OAKLAND — Waterville native Sean Doherty has returned to his home county as new Chef de Cuisine at Riverside Farm Restaurant and Wine Market. Most recently at The Corner Room and Boone's Fish House, Doherty said he's "working to bring a little bit of the collaborative spirit that exists in Portland to Central Maine," including guest chef and pop-up dinners. He plans to use the restaurant's 20+ acres of farm, onsite greenhouse, and vineyard to tailor his menu to what's in season. Owner Pamela Tyler said she's thrilled to have Doherty on board for the business' 25th year.
BELFAST — Ever a plant-friendly spot, The Gothic "is introducing an entirely vegetarian menu" this summer from new chef Matt Downes, per a press release. Almond gazpacho and curried sweet potato fritters with nettle chutney are a couple of the planned additions. Downes most recently cooked at famously locally-focused D.O.M., Brazil's first and only recipient of two Michelin stars. This is the fourth chef The Gothic has seen in the past year, following Jason Paul, Mike Mastronardi, and Ryan McKeown. Can Downes fill a more permanent role?
Update 5/28/15: A source noted, and a rep confirmed, that Ryan McKeown remains a sous chef at The Gothic, though he was in a leadership role before Matt Downes was hired.
PORTLAND — Tim Labonte has left his position as executive chef of The Westin's Congress Squared to return to Eve's at the Garden in a "newly created position as Regional Executive Chef for Hart Hotels," according to a release. The role will also include oversight of food service at the new Inn at Diamond Cove on Great Diamond Island, set to open in late June. Labonte will be joined by "Director of Food and Beverage" Eric Flynn, who comes to the Portland Harbor Hotel from the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport.