The dispatch on Gary’s House was updated at 11:16 a.m. on Friday, March 18, 2011 to correct the date of the event.


Monthly breakfast set for local food community

Those interested in connecting with others in the local food community now have a new way to do so. The Local Foods Networking Breakfast takes place on the third Tuesday of each month beginning at 8 a.m. at Local Sprouts Cafe, 649 Congress St.

The first gathering took place this week, and the next happens on April 19.

The events offer a casual environment to meet people producing, advocating for and organizing around Maine food. It’s free to attend, and breakfast items made from local ingredients are available for purchase.

For more information, search Facebook for Local Foods Breakfast at Local Sprouts.


Sample world cuisine and benefit Gary’s House

More than 20 restaurants and local caterers will be cooking for the March 23 “Dine Around the World” event to benefit Gary’s House, an affiliate of Mercy Hospital.

Linda Greenlaw, a swordfish captain and bestselling author, will be the special guest judge for the evening, which will be held 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St.

She and three other guest judges (including a representative of The Portland Press Herald) will hand out “Taste Bud Awards” to the restaurants with the best dishes.

Members of the Portland Pirates will also be on hand to honor the “Pirates Pick.”

There will be live entertainment and both silent and live auctions to raise money for Gary’s House, which is a place for families to stay when they have a loved one who is seriously ill in the hospital.

Tickets cost $40. Call Lana Wescott-Plourde at 822-2545 or e-mail [email protected]

For a complete list of participating restaurants, go to


Annual CeleSoiree to boost legal aid for immigrants

The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project will host the “7th Annual CeleSoiree: Celebrating Immigration through the Arts” event on March 25 at the Portland Company, 58 Fore St.

This family-friendly event, which runs 5 to 9 p.m., features international foods, live African drumming by Jordan Benissan, flamenco dancing and rhythms by Olas, and a silent auction with art and products from more than 80 Maine artists and businesses.

Last year, the benefit helped raise $40,000 to fund legal aid for Maine’s immigrants. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $35 on the day of the event. Children ages 12 and under get in free. To purchase tickets, go to or call 780-1593.


King Arthur making stop to reveal baking secrets

King Arthur Flour’s “Baking Across America” program will make a stop in Portland March 25 to teach Mainers how to make perfect flaky pie crusts, cinnamon rolls, breads and tarts.

Learn from the experts during two-hour baking demonstrations that include baking tips, recipes and door prizes. A session at noon will cover pies and tarts, and a 7 p.m. session will cover sweet yeast bread.

The sessions are free and will be held at the Holiday Inn By the Bay, 88 Spring St. For more information, call (800) 827-6836 or go to


Wine tasting, online auction to benefit Cancer Center

Restaurant Grace, 15 Chestnut St., will host a wine tasting Monday to benefit the Cancer Community Center in South Portland.

The event will be held 5 to 7:30 p.m., and costs $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

Advance tickets are available at the Cancer Community Center, 778 Main St., South Portland; RSVP Beverage, 887 Forest Ave., Portland; and Old Port Wine Merchants, 223 Commercial St., Portland.

Restaurant gift certificates and other items will be up for bid in an online auction that runs until 5:30 p.m. March 24 at

For more information, call 774-2200 or go to


Directory of CSA farms available on MOFGA website

Looking for a Community Supported Agriculture Farm to buy produce from this year?

Check out the 2011 Maine CSA directory at

The directory, put together by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, contains information and contact information for 152 farms across the state.

A CSA is a way for a consumer to buy products directly from a farm. The consumer pays in advance for farm-fresh food items, and the farms get operating capital when they need it most. Summer shares usually run from late spring through October. Some farms also have winter shares, holiday shares and meat, egg or dairy shares.


Sample Russian cuisine after cooking demonstration

Watch a cooking demonstration and then sample some Russian cuisine Friday at St. Patrick’s Church, 1392 Congress St.

The dinner, which will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., is part of Catholic Charities Refugee & Immigration Services’ continuing series of cooking demonstrations from around the world.

Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Contact Mary Gordon at 797-7026, Ext. 211.


Discover new sources of milk from Whole Foods specialist

Looking to cut back on dairy? Whole Foods Market’s “healthy eating specialist” will give a talk on alternatives to milk 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the store, 2 Somerset St.

Guests will sample and discuss a variety of alternative milks, including coconut, almond and rice milk. There will also be a demonstration of how to make almond milk and cashew cream at home.

This class is free, but pre-registration is required. Call 774-7711 to reserve a spot.


Naturopath to discuss diet and attention deficit

Peter Knight, a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine from True North Medical Center in Falmouth, will discuss the relationship between nutrition, attention and behavior at a free class March 23 at Whole Foods Market, 2 Somerset St,

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that at least 7 percent of school-aged children suffer from attention deficit disorder, and as many as 5 million children are taking medication to treat it. Medications aren’t always effective or can have unwanted side effects. Knight will talk about simple changes in diet and nutrition that can have profound effects on behavior and focus.

“They Are What You Feed Them: How Nutrition Effects Attention and Behavior” will be held 6:30 to 8 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 774-7711 to reserve a spot.



Gulf of Maine ecosystem subject of Log Cabin lecture

Peter Alexander of Northeast Great Waters Coalition will talk about “Increasing the Pace of Conservation in the Gulf of Maine” at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

During the talk, sponsored by the Yarmouth Historical Society, Alexander will discuss the pace of restoration and conservation of key fish and wildlife habitats in the Gulf of Maine. He’ll identify four pressing challenges for the ecosystem and connect the history of these challenges with a legacy of poorly funded solutions.

The talk takes place at the Log Cabin, 196 Main St. There is a $5 suggested donation to attend, or $3 for members of the historical society.

For more information, call 846-6259.


Celebrated Bresca chef to cook for garden party

Krista Kern Desjarlais, chef/owner of Bresca, will bring her talents to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on Monday as part of its Kitchen Garden series of dinners.

Desjarlais, a semi-finalist for a 2011 James Beard Award, will be cooking French- and Italian-inspired cuisine for a dinner that begins at 6 p.m. The cost is $70 for members and $85 for non-members and includes tax, wine and gratuities. Pre-registration is required. Call 633-4333.


Slow money movement to hear funding experts

Slow Money Maine hosts its next meeting 1 to 4 p.m. March 23 at the Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St.

Presentations will cover funding options, collaborations with nonprofits, poultry processing and immigrant farming enterprises.

Speakers include Glen Ohlund from Co-operative Fund of New England, Amy Carrington of Cultivating Community’s New American Sustainable Ag Project, Steve and Rose Hoad from Emma’s Family Farm, Alan Furth from Cobscook Learning Center and Jeff Johnson from Maine Fresh/Cobscook Bay Co.

The meeting is free and open to the public. If you plan to attend, send an email to Bonnie Rukin at [email protected] so she can make sure there are enough seats.

Part of a national movement, slow money aims to redirect capital from the stock market into sustainable, local food ventures. The Maine group has been meeting since January 2010. For more information, visit


Chance to dine with dead at talk on lighthouse ghosts

This dinner comes with special guests. Guests that, just maybe, you won’t be able to see.

The New England Ghost Project and New England Lighthouse Tours are offering dinner with a side of spook April 30 when they host “Dining with the Dead: Haunted Lighthouses of New England.”

The evening starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at Captain and Patty’s Restaurant, 90 Pepperrell Road (Route 103).

Ron Kolek of the New England Ghost Project and Jeremy D’Entremont of New England Lighthouse Tours will give a multimedia presentation on the stories and legends of New England’s haunted lighthouses.

Among the lighthouses that will be covered are Seguin Island (a piano-playing ghost), Wood Island (scene of an infamous murder-suicide), and Owls Head (considered America’s most haunted lighthouse).

For dinner, ghost hunters will have their choice of broiled haddock or grilled chicken.

For tickets or more information, go to


Restaurants serving dishes to promote breastfeeding

More than 10 Biddeford/Saco-area restaurants will be serving up dishes for a good cause at the Taste of Biddeford/Saco Sunday in the North Dam Mill, 2 Main St.

The event is sponsored by the Southern Maine Breastfeeding Coalition and Birth Art & Beyond, and all proceeds will be put toward breastfeeding bags that will be given to local families.

The bags are filled with information on breastfeeding, tips, recipes and coupons for local businesses.

Some of the restaurants participating include Blue Elephant, On the Corner Cafe, Chef and Gardener, Little Joey’s Pizza, Thai Me, Cancun and Ernie B’s.

There will also be raffles, ice cream and prizes.

The cost is $25 for a family or $10 per person. For more information, call Dana at 283-1987 or go to