Foraged, grown, poached, baked and roasted

Chef Dan’s Harvest Menu

by Sydney Bender

Chef Dan’s Harvest Menu

Sybil Teles

Dan Sauer with pork from the FARM Institute.  

For chef Dan Sauer, creating and cooking a harvest menu is about food and family. Dan is a Culinary Institute of America graduate and renowned chef who knows well the “back of the house” at many acclaimed restaurants in New York City and on the Vineyard. But ask him about why he’s in the food business and he’ll give you a story you won’t read off his resume.

“I love cooking and I love eating with my family,” he says. This past year, Dan and his wife, Wenonah Madison Sauer, opened 7a Foods in West Tisbury, a farm to takeout restaurant specializing in local ingredients from around the Island. When it comes to foraging for wild foods, like the Russian olives in Dan’s Farm Institute Pork Chops entrée, Dan says the Vineyard is a gold mine. “I like knowing where exactly the food is coming from,” he says. Farmers of Martha’s Vineyard know him by name and it’s because of 7a’s egg sandwich, meatball subs and chocolate chip cookies. He’s established relationships and shares the theory that good local food isn’t too far away. And what better place to start showing and sharing his love and respect for food than with his own family. Dan’s harvest-inspired menu celebrates the Island whilst honoring his Montana roots. This harvest menu includes juicy pork chops, grits and greens finished with poached local eggs, and one sumptuous squash soup.

It’s been said you cook for those you love and Dan’s harvest menu proves this truth. These recipes are for sharing and to enjoy with family, friends, forests and the farmers around you.