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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: December 18, 2014

Revamped inn and a new restaurant, Pig + Poet, coming to Camden this spring

Written by: Susan Axelrod
The exterior of Whitehall on Route 1 in Camden. Photo courtesy of Lark Hotels.

The exterior of Whitehall on Route 1 in Camden. Photo courtesy of Lark Hotels.

The historic inn in Camden where poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was “discovered” in 1912 is getting a complete renovation and a brand new restaurant. The circa 1901 Whitehall Inn, renamed Whitehall, is now under the stylish umbrella of Lark Hotels, a boutique group of seven properties — Portland’s Pomegranate Inn and Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport among them.

When Whitehall reopens in May 2015, it will have an updated look by Rachel Reider Interiors and a restaurant, Pig + Poet, whose chef will be Sam Talbot. Named one of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” in 2012, Talbot was a semi-finalist on season 2 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” A diabetic from a young age, he is the author of “The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries.” More on his resume from the Lark Hotels press release:

A Charlotte native, Chef Talbot began his culinary training at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, where he worked under acclaimed chef, owner and mentor James Burns of J.Bistro. At 24, he made the move to New York City to become Executive Chef at Black Duck Bistro in Manhattan. Two years later, he opened Williamsburg Café, which was then nominated for best brunch restaurant in Brooklyn by the New York Post. Sam is also the former Founding Executive Chef of the uber popular Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY and the Michelin-recommended Imperial No. Nine in New York City. While at the helm at the Surf Lodge, the restaurant garnered national acclaim as a premier dining destination in the Hamptons and was named one of the world’s 20 Sexiest Bars and Restaurants by The Travel Channel.

Reider’s plan for Whitehall brings in Maine art and designers such as Angela Adams and fabrics by Sister Parish — a company founded by descendants of the famous designer of the same name, whose family had a home in Dark Harbor. “Texture plays a large role in the look,” said Reider in the release. “I’ve tried to bring in the natural environment with materials such as highly textured grasscloth, weathered woods, aged metals, rope and wood textured wall coverings.”

Pig + Poet will feature a raw bar, charcuterie bar, and the chef’s take on Maine classics, including lobster rolls, chowder and a “blueberry-sweet corn cobbler.”

Chef Sam Talbot. Photo courtesy of Lark Hotels

Chef Sam Talbot. Photo courtesy of Lark Hotels

“I’ve always loved the great outdoors and having a real connection to the food that comes out of my kitchen,” Chef Talbot said in the press release. “It’s become a bit of a cliche to say that my food is farm-to- fork, but that’s truly what it will be. Being in Camden is an inspiring opportunity for me to work with new local vendors, flavors and experiences. I have always been drawn to the water and waterfront towns and I’m excited to join the amazing food movement going on in the Midcoast, Portland and throughout Maine.”


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