Monday Inspiration—A Culinary Phenomenon In Maine

“It was supposed to be a ‘quiet little cafe’ in Maine. It turned into a culinary phenomenon”. I often can find some really interesting stories on PBS News Hour. This Maine restaurant story really caught my attention today. It is the story about The Lost Of Kitchen , yes, the most talked American restaurant and its owner Erin French.

First of all, the location of the restaurant is so dreamy–in the middle of the nowhere. It is in the rural town of Freedom, Maine, 17 miles from the coast, surrounded by farmland and backcountry roads, near towns like Unity and Liberty. You can count the buildings in Freedom on one hand: There’s a general store, a gas station, a post office, and the Lost Kitchen itself, in an 1834 mill building, perched over a stream.

The Lost Kitchen

Second, it dwells in such an amazing historical building…

The Lost Kitchen
Photography by Greta Rybus for Remodelista. The Mill at Freedom Falls, where the Lost Kitchen is located, is perched above a wide creek. The 1834 building was formerly a gristmill, then a turning mill, but had been abandoned for decades and was in danger of falling into the creek before local conservationists and Cold Mountain Builders worked to restore it, shoring up the granite foundation and replacing the timbers.

And the inside of the Lost Kitchen is q1uite charming and interesting…

The Lost Kitchen
Inside, remnants of the old mill remain: pulley systems and an old millstone, inlaid in the floor. French fitted the dining room simply, and all herself, with hand-built tables and painted spindle-back chairs. She also had a vent and air duct installed to facilitate the working kitchen. Photography by Greta Rybus for Remodelista.
The Lost Kitchen
Above: French built the tables with help from a local carpenter, using salvaged wood and metal hairpin legs. The chairs are from Hayes Unfinished Furniture in Brewer, Maine, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain. Photography by Greta Rybus for Remodelista.
The Lost Kitchen
Above: French sources the tableware from antiques stores around Maine; downstairs, in the pantry, there are stacks of blue-and-white china and jadeite bowls. French’s mother, who works at the Lost Kitchen, sewed the restaurant’s original cloth napkins. Photography by Greta Rybus for Remodelista.
The Lost Kitchen
Above: French takes a moment between cooking to arrange the flowers for the evening. At dusk, French herself goes around to each table to light candles. Photography by Greta Rybus for Remodelista.

The last but not the least —the food

The Lost Kitchen
Photo by New York Times

The Lost Kitchen
Photo by Maine Magazine
The Lost Kitchen
Photo by Maine Magazine
The Lost Kitchen welcome cheese board
Welcome boards are your first taste of the Lost Kitchen. Photo by Maine Magazine
The Lost Kitchen welcome cheese board
A cheese and bread board with olives, herbs, three cheese varieties, and fresh radishes and butter. GRETA RYBUS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

What do you think? Isn’t it amazing? Here is the new book by owner Erin French , “Finding Freedom in the Lost Kitchen.” The book details the trials and triumphs of the Maine restaurant that has been attracting attention internationally from foodies — and from culinary taste-makers like James Beard. As Jeffrey Brown reports, “finding freedom” takes on multiple meanings for an innovative restaurateur on the rise. It’s part of PBS NewsHour’s arts and culture series, CANVAS. Here is Erin French’s interview with PBS.

Get A Copy From Amazon

Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch Kindle Edition

Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

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Williams Sonoma French Cheese & Savory Hamper

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