Maine Marine Fare, a two-day symposium Sept. 9-10 at Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, focuses on what we take from and eat from the sea off the Maine coast, featuring Paul Greenberg as the keynote speaker at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Greenberg, a James Beard Award winner and author of Four Fish and American Catch, as well as lead correspondent of the 2017 PBS documentary Fish on my Plate, will talk about the state of the seas and the abundance (or lack) of our seafood.
Penobscot Marine Museum’s major exhibit this summer focuses on the past, present and future of Maine’s fisheries. Maine Marine Fare celebrates the products from Maine’s fishing industry with talks, panel discussions, and educational demonstrations and tastings moving the discussion to what we consume. The symposium concludes with a dinner prepared by Sam Hayward.
Panel sessions begin immediately following the keynote. Natalie Springuel from Maine Sea Grant chairs a panel surveying the Gulf of Maine’s wild fisheries and current issues surrounding traditionally harvested species and sustainability. Panelists include Carl Wilson, director of the Bureau of Marine Science at the Maine Department of Marine Resources; Prof. Bob Steneck, professor of marine dciences at the University of Maine; and Carla Guenther, senior scientist at Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries.
Maine Aquaculture Association’s Sebastian Belle continues the discussion with a panel devoted to farming the sea in all its aspects—including salmon, yellow-tail, shellfish, sea weeds and vegetables, and a new effort to promote land-based fish farming.
The day’s events conclude with Polly Saltonstall, editor in chief of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine and a panel devoted to marketing as the vital link that connects fish in the sea to fish on the table.
On Sunday, Islesboro’s Sandy Oliver, Maine’s premiere food historian, kicks off the day at 1 p.m. with a discussion of how we preserved and ate the fish we caught of the coast. A panel of Maine chefs, moderated by journalist/food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins, considers what we are eating from our waters now. Panelists include Sara Jenkins, chef at Nina June in Rockport and Porsena in New York City; Brian Hill, chef at Francine in Camden; Devin Finigan, chef at Aragosta in Stonington; and Paula Pik Palakawong, co-owner, Long Grain in Camden.
Demonstrations and tastings follow. Three oyster growers with distinct methods of growing and harvesting discuss their methods. Participants will be invited to taste the differences. Other demonstrators include Richard Penfold of Stonington Smoked Fish and Ravin ‘Bas’ Nakjaroen of Camden’s Long Grain Restaurant.
Cipperly Good, Penobscot Marine Museum Collections Manager/Curator moderates a panel of Maine journalists who will consider how consumers and producers can support healthy, sustainable and economically viable Maine fisheries. Panelists include Sarah Walker Caron, features editor for Bangor Daily News; Christine Parrish, staff writer for The Free Press; Tom Groening, editor of The Working Waterfront; and Michael Sanders, editor of Edible Maine.
Maine Marine Fare ends with a dinner called “Food from Our Seas,” prepared by chef Sam Hayward with the assistance of Ladleah Dunn. Hayward, named “Best Chef in the Northeast” by the James Beard Association, co-owner and executive chef of Fore Street Restaurant in Portland, has been called “Maine’s Food Hero” for his promotion and innovative use of Maine food products from the land, the sea, and everywhere in between. Dunn is a chef, gardener, food consultant, and boat-builder in Lincolnville.
Tickets are limited for tastings and dinner. Tickets are $15 for Saturday’s discussions, $40 for Sunday, including tastings, and $75 for Sunday night’s dinner. Saturday and Sunday ticket prices include Museum admission. Museum member discounts are available. For tickets or more information, visit www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529.