In the Hands of a Chef -June 2013

by: Terry Pommett

photography by: Terry Pommett

ALL KOVALENCIK
Company of the Cauldron
Two Soups Side by Side with Pepita-Dusted, Pan-Seared Nantucket Bay Scallops
“I took over a great restaurant, maintained the quality and style that has been there now for 40 years.”

Kovalencik has had a journeyman’s career on and off the island. He began working in kitchens at the age of 13, first in his brother’s restaurant in New York City, commuting from his home in New Jersey.

He fell in love with cooking again when he ar- rived on Nantucket and worked at the Sand- piper in 1971, a greasy spoon of a diner on Main Street, in the location where The Maury People real-estate company is housed today. Washing pots and pans and cooking lunches eventually led to a stint in The India House kitchen. From there, it was one stop after another at restaurants that have included The Sail Loft, Club Car, Mad Hatter, Ships Inn, Boarding House, North Wharf Fish House and 21 Federal. Between seasons, he ventured
off-island to work in Boston, Providence, Palm Beach and Santa Fe. The bus finally stopped at Company of the Cauldron.

“I’ve seen things change and I’ve evolved over time. I took over a great restaurant, maintained the quality and style that has been there now for 40 years. What I really enjoy is working with young people. It gives me more insight,” he said.

ROBERT “BOZ” BOSLOW
Pazzo/Lola 41
Clams and Harissa
“A lot of research is involved to understand and be true to the cooking of so many countries.”

Like a number of successful chefs, Boslow expresses his appreciation for learning from his peers. “I’ve been fortunate to have traveled a lot at a young age and worked with many different chefs in Colorado, the Bahamas and Europe. I was exposed to different styles and techniques. I feel well-rounded,” he said.

Boslow was a partner at West Creek Café (now Pi Pizza) working with Pat Tyler, and then ran a bread-baking business before land- ing at Lola 41 six years ago. He helped open Lola Burger and then the Mediterranean bistro Pazzo, all in the same ownership group.

Being executive chef for a pair of diverse eateries is not as compli-cated as it may seem for Boslow. His experience with foreign cultures and cuisines has prepared him for the challenge. Since the Lola concept is based on food along the 41st parallel, his expert- ise includes Greek, Italian, Japanese and Chinese, as well as New England seafood.
“A lot of research is involved to understand and be true to the cook- ing of so many countries. I love the flavors of them all. But stylistically, for myself, the blend of Mediterranean flavors is how I like to eat now,” he said.

Boslow’s Clams and Harissa dish has been on the Pazzo menu since it opened three years ago. It’s a nice twist on local seafood, using harissa – a hot chili paste commonly found in Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian cuisine – which creates a pairing of strong flavors and spices with a distinctive finish.

MICHAEL GETTER
Dune
Nantucket Bay Scallop “Chowder” with Yukon Gold Potatoes, Smoked Bacon and Leeks, and Thyme Cream
“We change the menu fully every season. We’re always perfecting dishes, but some
things stay the same.”

After finishing culinary school in Colorado in 1989, Getter began working at 21 Federal before moving on to American Seasons as chef, and eventually acquired an ownership stake. He retired from cooking for a few years, trying his hand as a wine merchant and real-estate broker. Fortunately for Nantucket gourmands, he returned to the kitchen as chef when he moved into the former Cioppino's building and created a new restaurant, Dune.

Getter’s philosophy on cooking is “the simpler, the better, but keep it interesting.”
“I like seasonal, bold flavors with a contrast of textures, but not too fussy. It needs to be accessible to the diner. When I was younger, it seemed like I was striving to recreate the wheel. I kept adding stuff. Now I take stuff away,” he said.

With a background in French cooking, Getter has migrated to a more Mediterranean style.
“I use a lot of butter and olive oil, although the butter is mainly a finisher, a flavor enhancer. People don’t go to restaurants to watch their calories,” he said.

Dune’s menu is constantly evolving and has an eclectic freedom in its offerings.

Influences from Portugal, Spain, northern Italy, Scandi- navia and Asia inform Getter’s Nantucket and New England cuisine.

“We change the menu fully every season. We’re always perfecting dishes, but some things stay the same,” he said.

His Nantucket scallop chowder has been a fall and winter hit since the restaurant opened, but don’t expect to find it once scallop season ends.

MICHAEL LaSCOLA
American Seasons
Seared Pork Meatloaf Sandwich with Curried Foie Gras
“We use local this and that, even though that’s what you’re supposed to say. But people out here are making great food stuff.”

LaScola’s first Nantucket kitchen was at American Seasons working under Everett Reid.
“He was my mentor. He studied at Le Cordon Bleu in London and was creative and hardcore. No non- sense,” he said.

LaScola helped Reid open Moona in 1995 and then became sous chef at Seasons, eventually becoming chef in 2000. He bought the restaurant from Michael Getter, who had bought it from Reid, soon after. Between seasons, he worked in Ireland at Michelin-starred es- tablishments.

Making food fun and creative, with a fine-dining element in plating is his approach.
“We use local this and that, even though that’s what you’re sup- posed to say. But people out here are making great food stuff,” said LaScola, who cited Bartlett's Ocean View Farm, Moors End Farm, Nantucket Native and Pumpkin Pond Farm as his providers of produce and the former island-based fishing vessel Ruthie B – it’s now operating out of New Bedford – for seafood as reliable suppliers. Faraway Farms provides him with three to four pigs a year, which are slaughtered off-island.

“I’m the pig guy out here,” he said.

LaScola’s meatloaf sandwich has been on the menu for five years.
“It’s a real crowd-pleaser. It’s sweet, salty and rich, hits all the taste buds. I want bold, rich flavors, fat and acid content, that are memorable. It’s simplicity but the ingredients get amplified,” said LaScola, who added that he welcomes new creations from whomever.

“We get bored easily,” he said.

TONY NASTUS
Le Languedoc
Escargot tossed with Cavatelli
“I’m not an old dog, but I’ve observed the development of cuisine. I want people to be comfortable with my food, coming back two or three times a week.”

Nastus first touched down on Nantucket in 1994 after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York when he was only 18. He returned to New York with his future wife whom he met on the is- land, however, and didn’t make his way back until after she finished graduate school.

In 2002 he helped open the Westmoor Club, then followed up with a stint at Òran Mór. For the past six years he has ruled the roost at the Languedoc, which appears to have been his calling.

“We’re a perfect fit. It’s always been my favorite place to eat,” he said.
Nastus believes in the purity and simplicity of ingredients. He views most new culinary techniques as theater.

“I’m not an old dog, but I’ve observed the development of cuisine. I want people to be comfortable with my food, coming back two or three times a week,” he said.

He views a visit to the Langue-doc, the island’s oldest French bistro, to be reminiscent of a trip to Italy or France. “People know that the attitude here for food is cool. It’s farm-fresh, organic and local seafood,” he said.

Nastus’ escargot dish is representative of the restaurant’s style and history. “Neil Grennan always made it. It’s a traditional take on shrimp scampi.”

E.J. HARVEY
The SeaGrille
Parmesan-Crusted Swordfish
“I shy away from rich, fatty foods such as foie gras and cream. I prefer more grilling and olive oil.”

When he first came to work for Phil Read as chef at the Jared Coffin House back in the 1980s, E.J. Harvey wasn’t sure what Nantucket was all about, but he admits he slowly came to love the island.

For most of his life he had been in or around the restaurant business, growing up washing dishes and making salads in his father’s restaurant before eventually studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His subsequent experience cooking in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Jackson Hole, Wyoming didn’t quite prepare him for the al-lure of Nantucket, although it reminded him of his childhood in Newport, Rhode Island.

Harvey ran Jean’s Restaurant for five years before establishing himself in his present mid-island location. His food has evolved over the years and he finds he’s leaning toward healthy eating as a prerequisite for his cooking.

“I shy away from rich, fatty foods such as foie gras and cream. I prefer more grilling and olive oil,” he said.

Observing the improved availability of fresh produce and seafood on the island, Harvey is “going lighter” with a farm-to-table approach. His clients demand fresh local seafood and he is happy to provide them with all the bounty Nantucket’s waters have to offer.
“The farms and fishermen have risen to the occasion,” he said.

He considers his swordfish and calamari dish a form of comfort food.

“It’s been a couple years on the menu and although I might want to move on from it, the demand is too high. It’s become a staple,” he said.

Kovalencik has had a journeyman’s career on and off the island. He began working in kitchens at the age of 13, first in his brother’s restaurant in New York City, commuting from his home in New Jersey.

He fell in love with cooking again when he ar- rived on Nantucket and worked at the Sand- piper in 1971, a greasy spoon of a diner on Main Street, in the location where The Maury People real-estate company is housed today. Washing pots and pans and cooking lunches eventually led to a stint in The India House kitchen. From there, it was one stop after another at restaurants that have included The Sail Loft, Club Car, Mad Hatter, Ships Inn, Boarding House, North Wharf Fish House and 21 Federal. Between seasons, he ventured
off-island to work in Boston, Providence, Palm Beach and Santa Fe. The bus finally stopped at Company of the Cauldron.

“I’ve seen things change and I’ve evolved over time. I took over a great restaurant, maintained the quality and style that has been there now for 40 years. What I really enjoy is working with young people. It gives me more insight,” he said.

ROBERT “BOZ” BOSLOW
Pazzo/Lola 41
Clams and Harissa
“A lot of research is involved to understand and be true to the cooking of so many countries.”

Like a number of successful chefs, Boslow expresses his appreciation for learning from his peers. “I’ve been fortunate to have traveled a lot at a young age and worked with many different chefs in Colorado, the Bahamas and Europe. I was exposed to different styles and techniques. I feel well-rounded,” he said.

Boslow was a partner at West Creek Café (now Pi Pizza) working with Pat Tyler, and then ran a bread-baking business before land- ing at Lola 41 six years ago. He helped open Lola Burger and then the Mediterranean bistro Pazzo, all in the same ownership group.

Being executive chef for a pair of diverse eateries is not as compli-cated as it may seem for Boslow. His experience with foreign cultures and cuisines has prepared him for the challenge. Since the Lola concept is based on food along the 41st parallel, his expert- ise includes Greek, Italian, Japanese and Chinese, as well as New England seafood.
“A lot of research is involved to understand and be true to the cook- ing of so many countries. I love the flavors of them all. But stylistically, for myself, the blend of Mediterranean flavors is how I like to eat now,” he said.

Boslow’s Clams and Harissa dish has been on the Pazzo menu since it opened three years ago. It’s a nice twist on local seafood, using harissa – a hot chili paste commonly found in Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian cuisine – which creates a pairing of strong flavors and spices with a distinctive finish.

MICHAEL GETTER
Dune
Nantucket Bay Scallop “Chowder” with Yukon Gold Potatoes, Smoked Bacon and Leeks, and Thyme Cream
“We change the menu fully every season. We’re always perfecting dishes, but some
things stay the same.”

After finishing culinary school in Colorado in 1989, Getter began working at 21 Federal before moving on to American Seasons as chef, and eventually acquired an ownership stake. He retired from cooking for a few years, trying his hand as a wine merchant and real-estate broker. Fortunately for Nantucket gourmands, he returned to the kitchen as chef when he moved into the former Cioppino's building and created a new restaurant, Dune.

Getter’s philosophy on cooking is “the simpler, the better, but keep it interesting.”
“I like seasonal, bold flavors with a contrast of textures, but not too fussy. It needs to be accessible to the diner. When I was younger, it seemed like I was striving to recreate the wheel. I kept adding stuff. Now I take stuff away,” he said.

With a background in French cooking, Getter has migrated to a more Mediterranean style.
“I use a lot of butter and olive oil, although the butter is mainly a finisher, a flavor enhancer. People don’t go to restaurants to watch their calories,” he said.

Dune’s menu is constantly evolving and has an eclectic freedom in its offerings.

Influences from Portugal, Spain, northern Italy, Scandi- navia and Asia inform Getter’s Nantucket and New England cuisine.

“We change the menu fully every season. We’re always perfecting dishes, but some things stay the same,” he said.

His Nantucket scallop chowder has been a fall and winter hit since the restaurant opened, but don’t expect to find it once scallop season ends.

MICHAEL LaSCOLA
American Seasons
Seared Pork Meatloaf Sandwich with Curried Foie Gras
“We use local this and that, even though that’s what you’re supposed to say. But people out here are making great food stuff.”

LaScola’s first Nantucket kitchen was at American Seasons working under Everett Reid.
“He was my mentor. He studied at Le Cordon Bleu in London and was creative and hardcore. No non- sense,” he said.

LaScola helped Reid open Moona in 1995 and then became sous chef at Seasons, eventually becoming chef in 2000. He bought the restaurant from Michael Getter, who had bought it from Reid, soon after. Between seasons, he worked in Ireland at Michelin-starred es- tablishments.

Making food fun and creative, with a fine-dining element in plating is his approach.
“We use local this and that, even though that’s what you’re sup- posed to say. But people out here are making great food stuff,” said LaScola, who cited Bartlett's Ocean View Farm, Moors End Farm, Nantucket Native and Pumpkin Pond Farm as his providers of produce and the former island-based fishing vessel Ruthie B – it’s now operating out of New Bedford – for seafood as reliable suppliers. Faraway Farms provides him with three to four pigs a year, which are slaughtered off-island.

“I’m the pig guy out here,” he said.

LaScola’s meatloaf sandwich has been on the menu for five years.
“It’s a real crowd-pleaser. It’s sweet, salty and rich, hits all the taste buds. I want bold, rich flavors, fat and acid content, that are memorable. It’s simplicity but the ingredients get amplified,” said LaScola, who added that he welcomes new creations from whomever.

“We get bored easily,” he said.

TONY NASTUS
Le Languedoc
Escargot tossed with Cavatelli
“I’m not an old dog, but I’ve observed the development of cuisine. I want people to be comfortable with my food, coming back two or three times a week.”

Nastus first touched down on Nantucket in 1994 after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York when he was only 18. He returned to New York with his future wife whom he met on the is- land, however, and didn’t make his way back until after she finished graduate school.

In 2002 he helped open the Westmoor Club, then followed up with a stint at Òran Mór. For the past six years he has ruled the roost at the Languedoc, which appears to have been his calling.

“We’re a perfect fit. It’s always been my favorite place to eat,” he said.
Nastus believes in the purity and simplicity of ingredients. He views most new culinary techniques as theater.

“I’m not an old dog, but I’ve observed the development of cuisine. I want people to be comfortable with my food, coming back two or three times a week,” he said.

He views a visit to the Langue-doc, the island’s oldest French bistro, to be reminiscent of a trip to Italy or France. “People know that the attitude here for food is cool. It’s farm-fresh, organic and local seafood,” he said.

Nastus’ escargot dish is representative of the restaurant’s style and history. “Neil Grennan always made it. It’s a traditional take on shrimp scampi.”

E.J. HARVEY
The SeaGrille
Parmesan-Crusted Swordfish
“I shy away from rich, fatty foods such as foie gras and cream. I prefer more grilling and olive oil.”

When he first came to work for Phil Read as chef at the Jared Coffin House back in the 1980s, E.J. Harvey wasn’t sure what Nantucket was all about, but he admits he slowly came to love the island.

For most of his life he had been in or around the restaurant business, growing up washing dishes and making salads in his father’s restaurant before eventually studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His subsequent experience cooking in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Jackson Hole, Wyoming didn’t quite prepare him for the al-lure of Nantucket, although it reminded him of his childhood in Newport, Rhode Island.

Harvey ran Jean’s Restaurant for five years before establishing himself in his present mid-island location. His food has evolved over the years and he finds he’s leaning toward healthy eating as a prerequisite for his cooking.

“I shy away from rich, fatty foods such as foie gras and cream. I prefer more grilling and olive oil,” he said.

Observing the improved availability of fresh produce and seafood on the island, Harvey is “going lighter” with a farm-to-table approach. His clients demand fresh local seafood and he is happy to provide them with all the bounty Nantucket’s waters have to offer.
“The farms and fishermen have risen to the occasion,” he said.

He considers his swordfish and calamari dish a form of comfort food.

“It’s been a couple years on the menu and although I might want to move on from it, the demand is too high. It’s become a staple,” he said.






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