Tradition and Innovation of Tuscan Cooking School Comes to Maine’s Hartstone Inn

A week of great food and great times awaits visitors to Hartstone Inn & Hideaway, June 4-8 in Camden, Maine.

COLUMBUS, OH, February 16, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ — A week of great food and great times awaits visitors to Hartstone Inn & Hideaway, June 4-8. The inn has partnered with Chef Benedetta Vitali, who comes all the way from Florence, Italy to share her Tuscan cooking heritage with inn guests during an intensive five-day immersion cooking school. Chef Vitali will share original family recipes, grown out of her Tuscan roots.

Each day, Vitali will provide hands-on instruction, where guests will cook 3-4 recipes for lunch and then sit down to eat and discuss the meal they’ve prepared. In addition to her cooking expertise, Vitali will demonstrate the importance of selecting quality ingredients. She’ll teach guests to use their sense of smell, touch and sight in order to pick the perfect ingredients for each of these time-honored dishes.

This one-of-a-kind cooking experience is only available to Hartstone Inn guests. The full five-day cooking school, including accommodations and most meals, starts at just $1250 for a Traditional Room (Superior Rooms are $1500; Suites, $1650). The value-laden package includes: – Five nights of deluxe accommodations (Sunday – Thursday) – Private Sunday welcome Maine lobster bake dinner on the beach at the home of Hartstone Inn Owner/Chef Michael Salmon and Wife/Innkeeper Mary Jo Brink – Hartstone Inn Apron and welcome gift – Breakfast for two each morning – Lunch each day – Six cooking courses and two tastings – Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Making class at the nearby State of Maine Cheese Company – Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar tasting at Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars – Chef-led tour of Camden Farmers Market – Wine tasting and private tour of the Cellardoor Winery – *Priced based on one class participant. Additional guest (double occupancy room), offered for $525 supplement. This exclusive package is limited to just 14 participants.
A native of Florence, Chef Benedetta Vitali has taught cooking classes around the world and is an experienced restauranteur, award-winning chef and author of “Soffritto: Tradition & Innovation in Tuscan Cooking,” a James Beard Award finalist.

Owned by husband-wife team Chef Michael Salmon and Mary Jo Brink, Hartstone Inn & Hideaway is situated in mid-coast Maine in the historic and charming town of Camden. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Salmon has served as Chef at many four- and five-star hotels and resorts, including Hyatt, Caesar’s and Sonesta Resort Hotels. Lavish comfort welcome guests with luxe furnishings, fine amenities and a culinary experience unlike any other on this scenic slice of the East Coast. A Select Registry property, Harstone Inn is just steps from the picturesque harbor, with historic Windjammers, lighthouses, marine wildlife. Secluded islands, hiking, skiing, fishing and area attractions make Hartstone Inn the ultimate getaway for couples, girlfriends getaways or groups of friends. Complete information is found at or (800) 788-4823.

Crafting a Kinder World

Michaels celebrates Random Acts of Kindness Day with $100,000 in giveaways.

IRVING, TX, February 16, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ — Random Acts of Kindness Day is Friday, Feb. 17, and to celebrate the spirit of the day and encourage others to participate, Michaels will give away more than $100,000 in gift cards at its 1,060+ stores and on its Facebook page.

Throughout the day, Michaels will randomly hand out thousands of gift cards in its stores and through Facebook to inspire people to in turn do something kind for others, such as donating their gift cards to a school, church or hospital, or using the cards to buy supplies to make a special homemade gift for someone.

“This is a fun way for us to say thanks to our loyal customers and an opportunity for them to pay it forward with a DIY gift,” said Michaels Chief Marketing Officer Paula Puleo. “We hope that our participation in Random Acts of Kindness Day will inspire our customers throughout the year.”

The unofficial holiday falls during Random Acts of Kindness Week, Feb. 13-19, founded by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization based upon the powerful belief in kindness, and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.

Customers who want to participate in the holiday with a hand-made gift can find suggested projects to share at

About Michaels Irving, Texas-based Michaels Stores, Inc. is North America’s largest specialty retailer of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall decor, and seasonal merchandise for the hobbyist and do-it-yourself home decorator. The company currently owns and operates more than 1,060 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada, and 136 Aaron Brothers stores, and produces 10 exclusive private brands including Recollections, Studio Decor, Bead Landing, Creatology, Ashland, Celebrate It, Art Minds, Artist’s Loft, Craft Smart and Loops & Threads. For more information visit

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