Deadline is Friday to enter pumpkin dessert contest

Friday is the deadline for the Seashore Trolley Museum’s pumpkin dessert contest, sponsored by King Arthur Flour.

The contest will be held Sept. 21 at the museum, which is located at 195 Log Cabin Road. Entries must be dropped off between 9:30 and 11 a.m., and winners will be announced at 1 p.m. Rules and entry forms can be found online at

Judges for the contest will be Christine Hennedy, chef de cuisine at On the Marsh Bistro; Pamela Laskey of Maine Foodie Tours; and Meredith Goad, food writer for the Portland Press Herald.

First prize is a $75 gift certificate to the Baker’s Catalogue at and a King Arthur Flour cookbook.

Second prize is a $50 gift certificate and cookbook, and third prize is a $25 gift certificate and cookbook.

Mail your registration form to Director of Pumpkin Dessert Contest, Seashore Trolley Museum, 195 Log Cabin Road, Kennebunkport 04046, or email [email protected]


Sample the garlic goods Saturday at MDI festival

The 15th Annual MDI Garlic Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Smuggler’s Den Campground.

The event, presented by chef Frank Pendola’s Nostrano, will feature garlic dish tastings from local restaurants, a farmers market, garlic growers, live music and more.

Admission is a $5 donation to KidsPeace.


Dim sum restaurant opens for business on Thursday

Empire Chinese Kitchen, Portland’s first dim sum restaurant, located at 575 Congress St., will open its doors at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

The restaurant’s kitchen will be run by a “dim sum master chef” from San Francisco, according to Todd Bernard, co-manager of the Empire venue. Theresa Chan, co-owner with Bernard, will be general manager of the restaurant.

Empire Chinese Kitchen will open at 11:30 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday. Thursday to Saturday, it will remain open until midnight.

The menu, acording to a press release, will feature “truly authentic Chinese cuisine and dim sum. The menu of traditional and modern ‘Chinese soul food’ will feature local meats, seafoods and seasonal produce. The kitchen will be headed by a dim sum master chef with 40 years’ experience creating specialty dumplings in world-class kitchens around the world.”

Empire Dine & Dance closed earlier this year to undergo renovations. The downstairs restaurant area has been completely remodeled over the past six months. The upstairs, opening today, will continue to serve as a music venue featuring both regional and national acts.

‘Power Foods for the Brain’ author will speak Oct. 14

Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and advocate of a low-fat, plant-based diet, will speak at 6 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Portland Museum of Art.

Barnard’s latest book is “Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory” (Grand Central Life & Style, $26.99).

The University of New England’s Center for Global Humanities is bringing Barnard to the museum. The event is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The venue holds 200 people.

Tequila dinner coming up on Sept. 23 at Zapoteca

Zapoteca, 505 Fore St., will host a tequila dinner at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23.

The menu will include courses such as a starter of local corn, poblano chile and sweet Maine lobster bisque with housemade Mexican creme and micro cilantro. One of the main courses will be a duo of lamb: Pepita-crusted rack of lamb, barbacoa-style roasted lamb shoulder, roasted pasilla agave glaze and masa corn pudding.

Dessert will be tequila-glazed pineapple cake, pineapple sorbet, candied pineapple and tequila caramel sauce.

The five-course dinner is $75 per person and is filling up quickly. Call 772-8242 to reserve a seat.

Eco Appetito returns to Vignola Cinque Terre

The sixth annual Eco Appetito will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Vignola Cinque Terre, 10 Dana St. The event, a fundraiser for the Ferry Beach Ecology School in Saco, is a celebration of Maine foods created by chef Lee Skawinski from food donated by local bakers, fishermen, farms, dairies and butchers.

The menu will include scallops, pork sausage, mussels, top round beef, haddock, fresh vegetables, artisan cheeses and fresh baked breads. For dessert, there will be gelato, mini fruit pies and whoopie pies.

There will also be a silent auction that includes food products and baskets, as well as theater tickets, overnight getaways and other items. For a complete list, go to

Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door and can be purchased online or by contacting Maureen Duggan at 283-9951 or [email protected]


New LeRoux Kitchen gets grand-opening treatment

The grand opening of LeRoux Kitchen’s new store at 448 Payne Road will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday and continue throughout the day with door prizes, raffles, giveaways, tastings, cooking demonstrations and cookbook signings.

Nick Alfiero, owner of Harbor Fish Market, will be on hand at 9 a.m. to sign copies of his new cookbook. Then, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Reva Davis of Wusthof Cutlery will hold a free knife sharpening clinic. Customers may bring two knives to be sharpened for free. (No scissors or serrated knives, please.)

At noon, representatives of Nespresso Coffee will be demonstrating their pod-style espresso machines. At the same time, Wayne Tuohey of ’Cue Culture will serve pulled pork with his signature barbecue sauces.

Other tastings throughout the day will feature Lake Champlain Chocolate, Royal Rose Syrups, Northwoods Gourmet Girl, The Meat House, Raye’s Mustard and Waldostone Farm.

Alison Pray of Standard Baking Co. will sign copies of her cookbook starting at 2 p.m.

Among the door prizes will be an enameled cast-iron French oven, a food processor, ice cream maker, toaster and soda machine. Gift baskets from Stonewall Kitchen, Gryffon Ridge Spices, Bar Harbor Jam and Maine Sea Salt will also be given away.

The Scarborough store will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the new store at 219-8160.

– Compiled by Meredith Goad, Staff Writer

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