This weekend brings one of the most highly anticipated events of the fall season on Martha’s Vineyard, the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival. Each year hundreds of wine and food enthusiasts descend on the Vineyard to enjoy the bounty of Island chefs and farms and celebrate the beauty and peacefulness of the fall season on-Island. If you’re up for taking a last minute trip to the Vineyard tickets to some festival events are still available, and many local hotel are already offering discounted rates this time of year. This year’s festival will be headquartered at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Katama, Edgartown, marking a new home for the festival at one of the Island’s grandest and liveliest locations.
The festival kicks off with the ever popular Fresh Off the Farm event on Wednesday, October 17 where local chefs and food purveyors show off the finest flavors of the Island at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Hall including Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt and Martha’s Vineyard Mycological mushrooms, among several others. Winelovers can enjoy an impressive array of wines curated by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant while Vineyard band, Good Night Louise, will provide lively entertainment. It’s “as local and fresh as it gets,” plus the evening's proceeds will benefit Island Grown Schools and the Agricultural Society’s Farmers Program so it’s a good time for a great cause.
Thursday, October 18, brings an action packed day of fun and festivities, beginning with Bubbles & Shellfish at L'etoile Restaurant in Edgartown, a tasting of elegant Moet & Chandon champagne paired with Vineyard shellfish. Martha’s Vineyard seafood is arguably the best around so you know this is going to be good! If you’re up for a physical challenge give yourself a couple of hours to digest and head to the Thrill of the Grill, where you’ll sip the best wines from Frederick Wildman and Sons and sample the Island's meatiest morsels grilled to perfection. Participating chefs include Justin Perdue of Lark Hotels; Italian Salumi Expert Marco Mocellin; Educator and Epicure Will Myska; Pit Master and Executive Chef at Ore Nell's BBQ; Ryan DePersio of Fascino; and Anthony Bucco of Felina. For the most ultimate and intimate wine and dining experiences check out the Joseph Carr wine dinner at the Dunes, a 4-course dinner, artfully prepared by Dunes Executive Chef Scott Ehrlich or the Ultimate Wash-A-Shore dinner at Beach Road restaurant featuring Ruby Wines expertly paired with Chef André Garza’s creations.
Friday brings another busy day of perfectly prepared pairings including one of the festival’s most popular signature event, Lobsterpalooza offers guests both classic Maine and Connecticut hot-buttered lobster rolls. As if delicious Martha’s Vineyard lobster rolls weren’t enough Amy Traverso, Yankee magazine senior food editor and co-host of public television’s Weekends with Yankee will preside over a lobster roll tasting and guests will be treated to wines provided by Kendall-Jackson. This event sold out quick but be sure to make a note for next year!
On Friday night get treated to six heavenly courses of the freshest New England seafood during the Sea Oui Si dinner. Two award winning New Jersey chefs including Michael Carrino, Chef/Owner of Pig & Prince Restaurant in Montclair, NJ, and Kirk Avondoglio, Chef/Owner of Perona Farms in Andover, NJ join chef Schott Ehrlich of the Winnetu for a memorable culinary experience complemented by an impressive selection of French and Italian wines by Kermit Lynch.
Saturday’s Grand Tasting is the highlight of the weekend’s events, featuring tastings from 250+ winemakers, spirits, breweries, gourmet foods, and restaurants. It’s sold out but you can still score tickets to one of Saturday’s other events the Deconstructed New England Clambake which brings Boston’s award-winning chef Marc Orfaly, Culinary Director of ReelHouse, and The Dunes Executive Chef Scott Ehrlich for their take on the traditional New England Clambake. Think dueling chowder, and all the usually clambake suspects including littlenecks, clams, mussels, potatoes and lobsters. Nothing says New England like a clambake and there’s a good chance this one will be the finest you’ve ever had, topped off with a bruleed pumpkin cheesecake, with corn-nutmeg foam and cranberry compote. Mmm, mmm, good.
For fitness enthusiasts Sunday is the day to shed some of those extra calories during the Martha’s Vineyard Brunch Run/Walk 5k and 10k. The course will be nothing short of spectacular with a course along breathtaking Katama, and red carpet finish where everyone will receive a custom finisher medal and a commemorative brunch glass which you can fill up at the post-race brunch event. For those looking for a more leisurely brunch the festival has you covered there too. Sunday also offers a Jazz Brunch at the Winnetu featuring a fabulous buffet brunch with live music, bloodies and bubbles, providing the perfect ending to a delicious and eventful festival weekend. One thing’s for sure, come hungry, come thirsty and get ready to fall in love with fall on Martha’s Vineyard.
It's my job to love this place, and it's no work at all.