Get your ticket for Portsmouth 'hidden kitchens' tour

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PORTSMOUTH — If you've ever wanted to check out the view from Carnegie Tower, you'll have your chance during the seventh annual Hidden Kitchens of Portsmouth Tour organized by the Portsmouth Public Education Foundation on Friday, May 10. It's just one of seven stops on the tour of unique kitchens, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Newport Fed is sponsoring the tour, which is the Foundation's principal fund-raiser. The Foundation provides educational excellence grants for programs and opportunities not offered through the standard curriculum in Portsmouth’s public schools.

"All the money raised is given as grants in the public schools," said Marilyn Brockway, president of the Foundation. "We usually raise between $9,000 and $10,000 and that goes directly to the schools."

The event began after a suggestion by Cynthia Bogart, a Better Homes and Gardens editor and a former Foundation' board member, who knew of fund-raising kitchen tours going on in New York.

"It is an unusual fund-raiser, but I was on the computer and I typed in 'Portsmouth kitchen tours' and I got Portsmouth, New Hampshire," said Ms. Brockway. "They're also doing one in May."

Homes for the tours are often owned by friends, or "friends of friends," she said. "But often we ask some of the builders about homes they've just renovated or finished, and ask if anyone would like to show their homes," she said.

Once again the tour visits Carnegie Abbey — at a cottage and a condo in the tower. ("We were hoping to get the penthouse," Ms. Brockway said). Both are still for sale, she said. The tour will also visit homes in Common Fence Point, Braman’s Lane, Lawrence Farms, Prescott Point and Spring Hill Farm.

There will be free food and beverage tastings from local restaurants, caterers and merchants, including Allen’s Wine & Spirits, Becky’s Barbecue, Bellevue Wine & Spirits, Custom House Coffee in Middletown, Crystal Spring Water, Empire Tea & Coffee, Evelyn’s, Fatulli’s Bakery & Deli, Fieldstones, The French Confection, Milk & Honey Bazaar, Narragansett Brewery, Russell Morin Fine Catering, Scampi and Tito’s.

"We've really been fortunate in the past several years," said Ms. Brockway, adding that the Foundation is grateful to vendors for donating food.

Tickets are $30 per person, are tax-deductible, and may be purchased in advance at www.portsmoutheducationfoundation.org, or at Corey Farm, 3124 East Main Road. If they're still available, tickets can also be purchased the day of the event at Clements' Marketplace, 2575 East Main Road, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Clements' will also be the first stop on the tour, where you can pick up your map.

For more information, e-mail info@portsmoutheducationfoundation.org or call 401/862-4447.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.