Kitchen Garden Dinners
Kitchen Garden Dinners

Kitchen Garden Dinners

2015 KGDS Earth at Hidden Pond

Tuesday, May 12
6:00 to 8:00 pm

Experience Earth at Hidden Pond, a heavenly "Farm to Fork" dining experience founded by James Beard winner and founder of 5 acclaimed Boston restaurants, Chef Ken Oringer and headed up by Chef Justin Walker named in 2014 by 'a rising star'. Located in Kennebunkport, Earth serves local meats, seafood and house made cuisine using ingredients from its on-site organic gardens. The Portland Press Herald raves "the food is flawless!" and "all dishes are executed to near perfection".

2015 KGDS Francine Bistro

Thursday, May 28
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Chef Brian Hill of Francine Bistro, Shepherd's Pie and Seabright in Camden, Maine creates perfectly balanced dishes using only the freshest local and organic produce, meats, cheeses and seafood. Chef Hill has been a James Beard 'Best Chef Northeast' semi-finalist for the last 5 years. Francine Bistro has been for several years running been named as one of Eater Maine's 18 Essential Maine Restaurants.

2015 KGDS Grace Restaurant

Thursday, June 11
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Breathtaking atmosphere and gothic revival architecture envelope you at Grace Restaurant, where Executive Chef Adam Flood offers sophisticated American/French cuisine situated in a soaring, renovated 19th century church. Recipient of Yankee Magazine's 2014 Editor's Choice Award for Best Dining in Maine.

2015 KGDS Academe Brasserie at the Kennebunk Inn

Tuesday, June 23
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Shanna and Brian O'Hea are the Chef-Owners of Academe Brasserie and The Kennebunk Inn in Kennebunk, Maine. This 1799 property with 26 guest rooms and a 100-seat restaurant, anchors Main Street in one of Maine's most popular tourist destinations.

The O'Heas have gained international recognition by participating in cooking programs around the world including Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Holland America Cruise Line. Shanna has appeared on Food Network's "Chopped," winner of "Rewrapped" and will appear on "Beat Bobby Flay" May 2015. Academe's signature Lobster Pot Pie has been featured in Oprah Magazine as one of Gayle King's favorites, on Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," Travel Channel's "Food Paradise," and 2014 Travel and Leisure Holiday Gift Guide. Their Lobster White Truffle Pizza has appeared on the "O List" in Oprah Magazine and was also featured on Travel Channel's "Food Paradise." Both products are available on, a website the O'Heas developed to ship fresh Maine seafood overnight across the United States.

2015 KGDS Trattoria Athena and Enoteca Athena

Tuesday, July 7
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Chef/Owner Tim O'Brien brings his Italian heritage to the forefront of his two restaurants in Brunswick, Trattoria Athena & Enoteca Athena for both traditional and creative Italian & Greek cuisine. The Athena's use locally sourced products for their cuisine, and as a result, each restaurant's menu reflects the season. Trattoria Athena offers a glimpse across the Atlantic of a small, rustic Italian "trattoria" in a relaxed setting specializing in fresh pastas & dishes found in Tim's relative's hometowns in Southern Italy; whereas Enoteca Athena offers a contemporary, relaxed wine bar with creative cocktails and a menu offering many plates designed for sharing.

Trattoria Athena

Enoteca Athena

2015 KGDS The Gothic

Tuesday, July 21
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Executive Chef Ryan McKeown and Owner/Chef Matthew Kinney (a two-time James Beard award nominee and raw-food pioneer) have created a unique and award-winning restaurant in the former Belfast National Bank in Belfast. The Gothic serves a vegetarian only menu that offers both traditional and innovative dishes painstakingly prepared with modern, cutting-edge techniques. Original, bold and full-flavored dishes at the Gothic celebrate both the beauty and bounty of Maine. The Gothic won Eater Maine's 2013 Restaurant of the Year title and is listed in Eater Maine's 2014 18 Essential Restaurants in Maine.

2015 KGDS Maine Harvest Restaurant at Harraseeket Inn

Tuesday, August 4
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Under the supervision of Executive Chef Troy Mains, Maine Harvest Restaurant at the Harraseeket Inn features a modern interpretation on French-influenced American cuisine with a farm-to-table devotion to the best and freshest local and seasonal ingredients. Impeccable dining service, expertly prepared, hand-crafted dishes and delightful tableside preparation (the Cesar salad and Chateaubriand are sublime!) are hallmarks of the Maine Harvest experience. Rightfully voted "Best Brunch in Maine" by Downeast Magazine- another great reason to visit Freeport!

2015 KGDS Piccolo

Tuesday, August 18
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

At Piccolo, Chefs and owners Damien Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez (both named as Star Chef "Rising Stars") serve impeccably prepared traditional home-style dishes of Central and Southern Italy.  Their dishes are simply made but with great care and passion using only the freshest traditional Italian ingredients.  It is no wonder that Piccolo holds the number 8 spot in Eater Maine's 2014 18 Essential Maine Restaurants list, awarding Sansonetti and Lopez "Best Chef" in 2013.  Travel & Leisure Magazine awarded Piccolo with "Best New Romantic Restaurant" in 2014 and The Maine Sunday Telegram gives them 4 1/2 stars.

2015 KGDS Hugo's and Eventide Oyster Company

Wednesday, September 16
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Using modern cooking techniques and fresh, local ingrediants Chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley have wowed the Portland food scene and its devotees consistently with their menus at Hugos and Eventide Oyster Company.  Hugo's was named the #2 restaurant in New England in 2013 by Opinionated Diners website & food blog.  Chefs Taylor and Wiley named as Food & Wine's 2013 "Best New Chefs in New England", Hugo's and Eventide also hold, respectively, the #4 and #7 positions in Eater Maine's 2014 "18 Essential Maine Restaurants" list.


Eventide Oyster Company

2015 KGDS The Rooms-Portland

Thursday, October 1
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Acclaimed Chefs Harding Lee Smith and Sean Doherty will represent The Rooms-Portland. "I wanted to make a neighborhood gathering spot - to have that homey feel like when you step into someone's living room…"

Harding Lee Smith, chef and owner of The Front Room Restaurant & Bar, The Grill Room & Bar, The Corner Room Kitchen & Bar and Boone's Fish House and Oyster Room, is a Mainer by birth. Once he graduated from Portland’s Deering High School, Harding left Maine to experience the rest of the world. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area and attended the Culinary Institute of America's West Coast campus in Napa Valley. After an apprenticeship in Venice, Italy, Chef Smith relocated to Maui, Hawaii where he was the chef of several well-known restaurants. After six years on the island, family and the Red Sox were calling and he returned to Maine in the fall of 2003. After spending the winter of 2005 at the venerable Back Bay Grill in Portland, Harding embarked on his dream, the opening of a casual neighborhood restaurant and bar… Ten years and 4 award-winning restaurants later, Chef Smith has rightfully earned the title "Hardest Working Chef" by the Maine Sunday Telegram. All of his restaurants were recognized as "Best New Restaurant" in the year of their opening by the Phoenix Readers Poll and The Corner Room is the proud recipient of 3 consecutive Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence.

2015 KGDS Vinland

Tuesday, October 13
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Vinland is the first and only restaurant in the world to use 100% locally sourced ingredients in every dish-even down to the salt. Chef David Levi creates dishes that embrace indigenous foods, cuisines and traditions of New England and are influenced by the New Nordic Movement in Scandinavia. Hailed as "a serious star...Portland's leading contemporary restaurant" by The Financial Times of London, awarded a perfect 5-star review by the Portland Press Herald and honored with a dinner at the James Beard House, Vinland lives up to its #5 rating in Eater Maine's 'Top 18 Essential Maine Restaurants in 2014'.

2015 KGDS 40 Paper Italian Bistro

Wednesday, October 28
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Join Chef Josh Hixson, Executive Chef and owner of 40 Paper, his lauded restaurant in Camden, which serves traditional Italian cuisine with regional Mediterranean influences and 3 Crow in Rockland, his modern take on traditional Southern American cuisine, for a delicious evening at the Gardens. All of Chef Hixson's dishes are meticulously hand-crafted with the freshest and brightest ingredients which has earned him accolades as one of Maine's finest chefs.

40 Paper

3 Crow

2015 KGDS Tao Yuan Restaurant

Tuesday, November 10 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Asian-inspired ingredients and flavors hallmark award-winning Chef Cara Stadler's unique and delicious cuisine that is prepared with only the freshest, locally produced ingredients.  Varied, sublime tasting courses are served family style.  Recent awards and citations for Tao Yuan and Chef Stadler include:
2014 James Beard "Rising Star Chef of the Year" semifinalist
Food & Wine's 2014 "Best New Chef" award
Portland Press Herald's Maine Sunday Telegram's 2013's Top Maine Restaurant