We hope you’ve been enjoying getting a sneak peek into some of the Island’s small businesses that we love. This week, we’re speaking with private chef, Gavin Smith, The Food Minded Fellow
, about his love for local ingredients and the Island.
As a private chef, Gavin offers thoughtfully curated in-home dining services, from one meal to many. He prepares memorable experiences with a focus on fresh, local ingredients, innovative techniques, and a passion for food and service. Right now, with the current circumstances, Gavin is looking into kitchen space to offer delivery meals, and fresh bread, to existing and prospective clients.
We can’t wait to have you dine with us at Dunes Restaurant, enjoy to-go beach picnics, and sandwiches and salads from our General Store. We will also be putting together a list of local partners who will be offering delicious take-out and pre-made meal options, including Gavin. All can be enjoyed in your suite or cottage (both room types have kitchenettes) or on the beach!
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR STORY
l fell backward into the hospitality industry. I pursued music, and philosophy through college, and kept myself fed working in restaurants. I moved up very quickly, working my way from a busser to General Manager of a quality New York City restaurant by the time I was 22. I had no intention of making it my career until I began to cook professionally. I have always loved cooking and bringing good people together over great food. Martha’s Vineyard has afforded me the opportunity to work almost exclusively with local ingredients, while forming invaluable relationships with the farmers, fishermen, and producers in the community.
Connecting visitors to the incredible food that comes from this amazing island, in my eyes brings them closer to the island itself. I started my private chef service Food Minded Fellow in 2015. My business’s main focus is on in-home dining experiences, however, I do a number of other things. I host pop-up dinners at local restaurants and farms, I write about fishing and cooking for the MV Times and Edible Vineyard Magazine. And as of this year, I have released The Food Minded Fellow Podcast.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FOOD MINDED FELLOW PODCAST
The Food Minded Fellow Podcast
is a podcast that revolves around the food ecosystem of Martha’s Vineyard, told through the voices of the people behind it. Each episode I visit farmers, chefs, sea salt producers, etc. and get to know a bit more about who they are, and what they do. The Island is Home to a rich agrarian and fishing community, and each of these individuals has an amazing story to tell. My hope is to further connect our community, and our visitors with the innovation, history, and community that drives the Island’s food ecosystem.
(The podcast is available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google play, iHeart, Stitcher, TuneIn, and most other podcast players.)
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FARMS AND SEAFOOD STORES ON THE ISLAND?
My favorite farms and fish markets, that’s a tough question. The island is brining with eager farmers who are dedicated to carbon sequestration, soil biology regeneration, and other missions beyond just great food. I have a special place in my heart for all of the food producers on the island… but if I have to highlight, it’s no secret that I am an unsanctioned ambassador for Martha’s Vineyard Mycological’s wild harvest shiitake mushrooms
. They are producing an incredible amount of high quality, healthy food, in an ancient system that they have re-engineered for modern times. I am also very impressed with the work that Island Grown
does, they are a guiding light in the regenerative farming movement on the island, and their ongoing support to the local food movement is unparalleled. I could literally call out every farmer I have ever met on island, but that would be a bit much for this format.
I am a seafood junkie. I fish as often as I can myself, but I think one of the underappreciated fish markets on the island is John’s. Glenn Pachico, the owner of John’s Fish Market
, has been incredibly accommodating, and generous to me over the years. It’s a family operation, his sons fish for a lot of the seafood they sell, and you regularly see locals and summer visitors alike coming back time and time again once they find it. The staff that isn’t blood-related is still family, and you feel that vibe when you walk in.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT GAVIN
I love to know how things work, and with most things, if I can figure out how to do it myself, I will do so. I learned Adobe Photoshop to build a logo and consistent branding for my business. I started taking violin lessons at 2 years old. When I was in college I shifted my musical focus to classical guitar. From there I began collecting instruments and learning to play them. When I started the podcast I wanted to use original music, so I wrote, performed, recorded, and produced the theme song of the podcast myself.
My sister was a fabric artist. When my grandmother passed in 2003, my sister inherited her Bernina 930 sewing machine. My sister passed away tragically nine years ago, but my brother in law hung on to that sewing machine. I have been using that machine along with some fabrics my sister left behind to make face masks for my family, friends, and others who need them. I know my sister would have done the same, and it has been an honor to do something positive in her memory.
Thank you, Gavin, for the inside scoop and we look forward to seeing you soon and seeing what you have planned for the season ahead!