Gourmet Island Adventures
New Zealand chef Bill Manson is the organizer of the second annual Martha’s Vineyard Local Wild Food Challenge which “showcases the skills and resourcefulness of the people living” on the island and in Punkaharju, Finland and Eastbourne, Lower Hutt, where Manson and his family divide their time. Manson’s inspiration for the challenge, as well as his Vineyard connection, came from his decade living in Courchevel in the French Alps where he and his wife, Sarah, ran a mixed adventure tourism/culinary outfit. “We combined food and well, adrenaline, really,” Manson said of the years he spent teaching clients to ski, snowboard, telemark and paraglide in the Savoie region. “We would have loads of Vineyarders come out and we’d flog them pretty hard on the hill and then feed them lots of yummies at night.” When he returned to his seaside community in Eastbourne he found a community that was more than receptive to his challenge to showcase the region’s abalone, spiny lobster, gravlax, sea trout, crabs, seaweed, jellyfish and from “the bush” rabbit and wild pig.