Creating Community Through Fresh Farm-to-Table Dinners in a Historic Architectural Setting
On certain evenings this summer and fall, the Stone Barn at Sebago Lake will set hand-crafted maple tables with 70 plates and open its doors. While guests meander through the latest farm crops and steal exquisite walks along lamp-lit trails, renowned chefs Mary Paine and Scott Walsh will be busy chopping herbs, grilling legs of lamb, or whipping fresh cream. As the sun dips below the horizon, guests will be seated in the classic Normandy-style barn and served a 6-course meal boasting the vibrant tastes of the season’s harvest.
Chefs Mary Paine and Scott Walsh have deep roots in Maine’s renowned food scene. Their diverse backgrounds including horticulture, restaurant management, and even Korean-style grilling, make for an innovative approach to the traditional Maine fare. Working as a team, Paine and Walsh source their ingredients from not one, but dozens of local farms in the region to provide guests with a complete sampling of the area. With ingredients sourced from farms like Baker Brook Creamery in Windham and Katahdin Gardens Farm in Patten, each menu is carefully composed to feature quality ingredients in their purest form, yet showcase them in new and innovative ways, making the Stone Barn dinners a prime example of contemporary cuisine in a traditional setting.
As you wander from the crop fields past stone walls to the pasture, sip on a cocktail muddled with Pearson Town Farm’s basil, or savor the last bite of baklava made with Roy’s maple syrup, we encourage you to consider and celebrate the past, future, and present agricultural communities that define the Lakes Region and this evening at the Stone Barn.
Only a limited number of tickets will be sold, so reserve your place at our farm table today. We look forward to welcoming you to our fabulous, new culinary experience—truly a celebration of community and sustainability.
Upcoming Dinner Dates
Leading up to each dinner, our chefs visit local farms to see what is available to create a meal tailored to the best ingredients locally available on the day of each dinner. Below are preliminary seasonal menus our chefs have created for planning purposes. No dietary restrictions please.
Save the Date for the 2018 Season!
July 12 and 26, August 9 and 23, September 13 and 27, October 11 and 25
The dinners will begin at 6 p.m. at the Stone Barn at Sebago Lake, 289 Whites Bridge Road in Standish.
Each ticket is $100 per person and includes dinner, drinks, and gratuity.
Registration for the 2017 season has ended.
Tickets for 2018 will be on sale starting January 15, 2018. A link to registration will be available starting then.
For more information, please call 207-893-7805.
Parking information: When arriving for the event, there will be signage directing guests on where to park which will be located across the street from The Stone Barn at the entrance to Saint Joseph's College. Shuttles will be available for transporting guests back and forth.
About the Chefs
It is 6:42 a.m. and Mary is sifting wheat flour and chopping roots for a corn beef hash, awaiting the hungry cue that will start forming outside the door of the Good Egg Cafe any minute. This is the kitchen where Mary first started dabbling in “scratch” cooking, a family-owned cafe that stole the hearts and bellies of many Portlanders in the early 80’s. The Good Egg was a rebellious and revolutionary café in the Portland food scene at the time. A diner yes, but far from your run of the mill greasy spoon. Mary’s older brother and sister owned the joint, with the vision of a breakfast place that would source only the highest quality ingredients and never open up a can of hash—it was farm-to-table prior to the trendy turn of phrase. Mary quickly worked her way up the ranks of the kitchen and was soon running the bakery operation while simultaneously working in horticulture at the established wholesale greenhouse in town. The combination of working with the soil and feeding the masses struck a chord with Mary, and it stuck.
Mary’s knack for fresh ingredients and her praised English muffins soon spread throughout town and she was asked to join the kitchen at the Pepperclub—the acclaimed Portland restaurant which focused on local vegetarian fare—where she stayed for 25 years, eventually becoming head chef and owner of the establishment. Equally attracted to hospitality and cooking, Mary worked both the front and back of the house during her Pepperclub years, and continues to believe that hosting community and preparing quality food go hand-in-hand.
Since her Portland days, Mary has worked on three of Maine’s islands, most recently North Haven Island, where she was at the helm of Nebo Lodge’s kitchen and the Turner Farm Barn Suppers. Twice a week Mary would cook for 70 guests with Chef Amanda Hollowell, turning Turner Farm’s weekly harvest into a five-course feast that would draw people from small mid-coast towns and sprawling Manhattan burrows alike. It is typical to spot Mary chatting with guests about the cut of lamb that she had prepared or running into the field to get the freshest dill she can serve on any given occasion. Whatever the venue or community, Mary has always put fresh ingredients and welcoming hospitality into the heart of her meals.
When given the choice between kitchen stove and fire pit, Scott would choose the latter. Attracted to live-action cooking and the unique flavor and technique of open-fire cuisine, Scott brings a delectable approach to the Stone Barn kitchen. At one point, Scott ran a gourmet food cart in the Lakes Region where Kamado-style clay pot BBQ was the focus and draw for many Mainers. The art of open-fire cooking allows Scott to engage guests in an experimental meal, transforming the traditional dining ritual into a feast of the senses. Equally inspired by the sourcing of local ingredients, Scott finds the Stone Barn suppers to be an ideal canvas for smoking Basket Island Oysters or charring Pearson’s Farm yams.
Having spent years as a master craftsman focusing on cabinetry, Scott finds a deep satisfaction in serving local food on hand-crafted maple tables at the Stone Barn. This marrying of natural elements and artistry makes for a true experiential evening, incorporating the tastes and textures of the region. When conceptualizing the barn dinner menus, it’s not just about the local products for Scott, it’s about supporting the whole community of makers and producers. From the crew that turned the soil to the wood worker who milled the tables, Scott strives to feature the agricultural community at large in his practice.