Exploring Maine

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maine_landscape_intro (1 of 1)Last week, I taught two days of cooking classes at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School in York, Maine. The classes were a lot of fun, the staff was incredibly helpful, and I met a lot of cool people and signed lots of copies of The New Southern Table. Speaking with New Englanders about cooking with hot-weather deep Southern ingredients was interesting; folks were surprisingly familiar with okra and collards, though field peas were another story.

But before getting into the cooking classes and all the restaurants I visited in Portland, I thought I’d set the stage with a few shots of the Maine coast.

I love thinking about how climate and landscape affect food and cooking, and in the case of Maine, how the ocean,  estuaries, and islands influence the flavor of the seafood, like lobster, fish, clams, mussels, and oysters. These shots were taken just outside of Portland, near Crescent Beach State Park and the famous Two Lights lighthouses. The coastline is dynamic, both inhospitable and alluring, with big tides, nutrient-rich clear cold water, lots of seaweed, and rocks.

Here are a few of my favorite shots. In the next post I’ll get into the food.

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