Kennebunkport Fest toasts 10th year

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Ever wanted to step into the silken pages of Maine Magazine? Next week is your chance. The luxury lifestyle glossy kicks off the summer with its biggest bash of the year — the Kennebunkport Festival.

Chefs from across the state, Boston and New York converge on Maine’s south coast for eight crazy nights, June 1 to 8.

There will be tents, music, and well-heeled mayhem. Canapés, cocktails and intimate entrees served by chefs in stunning seaside “cottages” define the rolling party now in its 10th year. Want to know what toothpaste titan Tom Chappell’s abode looks like? Too late, its sold out. But other delights abound.

Headliners Mel Chaiken of The Fiddlehead Restaurant in Bangor, Chad Conley of Biddeford’s Palace Diner and James Beard badass Melissa Kelly of Primo,  join nearly 50 culinary stars to adorn your plate with gustatory jewels.

These flowing feasts preceded by cocktails and followed by after-parties, will push even the most insatiable gourmand to the edge. Wear the loose wale pants for this one.

In a new twist this year, the festival gets even hotter with Wood Fired Maine. Four chefs take over an antique barn in a nature estuary in Wells to fire up a four-course meal.

Boston chef Brian Rea of Rialto, Justin Walker from Earth, “pastry provocateur” Pichet Ong from New York joins Kelly at the Friday night event (tickets are $250 and still available). The sweet incense of burning cedar, ash, cherry, hickory (oh-my!) turns this carnality into a serious night of nosh. Should be smokin’. kportfestricyum

The grazing continues at the Grand Tapas Party Saturday on the Kennebunk River. A well-curated smorgasbord of chefs and wineries ($65) will tide you over to the main event — The Grand Finale at David’s KPT. David Turin hosts the close out fiesta from 7 to 10 p.m.

Still hungry? Tickets remain for a few Art of Dining series. Damian Sansonetti of Portland’s Piccolo cooks for a small dinner party Wednesday in a private residence filled with original art. Save me a seat.

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.