Salt Water Farm-Lincolnville, Maine
After at least two years of staring at a note on my bulletin board about Salt Water Farm Cooking School on the Maine coast in Lincolnville, I finally attended a class a few weeks ago and it was by far, one of the best moves that I have made in quite sometime. One of the fears I have when I pine over something for too long is that the reality is usually not as good as the imagined, but in this case the experience surpassed even my envisioned expectations. Can’t wait to go again.
Annemarie Ahearn, the chef founder is on the fast track to foodie greatness in a very humble, warm and gentle way. She has crafted a long range plan to grow, harvest, cook, educate, and compost. Yes, compost. If there was only one takeaway from her class that she wanted to impart right from her introduction, it is to compost- everything, yup, everything. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go home and make a compost pile-I can check that off my to-do list. However, I did go home with a refreshed perspective on my daily meal prep.
Set on a stunning waterfront property, the farm and school offer a novice or more experienced cook the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent surroundings, well-equipped professional kitchen and casual camaraderie of cooking in a relaxed setting. After brief introductions, our group of nine hailing from Brooklyn, Boston, Los Angeles and Maine, split up into teams to tackle the recipes. As each little team gathered and prepped, Annemarie and her assistant, Nicole, offered advice when needed to bring together a lovely lunch which we enjoyed at the conclusion of the three hour class. Cooking as a group without all of the usual daily time pressures was a pleasurable experience and helped me to rethink my own meal prep routines with a bent towards the enjoyment of the ritual, not only the end result.
The class offerings are timed with the bounty of the growing season and vary in length from three hours to more extensive three day workshops. Now that I know what it’s all about, I am drilling down on my calendar to fit in one of the workshops before the summer season comes to a close.
Along with the farm based cooking school, Annemarie has just opened a wonderful new restaurant, Salt Water Farm Cafe and Market at Union Hall in charming Rockport, Maine where I treated myself to dinner. Read more about that here.
It is easy to gush about my little cooking excursion as I count the days until I go again.