Margaret Grade and Daniel De Long, Manka's chefs and co-owners, want people to know that Manka's is still in business. Rooms in the Annex and Boathouse and all cabins are untouched and available. They are organizing a place so that they can continue serving their neighbors' wonderful fresh food: that great material they prepare with inventive twists. Next week they are planning a big dinner: Manka's Rises from the Ashes.
To me, over the years Manka's has been simply treasure: every corner, every moment and every bite. We had planned to go with my parents for New Year's and I was horrified to learn that the lodge had been destroyed by fire. This afternoon while in Inverness, I stopped by the burned lodge. Daniel De Long and a crew were raking broken glass from the parking lot as an enormous wood chipper began to grind up fallen oak branches, some of which may have caused the fire. Garlands had been spread over the boulders by the road and a note apologized for the inconvenience alongside bouquets of flowers and multi-colored notes of support from neighbors.
After this loss, most of all, all the people that make up Manka's need people to come. The staff, the suppliers, the artisans: everyone. Though the lodge is gone, it was the product of a creative force that is very much alive and, with our help, will take new form.