In an age of farm-to-table cuisine, Chris Fischer had a different idea: Why not bring the table to the farm? After years spent cooking in top restaurant kitchens (New York Cityâ€™s Babbo, Londonâ€™s River Cafe), he now grows vegetables on his familyâ€™s Marthaâ€™s Vineyard farm, Beetlebung, and -- when the crops come in -- hosts elegantly rustic dinners in the greenhouse. Guests range from family (Fischer is a 12th-generation Vineyarder) to strangers (he sometimes takes reservations), but the food is always just picked and simply prepared.
The greenhouse, which doubles as a dining room, at sunrise.
Diners gather around tables built from barn boards or driftwood, sitting on bales of hay. â€śI like that we throw it together with whatever we have,â€ť Fischer says with a laugh. â€śBut Iâ€™m starting to think we should get some chairs.â€ť
The greenhouse before dinner, complete with farm flowers and hay-bale seats. Afterward, the bales are added to the compost.
Fischer loves his heirloom tomatoes, but he doesn't turn his nose up at commercial varieties such as these 'Jet Stars.' He serves them by the dozen, cut into wedges, sprinkled with flakes of Maldon sea salt, and drizzled with his favorite peppery Capezzana olive oil from Tuscany.
A salad of beets, kale, and homemade goat cheese; matchstick-cut raw carrots with parsley and spring onions; pan-roasted Romanesco cauliflower with peas; and Norland new potatoes with garlic scapes.