richard witting

Isole was founded in 2011 by chef and culinary anthropologist Richard Witting as a secret pop-up dinner club devoted to global foods. Today, Isole events are defined by his imaginative cuisine: a product of more than twenty years of cooking experience and endless curiosity about the history of food.

Witting is a veteran forager, mycology and fermentation enthusiast, and the owner-operator of Firefly Catering. For many years he has specialized in developing menus and sourcing ingredients for under-represented cuisines in Vermont: as a consulting chef he was responsible for the long-running weekly Ethiopian dinners at Duino Duende (2010-2015); the international street food menu at ArtsRiot; and meal pairings at Dobra Tea focusing on Korean, Chinese, and Indian teas (2013). Inspired by his studies in ecology and ethnography at the University of Vermont, Witting began collaborating in with scholars, artists, and other experts to produce ambitious dining experiences with historic and literary themes. He is also a consulting chef for Agricola's on-farm dinners, highlighting local foods and Italian cooking (2014-present).

Clancy, Julia. Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road: A Tea Tasting Dinner at Stone Leaf Teahouse. Seven Days. January 22, 2017.
Podhaizer, Suzanne. Food and Chaucer at the Isole Dinner Club. Seven Days. November 9, 2016.
Palmer-Egan, Hannah. Isole Dinner Club Launches Lit-Inspired Supper Series. Seven Days. September 21, 2016
Grohman, Hailey. Literary Dinner Series Takes On Old English Classic. UVM Food Feed. September 29, 2016.
Palmer-Egan, Hannah. A Sunday Night Supper at Agricola Farm. June 9, 2015.


tea pairing japanese food

History of English Food and Literature Series: Jane Austen
Aug 4 5:30-9:00 PM · Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms

Join Chef Richard WItting and the Isole Dinner Club at Shelburne Farms for the fourth in our History of Food and English Literature series as we dive into the food, drink, costume, and literature of Georgian England. Guests will partake a historical multi-course dinner with scholarly talks by Jane Austen expert, Julienne Gehrer and tastings of contemporaneous beverages curated by historian Adam Krakowski of Yankee Brewing News.
Puchase tickets HERE
Please contact Richard at isoledinnerclub@gmail.com with any questions.

53 Stations of the Tōkaidō Road Tea Dinner: Spring — Hamamatsu-Miya
Apr 30 5 PM · Setting Sun Teahut · Plainfield, VT

Join Chef Richard Witting and Tea Master Ben Youngbaer for a unique tea and food pairing. These events are the third in our four-part exploration of the old Tokaido Road, famously illustrated by Japanese printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige.
Each dinner takes us further along the Tokaido as we visit the next 13 stations—from bustling Hamamatsu, home of the famous Tokugawa Ieyasu, to the Shinto festivals of Miya. Together we will reflect on each of these stations, the season, and the history of the road while enjoying 13 tastings of japanese tea, food, and drink.
This dinner can accomodate vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free eaters if we are notified a week in advance. Please state any allergies upon purchasing ticket and if you are purchasing tickets for someone else please inquire about any allergies or food preferences. This is a special one-time dinner so don’t hesitate if you’re thinking of joining us, seats do sell out!
In addition to our ticket the tea cups used for the dinner will be custom made for the event and will be purchasable by guests.
Purchase tickets HERE
Please contact Richard at isoledinnerclub@gmail.com, or at 802-233-8604 with any questions.

Isole Dinner Club

beowulf stone soup

Isole Dinner Club events bring together food, drink, visual and performing artists, and guest speakers to create immersive historical and cultural experiences.

Recent Dinner Series

53 Stations of the Tokaido Road

A four-part exploration of the old Tokaido Road, famously illustrated by Japanese printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige. Chef Richard Witting and Tea Masters Ben Youngbaer and John Wetzel have collaborated on tea and food pairings. Each menu is composed of 12-14 courses, each corresponding to a station on the road.
View the menu for the first 16 stations.

History of English Food and Literature Series

This dinner series is inspired by English literature and transports guests to the time of Beowful; Chaucer; Shakespeare; Austen; and Beatrix Potter. Our second dinner, Chaucer and the Forme of Curry, was a pilgrimage through the art and food in England at the closing of the 14th century, with dishes sampled from the gilded dinners of Richard II to the pious and humble meals of knights, monks, and peasants. All recipes from the dinner originated in the first cookbook written in English, Forme of Cury; UVM Professor Chris Vaccaro presented the history of Chaucer's text and gave a sample reading in Middle English. The event space was designed by Dana Heffern and incorporated historical stained-glass works by Emily Stoneking. The New Moon Singers gave a performance of Medeival songs.
View the menu.


Firefly Catering

japanese noodles

Firefly Catering has been delivering exceptional service and food for private events in Vermont since 2009. We work with our clients to design and execute at the highest-level and within budget. We have worked with most venues and vendors in Chittenden county and can assist our clients with many aspects of event planning, including an in-house sommelier. Please contact us at fireflycateringvt@gmail.com or see our Facebook page for more information and reviews.


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