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Chef Series | Wine + Food Sail With Chaval: Coastal Italy And Islands

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    Sun, August 6, 2023 (11:30 AM - 1:30 PM)

Maine State Pier
Maine State Pier, located at 56 Commercial Street (where Commercial Street meets Franklin Street).
Portland, Maine 04101
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Cost: $165 advance / $175 day of (if available)

11:30- 1:30 PM Maine State Pier | Portland, Maine

Must be 21 years of age or older.


If these are not the best thing going on in Portland in the Summer, we don’t know what is. Sommelier Erica Archer has invited some of her favorite chefs in Portland to join her on a select few of our season-long wine sails to pair five delicious courses with five delicious wines.

Today two James Beard Nominated and Finalist Chefs, Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez Co-Owners of Chaval and The Ugly Duckling, come on board to prepare five courses of regional Italian Street food paired with wines from Coastal Italy and Islands.

You're in for incredible wine, food, and sailing experience as you sail through Maine’s pristine Casco Bay with scenic views of Maine lighthouses, islands, and waterways. You'll walk away knowing a lot about wine, how regional influences impact wine styles and quality, gain confidence knowing how to evaluate, select, and pair wines, and describe what you smell and taste. And no doubt, you will taste and learn a lot about the incredible food Chefs Sansonetti and Lopz have prepared for you.

We recommend getting your tickets soon if you’d like to join us. These events sell out quickly!

Menu TBA

Due to the nature of this event, we regret that we cannot accommodate food substitutions.

Your Chefs

Chef Damian Sansonetti, a Pittsburgh native, grew up exploring fresh, local ingredients, making pasta with his grandmothers, curing meats with his grandfather, and assisting his father in the family kitchen. A career in food was practically his birthright. After graduating from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Sansonetti worked at Nantucket’s Brant Point Grill and Pittsburgh’s Steelhead Grill, moving to New York to open Heartbeat in the W Hotel. Sansonetti met Daniel Boulud while working at Shallots in Midtown and eventually took a position at Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne. Training rigorously under Chef Olivier Muller, Sansonetti became chef de banquet at Daniel and then sous chef under Jean Francois Bruel. Promoted to executive chef of Bar Boulud in 2008, Sansonetti was named a 2009 StarChefs.com Rising Star and, in 2022, a finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Northeast. Now ensconced in the burgeoning food scene of Portland, Maine, Sansonetti’s partnered with his wife, Pastry Chef Ilma Lopez (a 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef and nominated in 2018 for a James Beard Award as Outstanding Pastry Chef), to open their Italian fine dining restaurant Piccolo and in 2017 Chaval. Sansonetti was a 2022 finalist for the James Beard Award, Best Chef Northeast.

Chef Ilma Lopez has worked in some of the most demanding and rewarding kitchens in the industry, such as DB Bistro, Corton, Tailor, El Bulli, Café Boulud, and Le Bernardin. When she left New York City to the quieter reaches of Maine, Lopez found a new terrain she couldn’t resist. Arriving with a mastery of colors, flavors, textures, and spices—and a seasoned ability to work under pressure—Lopez makes classic dishes her own, with attention to micro-detail and thoughtful twists. For her work, Lopez earned a 2014 StarChefs Coastal New England Rising Star Pastry Chef Award, Has been a multiple-time James Beard top-Chef finalist, and you may have seen her name in the September issue of Bon Appetit Magazine highlighting her incredible talents when naming Portland, Maine as their pick for Restaurant City of The Year. You can find her daily at their new bakeshop and luncheonette The Ugly Duckling.

Your Sommelier

Archer is a true oenophile, having obtained high levels of certification in her field. In 2010, she was awarded the Wine Spirit and Education Trust Level Three Advanced Certification in Wines and Spirits (with merit), became a Sommelier in the American Court of Master Sommeliers, and received her Certified Wine Professional award from the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. Erica is the principal of Wine Wise, a wine education and events service. She is skilled at creating truly creative and memorable wine experiences that take guests beyond a typical tasting with her intimate understanding of what makes each wine unique. And she’ll do it with her trademark sense of humor.

The menu will be available close to the date of the event as Chef takes his inspiration from only the freshest local ingredients. Due to the nature of this event, we regret that we cannot accommodate food substitutions.


We depart from the Maine State Pier, located at 56 Commercial Street (where Commercial Street meets Franklin Street). You’ll receive a more detailed email a few days before your event. Please refer to our FAQ page for answers to questions you may be wondering about.


Because of our size, cancellations affect us significantly. If we are able to re-sell your tickets, we can refund your ticket price minus the $20.00 credit card transactions we have to pay OR reschedule you to a different date that has availability (there is no credit card transaction fee in this case). You are always welcome to send a friend or family member in your place or sell your own tickets. Just make sure we have the ticket holder's email address so we can send them the event notifications, so they are aware of where to find us, and any day-of weather-related notifications. There are no refunds or reschedules for no-shows or if we are not able to resell your tickets. Makes sense, right?


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