Monday, July 29, 2013

dinner by chef david levi of vinland

Last week I hosted a very special event at my home.....a dinner by David Levi who will soon be opening the much anticipated restaurant, Vinland, in Portland, Maine.  Vinland will be the first restaurant in the United States to serve 100% local, organic food. 

David is a very passionate about the restaurants mission and you can read The Vinland Manifesto here.  David intends for his restaurant to be part of a food revolution "which is part of the broader revolution of our time, a revolution in consciousness, politics, and society."  This is a chef that truly cares about the food he will be serving you at his restaurant.

The menu, cooked that evening by David, Kate and Alex, was one amazing dish after another.  David and Kate had foraged quite a few of the ingredients the day before.  My husband and I even foraged for young milkweed pods along our road which David incorporated into two of the dishes.  As each dish was served and consumed my guests excitedly talked about ingredients that they had never tasted before and how surprising some of these ingredients were.  Beach radishes!  Have you ever had them?  We had not and now it's one of my favorite flowering greens that I hope to find on my next beach excursion. How about Reindeer Lichen cooked in duck fat?  So delicious!  You can see the menu below.  

David was a history teacher before starting on his journey to becoming a chef.  It's quite apparent that David is very comfortable with sharing his knowledge about the ingredients he uses, their nutritional value, his cooking methods, the benefits of fermentation and much more.  In his journey to open Vinland he spent time at both Noma in Copenhagen, and Faviken in the northern region of  Sweden as an apprentice chef.  

I wish I could have taken more photos of David's food that really did justice to the beauty of each dish.  Thank you to David, Kate and Alex for making this a very memorable dinner for all of us!  We await the opening of Vinland with much anticipation!

Vinland Tasting Menu: July 24th, 2013

Mahogany clam with lambs quarters and ramp
Reindeer lichen
Hardfiskur with butter and nori
Kohlrabi chip with strained yogurt and cucumber
Grilled carrot with Olga and sage
Squid chip with coral emulsion and green onion

Lobster in broth with chanterelles and beach mustard, Chive, tarragon
Summer vegetables, raw, grilled, with 63°C egg and purslane herbed lardo
Raw beef with escarole juniper grass juice, sorrel, yarrow, pine and beach radish
Tomatoes with squash, summer corn, snow peas, basil butter and tomato syrup
Halibut with yogurt whey, new potatoes, scape, nasturtium and beach goosefoot and goosetongue
Juniper and Hay smoked leg of baby lamb on squash hay with mint oil, and broth onion
Honey goat Kefir granita with blueberries
Parsnip crepe with raspberries, and maple whipped cream


  1. You captured the feel beautifully! It was such fun, and such an education. Your home was the perfect setting to reflect the whole philosophy of local and foraged foods. Thanks sooooo much for including us. XOX

    1. That was a very fun evening! Looking forward to sharing many more meals with you and John! xo

  2. What a lovely tale. I just read David's manifesto and it struck me to the core. Thank you so much for sharing bits of your home (where is this gorgeous place?) and his oh-so-relevant ethos. Birds of a feather.

    1. Thank you very much for your kind words, Melina! We live in mid-coast Maine. Hope you get a chance to visit David's restaurant once it is open.