What’s it like hosting an Art of Dining event in your home during Kennebunkport Festival? In a word: amazing. Sitting at a big beautiful table surrounded by interesting people, enjoying a meal prepared by a pro chef in your own kitchen is something everyone should experience in a lifetime.
When first asked to “host a dinner” during the Kennebunkport Festival, I was flattered. Tickets to these grand dinner parties set high expectations. But then, I thought, I don’t have to cook…so that’s pretty cool. So Greg and I set about setting a table, a big square to accommodate all sixteen guests in a social setting. Meanwhile our culinary team took care of the rest.
Our Chef Mel Chaiken from The Fiddlehead in Bangor consulted us on a menu – with our preferences – she presented us a delicious four course feast from picture-perfect lobster spring rolls to grilled lamb chops on chevre polenta cake and a honey rhubarb dessert that was to die for…well, almost.
Another highlight was having stunning artwork adorn our walls, abstract Maine art that was hand selected to compliment our home. Bill Crosby’s dramatic landscapes of water, light and earth worked magically in our contemporary home on The Kennebunk River.
Our dinner guests were a delightful mix – engineers, architects (including ours), artists and editors, entrepreneurs, a politician and wood crafter. The conversations flowed along with the four wining pairings – thanks to Pine State Beverage and our gracious server Carolyn. I just loved looking around the table at friends old and new – listening to everyone’s witty banter, enjoying every bite and observing from my chair the fabulous culinary team work wonders in my kitchen.
Did I mention the weather gods blessed our fest as well? Although dark clouds loomed in the distance, and Doppler radar predicting HAIL, we had splendid cocktails on our outdoor patio on the cove. This was my vision for the evening, sipping Team Captains – a delicious tropical craft cocktail served by the energetic and engaging David, by our outdoor fireplace.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to host such a special evening. The fact that a portion of those pricey tickets benefit a Maine charity whose mission is to end childhood hunger, though a bit ironic as we over indulged, was the icing on our proverbial cake – or black sesame tuille cookies in our case.
Cheers to the Kennebunkport Fest, to the team that made our Art of Dining event such a success, and to our guests – thanks for coming.
Would I do it again? Yes, I did – twice, the following year with Chef Josh Berry of Union at the Press Hotel, and Chef Adam Flood from Grace. For the 2019 Kennebunkport Festival we are hosting our 4th Art of Dining Dinner at 82 Ocean with our guest Chef Peggy Liversidge of Kitchen Chicks, artwork by Ingunn Joergensen, to benefit Stop Trafficking US. I love hosting a dinner party without having to make dinner. The “Art of Dining” resonates with me even more now. Until next time, see you on the dance floor at the #KportFest.
Photos and Content Copyright KennebunkportMaineLodging.com 2019