86 Middle Street
Portland , Maine 04101 (view map)
At Rabelais on Middle Street you can find thousands of books on food and wine, from comfortable old favorites to haute cuisine, from Southern fried chicken to molecular gastronomy. Whether you are a member of the profession and cook for a living, or a serious armchair epicure who cooks for dinner, we have inspiration for you. Rabelais also serves those inclined towards thirst. We have books on first growth wines and home beer brewing, cocktail culture and saloon society. We’re very pleased to be serving the working cooks of Portland, New England and beyond. Rabelais is intimately involved with Maine’s food community through organizations such as the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and Slow Food Portland. In addition to historical treatises on the importance of animals on the farm, we stock modern literature on seed starting, backyard chickens and season extension, among other agricultural pursuits.
Brooklyn-born Samantha served as a photo editor for Forbes, Life and People magazines before leaving corporate life to pursue a degree in Pastry Arts from the Institute for Culinary Education. She interned under James Beard Award winning pastry chef Karen DeMasco at Craft, and has worked in bakeries in New York and Maine.
Don has spent the last thirty years in the book business, specialized in 20th century arts and letters, with an emphasis on the avant-gardes, modern design and photography. In the nineties, he did a stint in the music industry, where he was an Associate Director of Artist Development for Sony Music International. Since returning to rare bookselling, he’s curated exhibitions at Volume Gallery and Jan Van der Donk Rare Books (both of NYC), and been an appraiser and cataloguer of literary and artistic archives of significance.
Samantha and Don live on a small farm in Southern Maine with their dog, cats and chickens. Together, they seek the experience only a good bottle of wine and some well-cooked local, fresh foods can provide. That is, if they can decide on a recipe.