In addition to the peeks into private kitchens, the Portland Kitchen Tour will include on-site demos and designer showcases at a location on Forest Avenue.
Each of the six kitchens will feature a chef, cookbook author, cooking demonstration or tasting. The people and businesses participating include Baxter Brewing, Kitchen & Cork, CVC Catering and Elizabeth Fraser of “Girl Gone Raw.”
In the former Payson Park Evangelical Free Church, new Portland baker Adam Beckworth will serve his cupcakes, including ones that look like cheeseburgers, and will show off a couple of his tiered wedding cakes.
“That space is so beautiful and so grand,” he said, “I think a couple of nice and tall, really striking wedding cakes are going to look very much at home.”
Beckworth runs his business, A Little Somethin’ Sweet (alittlesomethinsweet.com) out of his home kitchen in the Rosemont area of town.
He specializes in fancy cakes and specialty cupcakes like the whimsical cheeseburgers.
“I really am happy making it work on a special order, project by project basis,” Beckworth said. “It allows me to work as much or as little as I want. I feel like I’m able to give my best focus to each individual project and each client, and it still sort of retains that excitement for me. I’m not repeating the same things every day until they become routine or uninteresting. “
Beckworth grew up in Texas, where his mother encouraged his love of baking.
“She wasn’t a professional baker by any stretch of the imagination, but she would bake bread every week when I was growing up, and then, of course, treats for school events or bake sales,” he said. “Then I just started running with it and taking it a little bit further. I started decorating cakes when I was 6 or 7. I started doing birthday cakes with the little Wilton beginner set, with the piping bags and tips and the whole nine yards.”
Beckworth’s creativity extended to other areas, and as an adult he moved to New York to pursue work as an actor. After about four years, he decided it was not the life he wanted and he began baking again. He learned the art of sugar work and making sculpted fondant cakes, and soon his passion for baking was getting noticed.
“Eventually, people start saying, ‘Hey, I want one,’ and word starts spreading, all of a sudden you find yourself with a business,” Beckworth said.
Beckworth’s cakes have been featured at the Algonquin Hotel, the American Museum of Natural History, in People magazine and on Animal Planet. He made opening night cookies for the production team of “Shrek The Musical” on Broadway that looked as if Shrek had made them in the swamp. The sandwich cookies were homemade graham crackers with a chocolate truffle filling, and were decorated with twigs and leaves made of sugar and chocolate.
Beckworth and his partner had been regular visitors to Portland over the years, and after 15 years in New York, they decided to make the leap and move here.
“I love New York,” he said. “I will always think of New York as a home. But I just got ready for an easier lifestyle, a greener lifestyle with more trees and fresh air.”
He still goes back to New York occasionally to deliver orders there.
Beckworth’s current big project? He’s designing a re-creation of the West Point Cadet Chapel for a wedding coming up in June.