Television travel host Anthony Bourdain was on hand Jan. 4 as several members of an informal group that has been meeting every other week for the past two and a half years in Thomaston Harbor gathered to sail single-handed boats known as Lasers.

Bourdain is the author of “Kitchen Confidential” and is a 28-year veteran of professional kitchens. His Emmy-winning Travel Channel series “No Reservations” is now in its sixth season.

Winds on Jan. 4 were clocked at about 15 mph with temperatures in the 30s. Despite the bitter cold, Bourdain and his film crew joined the die-hard Mainers for their usual round of racing, which resulted in a number of capsized Lasers, including the boat carrying the world traveler that was skippered by Chris Biggart of Thomaston.

Others who race regularly from Biggart’s boathouse come from all parts of the state of Maine.

Following about an hour and a half on the water the sailors and television crew adjourned to Biggart’s loft where Primo Executive Chef and Proprietor Melissa Kelly and members of her staff had prepared a hot and spicy Provencal Bread and Fish Soup, made with local haddock, leeks from the Primo garden and roasted tomato and pepper rouille for thickening. The soup was served with grilled country bread and fresh oregano. Also on the menu were N’duja sausage, Rocchetta cheese from Northern Italy and fresh breads made at the Rockland restaurant.

Bourdain said he found Maine full of “intriguing eccentricities” and added that Primo, where he had spent the previous day filming, had long been on his list of restaurants to visit.

“North of New York, that’s who you would go to see,” he said of Kelly.

Following the races and lunch in Thomaston, Bourdain and his crew planned to visit Conte’s on the Rockland waterfront before traveling to Milo to experience Maine’s interior and hunt for hare. Bourdain said their next destination would be the Virgin Islands where the staff would be rewarded for their more rigorous adventures.

Primo’s Rockland location is closed for the season and will reopen in early May. Other locations are in Tuscon, Ariz., and Orlando, Fla. For more information about Primo, visit

The “No Reservations” visit to Maine will air on the Travel Channel Monday, April 12 at 10 p.m. To learn more about the program, visit

The Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at