockland, Maine. Jenna also spent time working in Italy at The Rome Sustainable Food Project at The American Academy as well as a stint in Anguilla at The Viceroy Hotel. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the incredible bounty this Island has to offer.
For some Islanders, the off-season on Martha’s Vineyard means taking a break. But for Dan Sauer, it means menu development, planning gardens, and searching for potential new products for his business, 7a Foods--an inspired, soul-and-belly satisfying sandwich shop, bakery, and fine-foods store. Sauer is a CIA-trained chef, who cooked at Oceana and helped open both Hearth and Craft in New York City before he moved his skills and polish to the calmer, wild-rose covered terrain of Martha’s Vineyard. His mission is to support the Island’s food growers and provide expertly prepared sandwiches that are accessible to all. Through his involvement with Island Grown Foods, the Wild Food Challenge, and his own 7a Suppers, Dan is changing (and bettering) the food-lives of his friends, family, and neighbors. Photo by Jocelyn Filley.
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. (courtesy of the MV Times)
Chef Martin began his involvement in the culinary arts at age 15 in Old Downtown, Las Vegas. After high school, he enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu and began his professional career. Two semesters into culinary school, he landed an apprenticeship at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. He has since worked with Mario Batali, Michael Mina, Guy Savoy and Wolfgang Puck--all of whom prepared him to work more closely with fresh seafood and local farms here on the Vineyard. Chef Martin has been the Executive Chef of the Boathouse Restaurant for three years and enjoys challenging the Vineyard community's demanding palate.