martha's vineyard

 Michael Gordon /

A Fresh Taste of Martha’s Vineyard

There are new executive chefs at two of the island’s best restaurants, and their food is worth a visit

“Seaweed Dust?” When sprinkled over the seared arctic char of The Dunes, the restaurant at the Winnetu Resort in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, this novel seasoning has the same effect as when the Fairy Princess at Marshall Field’s in Chicago sprinkles her fairy dust over children at Christmastime: Wishes come true. Magic.


A recent event in Boston celebrating the arrival of new executive chefs at both The Dunes and at Breeze in the Nantucket Hotel — Scott Ehrlich and Bill Weisse, respectively — was an enchanting experience. Mark and Gwenn Snider, owners of both hotels, hosted a dinner in which they brought the two chefs to the city to show off their talents with three double courses and canapés from their respective kitchens.

Julie Hatfield

The table set for the dinner which took place in a private Back Bay Boston home.


Canapés included crab cakes with roasted celery aïoli from Ehrlich and bacon-wrapped stuffed dates with goat cheese, piquillo pepper purée, and smoked honey from Weisse.


The Dunes’ puréed corn soup with fava beans, purple potatoes, mussels, and paprika oil was followed by Breeze’s lobster dumplings and royal trumpet mushrooms in mild Thai curry for the first course. The second course featured The Dunes’ spellbinding seared arctic char with fennel salad, preserved lemon, grapefruit, and the aforementioned seaweed dust. Weisse countered with porcini-cured New York strip steak with roasted foie gras, artichokes, cauliflower purée and Xerez. 


Julie Hatfield

Porcini cured NY strip with roasted foie gras, artichokes and cauliflower purée and Xerex.


Desserts were lemon curd mille on blueberry compote and Asian pear tarte tatin with pistachio anglaise and caramel sauce.


Wines began before guests were seated, with prosecco from Italy’s Veneto region. With the other courses came a 2015 sauvignon blanc, a 2013 chardonnay, and the “NV10” cuvée by Cain, all from the Napa Valley. Dessert wine was a 2013 French Sauternes.


Julie Hatfield

Pureed corn soup with fava beans, purple potatoes, mussels and paprika oil.


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Our favorite taste of the night was the incredibly smooth and delicately flavored puréed corn soup, as dissimilar from your basic corn chowder as Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts, is from Anse Major Beach in the Seychelles. Exquisite.