Strawberry jam workshops will be held around Maine

It’s strawberry season – what better time to learn how to make strawberry jam?

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be holding a series of $10 food preservation workshops around the state this summer to teach people how to preserve the harvest. Strawberry jam workshops will be held Monday in Brunswick, June 24 in Gray, June 29 in Lisbon Falls, July 8 in South Portland, July 15 in  South Paris and July 19 in Skowhegan.

Times vary. The South Portland workshop will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Southern Maine Community College, 2 Fort Road. For information on times and locations for any of the workshops, or to register, e-mail [email protected] or call 780-4205.

Magazine looking for chef with healthiest approach

Cooking Light magazine is launching a nationwide search to find the chef with the healthiest, most innovative approach to cooking.
Here’s the catch. (You knew there had to be one, didn’t you?) Home cooks and culinary school grads are welcome to enter, but not if they’re being paid to cook for a living.

Entrants also have to be legal residents of the United States and be 21 years or older.

To enter, submit a three-minute pre-to-plate video of a healthy, original recipe. Four finalists will be chosen to compete in a live cook-off event at the Taste of Atlanta, a two-day outdoor food festival in Atlanta on Oct. 23-24. The Cooking Light judges will choose the winner, who will be named “Healthy Chef of the Year” and receive a $10,000 prize package including a kitchen makeover, a year’s worth of groceries, and the opportunity to become a contributor to Cooking Light magazine and in 2011.

Entries will be accepted through Aug. 14. For more information, go to

Lobster roll showdown set for Travel Channel filming

Kennebunkport will be having a lobster roll showdown June 25-27 when the Travel Channel arrives to film an episode of “Food Wars.”

The Clam Shack will be facing off against Alisson’s Restaurant in Dock Square June 25-26. The final showdown will be held at the Nonantum Resort on June 27.

For more on the show, go to

Whole Foods to host tasting of cherries, brews tonight

Cherries and beer will be on tap for tasting tonight at Whole Foods Market, 2 Somerset St.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., sample cherries in the store, then stop by the store’s beer tasting featuring Smuttynose Brewing Co. of Portsmouth, N.H.

Among the beers available for sampling will be Unibroue limited edition ale Quelque Chose, brewed with cherries in Quebec.

Three-course beer dinner on tap for Father’s Day

Five Fifty-Five will host a three-course beer dinner on Father’s Day from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

The dinner is $35 per person and may include courses such as a French onion burger paired with a Rare Vos from the Ommegang Brewery or Bangs Island mussels paired with Allagash White.

For more information or reservations, call 761-0555.

Frankies’ Franks to answer Bon Appetit editor’s queries

“The Franks” behind the Frankies Spuntino restaurants in New York will be at Rabelais Books on Thursday at 3 p.m. for a question-and-answer session with Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor of Bon Appetit.

Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, dubbed “artisanal food rock stars” by the New York Times, are the restaurateurs behind Frankies 457 Spuntino, Frankies 17 Spuntino, the Bake Shop at Frankies Spuntino, Cafe Pedlar and Prime Meats. “Spuntino” is Italian for a snack or informal meal.

Knowlton is the Bon Appetit writer who named Portland “America’s Foodiest Small Town,” a phrase Mainers have grown to either love or hate.

After the Q-and-A session, Falcinelli and Castronovo will sign their new book, “The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual” (Artisan, $24.95). The book is a collaboration with Peter Meehan, who worked with David Chang on his “Momofuku” book.

The kitchen companion includes illustrated guides to choosing the best dried pasta, instructions on the easiest way to fillet a fish, the best way to dress a salad and how to assemble an antipasto platter.

Chef making grass-fed beeffor dinner on Father’s Day

The New England Farm 2 Fork Project is hosting a grass-fed beef dinner at Raven Hill Orchard at 6 p.m. on Father’s Day.

The courses prepared by Chef Sebastian Carosi will include grass-fed local beef tenderloin with New England farmhouse blue cheese-stuffed hearts of celery; rocket and applewood smoked sea salt; coffee-rubbed grass-fed beef steak with Raven Hill Orchard applewood smoked ricotta mashed potatoes; wilted spinach and candied garlic; and cast-iron skillet-seared local veal sweetbreads with Maine-grown fingerling potato salad, orchard-smoked onions and Sebastian’s double espresso barbecue sauce.

Dessert will be local strawberry panna cotta with oak-aged black vinegar macerated strawberries.

The dinner costs $45 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 247-4455.