PORTLAND – Thomas Reagan, a personal chef from Kennebunk, won the title of Maine Lobster Chef of the Year on Friday with a dish that fused traditional Maine and Asian flavors.

The competition is a highlight of Harvest on the Harbor, a three-day food-and-wine festival at Ocean Gateway that began Thursday and ends today. Reagan won with his Slow Poached Lobster Tail Nipponese, a dish he said could easily be made at home.

The dish is a lobster tail slow-poached in a lemon butter sauce and perched atop a rice cake, served with orange miso coleslaw dressing.

“I think it looks like fireworks on the plate, and I hope it tastes like a celebration in your mouth,” Reagan told the people in the audience, who got to taste each of the three finalists’ dishes and vote on their favorite.

The other chefs who competed for the title of Maine Lobster Chef of the Year were Kristian Burrin of the Seasons of Stonington Restaurant, who prepared a trio of Maine lobster rolls, and Ryan Campbell of the Lake Parlin Lodge and Cabins, who made a Maine Lobster “Menage a Trois,” or Maine Lobster Three Ways.

“The voting this year was incredibly tight,” said Dane Somers, executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council, just before he announced the winner.

Mary Stocher of Scarborough, who attended the contest with her mother, Cynthia Chase, cast her vote for Reagan.

“All three were excellent,” Stocher said. “I liked the fact that I could sit down and have a whole meal of (Reagan’s dish) and I wouldn’t get tired of it. It was just amazing.”

Her mother voted for Campbell’s dish.

Reagan won the $1,000 grand prize; the other chefs took home $500 each.

“I’m so pleased,” Reagan said after his name was announced. “Thank you all very much. I hope you liked my meal. Make it at home (and) email me if you need help.”

Reagan, who is a Mason, was sponsored in the competition by Arundel Lodge No. 76, which counts among its members many lobstermen.

The chefs weren’t the only ones who got checks. Barbara Whitten, president of the Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau, handed out $500 scholarships to four culinary students from Southern Maine Community College who helped behind the scenes at the event.

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

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