April 10, 2013

Food & Dining Dispatches

Compiled by Meredith Goad and Wendy Almeida

Maine Whoopie Pie Festival takes New England honor

The Maine Whoopie Pie Festival has been selected as the winner of the 2013 About.com New England Travel Readers' Choice Award for Best New England Festival or Event.

The award honors products, features and services from a dozen categories as selected by About.com readers. The Maine Whoopie Pie Festival won 60 percent of the vote in its category.

The 2013 festival will take place on June 22 in Dover-Foxcroft and, in addition to thousands of whoopie pies, feature live music, games, rides and vendors. For more information, go to MaineWhoopiePieFestival.com.

Hampden woman advances to finals of Pillsbury Bake-Off

Sarah Malikowski, an engineer from Hampden, has made it into the finals of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Malikowski and the other 99 finalists will compete Nov. 10-12 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. She'll be making her Southwest Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches in the "Doable Dinners" category.

The $1 million contest was redesigned this year to limit recipes to seven or fewer ingredients, and the dish must take 30 minutes or less to prepare, not including baking or cooling time. The changes are designed to encourage simpler original recipes.

Last year, Malikowski was one of eight finalists in the Beringer Great Steak Challenge, competing for a first-place prize of $25,000. She flew to the Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley, where she was treated to a weekend of first-class accommodations, decadent dinners and VIP tours of the valley.

The contest was hosted by the Deen brothers and will air June 6 on the Cooking Channel. You'll have to tune in to find out how Malikowski fared.


Sebago to brew yearly batch to benefit Trek Across Maine

Sebago Brewing Co. will be brewing a batch of Trekker Pale Ale on April 20 for its annual "Brewing for a Cause" event.

The event raises funds for the Trek Across Maine, a three-day, 180-mile bike ride organized on behalf of the American Lung Association of Maine. For the past four years, Sebago has had an employee cycling team entered in the trek.

Brewing for a Cause will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $100 and available at sebagobrewing.com.

Everyone at the event will be able to participate in the brewing process, sample beers, swap recipes and take a case of bombers. Lunch will be provided.

For more information, call 856-2537 or email ion@sebagobrewing.com.


Five-O Shore Road chef to replicate Tuscan wine dinners

This winter, the culinary and management teams at Five-0 Shore Road made a month-long trip to Italy, where executive chef James Walter spent time with Michelin-starred chef Richard Titi of Il Falconiere, a Relais and Chateau property in Tuscany owned by Riccardo and Silvia Baracchi.

During their visit, they were treated to a tour of the wine tasting rooms at Il Falconiere, followed by a dinner with the Baracchi family at their sister restaurant at Locanda del Molino, just outside of Cortona. (The resort and its vineyard were featured in the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun.")

The travelers were also lucky enough to have a private dinner in the villa at the Felsina Winery in the Chianti region of Tuscany. Each wine at the dinner was selected by the owner and winemaker.

Walter will be replicating several courses from both dinners at a wine dinner at Five-0 Shore Road on Thursday. The evening begins at 6:30 and costs $69, including gratuity.

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