Ah, Maine…

I think I am almost a real Vermonter now, having just spent a week in that northern heaven we call “Maine,” Stonington Harbor to be specific.   I opted to enjoy eating without thinking of writing about it, and was mostly successful.  I did discover a wonderful place called “Lily’s Cafe,” which offered such treats as a roast beef-bacon-brie sandwich on toasted sourdough and gluten-free chocolate chip-banana pancakes when we needed a break from fresh-from-the-ocean paella at The Cockatoo and crab quesadillas at El El Frijoles.  I’m already looking forward to next year…

NECI’s Chef Michel LeBorgne

For this week’s Montpelier Bridge, I interviewed Chef Michel LeBorgne, the founding chef of NECI.  He didn’t act alone–a team of folks, including Fran Voight, were involved in creating the culinary institute.  But it was LeBorgne who had the culinary experience and whose insistence on hands-on education informed the school’s teaching philosophy.  He has just published his memoir, No Crying in the Kitchen, a very readable collection of anecdotes from his culinary life.  He’ll sign books next Tuesday, July 21, at the Main Street Grill and Bar from 5:30 – 7 p.m.  A good chance to check out the Main Street Grill’s new tapas menu, as well as hear some entertaining stories.

Ariel’s $20 Sunday Farm Suppers

On the Food and Dining Page of this week’s Times-Argus, I wrote about the Sunday Farm Suppers at Ariel’s Restaurant in Brookfield.  Unfortunately, this story was overlooked by the web folks, so you can’t see it on the T-A website.  Ariel’s is a really lovely location and Lee Duberman is a really amazing chef, and you can’t beat a three-course waterfront dining experience for $20!  Call ahead for a reservation–she only makes 40 portions on Sunday nights.  www.arielsrestaurant.com

Upcoming stories

This week I’ll be chatting with Lee Dubernman of Ariel’s Restaurant in Brookfield about their $20 Sunday Farm Suppers for the Times-Argus, and with Chef Michael LeBorgne, formerly a NECI instructor and author of No Crying in the Kitchen: A Memoir of a Teaching Chef, for the Bridge.  LeBorgne will be in Montpelier on July 21 to read from and sign his memoir, at the Main Street Grill from 5:30 – 7.  Look for both of these stories in the papers next week.