People take their food for granted, especially
because of how easy it is for us to access it. They forget how much work goes into finding
it, how much work goes into taking care of it and tending to it, and how much time it
takes for the plant itself to get the nutrients it needs to grow up and be ready for you to
eat it. In the culinary lab we have chefs that come
from all different restaurants around Boston, and they are our main instructors. Is everyone familiar with black sea bass? No? We catch these on Martha’s Vineyard. We got them in whole, because I thought it’d
be fun to filet them. Every chef has a different perspective. Chris brought in his mentality as a farmer
and this sense of how to utilize every ingredient that you have. I have a very close, intimate relationship
with ingredients — growing them, harvesting them, foraging for them, hunting for them. Has anybody had watercress for dessert? I like this a lot. It’s got a really cool color. We cooked ingredients that were available
from his farm and from the waters that are a mile away from his farm. We were really excited to have our opportunity
to actually visit Martha’s Vineyard and go through a day in the life of Chris Fischer. This is Beetlebung Farm, purchased in 1961
by my grandfather. He farmed all over Chilmark. So the first thing we have to do today is
feed the pigs and the rabbits. Sound good? I’ve been raising rabbits for, I don’t
know, maybe five years now? They’re one of the only meats that you can
raise that you can feed a purely vegetarian diet. We get to, essentially, mow our grass, and
we get to feed our rabbits at the same time. Rabbit manure is one of the only manures that
can go directly onto soil. It’s like pelletized fertilizer. It looks like mulch. Yeah, and it is mulch. There’s bacteria in here that’s good for
the soil. This retains a lot of moisture, and we rotate
them around to fertilize our fields. I really like that nothing was wasted. You pick the weeds because you don’t need
them, and you give them to the rabbits because they do. Then you use what comes out of that, which
is fertilizer. Eventually, he tills it into the ground, and
it makes whatever grows there even more delicious because there are more nutrients there. It’s beautiful. So this is eelgrass that comes off the bottom
of the pond. The idea behind this is that it’s going
to help break down the pigs’ manure faster. We’re gonna dump most of this in there. Seaweed has almost an unquantifiable amount
of minerals in it. The ocean is kind of like a big composting
system. Animals live in there and they die and they
decompose, and the minerals from that process are absorbed into the seaweed. It’s like the perfect multivitamin for your
soil. For our meal, we had to go around the island
and pick up a few more ingredients. Usually, in Boston, I don’t know where all
my food’s coming from. Everything was within this 15-minute drive. We’re at Larsen’s Fish Market. They’re sort of the royalty when it comes
to fish markets. Obviously the proximity to the harbor makes
for really amazing product, but also, they keep the cleanest market I’ve ever seen. It was cleaner before we came in here and
shucked clams on the floor. We’re going to Chris’ secret foraging
spot. This place was shown to me by a friend a long
time ago. I’ve never shown anybody it before. I trust you guys won’t be able to find it
again. This watercress is really, really, really
good for you. Obviously there are a lot of nutrients in
a stream like this. When there’s something that’s really beautiful
when you’re taking it from wherever it’s growing, that’s when you know that you don’t
have to do much to it. It’s hard for a chef to do that sometimes,
to step back and let the food speak for itself. As soon as we started cooking, you could tell
that Chris was a chef. He was very professional even in this very
casual setting, and seeing the way Chris worked opened my eyes to possibilities. You don’t need all these sauces. You just need good, fresh ingredients. Wow, stinging nettles. I’m gonna have to taste that, even though
it’s mixed with sausage. I don’t care. It was amazing to cook with everything from
the island itself. It all fell into place in this beautiful meal. So we have guinea hen with wild arugula, chopped
fennel, chopped mint, and chives, stinging nettles with Beetlebung Farm pork and chilies,
grilled squid with garlic chives, and a watercress, mint, and feta salad. Dig in. This is definitely an experience that chefs
should have — being sustainable and getting back to the real and true basics of food. It’s a farmers life and it’s a hard-working
life, and that’s something very special that you can’t really find in the city.