Recipe: Wax Poetic Cocktail by henrY Leiter

Recipe: Wax Poetic Cocktail

Wax Poetic Mixed Drink with Gin and Honey

Wax Poetic Mixed Drink with Gin and Honey

Wax Poetic Cocktail

- 2.25 oz. of a fine London Gin
- 1 oz. Local Honey Syrup
(one half honey to one half hot water)
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

Add ingredients over ice and shake.
Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lime.

Prepared with love by Erin Kanuckel - Food Stylist

To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto 
please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com

Recipe: Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake by henrY Leiter

RECIPE: Blood ORANGE OLIVE OIL CAKE

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

Serves around 8 fine folks

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium blood orange
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup medium-grind cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 paper-thin half moon-shaped blood orange slices (optional)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch Iron Skillet with oil;
set aside.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange. Cut the zest into thin strips and set aside. Juice the orange and set aside 1/4 cup (save the remaining juice for another use).

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk 2/3 cup of the sugar and the 1/4 cup blood orange juice together in large bowl. One at a time, whisk in the yogurt, eggs, and olive oil. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, giving the mixture 20 good turns with the whisk until just combined. Fold in the zest strips.

Transfer the batter into the prepared skillet. Top with the blood orange slices and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until the top is springy and golden-brown, and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the skillet on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Carefully un-mold the cake, flip it back to be right-side up, and return to the rack to cool completely.

Prepared with love by Erin Kanuckel - Food Stylist

To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto 
please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com

Editorial Photography Assignment - The Virtues Golf Club - Nashport, Ohio by henrY Leiter

The Virtues Golf Club - Number one public course in Ohio

Recently i completed an editorial photography assignment for Cincinnati Magazine that is featured in their June Edition. i was sent to The Virtues Golf Club, formally Longaberger Golf Club, located in Nashport, Ohio. 

As of 2015, The Virtues Golf Club is ranked the number one public golf course in Ohio. Golf Magazine ranked it number 63 in the Top 100 Courses You Can Play in 2015 and 2016, and Golf Digest ranked it number 74 in America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.

The course was designed by American golf course designer Arthur Hills who has designed more than 180 new golf courses, and is often requested to modify some pf the countries most renowned clubs often in preparation for USGA and PGA Championships.

Tear sheet of the article with one of my photos featured at top of the impressive 60,000 square foot clubhouse.

Tear sheet of the article with one of my photos featured at top of the impressive 60,000 square foot clubhouse.


To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com


The Virtues Golf Club
One Long Drive
Nashport, Ohio 43830
phone: (740) 763-1100
web: http://www.thevirtuesgolfclub.com/

First-Year Birthday Party - Columbus-Ohio-Photography by henrY Leiter

Happy One-Year Birthday to Isabella!

Isabella eating her birthday cake.

Isabella eating her birthday cake.

i recently photographed Isabella's One-year first birthday party! For a one-year-old she seemed to be really into the party and loved the attention! She seemed to be having a blast with all of the activities her mother had planned for the day.

A black and white photograph of Isabella at her first birthday party.

A black and white photograph of Isabella at her first birthday party.

i always enjoy making images of subjects like this because so much is going to change for the parents and the child in even the next few years. It is good to have these memories preserved because they will be a lot of fun to look back on in the future.

Isabella releasing ballons at her one-year birthday party.

Isabella releasing ballons at her one-year birthday party.


To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com

Vígszínház-Architecture in Budapest by henrY Leiter

Vígszínház-19th Century Architecture in Budapest

Vígszínház - or Comedy Theatre in Budapest, Hungary

Vígszínház - or Comedy Theatre in Budapest, Hungary

In 2010 i had the privilege to visit Vígszínház - or Comedy Theatre located in Budapest, Hungary. At the turn of the 19th and 20th century the theatre was a pioneer institution of Hungarian drama, and is one of the oldest theaters still operating.

It was built in 1896 and was designed by the architectural studio Fellner & Helmer. The studio was founded in 1873 by the Austrian architects Ferdiand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. Together they designed over 200 buildings consisting mainly of apartment buildings and theatres across Europe in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire from Switzerland to present-day Ukraine. They frequently collaborated with famous artists such as Hans Makart, Theodor Friedl, and Gustav Klimt.

In 1945 near the end of World War II, Vígszínház was struck by bombshells and the theatre company had to move to a different location. In 1949 the theatre was nationalized, having been previously operated as a private theatre. After the repairs were finished it reopened in 1951 under the new name Theatre of the People's Army. It then regained it's original name of Vígszínház in 1961 and once again became the main center of contemporary drama. 

Vígszínház has an average of 350,000 ticket sales each year and is one of the most successful theatres in Budapest, Hungary.

To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com

Vígszínház
Szent István Street 14
Budapest, Pest County, Hungary
phone: 06-1-329-23-40

http://vigszinhaz.hu

Eartha-Guinness World Record Holder-Yarmouth-Maine by henrY Leiter

Eartha, nestled inside the DeLorme headquarters located in Yarmouth, Maine.

The DeLorme headquarters, home of Eartha located in Yarmouth, Maine.

The DeLorme headquarters, home of Eartha located in Yarmouth, Maine.

Meet Eartha, the world's largest rotating and revolving globe. Eartha is located inside the DeLorme headquarters in Yarmouth, Maine. DeLorme is a producer of personal satellite tracking, messaging, and navigation technology. The company was founded in 1976 by David DeLorme. He supposedly was frustrated with the obsolete back-country maps of the Moosehead Lake Region of Maine, and vowed to create a better map of Maine.

David DeLorme wanted to create something big to mark his company in the physical world, so he designed Eartha. It took two years to build and construction was finished in 1998. Officials from Guinness World Records measured it in 1999, and it still holds the record today at 41.5 ft in diameter. Eartha was built with a scale of 1:1,000,000, on which one inch represents approximately 16 miles. It is mounted at a 23.5 degree angle, to simulate the Earth's axis and simulates one day's revolution and rotation every hour. 

The surface of Eartha is composed of 792 panels. The panels are a special composite database that took over a year to compile from satellite imagery, shaded relief, colored bathymetry, and terrestrial sources such as road networks and urban areas. The printed Eartha database is equivalent to 140 gigabytes, making it one of the largest in the world. Eartha's "skeleton" is the Omni-Span™ structure, which is a Delorme developed system of over 6,000 lightweight aluminum tubing pieces. 

Eartha represents Earth as it seen from space. It is a very beautiful and inspiring structure to witness. It is open to the public for viewing during business hours, and is housed in a three-story glass atrium with three different observation levels located inside, and the building is illuminated at night so viewers can observe Eartha through the glass. There is also a gift shop that carries various DeLorme and geography related products. 

"Eartha will instill a sense of wonder in people when they first see it and we hope they walk away from it with a better appreciation and knowledge of the world around them." - David DeLorme

To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com 

Delorme Headquarters
2 DeLorme Drive
Yarmouth, ME 

+1 (800) 642-0970 or +1 (207) 846-7100
http://www.delorme.com

Rangeley, Maine - The Legend of the Gray Ghost by henrY Leiter

Rangeley, Maine

Rangeley is about a three hour drive from Portland and is located in the Northwest corner of Maine near the New Hampshire and Canadian borders. For the past 13,000 years people have been drawn to the area to pursue the fabled Brook Trout that grow to trophy size. i am not a serious angler but i do enjoy fishing occasionally, so we decided to make a trip to this legendary location. Rangeley is the center of the Rangeley Lakes region, which is now a resort area, however we decided to opt for the wilderness camping experience.

Rangeley Lake from the scenic overlook.

Rangeley Lake from the scenic overlook.

We researched the area and found the Cupsuptic Lake Park and Campground who offered wilderness camping sites. These were sites that you were able to drive to and didn't require having to be flown in, or backpacking in to. Since we only had a couple of days this seemed like the best option.

The drive up is very beautiful and scenic. It took us through a few small towns but most of the drive is just trees, mountains, and streams. It gives you plenty of time to ponder the days of yesteryear when people made this voyage. Before the roads, trains, and planes there was the Native American trail that led north from Kennebec and Sandy Rivers. With the dense woods and rocky, rugged terrain it must have been quite an adventure.

Until 1796 the area belonged to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That year four men - including James Rangeley Sr. purchased 31,000 acres between the Kennebec River and New Hampshire for timber and mineral rights. The area was inhabited by five different Native American tribes at the time and the lakes were known as the Androscoggin Lakes. Although it was privately owned the Native Americans had the land exclusively to themselves until 1810.

The first "white family" to settle the area was Luther Hoar, his wife, and their eight children. They were from Avon, and in 1817 they walked 26 miles through the woods and snow with all of their possessions on two "moose sleds" and survived on fish and game and lived quite "primitively". The following year, two other families settled near the lake and this began the "Lake Settlement".

When James Rangeley Sr. died he left his share of land to his son James Rangeley Jr. who then proceeded to buy out the other partners. Now in possession of 31,000 acres of land in Maine, in 1825 he led his family up the single horse trail out of Madrid, Maine to make this area his home. Maine became a state in 1820, and in 1837 the area was renamed Rangeley. By 1840 the population had reached 39 families. Rangeley became a small but thriving farming community with a sideline trade in lumber. It wasn't until the 1860's that Rangeley's reputation as a fisherman's paradise really took hold.

Coming into Rangeley on Route 4 north you start to pass all kinds of cabins, summer homes, inns, and resorts. There are views of the Rangeley Lake to the left peaking through the trees, and then a scenic overlook where you can pull your car off the road and really take in the incredible view. Giant fluffy clouds float over our heads and mountains and trees seem to go on forever. Beyond it's reputation for good fishing the views are some of the best i've seen in Maine.

Keith Deschambeault's Seaplane parked at the dock.

Keith Deschambeault's Seaplane parked at the dock.

As we drove into town we passed a Seaplane parked on the lake. This seemed like the way to see this area. We decided to stop and see who it belonged to and inquire about a tour. The plane belonged to Keith Deschambeault who operates a company in Rangeley called Acadian Seaplanes. Keith has thousands of flight hours in the Alaskan Bush and Maine's rugged coast and inland lakes. We spoke to him and made arrangements to take a flight in a couple of hours after we got our camp set up.

So we set out to find the Cupsuptic Lake Park and Campground. The campground office is located about 12 miles outside of Rangeley. When we arrived at the office there was a vintage VW micro bus in the parking lot that belonged to a father and son who had come for a few days of camping and fly fishing. We paid for our site and the woman who was working in there drew us a rough map of where we will find our spot. i have done car camping all across the country and so i just assumed the set-up would be similar. But in northern Maine when they say "wilderness camping", they mean it! 

We had to drive down the road a click further away from town and then turn onto an unpaved logging road. The road at first was pretty level and we drove on for a couple miles kicking up a significant amount of dust. Ahead we could see a giant dust cloud swirling on the road being created by an 18-wheeler hauling a heavy load of timber. He was approaching fast and the road was very narrow, i didn't want to play "chicken" since the winner was pretty obvious. i pulled over to the rugged side as much as i could and the 18-wheeler went speeding by at 60 mph only missing us by what seemed like inches. i couldn't get the window rolled up quickly enough and clouds of dust came bursting into our car. It would appear that these logging trucks were in charge on these back roads. 

We continued down the road and it became progressively more rough. Giant rocks were scattered so densely it was impossible not to hit them as we rolled along. i own an all-wheel drive Honda Element and it became pretty clear that these cars weren't not meant for this terrain. As we bounced along at a very slow speed the suspension began making all kinds of squeaks and sounds. It was only about 7 or maybe 8 miles into the forrest but it took us over 30 minutes to reach our destination. But it was worth it, our campsite was not close to anything except a "Moose Bog". It's nice that they don't make the sites on top of each other. You really get to experience camping in the wilderness all alone (except for the Moose, Bears, Bull Frogs, Mosquitos etc.).

We got our camp set up to the symphony of Bull Frogs in the bog and through the swarms of mosquitos that were trying to eat us alive. These must be a super strain of mosquitos, the Deep Woods Off wasn't keeping them away and they were biting us right through our clothes. But for the beautiful scenic view and serenity of the Maine woods i was willing to donate a few pints of blood. It made me think about all the people who had summered in the Rangeley area over the years and that these mosquito families had been biting prominent people for many years. People like president Herbert Hoover, who used to summer there.

The Gray Ghost fly tied by Carrie Stevens in 1924.

The Gray Ghost fly tied by Carrie Stevens in 1924.

In 1924 a woman named Carrie Stevens, a self-taught fly tier from Upper Dam, Maine wrote, "I made another cast and gave my fly three or four lively skips when this large trout struck it and dashed away at a terrific speed. I expected any moment it would run out all my line or reach the foaming white water before i succeeded in stopping it." This fish she caught on a fly she tied of her own design won second place in the 1924 Field & Stream Fishing Contest. The fly she used was known as the Gray Ghost. Carrie originated well over 150 patterns that have been extremely successful in luring fish in the Rangeley area. Now collectors seek out original Carrie Stevens streamer flies and pay many hundreds of dollars for a fly that once sold for less than a dollar.  

The late 1920's and 1930's were known as the "Golden Age" for the hotels and larger sporting camps in the Rangeley area. Families from large cities on the East Coast would "summer" there. During this time Rangeley met it's visitors sophistication by bringing in chefs, silent movies, orchestras, and ballroom dancing. But World War II changed the dynamics of the area. People stayed home to devote time to the war effort. At the end of the war there was a noticeable change in previous trends of summer vacations. The vacationing public was becoming more mobile and were no longer content to stay in one place for an extended period of time. Larger hotels lost popularity to motels and the cabins of public sporting camps and cottage communities were sold off to individual owners to use as summer homes. This ended the prosperous hotel era of Rangeley.

We made our back into town to meet our Seaplane pilot Keith Deschambeault. My partner Erin had never flown in a small single engine plane and i could sense her anxiety as she studied the small aircraft floating on the lake. It was a beautiful day with hardly any wind so i was confident it would be a smooth first ride for her. We boarded the plane and Keith started the engine and we started skiing across the lake and eventually lifted off. As we drifted above the tree line and the landscape began revealing itself i knew we made the right choice for seeing the area. You really start to see how far out in the wilderness you are as buildings and roads start to disappear.

View from the Seaplane of the Rangeley Lakes Region.

View from the Seaplane of the Rangeley Lakes Region.

He pointed out several locations he flies people to that cannot be reached by roads. The natural beauty of the land was truly breath taking. We flew around cliffs and over so many different bodies of water i couldn't keep track. He had country music playing through the earphones and was telling us stories about all of his adventures flying and landing in the Maine wilderness. We banked around a cliff and then over a pond as he took the plane down close to the tree line to show us a small pond that had at least six Moose and a deer hanging out. He told us of a time he landed on that pond and realized that it wasn't deep. i guess the Seaplane only needs at least five and a half inches of water to land on, but this pond was very shallow. He took the plane down for the landing and mud blasted all around him but he was able to maneuver in such a way he did a 180º turn as he landed and he was able to take back off and not get stuck.

Seaplane view of cliffs in Rangeley Lakes Region Maine.

Seaplane view of cliffs in Rangeley Lakes Region Maine.

Keith landed the plane and we made our way back to the dock. He is an excellent pilot and an amazing tour guide. He is very knowledgeable about the area and the history of Rangeley. After thanking him for that incredible experience we made our way back into the wilderness to our campsite. The Bull Frogs were even louder and seemed to have multiplied in the bog. i built a fire and we sat there awaiting the sun to set. As it grew darker the forest seemed to come more alive. My hearing became more acute and the rhythm of the Bull Frogs created an amazing atmosphere. Unfortunately the skies clouded up so we couldn't see any stars, however i'm sure they would be amazing as there is virtually no light pollution. We made some dinner over the fire and had a few beers and settled in to our tent for the night.

We fell asleep quickly enough enjoying the soothing sounds of the forest. i thought i heard a Moose sneeze at one point but that only made me feel content that we were a long way from civilization. At about one in the morning the rain came. It was dumping buckets of water on our tent and yet the Bull Frogs continued to sound their strange rhythms. The rain continued all night and by morning the tent was starting to flood. We packed up the gear and headed into town to try and find some early morning coffee and breakfast. We made or way to the BMC Diner in Rangeley.

The rain did not let up the entire morning so after breakfast we decided that we would have to come back and try fishing another time. The style of vacations has changed in Rangeley since the "golden era" but the region is still a highly popular summer destination. The historic Rangeley Inn (formally the Rangeley Tavern) still stands downtown as a symbol of the Hotel Era. If you are looking for an incredible adventure and want to take a step back in time visit Rangeley. i will most definitely be returning to try my luck with the legendary Brook Trout.

Written by : henrY Leiter


If you would like to see more photography work by : henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio pages at: www.henryfoto.com   

Sustainable Farming Education - Hershberger Family Farm Field Day by henrY Leiter

Hershberger's Family Farm Field Day - Sustainable Farming Education - Sugarcreek, Ohio

A few years ago i volunteered for OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association), and had the opportunity to make some photographs at the Hershberger Family Farm Field Day event. The event is organized by the Family Farm Field Day Committee and the Small Farm Institute, a nonprofit committed to the development, promotion and support of Ohio's small family farm agricultural and forestry ventures within the Appalachian region of southern Ohio. The event is largely focused on sustainable farming practices, and low impact farming. It attracts between 4,000 and 5,000 people annually, and moves locations every two years to keep fresh people and energy involved in it. You do not have to be a farmer to attend, and the event is free and open to the public.

A family walks across the field, at the Hershberger Family Farm Field Day. |  © : henrY Leiter Foto

A family walks across the field, at the Hershberger Family Farm Field Day. |  © : henrY Leiter Foto

There are many different activities to attend during these events. Including seminars on cheese making, homemaking, bread baking, timber management, composting as well as many other topics. There were also free demonstrations and lectures on alternative energy, beekeeping, natural resources, grazing, the farmstead, and the homestead. There were even nature hikes and birding walks for the children.

Amish and Mennonite children swinging. | : henrY Leiter Foto

Amish and Mennonite children swinging. | : henrY Leiter Foto

This event is focused on preserving the heritage of Ohio's small family farms through lower energy agricultural activities that promote family lifestyles revolving around the farmstead and homestead. It was a particularly interesting experience for me, because the event consisted of primarily Amish and Mennonite families from Ohio and Pennsylvania. Some families however, traveled all the way from the west coast, and there was even one Mennonite family from Mexico. i grew up in rural, central Ohio, and there were many Amish communities located just a short drive from us, but i never really got to know anyone from the communities or that much about them.

Children running to the food at The Hershberger's Family Farm Field Day. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

Children running to the food at The Hershberger's Family Farm Field Day. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

However, when i was young, my grandpa would take me to the livestock auctions that were always heavily attended by the Amish farmers. i remember watching the Amish children standing in a circle, playing different games with each other to pass the time. They were always smiling and laughing and they seemed to have a much better time with each other than the groups of kids at my Elementary School. i'm sure it was a case of the "grass is always greener" perception, but i found their lifestyle intriguing and mysterious and i always wanted to know more about them.

Cooking demonstrations. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

Cooking demonstrations. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

So as an adult, i was excited to attend this event, and have the opportunity to discuss the lifestyle and food production with many of the farmers. Because of their lifestyle, it surprised me to learn that the majority of Amish farms are non-organic. i suppose i just assumed with their stewardship to the land that they didn't use chemicals in their agricultural practices. One of the reasons for this, is people like me, assume that because it is Amish grown, even if it isn't certified, it must be "all naturally" grown. So going through the expense of converting their farm to organic, even though they would quickly recoup the cost with the organic certified premiums, they still don't feel like it makes sense from a marketing standpoint.

Children with balloons. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

Children with balloons. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

Many farms in the Amish communities however, are becoming certified organic and there does seem to be a growing concern about sustainable practices. Several of the farmers at the event are part of the Organic Valley cooperative that is based in La Farge, Wisconsin. Organic Valley is made up of 1,834 farmer-owners who are spread out over 32 states and three Canadian provinces that practice sustainable, organic agriculture. These events are a great place to promote these sustainable practices, and to educate other farmers about the benefits of it. The Hershberger Farm, where it was held, is a certified grass-fed dairy farm, which was convenient for those who are curious to see to see how it all works, and hopefully reduce some of the fears and concerns associated with converting. 

Horses in the parking lot. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

Horses in the parking lot. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

One thing i noticed at this particular event was the level of organization. Even with thousands of people showing up at a medium sized family farm in horse-drawn buggies, cars, trucks, bicycles, walking, and on tractors, there didn't seem to be any chaos. The patience that was displayed was quite impressive. The food lines were a sight to see as well. Everyone lined up in perfect lines as if it were a military operation, and waited calmly for their turn. Considering the volume of people that moved through possibly six lines where the food was being served, it all happened very quickly. It was strange to observe considering the impatient scene at most state fairs or amusement parks these days.  

Children with bubbles floating. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

Children with bubbles floating. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

It was a wonderful experience to visit the farm and to become more familiar with the Amish and Mennonite lifestyles. Events such as these seem extremely useful in educating people who aren't necessarily exposed to the same media about the food situation in the world. Farming is obviously a large part of many of their lives, and being educated about the dangers of non-sustainable practices is the first step.         

Traditional Amish Buggies parked on the hill. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

Traditional Amish Buggies parked on the hill. | © : henrY Leiter Foto

If you would like to see more photography work by : henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio pages at: www.henryfoto.com

: feeding ME with Tim Karu and Jacob Krueger - Mercury Inn Modern Sustainable Lodging by henrY Leiter

: feeding ME is a project we started in 2012 that explores the independent, entrepreneurial spirit of Maine by interviewing local food purveyors and artisans. With environmental portraits and interviews we will tell the story of the individuals who are behind Maine's local food community. It includes markets, restaurants, farms, Bed and Breakfasts, etc. To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com


Tim Karu and Jacob Krueger - Owners / Inn keepers of The Mercury Inn, Portland, Maine.

Tim Karu and Jacob Krueger - Owners / Inn keepers of The Mercury Inn, Portland, Maine.

Meet Tim Karu and Jacob Krueger, the owners and inn keepers of The Mercury Inn - Modern Sustainable Lodging, located in Portland, Maine. They purchased the historic Victorian home that was formerly known as the Wild Iris Inn, in October of 2013. After running it for six weeks they decided to re-brand the Inn to better reflect their personalities and passions. They have done an amazing job with creating the Mercury Inn which is committed to environmental and economic sustainability and is a Green Certified Inn. The Inn is named after Mercury, a deity from ancient Roman mythology who among many things, was a protector and guide to travelers. 

Their backgrounds weren't in hospitality, but Tim and Jacob were looking for a way to be able to work together, and to do something they were passionate about. They love home improvement projects and are both very passionate about the Portland, Maine food scene, as well as sustainable business practices. It would appear that inn keeping was a natural fit for them. They love being able to share their menu with guests and to also suggest other places and activities around town. Even though they are somewhat new to the inn keeping business, they seem to have a real handle on creating a spectacular guest experience.

During the renovations they tried to keep the integrity of the original Victorian style, but wanted to modernize it. When creating the Mercury Inn, they also decided to exercise good environmental practices. Some of the things they did to reduce their carbon footprint: sourced vintage and locally made furniture for all the guest rooms and common areas, replaced all the light fixtures with low-energy LED bulbs, re-painted the interior using Mythic Non-Toxic Zero VOC paint, they recycle and compost everything possible, and provide soaps made from natural, plant-based ingredients in reusable dispensers. They also work primarily with local farms to source their ingredients. 

The breakfast menu at the Mercury Inn, is seasonally-based and made from locally-sourced ingredients. It is very important to Tim and Jacob to be able to work with local farms to ensure the quality of the food that they serve to their guests. Being dependent on what ingredients are in season, they also practice food preservation techniques such as canning and also use a root cellar so they can serve local produce year round. They do a buffet-style breakfast every morning that includes a large spread of selections. It includes egg dishes such as cheddar and chive mini quiche's, and frittatas. It can also include homemade granola, baked goods, fresh fruit, and yogurt served in mason jars mixed with Maine Maple Syrup, honey, or even a blueberry compote.

Tim does most of the cooking at the Inn, however his husband Jacob, and their assistant inn keeper Hank, also help out in the kitchen. Tim's mother, who is known for her exceptional cooking and hospitality, is his main inspiration. He grew up watching her cook and at an early age learned to appreciate well-prepared food. The culinary passion seems to run in his family as his uncle was also a chef at a well-known restaurant in New England. Tim said that creating the menu with seasonal ingredients can be challenging, but it's the "good kind" of challenge that he has come to really enjoy. He uses some of his mother's recipes, but enjoys finding new ones to get a base to start from, and then to add his own variations to them. 

If you are traveling to Portland and would like to have a delicious locally-sourced breakfast, and be hosted by two extremely dedicated and environmentally conscious people, the Mercury Inn is a fine choice. 

The Mercury Inn 
273 State Street
Portland, Maine 04101

+1 (207) 956-6670 or +1 (844) 730-7800
www.mercuryinn.com

: feeding ME with David Parker - Morrill Mansion Bed and Breakfast by henrY Leiter

: feeding ME is a project we started in 2012 that explores the independent, entrepreneurial spirit of Maine by interviewing local food purveyors and artisans. With environmental portraits and interviews we will tell the story of the individuals who are behind Maine's local food community. It includes markets, restaurants, farms, Bed and Breakfasts, etc. To view more photography work by henrY Leiter Foto please visit the portfolio section: www.henryfoto.com


David Parker - owner / innkeeper of the Morrill Mansion in Portland, Maine

David Parker - owner / innkeeper of the Morrill Mansion in Portland, Maine

Meet David Parker, owner and inn keeper of the Morrill Mansion Bed and Breakfast, located in the historic West End of Portland, Maine. He is an extremely nice guy with a real passion for what he does. He was born and raised in Augusta, Maine and his love for this beautiful state is obvious as he said to me, "I can't imagine living anywhere else." 

David bought the 1800's era Italianate mansion eight years ago, which was once the private home of Charles Morrill, the co-founder of B&M beans. It's hard to believe after seeing the immaculate condition the house is in now, that when he purchased it, it was a neglected six-room apartment building. He had to completely renovate the house and did most of the work himself, excluding the electrical and plumbing. The attention to detail is impressive. It now has eight guest rooms, all with their own in-suite private bathroom, and two guest common rooms with one on the first floor, and one on the second floor. 

David had owned and operated garden centers for twenty-two years before he purchased the mansion and decided to convert it into a Bed and Breakfast. His friend had bought an Inn in the area and he helped out for a year previous to making the decision. But with his strong work ethic it isn't surprising that he has been very successful at it. He has not taken a vacation in the eight years the Morrill Mansion has been open. i know that from my former inn keeping experience that this kind of work can be extremely exhausting. The hours are very long, and in a city like Portland that attracts visitors year round, you seldom get a day off. David seems unaffected by this though as he smiles frequently and has an extremely positive attitude with nothing but endearing things to say about his guests.

Growing up, one of six children, with parents who worked, David learned his way around the kitchen pretty early in life. When his mother passed away he inherited the 2000 page family cookbook that seems to be a special treasure in his family. He creates a menu, and prepares a breakfast buffet for his guests daily. It includes fresh baked goods like muffins, and hot entrees like stuffed french toast, buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote, and his ever-popular lobster soufflé that guests rave about.

The breakfast service is from 8 - 10 AM, and guests are welcome to arrive whenever they wish during that time. He also provides to-go breakfasts, and guests are welcome to eat in the dining room or take their breakfast back to their rooms for privacy. All of the rooms are equipped with mini-fridges as well. From the reviews, it also sounds like his homemade Whoopie Pies are quite a treat in the afternoons! 

For David, meeting guests from all over the world seems to be what drives his passion for his amazing hospitality. He seems to really enjoy hosting a variety of people and providing an amazing experience for them. With different customs, languages, and even people from different regions of the United States there is seldom a dull moment while inn keeping.

If you are visiting Portland, Maine and are looking for a Bed and Breakfast experience, staying with David at the Morrill Mansion seems like a fine choice. Being in the West End, it is conveniently located to the Arts District and Longfellow Square. 

Morrill Mansion 
249 Vaughn Street
Portland, Maine 04102

+1 (207) 774-6900
www.morrillmansion.com