For years as an innkeeper, guests would ask if I had a cookbook they could buy. For years I said over the winter, I was going to put one together. I never did. But Down East Magazine’s book division approached me and asked if I wanted to write one in April 2010. And November 1, 2010 I submitted my manuscript for The Art of Breakfast, photos and all. It was a busy summer! Fast forward to May 2019 and the 2nd edition of The Art of Breakfast was published! This gave me a great opportunity to add new recipes and take all new photographs.
After the first cookbook came out, I began attending book signing events and hosting cooking demos. By 2012, Stonewall Kitchen invited me to be a guest chef cooking instructor at their cooking school in York, Maine.
Once I began teaching at Stonewall, I really began to explore my culinary interests. I hosted a beautiful brunch at Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville. I then competed in my first cooking competition in 2015 at the Cellardoor Smackdown and won people’s choice! Fast forward to 2018 and I competed in the Boothbay Harbor Claw Down competition and won both Judge’s and People’s Choice first place for my Lobster Wonton! That qualified me to enter the 2018 Harvest on the Harbor Lobster Chef of the Year competition and I won People’s Choice for my Lobster Scallion Crepes!
So while I miss the daily cooking as a B&B owner, I at least was able to fulfill some of my cooking desires by teaching, doing demos, competitions and sometimes cooking at my buyers’ inns once they purchase. I love to stay in tune with the industry.
In December of 2021, Stonewall Kitchen announced that they closed their cooking school for good at the end of 2021. They said it was time to move on to other things, but it was a great run. And I was pleased to be a part of that for so many years!
I still love to teach, to participate in private cooking events and cooking competitions! I’ve been on a number of News Center Maine’s 207 with recipes from my cookbooks. And I’ve given cooking talks at various locations around Maine. Hospitality Real Estate keeps me too busy to do as many cooking events as I’d like!
The rates we are seeing in hospitality lending in Maine right now are still relatively low (average +/- 5%) for commercial loans, and are certainly no higher than residential rates today. In fact, some I’ve seen are lower than residential!
Did You Know?
Not everyone who is a licensed real estate agent is a Realtor®?
A Realtor® is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, the largest trade group in the country. Realtors® are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics. Some Realtors® are brokers, while some are associate brokers or sales agents. These are varying levels of education, licensing and often responsibilities.
And hospitality ‘Consultants’ not licensed in the state of Maine are not held to any standards the way we are here as licensed Realtors® in Maine, where consumer protection is paramount.