Maine chefs dominate Boston Wine Expo this weekend

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February is coming in like a lion. Tame this beast at the Boston Wine Expo this weekend. Maine chefs head south to show Bostonians, and the rest of New England, why the Pine Tree State is quickly becoming the culinary capital.

A who’s who of local luminaries like Stephen Richards, Shannon Bard and Kerry Altiero will cook, chop, sizzle and sip at the World Trade Center’s Maine stage.

Richards, the chef who put Boothbay on the gourmet GPS last year by wining the Lobster Chef of the Year comp, is getting a big push. And he deserves it. The man knows his lobbies. His new blog got my tail wagging.


Richards at Harvest on the Harbor moments before his win

 As expo-goers taste 1,800 wines, the likes of Ilma Lopez and Damien Sansonetti (Piccolo), Christopher Bassett (Azure Café), Shanna Horner O’Hea (Academe) and new media darling Richards (Mine Oyster), will demonstrate their wine-friendly morsels.

New to Portland, Mark Gaier and Clark Fraiser, will give us a taste of things to come at The Press Hotel. Their hot-spot in the making, M.C. Union is slated to open this summer anchoring Portland’s newest hotel. Also Sam Talbot, founding exec chef of Pig and Poet, a new restaurant at the redefined Whitehall boutique hotel in Camden represents. Follow Urban Eye for play-by-play deets from the Expo floor.

Erica Archer of Portland’s Wine Wise  will rock the stage dispensing paring tips. What dessert wine best goes with Lopez’s peanut butter sauce? Archer knows.

If you go, pace yourself with the vino to get to the good stuff: the Maine Event. Dan Andelman, host of Phantom Gourmet, will preside over the fun.

This is not a competition so these cooks can unwind and sip a little on the side. Could it get sloppy? Maybe. But what happens in the Vintner’s Reserve Lounge stays in the Vintner’s Reserve Lounge. See you there!

Tickets are $89 to $99.


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.