Lark Hotels, the innovative hospitality brand renowned for its mischief-meets-modern inspired properties, will add another New England gem to their growing collection of boutique hotels with the historic Whitehall Inn in Camden, Maine.
The reinvigorated Whitehall, which originally opened its doors to vacationers in 1901, will drop the “inn” from its name and welcome guests back onto its rambling front porches in May 2015. The award-winning design firm Rachel Reider Interiors, the talent behind many of Lark Hotels’ distinctive looks, designed the 36 guest rooms and suites with Camden’s unique location in mind.
In addition to the hotel’s signature oversized porches, an outdoor lounge with a fire pit, shuffleboard court, and extensive common areas and lounging spaces, the hotel will feature a revolving collection of art by local Maine artists. All will pay homage to the motto of Camden — “where the mountains meet the sea.”It was important to incorporate Maine artists and tradespeople into the design, such as Angela Adams, Sister Parish fabric and other New England craftsmen,” Reider said. “Texture plays a large role in the look. I’ve tried to bring in the natural environment with materials such as highly textured grasscloth, weathered woods, aged metals, rope and wood textured wall coverings.”
Anchoring the property will be Pig + Poet, a restaurant whose vibe and menu will be crafted by nationally acclaimed chef Sam Talbot. A collaborative venture, Pig + Poet embraces Chef Talbot’s focus on a simpler way of cooking and celebrates thoughtful modern American food.
Focusing on Maine’s farmland, fisheries and game, the restaurant will feature a raw bar, signature roast pork dishes, Sam’s fresh take on lobster rolls, chowder and blueberry-sweet corn cobbler just to name few items. A charcuterie bar will offer sausages and cheese selections. The “poet” in the name is a nod to the chef’s role in the creative process, as well as a subtle wink to Edna St. Vincent Millay, a Pulitzer-prize winning poet who was discovered at Whitehall Inn in 1912.
“I’ve always loved the great outdoors and having a real connection to the food that comes out of my kitchen,” Chef Talbot said. “It’s become a bit of a cliche to say that my food is farm-to-fork, but that’s truly what it will be. Being in Camden is an inspiring opportunity for me to work with new local vendors, flavors and experiences. I have always been drawn to the water and waterfront towns and I’m excited to join the amazing food movement going on in the MidCoast, Portland and throughout Maine.”
Chef Talbot has worked in top NYC restaurants, and is a cookbook author and television personality. He was featured as a semi-finalist on season two of Bravo’s acclaimed series Top Chef, which included him becoming the viewers-choice “Fan Favorite” on the show. He was also featured in People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” issue in 2012. Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at a young age, Sam has a profound understanding and appreciation for the intimate relationship between life and food, which has served as a driving force for his cooking style and recipes, which were the main focus of his cookbook titled The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries.
A Charlotte native, Chef Talbot began his culinary training at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, where he worked under acclaimed chef, owner and mentor James Burns of J.Bistro. At 24, he made the move to New York City to become Executive Chef at Black Duck Bistro in Manhattan. Two years later, he opened Williamsburg Café, which was then nominated for best brunch restaurant in Brooklyn by the New York Post. Sam is also the former Founding Executive Chef of the uber popular Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY and the Michelin-recommended Imperial No. Nine in New York City. While at the helm at the Surf Lodge, the restaurant garnered national acclaim as a premier dining destination in the Hamptons and was named one of the world’s 20 Sexiest Bars and Restaurants by The Travel Channel.
Together, Chef Talbot and Lark Hotels are thrilled to breathe new life into Whitehall by showcasing modern American cuisine at its finest and freshest.