March 28, 2012

If asked, we would proudly serve ...

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

We asked some Maine chefs and food artisans what they would feed President Obama if they had the chance. Their answers ranged from fun, casual foods to nine-course meals. Here's what they had to say:

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If given the opportunity, chef Mitch Kaldrovich of Sea Glass Restaurant would serve the president an entree of fresh-caught silver hake, “a delicious alternative to haddock or cod.”

Courtesy of Sea Glass Restaurant at Inn by the Sea

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ROB EVANS, OWNER, DUCKFAT, PORTLAND

"Duckfat is a sustainable small business that supports local agriculture and business. Our fries are made from organic Maine potatoes, we recycle 90 percent of our waste, and a cone of fries would leave President Obama one hand free to greet Portland."

DEAN BINGHAM, OWNER, DEAN'S SWEETS, PORTLAND

"We've known for several years that the president has a fondness for salt caramels from a particular western chocolatier. (Editor's note: Bingham is referring to Fran's Smoked Sea Salt Caramels in milk chocolate from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle.) About a year ago, we were able to get a box of our Maine Sea Salt Caramels as far as a Cabinet meeting, with the assistance of a friend and Cabinet member. We understand that the Cabinet members greatly enjoyed them, but unfortunately, the president was not present. Our selection would be our Maine Sea Salt Caramels, milk chocolate for the president and dark chocolate for Michelle Obama, knowing that they have differing tastes in chocolate. And we'd certainly include enough for the girls."

MITCH KALDROVICH, EXECUTIVE CHEF, SEA GLASS RESTAURANT AT INN BY THE SEA, CAPE ELIZABETH

"I have chosen a true celebration of Maine fare for the president, starting with a creamy smooth lobster bisque and mini lobster roll -- a delectable salute to Maine's most notable crustacean and the state's proud tradition of lobstering.

"For the appetizer, delicate Maine scallops are paired with pureed parsnips from Cape Elizabeth's Alewives Brook Farm.

"The entree is a light, flaky day boat catch, gulf of Maine silver hake. It is a delicious alternative to haddock or cod, and is abundant in the cold clean waters of the gulf of Maine. Silver hake has been identified by local fisherman and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute as under-utilized. Serving these lesser-known species helps sustain Maine fishermen and the health of the gulf of Maine. The silver hake is paired with a sweet local corn succotash.

"For a captivating dessert, our local apple crostado with handmade gelato is finished with a touch of Maine maple cider syrup.

"All local, and all so healthy and light -- even Michelle Obama would approve!"

WILLIAM BENNER, EXECUTIVE CHEF, BLACK POINT INN, SCARBOROUGH

Benner said he would serve the president Maine lobster, but in the form of a lobster strudel he makes at the inn. This would spare the leader of the free world the indignity of wearing a lobster bib and splattering his suit with lobster goo. The dish consists of lobster in puff pastry dough with a Newburg sauce.

"The way you cut it, it winds up looking like a lobster tail," Benner said. "And then you brush it with an egg wash, bake in the oven -- perfect. We serve that with a little grilled corn salsa and some red bliss potatoes, and then a little bit of extra Newburg sauce on the plate as well. That would be one I would definitely love for him to try. A nice oaky chardonnay would go perfectly with that."

DAVID CONNOLLY, EXECUTIVE CHEF, OLD PORT SEA GRILL, PORTLAND

Connolly has actually fed President Obama before, when Connolly was sous chef at Spiaggia in Chicago.

(Continued on page 2)

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