In an age of farm-to-table cuisine, Chris Fischer had a different idea: Why not bring the table to the farm?
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Rise and Dine
After years spent cooking in top restaurant kitchens (New York City’s Babbo, London’s River Cafe), he now grows vegetables on his family’s Martha’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.
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Feast Your Eyes
Diners gather around tables built from barn boards or driftwood, sitting on bales of hay. “I like that we throw it together with whatever we have,” Fischer says with a laugh. “But I’m starting to think we should get some chairs.”
The greenhouse before dinner, complete with farm flowers and hay-bale seats. Afterward, the bales are added to the compost.
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Bruschetta is topped with a mix of heirloom-tomato varieties, as well as red onion and basil.
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Taking the Heat
Fischer takes a break from cooking, which he does over an open flame using a scrap-metal grate.
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Fischer's father caught the bluefish, which was stuffed with herbs and cooked over the fire.
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Farmhand Emma Young gathers heirloom cherry tomatoes.
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Just Add Salt
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.
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A barn-board table is decorated with dahlias, pink daisies, and lavender grown on the property.
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Chef Chris Fischer serves herbed fingerling potatoes and boiled beets dressed with red-wine vinegar on a breadboard.
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Fresh from the Earth
In lieu of traditional crudites, Fischer simply dresses just-picked radishes, carrots, and turnips with olive oil and salt and arranges them on a cutting board.
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On the Menu
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.
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Farm eggs, cooked so that their yolks are firm but still slightly soft in the center, are garnished with bunches of unripe grapes.