Local chefs + local foods + Cape Elizabeth locale = 20-Mile Meal

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CAPE ELIZABETH — As the weather turns chilly and farms begin harvesting the last vegetables of the season, Cultivating Community will host its third annual 20-Mile Meal this Sunday, Oct. 4, at Turkey Hill Farm.

The meal will be created by area chefs who will use produce, meat and seafood raised and harvested within a 20-mile radius.

Craig Lapine, executive director of Cultivating Community, said the event is a fun way to experience talented chefs preparing local foods.

Cultivating Community is an organization based in Portland that encourages and supports sustainable communities. Lapine said the core mission of the organization is to fight hunger using organic, sustainable practices to grow food in the community, at school gardens and at partnering farms. He said the food that is harvested is shared with those who need it most, and is also used to teach students how to cook, how to eat healthier and how to garden.

“Our programs use sustainable agriculture as an engine for education,” he said. “It is important to teach people how to eat the healthiest diet available to them, and empower youth with the opportunity to give back to their community and become responsible citizens and leaders.”

Some of the local chefs include Lisa Kostopolous of the Good Table in Cape Elizabeth, James Tranchemontagne of the Frog & Turtle in Westbrook, Cheryl Lewis of El Rayo Taqueria in Portland, Guy Hernandez of Bar Lola in Portland  and Timothy Cole, a guest chef from the Southern Maine Community College culinary arts program in South Portland.
In addition, there will be culinary creations by chefs from the Back Bay Grill, Bresca, Flat Bread, Blue Spoon, Cinque Terre, Rosemont Market & Bakery, Evangeline and Aurura Provisions, as well as farm tours, cider making, live music and family activities.

The chefs will cook with pork raised at Turkey Hill Farm, locally grown produce and mussels and lobster harvested by local fishermen.

“We’ve given the chefs a little wiggle room,” Lapine said. “If they need pepper or olive oil, it will be available, but more than 80 percent of the meal is from within a 20-mile radius. … The event is really fun for families and helps support the programs we find invaluable.”

A grand prize of eight nights at the Spannocchia Foundation in Tuscany, Italy, will be raffled, along with a first prize of a Portland Arts, Food and Culture package with gift certificates from Portland restaurants such as 555, Fore Street and Cailoa’s; tickets to the Portland Museum of Art and local theaters. The second prize is a home garden installation with a choice of three garden types.

Raffle tickets are available at The Good Table, Aurura Provisions, Longfellow Books, Rabelais and Rosemont Market & Bakery.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets, and are $35 per person or $18 for seniors and students. Lapine encourages people to purchase tickets ahead of time so the chefs will know how much food to prepare. If necessary, tickets can be purchased at the door, but only cash and checks will be accepted.

Other local businesses involved include North Star Music Cafe, Maples Organic, Ocean Approved and Local Sprouts.

“This is a family event and supports projects that encourage healthy diets, local foods and confident children,” Lapine said.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net