Kennebunkport Fest kicks off summer in Southern Maine

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Wood-Fired Maine is barntastic

Press the searsuckers and polish the pearls, the Kennebunkport Festival kicks off summer in Maine in high and tasty fashion. Starting June 8th it’s Bunks or Bust as a cascade of chefs, mixologists, morsels, musicians and artists infiltrate this postcard town until the 13th for the roving feast. Are six days enough to experience the best of Maine? It’s a fine snapshot and great summer starter kit. Ty to fit in all in. You can sleep in November.

Many tickets are long gone, but some are still up for grabs. The Art of Dining Series held in private homes and inns is a unique way to get to know Maine’s rising and already risen chefs. You want special?

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Chef Josh Hixton of 40 Paper in Camden, chef Fred Eliot of Petite Jacqueline, Mel Chaiken of Bangor’s Fiddlehead (tix are still avail for Chaiken’s Wed. night fete cook multi-course meals devoured family style in the homes of gracious locals who open their federal, colonial and victorian pads for the event.

From-away chef Sam Talbot, who is setting the Midcoast ablaze this summer with his killer abs (I mean apps) at Camden’s Pig and Poet makes his fest debut. Side note: People Magazine voted him sexiest man alive. Who are we to quibble?

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Chef Sam Talbot of Camden’s new Pig and Poet is a fest first.

Run by Maine Media Collective, the fest is a way to showcase well-appointed abodes — part of the draw — and Maine’s kickin’ culture. Ever wanted to step into the pages of Maine Home and Design and Maine Mag? This is your ticket.

The Grand Tapas Party held on Saturday in a tent on the water is where favs like Shannon Bard whip up Mexican bites next to newcomers like Chris Wilcox of The Velveteen Habit in Cape Neddick. Great smooze fest, this. Don’t miss it.

Across the river, musician Spencer Albee takes over the Brews and Tunes in the park, which fills Ocean Ave with the air of festivity. Want more? Join a cocktail party at the newly refurbed Old Vines Wine Bar, and try to sneak into Wood-Fired Maine at Well’s Laudholm perverse. Tix must be avail on stubhub or look for scalpers at Parsons Beach (these are the jokes).

The Kennebunkport Fest is the perfect launch into the season of the oyster, the deck, the cocktail and the see and be seen. See you there.


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.