September 27, 2013

Competition heats up for Maine Lobster Chef of the Year contest

Harvest on the Harbor also announces finalists in the Maine's Best Farm to Table contest.

By Meredith Goad
Staff Writer

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Maine Lobster Chef of the Year finalists, from left: Jon Gaboric from Natalie's in Camden; Shanna O'Hea from the Kennebunk Inn; Brandon Blethen from Robert's Maine Grill in Kittery; and Chris Long from Natalie's in Camden.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Maine's Best Farm to Table Restaurant finalists, from left: chefs David Levi from Vinland in Portland; Kerry Altiero from Cafe Miranda in Rockland; and Chad Conley from Gather in Yarmouth. Chef Richard Hanson from Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro in Ellsworth, also a finalist, was absent.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

Wine lovers will be able to make their own wines in a wine-blending seminar with the vintners of Lyeth Winery in Sonoma County, Calif.

Fans of craft brews can attend a tasting featuring Oxbow Brewery beers paired with oysters and cheese, Whitten said, and "learn about their unconventional approach to crafting contemporary, American farmhouse ales which they tout as loud beers from a quiet place."

That event is almost sold out already.

The competitors for another returning event, "Top of the Crop: Maine's Best Farm to Table Restaurant," were also announced Thursday.

The finalists will be chefs Chad Conley of Gather in Yarmouth, Kerry Altiero of Caf?iranda in Rockland, Richard Hanson of Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro in Ellsworth, and David Levi, who will open a restaurant called Vinland in Portland in November.

Chef Sam Hayward of Portland's Fore Street restaurant, a longtime advocate of farm-to-table fare, will be the emcee.

Chefs for the Top of the Crop and the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competitions were chosen by a committee of four local chefs who reviewed competitors' bios, read about their farm-to-table philosophy and reviewed their submitted recipes.

Altiero, who won Maine Lobster Chef of the Year last year, said today's farm-to-table movement is actually just a return to Maine's culinary roots.

"My Italian grandmother would say, 'Kerry, this is nothing new. It's just the way it used to be,' " he said.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

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