Teddy Diggs of The Art Cliff Diner - Biography

Vineyard Haven, MA

August 2013

Teddy Diggs takes New England classics, such as Johnny cakes and clam chowder, which many less talented chefs may take for granted and transforms them into dishes worth a pilgrimage to his tiny dining room. At Art Cliff Diner in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard, converts leave preaching Diggs’ gospel of Lobster-Corn Pancakes and Oyster Chowder Spiked with Smoked Bluefish—Amen! The best of Diggs’ daily sermon is on the blackboard menu comprised of his specials that showcase his knack for reinvention and preternatural ability to create compulsively eatable dishes such as Almond Encrusted and Almond Cream Filled Brioche French Toast with Cranberry Rhubarb Jam, that make fanatics of all those who enter. Diggs first came to the island with his family in 2010 when he accepted a job at The Beach Plum Inn & Food. Before that he worked under author, chef, and sustainable seafood authority Barton Seaver and helped Fabio Trabocchi open Fiamma (now closed) in New York City when it received three stars in The New York Times. At Art Cliff Diner, Diggs took over an operation that has been going for 70 years. He may not know every guest at by name, but he knows how you like your eggs at this vintage diner. With its classic Martha’s Vineyard wood shingles, the dining room counter, and parking lot, can barely hold the crowds clamoring for their favorites. Diggs is striving to make the restaurant an extension of himself and more than just an island destination. But he says the best part about the job is that at the end of the day it’s a short drive home to kiss his daughters goodnight.