It’s out with the white linen table cloths and in with the repurposed wood as the farm-to-table movement anchors itself in Chilmark this summer.
Farmer and chef Chris Fischer will take the helm of the restaurant at the Beach Plum Inn in Menemsha, the inn announced this week. Mr. Fischer will source directly from his family’s farm, Beetlebung Farm, just over a mile down the road.
“I really want to create a space totally unique to setting and food, and unique to Chilmark,” Mr. Fischer said on Monday. “My cooking is influenced by many things, and obviously it’s not unique to Martha’s Vineyard, but hopefully using ingredients in simple ways will showcase that.”
The restaurant will open sometime next month.
By growing food directly for the restaurant and building a chicken coop on site, among other plans, Mr. Fischer said he aims to take the farm-to-table label to a new level of commitment. He plans to split his time between the restaurant and the farm.
“It benefits cooking so much,” he said. “We are committed to producing as much food as we can.”
In the past few weeks Mr. Fischer has been hard at work transforming the dining room that looks over Menemsha harbor, opening the kitchen to public view and redoing ceilings with repurposed wood from an old barn. A new chef’s table and banquettes are also in the works, as well as featured artwork from Island artists.
“When I saw [Bob and Sarah’s] house, I said, ‘I want to eat dinner at your house,” Mr. Fischer recalled. “We have similar aesthetics in our homes. I wanted to create a more comfortable home-like space.”
Mr. Fischer returns to the kitchen after six years of operating and managing Beetlebung Farm. Prior to the farm, Mr. Fischer worked at acclaimed New York city restaurant Babbo under Mario Batali for several years, also cooking in Italy and London. Mr. Fischer returned to the land his family has farmed for generations in 2009, farming and privately chefing. The Chilmark native worked alongside his grandfather and longtime farmer Albert O. (Ozzie) Fischer Jr. until his death two years ago.
“Taking all of these experiences and friendships and relationships, I’m very excited about it,” he said. “I want to honor Chilmark and honor my grandfather and Beetlebung Farm and make it a destination. That’s the goal.”
Mr. Fischer writes a food column for the Vineyard Gazette.
Beach Plum Inn owner Sarah Nixon said she and her husband Bob are excited about the new venture.
“It’s the beginning of the Chilmark renaissance,” Mrs. Nixon said in a phone interview.
Mr. and Mrs. Nixon also own the Menemsha Inn and the Home Port Restaurant, just down the hill. The Home Port is also welcoming a new chef this year. Former Atria chef Matt Safranek and wife Angela Vezzose will run the longtime institution, which opens Memorial Day weekend.