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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 On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: February 4, 2014

Kennebunkport Festival 2014: Tickets on sale for food & drink bash in June

Written by: Susan Axelrod

The festival tent on Kennebunkport Harbor, 2013. Photo courtesy of the Kennebunkport Festival

How’s this for forward thinking? In just four months, wearing snow boots will be a distant memory and The Kennebunkport Festival will be in full swing. Yes, tickets are already on sale for the 10th annual Maine food and drink blow-out, which kicks off the summer season from June 3-8 this year.

If you’re not familiar with the festival, it’s hosted by the folks at Maine Magazine and celebrates the work of top Maine chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, artists and musicians.  Perhaps most noteworthy of all the festival’s events is the series of chef dinners in Kennebunkport private homes. Called the Art of Dining, these 21 dinners raise money to benefit Share Our Strength Maine’s efforts to end childhood hunger in the state. They feature a who’s who of Maine chefs and are always a sell-out, so if you’re interested, jump on those $150 tickets now by clicking on the links below.

Art of Dining Dinners

Shannon Bard of Zapoteca, Portland: Orson Residence SOLD OUT
Jeff Buerhaus of Walter’s, Portland: Turner/Bull residence SOLD OUT
Mel Chaiken of the Fiddlehead Restaurant, Bangor: Ewy Residence
Chad Conley & Greg Mitchell of Palace Diner, Biddeford: Clarke Residence
David Connelly & Francesca Bowman of Old Port Seagrill, Portland: Pressly Residence
Fred Eliot of Petite Jaqueline, Portland: Spenlinhauer Residence SOLD OUT
Abby Harmon and Nick Ryder of Caiola’s, Portland: Malloy Residence
Guy Hernandez, formerly of Bar Lola, Portland: McDougald Residence
Josh Hixson of 40 Paper, Camden and 3Crow, Rockland: Leonardi Residence
Scott Lee of Bandaloop, Kennebunkport: Gillard Residence
Harding Lee Smith of The Rooms restaurants, Portland: Rafaelli Residence SOLD OUT
Peggy Liversidge of Kitchen Chicks Catering: Doran Residence
Leslie Oster of Aurora Provisions, Portland: Maushart Residence
Jason Paul of The Gothic, Belfast: Chappell Residence
Adam Powers & Jeremy Rush of Elsemere BBQ, South Portland: Williams Residence
Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez of Piccolo and Blue Rooster, Portland: Rice Residence
John Shaw of the The Tides Beach Club, Kennebunkport: Weaver Residence
Lee Skawinski of Vignola Cinque Terre, Portland: Van der Kaay Residence
Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan, Brunswick: Knudsen Residence
David Turin of David’s in Portland, South Portland and Kennebunkport: Hass Residence SOLD OUT
Jay Villani of Sonny’s, Local 188 and Salvage BBQ, Portland: Friedman/Miller Residence

Other signature events at the Festival include:

Pop the Kennebunks

Thursday, June 5, 6-10 pm | $100
A Mediterranean-themed gala party produced by Cellardoor Winery and catered by Kitchen Chicks, with music by Austin, Texas-based band Matchmaker.

Art Works Opening Reception

Friday, June 6, 5-7 pm | 39 Western Ave., Kennebunk | $35
Featuring work by some of Maine’s most collectible artists, hung in a beautiful riverside setting, with live music and light fare served.

The Cellardoor Grand Tapas Party

Saturday, June 7, noon-4 pm | $65
A world-cuisine tasting event, featuring food inspired by eight different countries, and prepared by three chefs/restaurants per country, including: Christopher Bassett, Azure Café, Freeport Blue Elephant Catering; Cellardoor Winery, Lincolnville; East End Cupcakes, Portland; Frontier Café, Brunswick; Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of MC Perkins Cove, Ogunquit; Norm Herbert of Bintliff’s, Ogunquit and Portland; Brendan Levin of the Wayfarer, Kennebunkport; Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport; Brian and Shannon O’ Hea of The Kennebunk Inn, Kennebunk; Kristin Simmons, of Kristin F. Simmons Custom Cakes and Pastries, Kennebunkport; Shannon Bard of Zapoteca, Portland; Peggy Liversidge of Kitchen Chicks Catering.

Brews and Tunes

Saturday, June 7, noon-5 pm | Village Green, Kennebunk | $15
A casual outdoor concert appropriate for families on the Green at the Captain Lord Mansion, featuring beer and Maine musician Spencer Albee and his league of bandsmen, who will bring the best of Motown to the festival.

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