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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: April 16, 2014

Two new books spotlight Maine’s food scene

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Not so long ago, passionate cooks collected recipes in notebooks or boxes bulging with 3 x 5 cards (remember those?). Now, they start food blogs, waxing on about their lives, their cooking adventures, and/or chronicling every restaurant meal with an iPhone (in some cases, a big Nikon).

Blogging seriously is a major time commitment (I say that from experience: shameless plug here for my own food blog, Spoon & Shutter). So, it’s hugely impressive when bloggers develop a large enough readership to publish books — as two local food bloggers have just done.

Well, Malcolm and Jillian Bedell, authors of “Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town and On the Road,” now live in Burbank, California — not exactly local. But it’s a safe bet their hearts are still in Maine, where they launched their blog, From Away, in 2010.

Courtesy of From Away

The blog’s a great read, with a fun mix of recipes (including 14 variations on grilled cheese) and dozens of restaurant reviews, paired with terrific photography. The book promises the same entertaining (and useful) mix; you can pre-order it on Amazon for shipment on May 1.

Kate McCarty of The Blueberry Files blog remains in Maine, where she turns her wry sense of humor on restaurants and bars — with an occasional recipe thrown into the mix. Her book, “Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine,” published by The History Press, can be ordered in advance of its May 13 debut.

Courtesy of The Blueberry Files.

Illustrated by local photographers Greta Rybus (of MaineToday.com’s Who I Met blog), Zack Bowen and Phil Jellen, McCarty’s book offers insight “into Portland’s bounty, from classic lobster and blueberry pie to the avant-garde of the culinary cutting edge. Explore the unique restaurants, farmers, producers, community activists and food enthusiasts that create and drive Portland’s food scene.”

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