Business Beat: Quality Time Spent with Lee Farrington, Chef/Owner of Figa Restaurant on the Hill


Lee Farrington and her mother, Carol

Lee Farrington and her mother, Carol

By Carol McCracken (Post # 372)

The photo shoot at Figa was scheduled for noon time earlier today. When MHN arrived the shoot had just begun. A food photographer from Boston was taking photos of the salmon and shrimp dishes, the table settings and we’ll just have to wait to see what else – that is wait for the March issue of MAINE. The MAINE MAGAZINE. That’s when the magazine is running a 4 -page article on the new Figa Restaurant – owned and chefed by Lee Farrington.

Following the photo shoot, Jennifer Muller, art director of the Magazine, the Boston photographer (whose name I can’t remember!) and I sadt at the bar sampling amazing dishes taken from the pages of the Figa menu. There was shrimp patia and salmon tandoori. From the dessert menu there was creme bjulee, Indian inspired Rice Pudding and Chocolate Souffle. To top off this extraordinary culinary experience, was Lee’s Brazilian home made chocolates.

International cooking has always been an important influence in Lee’s cooking. Her mother, Carol, was born in Brazil. She married an airline pilot and moved to Kentucky. Once a week, Lee says, her mother would cook an international meal. Her mother was a semi-professional golf player, so she was often away from home – playing in tournaments. Lee and her siblings learned to do their own cooking.

One of Carol’s specialities are Brazilian home made chocolates. Every Christmas holiday, Carol made many dozens of the chocolates for holiday entertaining. “No one makes them the way my mother does. They are a special part of the Figa menu.” They are the first item on the dessert menu.

Lee has a sweet tooth she admits. She manages her weight by running 3 or 4 miles a day. The conversation turned to her preparation for a 13.2 mile marathon she’s participating in at the end of the month in Miami.

“I want Figa to be a neighborhoold restaurant. Part of that means keeping the prices in a moderate price range.” Entrees run between $10 – $15. “I love to hve people experience by food, but I don’t need to get rick from it,” she said. No opening date for the restaurant has been set yet.