Behind-The-Scenes At Edible Vineyard: Tasty Tidbits From Martha’s Vineyard

Edible Vineyard First Edition Martha's VineyardIn less than a month, the Spring issue of Edible Vineyard will hit stands all over Martha’s Vineyard.  This free magazine has been a favorite since its first issue was published in Spring of 2009.

A fan myself, there is not an issue I have missed.  After all, where else can you get the “Blueprints to Making the Perfect Sandwich,” from renowned Island chef Tina Miller (issue 14) or find out from “The Dish,” that the blueberry pancakes from the Plane View are delicious, and there’s a photo that makes you immediately hungry for them?

Edible Vineyard & Martha’s Vineyard

But Edible Vineyard is so much more than recipes or favorite Island food spots, it’s a way to be involved with the local foods of Martha’s Vineyard, whether it’s what’s in season, where can you get it, or how to do it.

The awareness it has raised about local food is off the charts.  Even a “city girl” like myself feels a little closer to the Island after reading an issue.

New Edible Vineyard Editor Sydney BenderWanting to know more about Edible Vineyard, I met with its new editor, Sydney Bender, who I am lucky enough to have known for a couple of years.  I still remember when she got the job at Edible Vineyard.  Now she is the editor!  A position she has had for a couple of months now, and one she is enjoying immensely.

Ali Berlow, the founder and first editor, is still heavily involved, but she is also currently involved in writing a book. Sydney has been with Edible Vineyard since its fourth issue and had her first article published in the fifth issue.

Just to let you know how amazing she is, Sydney is the youngest editor in the Edible magazine community.  In case you didn’t know, there are dozens of Edible magazines in the country, there’s an Edible Cleveland, an Edible Boston, Edible Philly, they’re everywhere.

Edible Vineyard At The PressThough extremely busy putting the finishing touches on issue 17, Sydney gave me a little background on what goes into putting together one of these amazing magazines.  Since I do weekly stories, this is a whole new world for me.

Many of the stories start with brainstorming sessions with members of the core staff, Ali & Sam Berlow (owners/publishers), Sydney Bender (editor), Carrie Gee (art director), Elizabeth Cecil (photo editor), Emily Portman (assistant editor), Dan Cabot (copy editor), and some of the contributors, a group of  50 to 70 people, including Tina Miller, Mollie Doyle, Remy Tumin, Kate Athearn, and Sybil Teles, just to name a few.  What a talented group of Island people!

Some stories take up to a year to complete, because so much of what is featured has particular growing seasons. Now that is someone who is patient and passionate about their subject.  Also, many stories are submitted from the contributors themselves.

There is a lot of working together to get just one of four issues ready that are published each year.  EV publishes Spring in April, Early Summer in June, High Summer in August, and Harvest in November.  And, let’s not forget the Edible Vineyard Food Guide, the second one is coming out in the early Summer.

What’s In A Picture?

Edible Vineyard Photo Editor Elizabeth CecilWhat I think is another key element to the success of EV besides the great articles and stories is the photography. Photo Editor Elizabeth Cecil, has an amazing eye.  Every cover of EV has been her work.  She truly turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Her food pictures make you feel like you can reach out and grab a donut or dive right into that bowl of fresh strawberries.  A click of her camera kicks up my hunger level.  She doesn’t capture just the soul of local food, but also the essence of the people affiliated with the food and the stories.  A glimpse inside the person with a lens, perfectly supplemented by words.

High Summer Edible VineyardWith each issue having a year of people’s lives invested in it, you can see why Edible Vineyard has such an impact on the community.  What those pages contain are thoughtful, purposeful, educating, and entertaining. You get to see inside the lives of some of the amazing people that call the Vineyard their home.

For Sydney, the best part of her editor job is the opportunity to go into the homes of a lot of well respected, loved Islanders.  They share their secret family recipes with her, and stories of their lives.

For her, it’s sometimes hard to believe that she has this dream job, in this community that she is immersed in.  She’s even marrying an Island guy, police officer Jeff LaBell, next year.  I think she’s here to stay.

Edible Vineyard Issue 14 The Donut Issue Summer 2012 Martha's Vineyard FoodSince so much of EV focuses on food, you would think it would be tough for its Editor to tell you a couple of her favorites, but nope, it’s not the case.

Sydney loved issue 14, Early Summer, 2012, the Donut issue as it is lovingly referred to.  Just looking at the cover makes me hungry.  She got to eat so many different donuts, like the Limpopo from State Road Restaurant.  She even has an image of a donut from that issue on her business card!  If you know this girl, you know she has a wicked sweet tooth.

Edible Vineyard Issue 10 Early Summer - Baby Chicks & The Best Chowder On Martha's VineyardShe also loved issue 10, Early Summer 2011.  In this issue, she had the best chowder of her life, Tina Miller’s Succotash Chowder with Littleneck Clams.  It was so creamy and flavorful, and she thinks about it quite often.  It actually does sound pretty delicious – clams, bacon, lima beans, shallots and more.  Here’s the recipe in case you’re interested Succatash Chowder with Littleneck Clams.

After all is said and done, the new issue of Edible Vineyard has been delivered all over the Island, what’s the best part for its Editor? Watching people pick up a copy, leafing through it, and smiling.  The joy of watching others enjoy the end result.

What’s New With Edible Vineyard

When you read issue 17, there’s a new addition, Breakfast Is King.  Art Director, Carrie Gee is spearheading this.  She loves all things breakfast and is kind of a breakfast expert.  With Breakfast is King, you’ll be inspired by the freshest, most amazing, delicious breakfast foods.  After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and who doesn’t like a little breakfast even for dinner on occasion.

Another tidbit on what’s to come in the near future is the Edible Vineyard cookbook.  This is going to be one of those books we find in kitchens all over the Island and in homes of those who love the Vineyard.  I can’t wait to see this collection of recipes.

Society for News Design Award Of ExcellenceTo learn more about Edible Vineyard, you can visit the EV Facebook page or the Edible Vineyard website.  One thing I have to mention is that Edible Vineyard won an Award of Excellence from Society for News Design for issue 16’s Salt Finds. Photograph by Photo Editor Elizabeth Cecil.  This is a really big deal for this small, local and fabulous magazine.  Congratulations!

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1 thought on “Behind-The-Scenes At Edible Vineyard: Tasty Tidbits From Martha’s Vineyard”

  1. Hi, Sydney!
    What a sparkling article about Edible Vineyard and you, its new editor! Congratulations on your assignment and also on your engagement to Jeff. We are so very proud of the amazing woman you have become.
    Aunt Ginny

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