Restaurateurs, home cooks and brave foodies gathered together Sunday for the Local Wild Food Challenge, where foraged, hunted, fished and grown ingredients were the stars of the show.

Kelsey Head accepts the grand prize on behalf of young Island chefs. — Tova Katzman

In its sixth year, the challenge encourages and supports people to look at their natural surroundings as a supermarket, and turn the food growing around them into culinary delights. With both children’s and adults’ challenges, the event was a community affair that lasted for the better half of the day.

Students with the Island Grown Schools Farm Project teen farm to school leadership program took home the grand prize for their summer bounty salad, which included silverside white baitfish, autumn olive and nasturtium vinaigrette, pickled beach plums, roasted chestnuts, rockweed seaweed and fried crickets and grasshoppers. Kelsey Head, Island Grown Schools high school coordinator and Farm Project leader, accepted the award on their behalf.

Johnny Petrosinelli and Anne Kirkpatrick from JP Catered Creations loaded a table with their dishes, including two full roasted geese, complete with beaks and feet. At first, Mr. Petrosinelli wasn’t planning on attending, but three days before the fest, decided to give it a shot. Squares of glistening red beet, crowned with dollops of goat cheese, sat next to neatly-wrapped bundles of parsnips and carrots as Mr. Petrosinelli carefully plated the judges’ dish. It won the award for Best on the Wing.

Mr. Petrosinelli’s young son Jack tromped through the festival delivering bags of cookies to people out of his blue plastic pail. The cookies were made with wild blueberries Mr. Petrosinelli had harvested from Tashmoo.

Brooke Ward won first place in the kids' division for her locally-sourced breakfast in bed. — Tova Katzman

Returning competitor Brooke Ward, 9, entered her version of breakfast in bed in the kids’ competition. She used potatoes her brother had grown in school for the hashbrowns, plus local eggs, sausage and lightly-toasted homemade bread, topped off with an orange edible flower.

“A lot of it is when my family gave me stuff and taught me how to make bread and eggs, my brother gave me potatoes and they inspired me to do this dish,” Brooke said. Served up on a wooden tray, her breakfast won first place in the children’s division.

Gus Leaf from MV Smokehouse picked his booth because it was directly in the sun. His business partner Nathan Gould had to duck out early to get back to work at the Beach Plum Inn, but Mr. Leaf stayed to talk with people and share their smoked spreads. Crowds mingled around their table sampling smoked bluefish, yellow fin tuna, striped bass and bonito spread across Ritz crackers. It was Mr. Leaf’s first year entering the challenge, though six years ago, at the first challenge, he provided Mr. Gould with a rabbit for his concoction, which won second place.

“If we don’t come out of here with a prize, it doesn’t matter,” Mr. Leaf said. “I just like talking to people.” They walked away with the Best Effort award and two hours into the challenge, all but one spread had been completely consumed.

Nina Levin pours a glass of mead. — Tova Katzman

In past years, the event has been held at the Rod and Gun Club in Edgartown. In need of a bit more elbow room, this year it sprawled across the grounds of the Portuguese American Club in Oak Bluffs.

“It feels quieter because it’s such a massive place,” said Bill Manson, creator of the challenge. “I really want people to share ideas and help each other out and enjoy the creations.”

Ben Cabot has entered the challenge every year. This time he cooked up venison with local and wild fixings. He entered the competition along with his daughter, Violet, who worked with her friend Madia Bellebuono to cook ravioli with rabbit and ricotta filling. The duo came in second place in the children’s division.

Mr. Cabot said he and his daughter spend a lot of time together when working with food. “We go out foraging together and work in the kitchen together,” he said. “It’s fun.”

Gus Leaf accepts award for best effort. — Tova Katzman

Crowds flocked to the tasting table, where Kim Morse and Karen Jardin served bites from the contestants' dishes, working deftly from behind the red and white checked table cloth. They also served wild pork chili, chicken and duck tortilla soup and chicken liver pate.

John Forti from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society sat behind a table covered with examples of wild food and medicinal plants. He planned to teach at the event, but ended up entering roasted wild chestnuts and Cherry Bounce, a cordial made with cherries, white rum and maple syrup, following a recipe from the 1813 Plymouth colonies.

“They’re reminders of a time when we knew how to eat out of our backyards year-round,” said Mr. Forti, gesturing to the bounty on his table. “Reintroducing this foodstuff is a great way to look at local food with fresh eyes.”

As darkness fell, and the judges finalized their deliberations, the club turned into a dance floor, adults and children alike boogied to the tunes of Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish.

Kids’ Division

Event features ingredients easily found in nature. — Tova Katzman

Grand Prize: Brooke Ward
Runner Up: Madia Bellebuono and Violet Cabot (The MV Chefs)
Best Effort: Quinlan Slavin
Wildest Ingredient: Clara Athearn
Honorable mentions: Bear Gilpin, Sunny Wolverton, Mattie Wolverton and Zeb Athearn

Adult Division

Grand Prize: Kelsey Head, accepting on behalf of the students from Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School
Runner Up: Robert French
Third Place: Kristina Hook
Best Effort: Nathan Gould and Gus Leaf
Wildest Ingredient: Douglas Werther
Best from the Water: Nina Levin
Best from the Land: Mike Harmon
Best on the Wing: JP Catered Creations
Best Dessert: Michelle Manfredi
Best Use of Local Ingredient: Henry Jones
Hemingway Award: Sarah Safford
Caroline Johnstone Award: Ben and Nicole Cabot
Honorable Mention: Jonathan Searle
Mentions: Otto Osmers, John Forti, Cody Brewer, Lauren Schlanger

More pictures from the Local Wild Food Challenge.