Taste of Thomaston 2014

Taste of Thomaston

Saturday • October 11, 2014 • 11:00am – 2:00pm

Knox Museum’s popular food and wine tasting festival celebrating everything local, featuring signature bites and sips from Mid-Coast Maine’s finest chefs, vintners & brewers, cheese artisans, bakers, and more, returns with some much-appreciated help from FMC and Allen Insurance & Financial, for a second year.  The tasting event takes place rain or shine in two big heated tents on the grounds of Montpelier, the big white house just off Route 1 at the turn to Saint George in Thomaston.

Heading up the list of local chefs contributing some of their signature dishes to the popular tasting event are Chef Melissa Kelly of Primo Restaurant in Rockland, 2013’s James Beard Best Chef in the Northeast; Chef Kerry Altiero of Café Miranda in Rockland, voted Maine’s Best Farm to Table Restaurant in 2013; Thomaston’s own Chef Scott Yakavenko of The Slipway, whose bouillabaisse has earned rave reviews from none other than the Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse; and award winning classically French trained Chef Manuel Mercier of The Youngtown Inn in Lincolnville.

Molly Sholes of Spruce Mountain Blueberries, Elaine Waldron of Hootin Gluten Free Bakery, Nancy and Pat O’Brien of Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars, Sean and Tracey Beaudry from The Highlands Coffee House, Ryan Jones from Thomaston Café and Bakery, among many others, will all be on hand to share their creations.

Additional local specialty products will be available for tasting from the likes of Terra Optima Farm Market, State of Maine Cheese Company, 3 Dogs Café & Sweet Sensations, and Maine Street Meats. And the entire Thomaston Farmers Market will relocate to Montpelier’s grounds for the festival.

Entertainment to date includes live jazz by Bel Isle Trio, and horse and buggy rides around the grounds by Crystal Daggett and her prize horse, Romeo. New this year will be jewelry and art on display in booths outside the tent.

Tickets are available for sale online at www.knoxmuseum.org or by calling 354-8062.

For more information contact the museum at the phone number above or email info@knoxmuseum.org.

2014-2015 Hartstone Inn Cooking Class Schedule

Join Chef Michael in his Hartstone Inn kitchen for a cooking class weekend, covering a wide range of topics from regional and ethnic cuisines to seasonal and holiday offerings. Classes are informative, entertaining, and of course, filled with delicious food. Weekend packages are $357 – $575 and include two nights lodging, breakfast each morning, afternoon cookies and tea, our five course Chef’s Tasting Dinner Menu for two and enrollment for one in the cooking class. Additional enrollment into the cooking class is $45 per person. Classes are held on Saturdays some Sundays from 1-3 in the afternoon.

Live locally?  We’d love to have you join us for class as well!  This years class topics include French Specialties, Maine Seafood, Spanish Tapas, Hartstone Brunch and more! 

Click here for the complete schedule of classes and for specific class dates and topics.

Hartstone Inn Cooking Class Schedule

Merryspring Kitchen Tour – This Wednesday, August 6th!

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014


Visit 9 uniquely-designed kitchens in Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville and Northport, Maine and enjoy tastings from talented area chefs.  Our very own Chef Michael will be in kitchen #5 in Camden in the morning!

Click here for the map included with each ticket showing the location of the kitchens.

Merryspring Kitchen Tour 2014

Door prizes – Enter to win a basket of Stonewall Kitchen Gourmet Foods!

Raffle Tickets – Enter for a chance to win a gift certificate to Seabright Pizza, Francine Bistro or Shepherd’s Pie!

For additional information, click here

All proceeds benefit Merryspring Nature Center, a non-profit, privately owned park and educational center in Camden and Rockport with nature trails and gardens open to the public every day. This member-supported organization offers talks, classes, and workshops throughout the year.

Maine Fare 2014

Maine Fare
JUNE 20 & 21, 2014 / BELFAST, MAINE

Join farmers, fishermen, artisan producers, chefs, and food lovers for two days full of tasting and exploring Maine’s abundant food system!  Cooking demonstrations with Maine chefs, farm tours, an open air market, food trucks, food forums and more! 

Visit www.maine-fare.org for more information.  For a complete schedule of events, click here.

maine fare

Michael Salmon’s Foodie Adventures: Our home in Catalonia.



 From my perspective, the most difficult task of coordinating a great foodie adventure is to find the perfect place to call home for the week. Endless inquiries, several scouting trips and I’m happy to say we’ve found it in Spain.  The requirement is – first and foremost a kitchen the chef can cook in with a good variety of equipment, ample counter space, gas range with a minimum of 6 burners, a full size oven and if we’re lucky a place to grill. It sounds like a simple task,  but looking at kitchens through out Spain, Tuscany and France I know first hand Americans are very lucky.

Would you like a tour?


Catalonia Grilling

We know adults on vacation require an en suite bathroom, that’s non-negotiable

and so this becomes the second most difficult part of my task.  

We look for 8-9 bedrooms with baths and all rooms must be of the same luxurious standards,

the option for twin beds is an added bonus and allows us to accommodate friends traveling together.    

A variety of room sizes allow us to price the rooms at three prices; Master, Deluxe and Traditional.



Over the years we’ve learned our travelers have a variety of interests, to ensure everyones comfort

we look for several comfortable sitting areas – inside & out,

WiFi and Laundry facilities.



A location nestled in the Pyrenees was a nice change from the Tuscan Country Side and the Loire Valley.  It’s an amazing feeling to 

enjoy the warmth of 70 degrees and see fresh snow on the mountain tops.  We have access to hundreds of miles of  secluded hiking trails

right out the front door or simply walk to the pool – your choice… Inside or Out!


Additional information and tour availability for our Foodie Adventures www.chefmichaelsalmon.com

email questions: camden.hartstone@gmail.com or follow our adventures on Facebook


Try Something New!


Here’s a Spanish favorite from our Catalonia Foodie Adventures that will be

perfect for your summer parties.



For us, the first stop is the market for olives, sausage, ham and vegetables to grill. During cocktail hour we roast the vegetables over an open fire, chop them and create a buffet of tasty ingredients. Foodies spear a combination of their favorite ingredients for their banderillas to enjoy with a glass of sangria.



For those of you who are unfamiliar with Banderillas, they are very popular in Tapas Bars, especially in the North of Spain.  They are called Banderillas because of the resemblance to the large sharp darts, of the same name, used in bullfights.  Various ingredients are cut into small pieces and threaded onto toothpicks.  Pairing the correct ingredients together is important to achieve the correct blend of flavors.  The idea is to get all of the ingredients off from the toothpick and into your mouth at the same time, so that the flavors merge together.


Various items that may be used:

Shrimp, cooked Chorizo, Pickled Cucumber, Spanish Olives, Roasted Peppers, Serrano Ham (use Italian prosciutto if you can’t find Serrano Ham), Tuna, Figs, Artichoke Hearts, Anchovy wrapped Capers, Cooked Mussels, Pickled Herring, Pearl Onions, Mushrooms, chunks of Potatoes, wedges of hard-boiled Eggs, Asparagus Tips, Boiled Ham, etc… 


A Banderilla Dressing can be made by blending together: 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup finely minced parsley, 1/4 cup finely minced dill pickle or cornichon (not sweet) and 4 large cloves of garlic, minced in a food processor until smooth. 


Additional information and tour availability for our Foodie Adventures www.chefmichaelsalmon.com

Cooking Classes at the Hartstone Inn, Camden Maine 

email questions: camden.hartstone@gmail.com or follow our adventures on Facebook.

Fun For Foodies in Catalonia, Spain.


I am writing this post from Catalonia, Spain where we are winding down an amazing first week in our newest destination.  The weather has been 7 glorious days of sunny mid- 60’s to low 70’s.  After a long Maine winter it’s wonderful to see lush green fields in the valleys of the Pyrenees and to choose from an overwhelming assortment of fruits and vegetables that are oozing with flavor.


Boqueria 1

Chef Michael Salmon and I have been taking a foodie travel break from our home at the Hartstone Inn, Camden Maine and hosting Foodie Adventure tours in Tuscany and the Loire Valley for several years. We look forward to the trips as a chance to cook and play in a new environment, to soak in the inspiration for new ideas from the markets, the local producers and the scenic villages along the way.

We start this tour in Barcelona. First stop The Boqueria Market,

If you’re looking for anything related to food, this is the place to be! 

I love the colors, the aroma’s, the passion the vendors feel for their products

and the excitement on the visitors faces.

Take time to enjoy a fresh fruit drink and some tapas at Pinotoxo. 


The chocolate vendors are close to the exit – a perfect last stop on the way to your next adventure.


Stay tuned for updates as the tour continues and to see the creations coming from the evening cooking classes. 

Additional information and tour availability for our Foodie Adventures www.chefmichaelsalmon.com

email questions: camden.hartstone@gmail.com or follow our adventures on Facebook.

Cooking Classes at Cellardoor Winery

At the Hartstone Inn we consider the pairing of fine food and the wine that compliments it, a way of life!  A popular activity recommendation for our guests is touring and tasting at the Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville.  Not only is it worth a visit to sample the wine and see the beautiful vineyard, but they offer cooking classes too!  We feel fortunate to share this beautiful mid coast region of Maine with so many talented food and wine artists.  If the dates or topics on our cooking class schedule don’t work for you or, why not stay with us, join us for an elegant dinner in our restaurant and enjoy a cooking class at Cellardoor Winery, located just down the road!

Cellardoor WInery Cupcake ClassCupcake Cooking Class

Calling all of lovers of cupcakes and owners of sweet tooths. Along with our friends at East End Cupcakes in Portland, we’re hosting a very special sweet treat of a cooking class just in time for Mother’s Day. Join us as we get our hands dirty (floury?) in the kitchen as East End’s queens of confections take us through the A to Z of baking cupcakes. You’ll get to relax, sip on wine, and, of course, dig into some seriously decadent treats.

When: Saturday May 17, 11AM – 1PM
Where: The Farmhouse at Cellardoor Winery, 367 Youngtown Road, Lincolnville
How Much: $55 per person | Advanced reservations required

Lobster Lover’s Cooking ClassCellardoor Winery Lobster Class

This is certainly a twist on your traditional lobster cooking class! Join Chef Lani Stiles of Megunticook Market as she takes you through this crustacean-inspired class, from cooking and cracking lobster to preparing it in unique and inspiring ways. Enjoy a four-course dinner as you dine on the fruits of your labor and sip Cellardoor wines that have been paired with each dish. Seats for our cooking classes are limited, so early reservations are recommended.

When: Thursday July 3 & Thursday August 14, 5:30-8:30 PM
Where: The Farmhouse at Cellardoor Winery, 367 Youngtown Road, Lincolnville
How Much: $90 per person. Advanced registration required. Please call 207-763-4478 to reserve your seat!

View more events at Cellardoor Winery here.

Maine Restaurant Week March 1-10, 2014

Maine Restaurant Week 2014Restaurant Week  is a celebration of the culinary talents of area restaurants. During restaurant week, restaurants offer specially priced three-course meals. Chefs work hard year round to take care of their customers. During restaurant weeks, they go above and beyond. The first restaurant week concept originated in New York City in the early nineties and caught on in Maine in 2009. 
At the Hartstone Inn, we offer a special three course menu for $35 during Maine Restaurant Week

Maine Restaurant Week March 1-10, 2014
Three course menu / $35


  • Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Maytag Blue Cheese, Pancetta and a Vidalia Onion Dressing
  • Hearty White Bean, Escarole and Sausage Soup
  • Mushroom Ravioli with Roasted Duckling, Parmesan Cheese and a Dry Sherry Cream


  • Pork Saltimbocca with Prosciutto, Provolone and Sage. Garlic-Smashed Potatoes
  • Herb Crusted Haddock with Grilled Tiger Shrimp and Sautéed Grape Tomatoes.  Jasmine Rice Pilaf.
  • Steak au Poivre with a Courvoisier Cream Sauce, Garlic Smashed Potato and Grilled Vegetables


  • Old Fashioned Gingerbread with a Warm Lemon Sauce
  • Dark Chocolate-Espresso Cake with a Raspberry Sauce
  • Coconut Crème Brûlée with a Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroon

Seatings begin at 5:30pm each night.  Call us at 207-236-4259 to reserve your table.

Upcoming Cooking Classes: Caribbean Cuisine and Chocolate Desserts

You know what they say, if you can’t stand the cold – get in the kitchen!  The Hartstone Inn kitchen that is and join Chef Michael Salmon for a cooking class.  Classes are informative, entertaining, and of course, filled with delicious food and wine.  Weekend packages are $357 – $575 and include two nights lodging, breakfast each morning, afternoon cookies and tea, our Chef’s Tasting dinner menu for two and enrollment for one in the cooking class.  Enrollment into the cooking class alone is $45 per person.

Chef Michael Salmon

Caribbean Cuisine
Saturday, January 25th & Sunday, January 26th  from 1-3pm

Chef Michael was named Caribbean Chef of the year in 1996.  Join in preparing some of his favorite dishes and creations using tropical fruits and local ingredients. We will start with a Caribbean Papaya-Kahlua Colada and follow with: Batakons and Plantain Chips, Caribbean Hot Sauces with Tropical Fruits, Scabechi (Aruban Pickled Fish), Keshi Yena with Roti Bread, and Jerk Seared Tuna with a Mango Salad.

Chocolate Desserts
Saturday, February 8th & Sunday, February 9th from 1-3pm

A class for Chocolate Lovers…bring your sweet tooth!  Chef Michael will share his famous soufflé recipe with a Chocolate twist. “Death by Chocolate” is a chocolate ganache tart made with Bailey’s Irish Cream, Grand Marnier, and a brownie crust.  It is heavenly.   Next, we will make a Chocolate-Almond torte with Almond Macaroons and finally a Chocolate Créme Brûleé.

View our complete Hartstone Inn cooking class schedule here.