Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Rob Evans knows what it’s like to be under the gun and wielding a knife on the fast-paced Food Network show “Chopped.” He won $10,000 on the show, and then later became a runner-up on “Chopped Champions.”
Now Evans will be on the other side of the stove, doling out mystery baskets of ingredients and judging the food of four Portland chefs in a local version of the popular show.
The Portland “episode” of Chopped will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. May 19 at Grace, the restaurant at 15 Chestnut St. It’s a benefit for the Good Shepherd Food Bank’s “Cooking Matters Maine” program, which teaches low-income families how to shop for and prepare healthy meals at home.
In 2013, Cooking Matters Maine will offer more than 100 classes in all 16 counties of Maine. Many of the classes are taught by local chefs, such as this class I wrote about that featured James Tranchemontagne, chef/owner of the Frog & Turtle in Westbrook.
The chef competitors in the Chopped-style show at Grace will be (from left to right) Mitch Gerow of the East Ender, Jason Loring of Nosh Kitchen Bar, Jeff Landry of The Farmer’s Table, and Peter Sueltenfuss of Grace.
PHOTO BY TED AXELROD
Their food will be judged by Evans, owner of Duckfat, and Joe Ricchio, food editor at Maine Magazine and host of the web-based series Food Coma TV.
Evans has been a big supporter of Good Shepherd, and recently “broke in” the food bank’s new food truck, which will travel around the state in support of the Cooking Matters program.
Tickets for the event are $40 each and available at Eventbrite.
In addition to the show, there will be a cash bar with specialty drinks, and ticket holders will get to taste food and drink from lots of local restaurants and beverage companies.
Here’s a preliminary list of the places that will be feeding you:
Eventide Oyster Company
The Foreside Tavern
Pepperclub/ Good Egg Café
The Holy Donut
Maine Mead Works
Buck’s Naked BBQ
One Fifty Ate/Pocket Brunch
New England Distilling
Cold River Vodka
Portland Hunt and Alpine Club
The Market at Pineland Farms
Polar Beverage Company
So, what would YOU put into a Maine basket of mystery ingredients? I vote for sea cucumber, which is nice and slimy. What else? Post your ideas in the comments section.Tweet
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod