At Bokx 109 American Prime, chef Stephen Coe serves a smoked honey-lavender cheesecake with a whipped almond cream topping, which is engulfed in smoke.

NEWTON — Every chef likes a place to test new ideas, techniques, or ingredients. For Stephen Coe, that place is Hollow Tree Farm in Plymouth, where he lives with his wife and three children under 5, and is surrounded by cranberry bogs, raised-bed gardens, a greenhouse, and beehives.

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Santorini’s gorgeous cliffs and international reputation have made it one of the busiest islands in Greece, even riding out the Greek financial crisis with only a small dent in its usual crowds. But Santorinians are savvy and decided to see if they could encourage even more visitors to discover some of the inner bliss of the island. What makes people happy? Food. So the Municipality of Santorini declared this year, 2013, as the Year of Gastronomy for the island in the Cyclades.

Santorini is ideal for a gastronomic push – its local products all take on the character of the unique volcanic soil, the slightly sulfurous atmosphere, and extremely dry conditions. These factors affect everything from how vines are cultivated to the intense flavors and thicker skins of some of the vegetables grown here.

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