The Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival transformed parts of the Island last weekend into culinary and oenological destinations.

At Friday's Taste of Summer event, chefs, winemakers and distillers from all over the Island and the world gathered to hand out samples of their craft.

Adam Epstein, director of the Food and Wine Festival, said the day marked a return to form for a festival that has spent the past several years recovering from a global pandemic.

Gaby Riveira of Irish American Whiskey. — Ray Ewing

“People have room to play and have fun and do things like this, so we’re all about doing that now,” Mr. Epstein said.

The tasting’s summer theme was embraced by vendors, whose dishes captured the freshness and excitement of the season.

The Black Dog Tavern was represented by executive chef Randall Sherman, whose cajun seared blackened red snapper evoked summers on the Vineyard and New Orleans. The fish was served on a bed of southern style dirty rice, packed with andouille sausage and laden with elote creamed corn.

The Black Dog also offered dessert options, care of executive pastry chef Laura Beckman, who prepared miniature replicas of Black Dog Bakery’s most popular offerings, including bite-sized pieces blackout cake layered with honey-fudge icing. According to Ms. Beckman, scaling down the classic dessert for festival-goers was no easy task — an ordinary slice of the cake weighs a whopping pound-and-a-half.

A pairing for everything. — Ray Ewing

“If you get a half sheet of this, it’ll feed like 90 people,” she said. “It is serious.”

Cottage City Oysters offered briny, single-bite goodness, with local oysters harvested from the waters of Oak Bluffs. Cottage City employee and lifelong Islander Nick Krantz said the oysters’ unique flavor is best enhanced with a red wine vinegar mignonette — and can be experienced nowhere else in the world.

“It’s a local business, so we only sell to local restaurants,” Mr. Krantz said.

Another Oak Bluffs-based business, Black Joy Food Love, was serving up social justice. Run by Chef Ting, the organization is committed to promoting BIPOC self-care and wellness. Their chickpea and potato pani puri was an embodiment of their mission, as well as offering a lovely mouthful of cream, spice and crunch.

Black Joy Love: Amy McMahon, Madison Bradley-Burns, CJ James, Chef Ting, Jennelle Gadowski. — Ray Ewing

“We’re all about putting good food into your body,” Black Joy brand ambassador Jennelle Gadowski said. “As BIPOC people, we don’t often get to rest or be really health-conscious, so we’re really particular about what we’re putting on our plate.”

Patrons could head to PSP Global Wines of Beverly Farms for personalized wine recommendations from vice president of sales Mario Carnovale. The booth had something for every wine drinker, from a refreshing Trebbiano Spoletino with notes of citrus to Mr. Carnovale’s favorite dry, rich Merlot blend. Guests could read the complete story of each wine’s creation, down to the phase of the moon when it was bottled.

Liquor lovers sampled whiskey and craft cocktails from IrishAmerican Trading Company, a distillery based in Western Ireland’s Achill Island. On offer was a Mojito made using the distillery’s classic five-year blend, complete with fresh mint to balance the warm spiciness of the whiskey.

Owner Sean McKay said the twist on the classic drink was born when a customer on a distillery tour requested a cocktail on a hot summer day.

Briny goodness. — Ray Ewing

“Mint actually grows wild in the islands, so I ran out and got some, and I ended up with a crowd-pleaser,” he said.

Friday was National Chocolate Ice Cream Day and at the Mad Martha’s ice cream booth visitors had the choice of celebrating with classic chocolate or the shop’s elevated Sinful Chocolate. Owner Brook Katzen doled out heaping portions and enforced no rules. Mixing flavors was strongly encouraged.

Michelle Blackburn and Brent Parrish traveled to the event by way of Tennessee, where they live, and Connecticut, where they were attending a wedding. The couple said they couldn’t resist heading miles out of their way to experience the festival.

“It’s so, so beautiful,” Ms. Blackburn said.