A life-changing bicycling adventure through Europe just after high school graduation. A family that “valued picnicking over stopping at fast food joints” whenever traveling. And a love of Island life that that extends to the Cape and Islands amidst juggling motherhood, marriage and vocation.

These are just a few of the experiences embraced by cookbook author, specialty foods shop owner and Barnstable resident Sarah Leah Chase. Chefs and eaters everywhere rejoiced when Ms. Chase published New England Open-House Cookbook in 2015, after a hiatus of nearly two decades. Chances are that cooks who bought the book when it first came out are still working their way through the magnificent collection of recipes that draw on foods Ms. Chase has enjoyed while living on the Cape, and on and off Nantucket for the past 30 years.

She grew up in central Connecticut and her family spent summers in Maine. She first came to Nantucket when she was 13 and was working as a mother’s helper for an aunt and uncle who lived on the outskirts of town. Her child care duties spilled over into culinary activities like helping to make hors d’ouevres and walking into town to pick up Portuguese bread or vegetables off the wagon.

During the summer after her high school graduation, she took a bicycling trip through Europe that put her on the path she has followed personally and professionally.

“I was amazed that you could be in this beautiful countryside, biking to little villages, and go into shops and put together the most magnificent little picnics with baguettes, salamis and great cheese,” she recalls. “That was what inspired me to have a shop with picnic provisions. I thought people on Nantucket would really appreciate that because they wanted to go to the beach or do outdoor activities during the day. That exposure to European specialty shops, combined with my love of Nantucket is what led me to open the Que Sera Sarah shop on the island.”

When Ms. Case opened Que Sera Sarah after graduating from Harvard, the store’s name was not just a play on the Livingston/Evans song and her own name. It was also chosen because she wanted it to translate to her culinary inspirations on a daily basis, given what she could find on the island.

“In the early 1980s, there was no FedEx or Amazon,” she recalls with a chuckle. “You relied on what you could get on the island. It was a time of flavored vinegars, sundried tomatoes, honeycup mustard. Products that are now staples on supermarket shelves were very novel. The emphasis was to get European gourmet products and highlight them in various dishes. The opposite is true right now. Everybody wants to be as local as they can and use as many local products.”

Despite the success of her Nantucket Open-House Cookbook in 1987, Ms. Chase thought she wasn’t “a New England cook” and long resisted the idea of doing a New England cookbook. The late Peter Workman, founder of Workman Publishing, suggested the idea to her in 2010. Eventually she realized, in a moment that she describes as kind of like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, that there’s no place like home.

But how do you represent all of New England in one book? Through 300 recipes and 370 pages of photographs and descriptions about sights that the author saw in New England towns during her five years of research, and amusing stories of how the recipes were sourced.

And so readers are treated to Hot Olive Whirligigs, a recipe that was found in a 1974 Nantucket cookbook; lobster rolls dressed with butter in the style of Lenny & Joe’s in Westbrook, Conn.; blueberry muffins inspired by the Blue Hill Fair in Maine; warm goat cheese salad with beach plum balsamic glaze, which Ms. Chase describes as her “Cape Cod spin on the warm goat cheese salad Alice Waters made famous years ago at her Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley.”

Ms. Chase reminds us that the Toll House chocolate chip cookie was invented in Whitman, and provides a similar recipe adapted by a professional baker on the Cape. Vineyard cooks will smile at the inclusion of Morning Glory Farm’s zucchini casserole recipe.

Sources for the recipes cast a wide swath across the region. Many were created by Ms. Chase herself over her decades of owning specialty food shops and writing cookbooks. But getting a hold of the recipes whose provenances include inns, restaurants, farms and individuals across New England took Nancy Drew-like sleuthing.

In seeking an oyster recipe from a restaurant on the Cape, Ms. Chase encountered a cook who wouldn’t share the recipe but who mentioned whom she had learned the recipe from. Through three weeks of internet searches, Ms. Chase eventually found the recipe’s originator working for the Colorado Meat Board and so she reached out to him there. The chef was delighted to share his recipe.

A pursuit for a recipe for water chestnuts wrapped in bacon has a more somber ending. Ms. Chase encountered them at a “funky little yacht club” in Barnstable where members bring their own food. The water chestnuts in bacon struck her as “absolutely brilliant, a great example of thrifty Yankee ingenuity and fabulous taste.” The cook told Ms. Chase she’d give her the recipe when she was “old and curmudgeonly” but died unexpectedly just a year after Ms. Chase’s request. She still wishes she had obtained the recipe.

Ms. Chase’s vision is also represented vibrantly through the sumptuous food photographs shot by Matthew Benson who, as the owner of a farm in upstate New York, understood the sensibilities that Ms. Chase sought to convey. About 60 per cent of the illustrative photographs of New England were taken by her friend Cary Hazlegrove, a Nantucket photographer with whom Ms. Chase has worked on many projects over the years.

Ms. Chase’s efforts have yielded a robust slate of recipes and writing that conjure New England vividly, both on the plate and off.

Sarah Leah Chase will speak on Saturday at 9 a.m. the Harbor View Hotel, and on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Chilmark Community Center.