Chef Andrew Chadwick celebrates winter vegetables in Sea Glass restaurant at Inn by the Sea
Inn by the Sea's Chef, Andrew Chadwick is having a winter love affair with vegetables- not that he is about to forsake local seafood, native lobster or beef on the Sea Glass menu. Instead, he simply hopes to showcase the form and flavor of vegetables in a new light, rethinking traditional presentations and moving vegetables from almost invisible “sides” for protein, to center plate.
His focus on vegetables steps away from the carnivorous- centric menus typical in New England, and the Chef believes the time is right to do so- even mid- winter! “Stored vegetables are actually terrific- filled with flavor, they are hardy, colorful and highly delectable. Winter vegetables aren’t just tasty, they lend themselves to creative presentations and work well with everything from light and exotic to comfort food,” says Chef Chadwick. “Think potato varieties or turnip for form and structure, kale and beets for vibrant color, onions and celeriac for full flavor- all allowing a Chef to create a plate as artful as it is delicious.”
Inside the ocean view Sea Glass restaurant, the Chef is turning the table on tradition with plates that serve up protein as the side or garnish for vegetables. “This isn’t your grandmother’s over boiled veg- this is about cooking technique and new presentations that allow traditional winter vegetables to be fully appreciated for their structure and taste,” said the Chef.
The Chef is also a huge fan of micro greens for flavor and color. He purchases small, growing Teenie Greenies® flats from nearby Scarborough farmers. Teenie Greenies® are Cultivation Works’ newest social enterprise, which teaches people with disabilities to grow fresh, healthy produce in a sustainable way. The micro greens arrive with just their first, delicate leaves developed and that means they’re packed with flavor and nutrients. It’s like having fields- but very tiny, stacked fields- at the chef’s fingertips in Sea Glass all winter.
After the excess of the holiday season even the health benefits of adding more vegetables to your diet is not overlooked by the chef. “People naturally crave comfort food in the winter and tend to eat fewer fresh and simple foods and salads. Probably more important in winter than at any other time, vegetables add vital nutrients and fiber to meals,” said Chadwick.
“Diners are intensely interested in farm to fork and locally grown produce- what speaks more to the characteristics of our region than vegetables from a local farm- even in winter! People in New England have been storing vegetables for winter use for generations- it’s time to get vegetables out of the root cellar and onto the center of the plate!” said Chef Chadwick.
Sea Glass is the ocean view restaurant at Inn by the Sea, located on Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, just 7 miles south of Portland's urban chic small port city. Open for breakfast and lunch and dinner year round. Please call 207.799.3134 for reservations.