Melissa Kelly was the guest chef at December's Flanagan's Table at the Barn at Flanagan Farm in Buxton. It was my first time to photograph a dinner in this series, and fascinating to see the woman behind Rockland's Primo restaurant do what she loves best. I heard about the accolades for the chef, including another James Beard Foundation Award earlier this year, when I photographed Ashley and Josh's elopement dinner at Primo in October. The menu was mouth-watering and I vowed to go back for a big dinner some day when I had a good reason to treat myself. After seeing Chef Kelly's serious, yet calm demeanor while at work in the kitchen at Flanagan's, it made me think the only good reason I need to treat myself is that Chef Kelly creates amazing dishes using mostly ingredients she grows or raises herself -- a mission of sustainability and responsibility that is admirable in the global conversation of consumption, and not just food consumption, but life consumption as per a line that reads on Primo's website: "Nothing is wasted -- everything has its place."
There wasn't much chatter amongst Chef Kelly and the two other cooks in the kitchen, just a beautiful harmony to witness them preparing 48 meals for folks who weren't privy to their quiet focus and care. The love and respect that Chef Kelly has for food and where it comes from is evident, and it was an absolute honor to document this dinner. I'm certain the guests tasted that privilege in their six courses. I can't wait until my own Primo dining experience!
photography: Whitney, emilie inc. photography • table design: Meagan Gilpatrick, Maine Seasons Events • decor: Judy Bourgeois, Flora Fauna • food: Melissa Kelly, Primo Restaurant • beer: Oxbow • wine: Old Port Wine and Cigar • aprons: South Street Linen