I scraped my plate clean. The fresh goat cheese and apricot chutney paired so well with the crispy leeks and toasted baguette, that I lost myself. I looked to my table mates: they too were eating everything, from the dates stuffed with chorizo, to the dill chopped cucumber salad.
This was only our third stop and we were already waist deep on a unique trolley tour of the best of Kennebunkport’s foods, Maine Foodie Tours.
Maine Foodie Tours, (MFT) the brainchild of Pamela Laskey, has come to Kennebunkport. Lauded for its Portland tours in Yankee Magazine and the Boston Globe, MFT has gained a reputation over the past several years for providing locals and visitors alike with backdoor access to food lover havens, all the while providing both novice and experienced gourmets with rich culinary insight. This past winter, the Chamber of Commerce in Kennebunk/Kennebunkport asked Laskey to consider coming south.
“I spent the winter months working on the Kennebunkport tours, researching the area, writing scripts, and talking to merchants who might like to participate to explain how the tours operate.” said Laskey. She worked with her contacts at the Chamber and developed both a trolley tour with the Guay family’s In-Town Trolley, and a walking tour.
I asked Laskey how she came up with the idea to create Maine Foodie Tours. “ When I moved to Portland, I was fascinated with the food scene and saw nobody showcasing the talent to visitors and locals alike. Plus, I had just decided that the second half of my life was going to include work that involved things I love: eating, walking, history, education, and entertainment. So the idea was born.” Laskey has attracted local talent Tom Reagan, Kennebunk’s prize winning chef, as a guide.
His love of food and candor provided the backdrop for the tour. Laskey invited me to tour, and I never say no to good food. I boarded the trolley at the Colony and we made our way to the Cape Arundel Inn to sample pate-a-choux stuffed with lobster meat. The dish was paired with a glass of sancerre and a tour of the dining room and garden. Our next stop: the Colony, where we were greeted with a signature cocktail of St. Germain, served up in 1950;s style engraved glasses, found in a recent renovation of the Hotel. The salmon martinis, a canape of fish, served atop a bed of spinach and toast, topped with a vermouth creme-fraiche and green olive, provided a salty foil to the sweet drink. On and off the trolley, we were plied with facts about the gulf of Maine and the local fish merchants, and were asked trivia and were rewarded with prizes for our answers.
We moved on to the Nonantum where we met both the chef and gardener, and sampled a full plate of local delights. The bartender served up a Maine mead blueberry cocktail, topped with local honey soda, fresh rosemary and lemon. The tour went from fun to heavenly. We moved on the White Barn Inn and watched as their bartender deftly prepared and instructed us on the art of the cocktail. We were drawn in as he poured a mixture of mint, chocolate and strawberries into our glasses. The drink would have been enough, however, we willingly ate the salmon, stuffed tomatoes and cranberry topped pates the staff offered up. We finished at the Captain Lord Mansion:each of us stuffing down the crunchy sweet raspberry bars and chocolate wine.
Chef’s develop the plates and cocktails. “We work together to determine what will be served at each location, ideally presenting locally sourced foods and showcasing what comes from Maine.” said Laskey.
Maine Foodie Tours cost $49 for the Trolley and $44 for the walking tour. They are perfect for your summer guests and a great way to revisit old haunts for new flavor. They can be found at
Kristin Fuhrmann Simmons
NOTES FROM KATHY GUAY – owner of In-Town Trolley, Maine Foodie Tours in Kennebunkport
I asked Kathy how she was approached by MFT to uses her trolley service and guides:
Kathy: I really enjoy good food (Bill says the minute I finish one meal I am thinking about the next, and it’s true). Having lived here in town for 30 years, I am very excited about the wonderful food options we have. The hotels, inns and restaurants have really become focused on gourmet cuisine using local seafood and produce. No need to leave town, there are so many great restaurants to try right here! I have been a member of CSA’s in southern Maine for several years and have been so excited to support local, organic produce. When Pam approached me (through our Chamber) with the idea of a “foodie” trolley tour I was very intrigued. She had been doing a similar tour in Portland for several years partnered with the trolley company there
Intown Trolley’s narrated sightseeing tours have been running for over 30 years. It’s a great way for tourists to learn the history of our towns, view the beautiful coast and beaches, and find out what there is to do while they are visiting. I see our new culinary tour as something local residents as well as tourists will enjoy.
I love the enthusiasm of the trolley guides (foodie’s themselves!) and of the owners and staff at the places we visit. The owners graciously invited folks in, and the staff proudly prepares and presents their creations. And then you get to sample what they have created, what fun!
- 5 delicious apps for foodies (prdaily.com)
- Strawberry Season: Top 5 Ways to Enjoy this Season’s Bounty (4ticketsplease.com)
- Joe Ricchio is your food-best-friend. Maine Magazine’s Food Editor sits down for lunch. (4ticketsplease.com)
- Fore Street Grill- Portland, ME (travelwithlaughter.com)