Fresh, local, seasonal—you hear it a lot—but Maine chefs do it better. That's the delicious argument of "Fresh from Maine," a gorgeous (and locally produced) new cookbook by writer Michael S. Sanders and photographer Russell French. The book is also beautifully designed by Lucian Burg of LUDesign (who had a major hand in the look of liveworkportland) which makes for an additional amuse bouche. Sanders and French, both founding members of Slow Food Portland, have surveyed the food scene from Kittery to Mount Desert Island for chefs who make the most of what the coast and farms of Maine has to offer. The book includes more than 50 recipes by 20 chefs and runs the gamut from Town Hill Bistro's Maine Shrimp and Peaky-Toe Crab Salad, to Bar Lola's Pan-Roasted Striped Bass with Endive and Orange, to Hugo's Braised Oxtails and Caoila's Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce. Steve Corry of 555's iconic Truffled Lobster Mac 'n Cheese (above) is pictured in the book, but the recipe actually resides on the Table Arts Media's website with other premium content from the book and the author's combined culinary archives, and is available to people who buy the book or subscribe to the site. The recipes are mostly fairly straight forward in the Maine style, but the ingredients are quite particular. The emphasis of the book is on the personalities of the different chefs, their novel approaches to food and how they finish and plate their dishes. They have a second edition and other projects in the pipeline, so we can count on not only more great food, but more great media about it. Perfect inspiration for cooking and eating out both, and proudly produced in Portland.
Spiced Lamb Loin with Carrot Puree, Hugo's, Portland, Maine
Grilled Calamari with White Bean and Spinich Salad from Cailoa's, Portland, Maine
Pan Roasted Striped Bass with Endive and Orange, Bar Lola, Portland, Maine
Photographs by Russell French from Fresh from Maine