By Carol McCracken
Ocean Gateway, at the bottom of the Hill, is the primary venue participating in the Harvest on the Hill gourmet weekend coming up next month. The spacious facility with a grand view of Casco Bay behind it was also the site of a press conference yesterday at which local officials, including Mayor Ed Suslovic addressed the group. The Mayor remarked that he often meets passengers embarking and debarking the cruise ships that come into the Harbor. He has heard passengers say that when arriving here, they only expected to see “lobsters and lighthouses.” To their surprise Portland has much more to offer than that stereotype and that is what brings them back to Portland again and again.
Barbara Whitten, president, of the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Portland was the moderator at the press conference yesterday. The “CVB” is presenting the event next month. According to Whitten, special efforts are being made to reach out to “culinary tourists” all over the northeast to attend this first and annual Harvest on the Harbor. She said that 50% of all the events had been sold out to date.
Harvest on the Harbor is a three day culinary gala designed to celebrate Maine chefs and local seafood – running from October 23rd through the 25th. The event will feature seminars, tastings and exquisite dinners created by renowned chefs from Maine and away as well. Harding Smith, owner of the Front Room on the Hill and a Hill resident will be participating in the culinary weekend as well.
The kickoff event at the Ocean Gateway which is also expected to be very popular is on Thursday evening, October 23 – it has been named the Grand Tasting at the Gateway. It will be a food and wine tasting event featuring Maine’s culinary talents from here and around the world. The closing event will be a Saturday night formal dinner at the Inn By The Sea on Cape Elizabeth.
Other events will be held at the Portland Regency, Portland Harbor Hotel, and at the Top of the East. There will also be an all-day culinary marketplace at Ocean Gateway on Saturday on the pier.
Prices for each of the events varies widely to appeal to a number of participants. The price of tickets for the opening event at the Ocean Gateway is $50. per person. There is a limit of 400 people for that event and some tickets have been sold. Tickets for the closing dinner at the Inn By The Sea are $150.00 Or for $350. you can have it all!