‘Meet farmers, fishermen’ programs coming in March

Locavores and locavore wannabes will have a chance to hone their skills and mingle with local farmers, fishermen and other food producers at programs coming up in late February and early March.

The “Meet Your Farmers and Fishermen: A Celebration of Community Supported Agriculture and Fisheries” programs will help community members learn how to enjoy local foods and support local businesses in a meaningful way.

The programs will take place in several Maine locations, with more than 80 businesses and organizations represented. Each location will have plenty of local flavor — from local music, to tastings and sales of food and other products from local farms and businesses, to film screenings.

The dates, times and places of these events may change and more venues may be added. Check www.mofga.org for the latest.

• Auburn: Auburn Public Library, 49 Spring St., 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25, as part of the library’s farmers market.

• Augusta: Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St., 1 to 5 p.m. March 1.

• Bangor: Unitarian Universalist Society, 120 Park St., 2 to 5 p.m. March 2.

• Belfast: Belfast Boathouse, 34 Commercial St., 1 to 3 p.m. March 3.

• Hallowell: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 20 Union St., 1 to 4 p.m. March 3.

• Newcastle: Lincoln Academy, 81 Academy Hill, 5 to 7 p.m. March 2 (part of the third annual FARMS Fundraising Dinner).

• Norway: Fare Share Commons, 443 Main St., March 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Portland: Location TBD, 1 to 4 p.m. March 3.

• Rockland: First Universalist Church, 345 Broadway, 1 to 3 p.m. March 3.

• Waterville: Barrels Market, 74 Main St., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 2.

These free events are co-sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and local organizations at each site.


New restaurant serving Mayan Mexican food opens

Bueno Loco, a new restaurant serving Mayan Mexican cuisine, opened Feb. 5 at 240 U.S. Route 1, the former location of the Stonyfield Cafe.

According to the restaurant’s website, buenoloco.net, the menu will include items such as savory tamales and dessert tamales wrapped in banana leaves, and will cater to everyone from meat-eaters to vegans to people who need to eat gluten-free.

The restaurant will serve a quick-style lunch and have sit-down dinner service in the evenings.

Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.


Zachary’s chili is everyone’s favorite at 2013 competition

The chili from Zachary’s Fireside Restaurant in Portland swept first place in the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice awards Sunday at the 2013 Great Chili Chowder Challenge held at the Holiday Inn By the Bay.

The judges and the people who attended the event also agreed on second place in the chili category, which went to The Park Danforth, a senior living center in Portland. The judges chose Cafe Stroudwater in Portland for third place, while the People’s Choice third-place award went to Fire and Water Fish and Chop House at the South Portland Marriott.

The Great Chili Chowder Challenge is a benefit for the Altrusa Club of Portland (altrusaportlandgivesbooks.org), which focuses on enhancing literacy in the community. The chilis and chowders are judged in a blind taste test.

In the chowder category, the judges awarded first place to The Park Danforth. Second place went to Portland’s Free Range Fish and Lobster, and third went to DiMillo’s on the Water.

The People’s Choice awards for chowder went to Free Range Fish and Lobster, The Park Danforth and Ri Ra Irish Pub in Portland.

Free Range Fish also won the display competition with a lobster ice sculpture.

Next year’s competition will be held on Feb. 9.

Whole Foods Market to host sweet-treat event this week

Healthy eating specialist Tanja Kunz will show you how to make sweet treats for your Valentine that are good for the heart with the “Healthy Living Group: Sweets for Your Sweet” program. The event will take place at Whole Foods Market, 2 Somerset St., from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The cost is $5. Registration and payment in advance required.  Stop by the store or call customer service at 774-7711.

Stop by for free cake, say ‘Happy Birthday’ to market

Whole Foods Market in Portland will celebrate its sixth birthday at their Somerset Street location with cake. Stop by to join the staff for a free piece of cake from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Hotel’s ‘Aphrodisiacs’ dinner rescheduled to Feb. 22

The “Aphrodisiacs of Greece and Italy” dinner at Eve’s at the Garden in the Portland Harbor Hotel has been rescheduled to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 due to the weather.

The event is part of an international dinner series that began earlier this winter. The cost is $70 per person and includes the dinner, wines selected by Erica Archer from Wine Wise, tax, tip and indoor valet parking. Tickets are available online at brownpapertickets.com/event/321499.


Pie parade raises $15,235 for food pantry, fuel aid program

The ninth Annual Pies on Parade Tour raised $15,235 for the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry and Fuel Assistance Program.

The donation from the 19 innkeepers, restaurants and business members who participated in the event is enough to feed 35,000 meals to hungry families over the coming year.

The pie tour, which includes a silent auction and raffle, sold out all 500 tickets this year. There were 50 varieties of pie served, and an estimated 12,000 pieces of pie consumed.

The 10th Annual Pies on Parade event will be held on Jan. 26 next year. Tickets will go on sale the Friday after Thanksgiving.

— Compiled by Meredith Goad and Wendy Almeida