Planning ahead: chefs duel at Arts in the Inns

Both visual and food arts take the stage June 3-7, 2009,  at Arts in the Inns, Kennebunkport’s spring shindig pairing palettes with palates.

New this year is the Chefs Gala, June 6, which features chef/co-owner Steve Corry of Portland’s 555 going toque-to-toque with Mark Militello, exceuctive chef of the Regent Bal Harbour, in Florida. Both previously have been knighted as part of Food & Wine’s 10 Best New Chefs club.

Now this isn’t the only reason to ink Arts in the Inns on your calendar. Throughout the week, artists will be creating and chefs will be preparing special meals.

Lodging packages include breakfast with the artists, a gift basket, tickets to the Champagne Preview, and to the Artists in Residence Inns tour.

Other events include:

art-in-the-inns4• Regional Plein Air Painters  Invitational, June 3-6: Following a paint-out June 3-6, artists will exhibit their wet paint works and studio pieces at The Gallery on Chase Hill, beginning Saturday, June 6. Opening meet-the-artists reception is slated 4-6 pm.

Signature dinners, June 3-4:  These small gatherings held in private homes pair a chef with an artist, with the mission of creating a meal inspired by a selected work. ($100-$185)

Tattinger Champagne Preview, June 4: Opening reception highlighted by chefs, artists, and winemakers and held at the Breakwater Inn. ($25)

Filming of the Chef’s Kitchen, June 5: Live filiming of the syndicated cooking show at Chase Hill Center. ($25)

• Twilight Soiree, June 5: A social season summer highlight, according to those who know such things. It’s held at St. Anne’s oceanfront rectory (spectacular location) and features “canapes inspired by the land, sea, and sky and designed by the White Barn Inn” (their wording, not mine). Participating artists will display recent works, and there will be live music by Big Chief.($55)

• Artists in Residence Inns Tour, June 6-7: View artwork by each inn’s artist in residence. On Sunday, artists will be present to discuss their work.($5)

• Grand Tasting & Showing, June 6: Wine tastings, chef demonstrations, artist conversations, artwork displays, all under one roof, oops,  make that tent, at the Breakwater Inn.($50)

The Children’s Festival, June 6: Lemonade, sugar cookies, crafting, and art displays, at the Nonantum Resort. (free)

• Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie at The Seaside, June 6: Meet Chef Rebecca Charles, author of Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Stories and Recipes from Summers on the Coast of Maine, at the Seaside Inn and Cottages. Lobster rolls, chowder, and blueberry crumble will be served. Bring the book if you want her to sign it. ($65)

• Chefs Gala, June 6: Chef/co-owner Steve Corry of Portland’s 555 and Mark Militello, exceuctive chef of the Regent Bal Harbour, in Florida will prepare a multi-course menu centered around one secret ingredient that’s native to Maine. Each will prepare three canapes, an appetizer, main course, and dessert. All courses will be paired with wines. The evening ends with live music and dancing. ($185)

Many events are limited, so book early.

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