If you’re going to stuff your face with pies, pastries and candy this holiday season, you may as well do it for a good cause.

For the second year in a row, Full Plates Full Potential has planned a “Go Sweet for Hunger holiday dessert extravaganza.” The tsunami of chocolates, baked goods and other seasonal desserts will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Cellardoor Winery at Thompson’s Point in Portland. The event is being co-chaired by Ilma Lopez of Piccolo and Chaval restaurants in Portland.

Along with the goodies, cocktails, wine, beer, and “a grown-up coffee and hot chocolate bar” will be available. A silent auction is also planned, featuring plenty of sweets that would be good to give as gifts during the holidays.

All proceeds will go toward fighting childhood hunger in Maine. As many as 82,000 children in the state struggle with food insecurity, according to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, and programs like Full Plates Potential help pay for school breakfast and lunch, after-school snacks and summer meals.

Tickets are $50 and include two complimentary drinks, all the sweets you can eat, plus a couple of savory nibbles so you don’t go into sugar overload. Buy tickets online at fullplates.org/events/sweet/.



They are both authors and, since 2017, husband and wife. Now fans of Ann Hood and Michael Ruhlman can meet and hear from them together on Tuesday at the Music Hall Loft in Portsmouth, when the food writing duo make an appearance at 7 p.m.

Hood has just published a new collection of personal essays and recipes called “Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food.” She is also the best-selling author of “The Knitting Circle,” “The Obituary Writer,” “The Red Thread,” “Somewhere Off The Coast Of Maine,” and, most recently, “The Book That Matters Most.”

Ruhlman has written or co-written more than 25 books, most of which are centered on food and cooking. Food lovers devoured his “The Soul of a Chef” and “The French Laundry Cookbook” with Thomas Keller. Chefs are fans of his book on charcuterie, which he wrote with chef and charcuterie expert Brian Polcyn. His most recent work is “Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America.”

The Music Hall is located at 131 Congress St. in Portsmouth. Tickets cost $39, and include a copy of Hood’s new book, a bar beverage, and a Q&A and book signing meet-and-greet with the authors. Buy tickets online at TheMusicHall.org, over the phone at (603) 436-2400, or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut St.


Louisa Shafia, chef and author of “The New Persian Kitchen,” will speak at the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue in Rockland at 6 p.m. Dec. 12.


Shafia, who lives in Nashville, will talk about Persian food, focusing on the food of the Jews of Iran. After the talk, enjoy a tasting buffet based on recipes in Shafia’s cookbook and prepared by the synagogue’s Food in Jewish Culture group. The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale.

“The New Persian Kitchen” won the website Food 52’s award for the best cookbook of the year in 2014. Her Silk Road cooking has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit and on NPR. Most recently, her seven-month Persian street food pop-up, Lakh Lakh, was called “a Persian-tapas gateway into the ancient cuisine” by New York Magazine.

For more information, call 594-4523, or email info@adasyoshuron.org.


Maine in a bottle. That’s the way Batson River Brewing & Distilling in Kennebunkport describes itself, and its new tasting room, which is scheduled to open today at 4 p.m.

The brewery and distillery, located at 12 Western Ave., has grown its own hops and botanicals on a nearby farm since 2014. A selection of beer, including an IPA, a stout and a pale ale, will be featured during the opening of the tasting room, along with a shareable menu of food from the kitchen. Spirits, including gin, vodka, rum and bourbon, are scheduled to be released in December and January.


The partners in the new business are Tim Harrington of the Kennebunk Resort Collection and Atlantic Holdings; Kevin Lord, operations director of Thomas & Lord; and Matt Dyer, the former bar manager at Earth at Hidden Pond. Dyer is the head distiller, and the head brewer is Wade Ritchey, formerly of Temescal Brewing Co. in Oakland, California.

Tasting room hours will be 4 p.m. to close Thursday and Friday, and noon to close Saturday and Sunday. A daily happy hour will run from 4 to 6 p.m. and include half-off food and drink specials.

The owners say they will donate 4 percent of the tasting room’s profits to animal shelters in Maine.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or:


Twitter: MeredithGoad

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