Sunday, December 8, 2013
The Kennebunkport Festival got underway Tuesday, and there are food-centric events scheduled every day through Saturday.
The festival launched with some cocktail receptions and "Art of Dining" dinners Tuesday and will come to a close Saturday night with a grand finale at David's KPT, David Turin's new restaurant in Kennebunkport.
If you've never been to an Art of Dining dinner, they are intimate dinners in private homes prepared by well known Maine chefs. The roster of chefs includes folks like Steve Corry, Sam Hayward, Guy Hernandez, Peter Sueltenfuss, Lee Skawinksi and Jeff Buerhaus.
Proceeds from the dinners go to Share Our Strength.
I attended a dinner hosted by Pam and Tom Weyl in their home at Goose Rocks Beach on Tuesday night. The chef for the night was Shannon Bard, and Scot Hudson from National Distributors was on hand to do the wine pairings and talk to us about what we were drinking.
The evening began with drinks on the deck (think Zapoteca's signature habanero watermelon margarita), along with passed hors d'oeurves such as Flying Point oysters from Freeport served with habanero salt and lime, and pork belly tacos with mango salsa.
The Wey;s transformed their living room area into an elegant dining room for the 16 or so guests.
Chef Bard said her concept for the evening was to throw us a "mole party." We started with a bite of citrus-marinated tuna, Pasilla chile, caviar and loical microgreens. The tuna was wrapped in a slice of beet.
The next course was a banana leaf steamed corn masa tamal with local and lobster mushroom, goat cheese and mole Amarillo.
Next came what was my favorite course, I think: garlic-marinated halibut with green mole.
Next we were served Maine Family Farms All Natural Filet of Beef, Seared Foie Gras wrapped in an ancho chile, and classic Oaxacan black mole.
The dessert course was a Mexican lime & mango tart, thyme crema and toasted meringues. There were several choices for after-dinner drinks, including Honeymaker Lavender Mead. I had the Agavero, a not-too-sweet after dinner tequila.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod