Lexie Roth, the owner of Rooted Food, has mastered the dinner party.
Lexie Roth's dinner parties boast beautiful locations, great food and, live musicians. This summer, we tagged along and joined Lexie’s dinner party on Martha Vineyard to get a dose of inspiration for our next outdoor feast.
Photo: Lexie Roth
The Location: Martha's Vineyard
This tiny island off Cape Cod remains one of the most popular and picturesque destinations in New England. Once you arrive by ferry (it’s a 45-minute ferry ride from Cape Cod), you’ll be greeted by sandy beaches, sailboats, and colorful cottages. What you may not know is that Martha’s Vineyard is a culinary hotspot. With acres of farms, the ocean outside your door (“thankfully striped bass season has begun”), and a relative dependence on local produce (rather than exporting it), you’ll find a focus on fresh food and community supported agriculture.
For Lexie’s dinner, she tapped island friends (and Martha’s Vineyard locals) for help with the location. She used their family’s historic horse stables and farmland as a backdrop for the evening’s festivities and used an outdoor fire as her kitchen. She attributes the fire and environment to one of the reasons why her food (and the dinner party!) are so special. “Cooking over a fire for that yummy firewood smoked taste and having the privilege of living on an island where each farm is booming with fresh produce [makes the meal shine].”
As the 50 guests trickled into the space around 6 pm, Lexie was at work on the evening’s menu.
Photos: Hannette Otten & Lexie Roth
The meal included a variety of crudites, paella with grilled chicken, fresh striped bass, littleneck clams, roasted squash and zucchini, and organic chocolates.
When we spoke to Lexie about the meal, she mentioned that she sourced “literally everything but the rice, chocolate and olive oil” locally, and added she was “thankful striped bass season has begun!”
The focus of the meal and the flavors were a direct reflection of Martha’s Vineyard. Lexie explained “all I try to do is embellish the fresh, natural flavors these fresh ingredients provide, not to cover them. As I like to say, a chef is nothing without the farmer.”
Photos: Lexie Roth
The full, mouth-watering menu is below:
Radishes // Carrots // Heirloom Tomatoes // Cucumbers served with Tahini Hummus and Lavender & Roasted Almonds
Paella with Grilled Good Farm Chicken and Roasted Tomatoes
Fresh Caught Striped Bass with Spring Onion and Scallion Rub
Katama Bay Littleneck Clams with Leeks
Roasted Patty Pan Squash and Zucchini
Ghost Island Farm Greens
Lemon and Olive Oil
Cinnamon Starship Sourdough Bread
Toasted on the grill brushed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Organic Dark Chocolate
Her tip to make your produce and natural flavors taste just as good at our next dinner party? Good olive oil. “I love using Bariani extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, and Stannard Farm herbs, they always have the most interesting and unique herbs growing all summer long.”
Lexie is a musician herself, so it’s not a surprise that she’s well connective with a tribe of talented people.
For this dinner party, Lexie joined musicians Elvis Perkins and Ben Taylor inside the barn for an after-dinner jam session.
It’s hard to imagine pulling off this type of dinner party at home, but Lexie has a few idea to help conjure up a dinner party of your own. Check out Lexie Roth's guest column.
And be sure to head to Rooted Food's blog for Lexie's step by step directions to recreate this menu.
About Lexie Roth
Lexie Roth is an actress, (Chappaquiddick) musician and trained chef raised in Northern Westchester, New York. She is the daughter of Arlen Roth (born October 30, 1952 in New York, USA), an American guitarist, recording artist, performer, tutor, and author. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Bob Dylan, Danny Gatton, John Entwistle, John Prine, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Ry Cooder, David Lindley, Sonny Landreth, Levon Helm, Bill Kirchen, Duane Eddy, Steve Morse, Albert Lee and Phoebe Snow.
Her song "Call You My Hon" was featured in the award-winning feature film "Maria My Love" produced and directed by Jasmine McGlade Chazelle starring Karen Black. Lexie sings "Vaya Con Dios" on the Les Paul Tribute Album "Thank You Les" alongside of Keith Richards, Jose Feliciano, Steve Miller, Slash, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Eddie Brigati Jr. (The Young Rascals) and many other greats who played with Les Paul through the years. Lexie appears on “Nightlife”, “Crying Time” and “Just One Look” with Levon Helm and Amy Helm off the record “Toolin’ Around Woodstock”. Roth sings “Tennessee Waltz” on the upcoming Arlen Roth record “Telemasters” produced by Tommy Hambridge featuring Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Brent Mason, Steve Cropper, Albert Lee, Johnny Hiland, Jack Pearson and many more.
Roth taught herself to cook in her family’s studio on Martha’s Vineyard. A graduate of New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute, Lexie specializes in whole foods dynamics, clinical nutrition and is a firm believer in that food should be carefully sourced and balanced.
Fellow Chef: Zachary Graves-Miller
Co-Owner of Rooted Food, Chef, New England Based Documentarian with extensive experience in Production and assisting Director’s on feature films.
Musician: Elvis Perkins
Elvis Perkins has released three full-length collections of songs, two under his own name (Ash
Wednesday ('07 XL Recordings) & I Aubade ('15 MIR) and one under the band name Elvis Perkins inDearland ('09 XL Recordings). The band with whom he has toured extensively also released the six-trackDoomsday EP in 2009 (XL).
In the past two years Elvis has made two film scores: "I am the Pretty Thing the Lives in the House (Netflix, October '16) and "The Blackcoat's Daughter" (A24 '17). A soundtrack album for the latter was released via Death Waltz Recording Co. in March 2017.
Elvis is currently in a Beth Morrison Productions theater piece, HOME, the brainchild of his old friend, Geoff Sobelle (ObjectLesson), for which he provides live original music. HOME world premiered at Philly Fringe Arts in 2017 and will be touring internationally in 2018, including dates at the New Zealand and Edinburgh Festivals. Elvis is currently working on his 4th LP.
Musician: Ben Taylor
On his first released album Famous Among the Barns and his EP #1, Taylor collaborated with friends Adam MacDougall and Larry Ciancia to form "The Ben Taylor Band." Ultimately deciding that this path (which yielded music that Taylor describes as "neo-psychedelic folk funk") did not represent his true musical nature, Taylor released a follow-up solo album that is much more acoustic in nature and more in line with his family roots. That solo effort, Another Run Around the Sun, featured backing vocals by his sister and mother, with Taylor as vocalist and guitarist, Peter Calo on guitars, Larry Ciancia on drums, and bass guitar by Kevin Bacon who also produced the album.