October 23, 2013

FOOD DISPATCHES: A Round-Up of the Week’s Culinary News and Events

Seasonal happenings include pumpkin ale tastings and some Hallowines

PORTLAND

Two Fat Cats Bakery invites public to sample its goods

Stop in at Two Fat Cats from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday to try items from the bakery’s Halloween and Thanksgiving menu, plus have the chance to sample and comment on new products under development.

Offerings will include pumpkin pie, decorated cookies, apple, cheddar cheese and rosemary bread, Thanksgiving pumpkin roll and pear pie.

Two Fat Cats is located at 47 India St. Call 347-5144

Martinis and Art event supports cancer patients

More than 8,000 Maine residents are living with cancer. Help them by supporting the third annual Martinis and Art event at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, 350 Commercial St., from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Sip martinis while exploring three floors of donated Maine art from artists such as Jac Ouellette, Matt Welch, Sally Loughridge, Holly Ready, Anne Ireland, Lindsay Hancock and Dietland Vander Schaaf.

There will be live jazz, appetizers and an open bar with tastes provided by Maine Craft Distilling. The ticket price of $85 includes one entry to win a piece of art. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society’s Maine Patient Navigator Program.

Visit martinisandart.com or call 373-3742.

Harvest dinner Thursday at Cantina El Rayo

Cantina El Rayo will host a special dinner on Thursday. The menu includes Maine oysters, served warm with chile pesto; “drunken turkey” with picadillo stuffing; and apple cajeta gallete with cinnamon whipped cream.

The cost is $30 per person. For reservations, call 780-8466.The cantina is located at 85 York St.

Rosemont Market throws a Brighton block party

Rosemont Market Brighton will host a block party featuring their foods and wines, as well as the products and services of other merchants in the Rosemont neighborhood, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday . There will be outdoor activities, information tables, craft sales, yoga demonstrations, pumpkin carving and more.

The market is located at 580 Brighton Ave. For more information, call 831-2553.

Cultivating Community will celebrate growers, cookbook

On Thursday, National Food Day, Cultivating Community is hosting a Harvest Festival to celebrate the organization’s youth gardeners and immigrant Fresh Start Farms growers. The public is invited to the festival, which begins at 7 p.m., right around the corner from the Boyd Street Urban Farm at Mayo Street Arts Center, 10 Mayo St. in Portland.

In addition to a multicultural feast, music and dancing, the event will honor nine graduates of Fresh Start Farms’ farmer training program and offer a sneak peek at the Grow Cart, a tricycle-powered mobile farmstand built by Maine College of Art graduate Hannah Merchant, which will debut next spring.

The festival also serves as the debut for Cultivating Community’s new cookbook, “Beyond the Vegetable,” featuring recipes from the immigrant farms.

For more information, visit freshstartfarms.com.

Restaurant, market planned at the site of Danforth store

Brooklynite Keith Hickman and his business partner, Portland-based chef Joshua Kaplan, are building a neighborhood restaurant and market in the space currently occupied by Vespucci’s store and a hair salon. The business is tentatively named for its address, 211 Danforth.

Kaplan said he and Hickman were “still working on the details of the concept, but stressed that 211 Danforth will be “a comfortable neighborhood restaurant that serves New American food.”

Kaplan’s culinary background includes high-end kitchens in New York City, most notably in restaurants owned by well-known chef Charlie Palmer. He has also worked at Hugo’s, Cinque Terre (now Vignola Cinque Terre) and Gepetto’s at Sugarloaf.

In addition to the new restaurant, the convenience aspect of the longtime store is part of the plan, he said. “We consider Vespucci’s a commodity to the neighborhood – where people can get a six-pack of beer, a bag of chips, a sandwich – so we want to keep that feel,” Kaplan said. “But we want to breathe a little new life into that corner.”

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