Maine chef will vie for title of ‘People’s Best New Chef’

Maine Chef Geoffroy Deconinck will compete for the title of “People’s Best New Chef,” a new national award from Food & Wine magazine and CNN’s popular food blog “Eatocracy.”

Deconinck, a native of Belgium, became executive chef of Natalie’s, the restaurant at the Camden Harbour Inn, last fall. He will be one of 100 chefs from 10 regions of the country vying for the new award.

The winner will be determined by the public through online voting.

Deconinck, known for his innovative approach to traditional French cuisine, has worked at Restaurant Alain Ducasse in Paris and at Caf?oulud, Restaurant Daneil and Bouley Restaurant in New York City.

The “People’s Best New Chef” award is an extension of Food & Wine’s prestigious Best New Chef award, which is given to 10 chefs from around the country who have run their own kitchen for no more than five years. Portland chef Rob Evans of Hugo’s took home that honor in 2004, and Steve Corry of Five Fifty-Five won in 2007.

The Best New Chef award is chosen by the editors of Food & Wine magazine.

Voting for the “People’s Best New Chef” award begins Tuesday and runs through March 1 at


Gilbert’s wins public over in chili-chowder contest

Gilbert’s Chowder House swept first place in both the chili and chowder categories Sunday when the public voted on their favorites at the Great Chili and Chowder Challenge.

Bruno’s won second place for its chowder in the People’s Choice Awards, and the Fire and Water Fish and Chop House took third.

The Blue Burrito Cafe won second place in the chili category, and Fire and Water again took third.

There were also Judges’ Awards given out in each category by about 15 judges from the community, including law enforcement officers, media personalities, chef instructors and politicians. The judges gave first place for chowder to DiMillo’s on the Water, followed by Gilbert’s Chowder House in second and Mac’s Deli & Catering in third.

Judges’ Awards for chili went to Fire and Water Fish and Chop House in first place, the 157 Cafe at the Eastland Hotel in second and Gilbert’s Chowder House in third.

Gilbert’s Chowder House also won the award for Best Display.

The Great Chili and Chowder Challenge is an annual event that benefits Altrusa International of Portland.


Havana South wine club’s monthly meeting tonight

The monthly wine club at Havana South, 44-50 Wharf St., will meet at 5:30 tonight.

Scot Hudson of National Distributors will showcase wines from Veneto, Italy, everything from prosecco to amarone.

The tasting will begin at 6 p.m. and is usually over by 8 p.m.

For more information, call 772-9988.


Twenty bartenders qualify for Cold River competition

Maine Distilleries has chosen the 20 restaurant and hotel bartenders who will compete in the second Cold River Bartenders Bash on Feb. 28.

The bartenders were the top sellers in a two-month competition to see who could move the most Cold River Vodka and Cold River Gin through their best signature cocktails. They are:

James Ferguson of 50 Local

Josh Caron of 555

Zeus Hannah Suzette of Azure Cafe

Carly Lowell of Clementine Restaurant

Cindy Doxsey of District Grill

Megan Schroeter of East Ender

Benantonio Forgione of Eastland Park Hotel

John Myers of Fish Bones American Grill

Evan Walsh of The Frog & Turtle

Barry McEvoy of Grace

Sarah Mason of The Great Lost Bear

Eddie Costales of Havana South

Roxanne Dragon of Hugo’s

Bobby Hoye of Gritty McDuff’s Freeport

Nathaniel Meiklejohn and Jess Joseph of Local 188

Leah Chamberlin of Old Port Sea Grill

Spencer Albee of Sonny’s

Ben Bragdon, Mike Barris and Simone Burdet of The Portland Regency

Scott Doherty and Guy Streitburger of Vignola

Steve Lovenguth of Walter’s

Tickets to the event, which starts at 5 p.m., are $35 each and are available at


Nutrition expert will give talk on gluten-free eating

Nutrition expert Susan Fekety of True North Health Center in Falmouth will be at Whole Foods Market on Saturday talking about gluten-free eating. Her free talk takes place from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and will address “What’s Gluten Anyway, and Why Should You Care?”

During the presentation she’ll discuss what gluten is, where it is found, how to determine if you have a problem digesting it, and food products that often contain gluten. Fekety will also share food substitution ideas and gluten-free resources.

Following the talk, Whole Foods will offer a storewide gluten-free sampling. For more information, call 774-7711.


Live Food Dinner includes raw, vegan potluck, speaker

Jim Merkel of the New Forest Institute will be the featured speaker at the fifth annual Live Food Dinner 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Winslow Public Library.

Merkel is co-director of the institute, which maintains permaculture gardens and edible forest landscapes in Brooks.

The free dinner is a raw, vegan potluck. Each attendee should bring a dish for eight that doesn’t feature cooked, factory-processed, soy or animal-based foods.

Since space is limited, reserve your spot at 873-7404 or [email protected]