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Maine Fare 2015: Good Food and Food for Thought on the Belfast Waterfront

Maine Fare logoBELFAST -- Maine Fare 2015, a unique food festival that celebrates Maine’s bounty, will take place on June 26 and 27th on the Belfast Waterfront. Maine Fare is co-hosted by nonprofits Maine Farmland Trust and Penobscot East Resource Center, and brings together eaters, farmers, fisherman, foodies, food businesses, and nonprofits for a fun, delicious, and educational event.

By coalescing all these food system actors, Maine Fare aims to not only commemorate and share the diversity and recent developments in the Maine food system, but to create new avenues of exploration: farmers discussing marketing with fishermen and businesses discovering potential areas for investment. Maine Fare shows both what is and what is possible within Maine, which exemplifies New England’s capacity for growth.

Maine Fare will kick off with a  day-long “Food Forum” on Friday, June 26, introduced by John Piotti of the Maine Farmland Trust and Robin Alden of the Penobscot East Resource Center. The Food Forum will highlight innovation in food businesses and production methods.

Saturday, June 27, is the full-on “Good Food Festival,” with chef demonstrations, classes, presentations, music, tastings, an open-air market and more. Maine Fare’s packed Saturday schedule offers ample opportunities to taste, learn, explore, and experience Maine’s unique and diverse food culture. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree will offer the keynote address, “Maine’s Farming and Fishing Resurgence: Reflections on 40 Years of Island Life,” and talk about her experience as a farmer and a legislator and about some of the issues that face policymakers today.

Guest chefs Melissa Kelly of Primo, Brian Hill of Francine and Shepherd’s Pie, and Kerry Altiero of Cafe Miranda will explore the different ways in which local food can be used to create delicious and exciting dishes. The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance will present a Seafood Throwdown competition with chefs Michele Levesque of El El Frijoles and Tom Sigler of Comida. The two chefs  will face off  to see who can cook the best dish with a mystery fish.

DIY class at Maine Fare

Maine Fare offers Do It Yourself classes and demonstrations with farmers, fishermen, and artisan producers who will share their knowledge of Maine food. They will demonstrate their expertise in techniques from butchery to salt harvesting, and provide inspiration on how to use local products to create things that are not only tasty and beautiful, but also sustainable and supportive of Maine’s food economy.

The Maine Fare Market showcases 50 vendors selling food, fiber, arts and more, and local musicians will play throughout the day. In the evening, the 2nd Annual Oysters + Beer tasting  will feature oysters from the Penobscot Bay region, as well as craft beers made with Maine ingredients. Finally, a Homegrown Hootenanny concert featuring Sassafras Stomp and the Gawler Family Band and Friends, with food trucks and Marshall Wharf beer on tap, will cap off the event.

Maine Fare is hosted by Maine Farmland Trust and Penobscot East Resource Center. General admission is free. Some tastings and classes do require extra tickets and farm tours require reservations; please visit www.maine-fare.org for more information and tickets.

Maine Fare tents on the waterfront

Featured Image of Portland Fish Exchange courtesy of Susan Tompkins, Rising Tide PR