Reprint from 2011. Current Festival Date are June 1-8, 2014. For more information:

The White Barn Inn is proud to be part of the 2014 #livelovefood campaign.  Grand Chef Relais and Chateaux, Jonathan Cartwright donated signed copies of R&C Chef Cookbooks.


Chef Cartwright and guests chefs from New York's Gramercy Tavern. Jessica Elsemore Photo.

Chef Cartwright and guests chefs from New York’s Gramercy  Tavern. Jessica Elsemore Photo.


The White Barn Inn has been instrumental in the growth of the Kennebunkport Festival, from its inception days as the Arts and the Inns, to is current manifestation as the premier food and wine event in the State of Maine.  The week’s celebrations (from 2011), beginning May 31, and ending June 5th 2011, rival food and wine events that are famously thrown in Miami and Nantucket. This is in no small part due to the efforts of the Inn’s Grand Chef Jonathan Cartwright, and his staff.  Their expertise in hospitality along with their deep connection in the world of gourmet food and fine wine,have lent themselves perfectly to the expansion of the week’s festivities. Over the past five years, Cartwright and staff have artfully and skillfully orchestrated the festival’s parties and dinners, laying the foundation for what attracted the staff at Maine Magazine.  Maine Magazine and its crew now are at the helm of the festival and have taken over the planning and logistics.

Jessica Elsemore Photography

Jessica Elsemore Photography


We in turn, get to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and this year, Chef Cartwright and the White Barn are not only sponsors, but headliners at the Festival’s Opening Celebration, Grand Cru Dinner, Artists Dinners, and the Oysters and Pearls Party. (For current 2014 events, see The Kennebunkport Festival.)

Cartwright explained, “We are now in a position to take as role doing what we do best: throwing a wonderful party and making our guests feel special and well cared-for.”

That is Cartwright’s specialty: after having the opportunity to speak with him about the festival and his involvement, I saw how much his commitment to local ingredients and culture seasons everything he does.

Chef Cartwright has been recently named the Group Chef de Cuisine of the Grace Hotel Group, the parent company of the WBI. This is a vote of confidence for Cartwright, who is lending his expertise and to two new Grace properties:The Grace Vanderbilt in Newport Rhode Island, and Grace Cafayate in Argentina .”I want what we create to be a picture of the the local culture, in food and in techniques, bringing to it our expertise and style. In anything, you want to be able to experience the region around you. The Kennebunkport Festival is this way, and people get a good feeling for what we as a town are all about. We are part of this community and it has informed the way we have operated.”

Grand Chef Relais and Chateaux, Jonathan Cartwright with young students at the the White Barn Culinary Class.

Grand Chef Relais and Chateaux, Jonathan Cartwright with young students at the White Barn Culinary Class.


The Kennebunkport Festival celebrates this food-community connection; one that Chef Cartwright and The White Barn have adamantly and exquisitely supported for years.  I am looking forward to tasting their creations.

Reprint from

Kristin Fuhrmann-Simmons #livelovefood.

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