Yankee Magazine features Martha’s Vineyard on ‘Weekends with Yankee’

Photo by Mark Fleming

Above photo by Mark Fleming

Yankee magazine (the publication devoted to New England living) and WGBH have teamed up to launch Weekends with Yankee, a g 13-episode documentary series that premieres Sunday, April 23.

The show goes behind-the-scenes in all six states, giving viewers an insider’s look at the best of New England—from spectacular natural landscapes and breathtaking vistas to signature attractions and the hidden gems known only to locals. Viewers will be guided by Emmy® Award-winning TV travel host, explorer and author Richard Wiese, as well as Yankee magazine Senior Food Editor and award-winning cookbook author, Amy Traverso.

Of course no such show would be complete without a visit to Martha’s Vineyard. The hosts traveled to the Island last October, where they helped dredge for bay scallops at Cape Poge Bay in Edgartown, while aboard the 36-foot fishing vessel Payback, and learn how to catch shellfish with Shellfish Constable Paul Bagnall. The episode, “Adventure in the Wild,” airs on WGBH (channel 2 on the Vineyard) on April 30. Watch a trailer for the episode here.

Photo courtesy Yankee magazine

The show also explores the historic gingerbread cottages at the Oak Bluffs campground and provides a look at the shiitake mushroom growing operation in Chilmark, headed up by Tucker Pforzheimer and Truman French, which is scheduled to air in June. Watch a trailer for the episode here.


Mr. Wiese has a long history of vacationing with his family on the Island, no small thing considering that he’s been cross-country skiing at the North Pole and trekked to the reported hottest place on Earth, a desert in Ethiopia. 

“There’s no more special place in July and August than Martha’s Vineyard,” Mr. Wiese told The Times.

Mr. Wiese said he’s a big fan of seafood, and he learned a few things about scallops, including how to pronounce the word (it’s “scall,” rhymes with “all,” not “al”) while onboard Donny Benefit’s 36-foot fishing boat Payback (Donny’s a commercial fisherman and shellfish committee member).

For Amy Traverso, it was the first time dredging for scallops; she said the weather leading up to the October trip was idyllic, then the day the scallop outing was scheduled, the weather turned. 

“We went from late summer to hardcore fall,” Ms. Traverso said. “It was so, so cold. It took all my focus to get the shake out of my voice. Of course, all the guys on the boat said, ‘Oh, it’s warm out here.’”

Edgartown shellfish constable and biologist Paul Bagnall and Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group retired president Rick Karney both went out with the Yankee magazine crew. Ms. Traverso applauded the Vineyard’s efforts to keep the shellfishing industry alive. 

Mr. Bagnall said the magazine reached out to his office, and he had originally planned to take them out on a smaller boat, but it was too windy so they took the larger Payback. The group went out a few days before the scallop season began to accommodate the television crew’s schedule.

“It was before the season started,” Mr. Bagnall said, “so it was like shooting fish in a barrel.”

Scallop crudo with citrus-ginger sauce was prepared onboard. —Weekends with Yankee/WGBH
Scallop crudo with citrus-ginger sauce was prepared onboard. —Weekends with Yankee/WGBH

All those on board, except the boat’s captain, tried the scallops raw, Ms. Traverso said. Her specialty is cooking, and she wasted no time with fresh-from-the-ocean scallops. Ms. Traverso prepared scallop crudo with citrus-ginger sauce onboard the fishing boat. A crudo is a very simple preparation that adds a little acid, a little spice, Ms. Traverso said, enhancing the dish with flavor accents but letting the original ingredient shine.

“I made it right on the boat,” she said. “I juiced my oranges and grated my ginger; it was delicious. It was really nice to have something with a little bit of heat from the chili pepper.” 

Ms. Traverso said she enjoys cooked scallops as well, “but there’s something really wonderful about popping them in your mouth, not quite like Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory, but something like that.”

To find out more about upcoming episodes of “Weekends with Yankee,” visit newengland.com/weekends-with-yankee/.