February 11, 2013

Maine chef makes final cut on 'Chopped'

Rob Evans of Duckfat and three others will face off in the show's grand champion round.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Chef Rob Evans, owner of Duckfat, cooks for a benefit at Flatbread in Portland on Sunday. Evans will compete for $50,000 on “Chopped Champions” Tuesday night.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

He now organizes similar events, called "No Kid Hungry" dinners, throughout the year at other restaurants. On Sunday night, he joined Sam Hayward of Fore Street and Chad Conley of Gather in Yarmouth making pizzas at Flatbread for a more casual, family-style benefit dinner. There will be another one at Gather on April 7.

"I try to rally chefs to come on board and do this," Evans said. "I don't always cook at them, but I'm there. I help them get donated food and help them figure out their menu."

The giving back is part of what Evans called a "well-balanced life," one that he can have now that he is settled on his 80-acre Limington farm, where he is raising pigs and hopes to eventually grow vegetables for his restaurant.

"For the last 25 years, I've been trying to buy land in Maine and live a rural life," he said, "but I own a business in Portland, so right now we spend half the time out in the country and half the time in Portland. It's a little bit healthier lifestyle than I had at Hugo's. I have more time for family, more time for friends, more time for my health, more time for my wife, all of it.

"It's been a nice next level for me. I think most people in my position just go off and expand, and I have no dreams of an empire. I want to make a good living and be connected to all aspects of my life."

Evans cannot reveal any of the details of Tuesday's episode of "Chopped Champions," including the outcome. He said on last week's show that if he won the $50,000, he'd probably buy a tractor.

"I'm hoping now that I've done enough PR that I can just retreat to my property out west and not have to see a TV camera anymore," he said.

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

mgoad@pressherald.com

 

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