Hood wants Maine amateurs to enter 4th annual cook-off

The 2012 Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off will be held in Rhode Island instead of Portland this year, but Hood is still looking for Maine cooks who would like to enter the contest for a chance at winning $10,000.

The fourth annual cook-off will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence on Oct. 21. In previous years, the contest was held at Portland’s Ocean Gateway.

The event pits amateur cooks from all six New England States against each other in five recipe categories: breakfast/brunch, lunch/dinner (entree), soups/chowders, appetizers/side dishes and dessert. Semi-finalists from each New England state will be chosen for each category, then the semi-finalists will compete for the grand prize in a televised cook-off later the same day.

The deadline for entries is at 3 p.m. Sept. 10. It’s free to enter, and cooks are allowed to enter one recipe in each category. The only catch: Each original recipe must include at least one “eligible” Hood product.

For a list of eligible products, or to learn more about how to enter the contest, go to hood.com.



Chef will host tapas dinners Sept. 19, Oct. 17 at restaurant

Boston chef Ken Oringer will be hosting two special dinners this fall at his Maine restaurant, Earth at Hidden Pond, located at 354 Goose Rocks Road.

On Sept. 19 and Oct. 17, Oringer will prepare tapas dinners that will include paella, house-made chorizo and oven-roasted meats, among other dishes, all paired with Spanish wines.

The dinners will cost $130 per person, which includes wines. For reservations, call 967-6550.



Cellardoor Winery’s Vinfest set for weekend of Sept. 28

Bettina Doulton, owner of Cellardoor Winery, has announced the schedule for this year’s Vinfest, an annual weekend-long fall celebration featuring food, music and activities such as winery tours and grape stomping.

The weekend will kick off Sept. 28 with a dinner dance that is already sold out, although there are still a limited number of concert and dessert tickets available for $65 per person. The evening’s entertainment will be Swingshift, Jesse Campbell from the NBC show “The Voice” and an appearance by The Commodores.

The following day, Sept. 29, there will be live music, barbecue, food and wine pairings, grape stomping, winery tours, chef demonstrations, rides, games and other activities all day at the winery for $10 per person. The event begins at 10 a.m.

On Sept. 30, “A Gatsby Affair” from 2 to 6 p.m. will feature Charleston dance lessons with Roddy Caravella, followed by a tea dance with Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra. Croquet, badminton and tug o’ war games on the lawn will round out this all-ages event. Tickets are $50 per person, or $10 for students 18 and under.

For tickets and more information, call 763-4478, or go to mainewine.com.



Five-course dinner benefits battle against kids’ hunger

Share Our Strength Maine will hold a “No Kid Hungry” dinner to fight childhood hunger Sept. 9 at the Black Point Inn on Prout’s Neck.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 and a live auction at 7. On the menu will be grilled quail, poached duck neck and lamb vindaloo.

The five-course dinner will be hosted by William Brenner, chef at The Point restaurant, who will be joined by guest chefs Rob Evans of Duckfat in Portland and Brian Hill of Francine Bistro and Shepherd’s Pie in Rockport.

The cost is $250 per person, and seating is limited. For reservations, call 883-2500.


The Black Point Inn is located at 510 Black Point Road.


Maine Farm Supper debuts Sept. 15 at First Universalist

After years of hosting traditional bean suppers, the First Universalist Church at 97 Main St. will begin hosting farm-to-table public suppers beginning Sept. 15.

The first Maine Farm Supper will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Live music and outdoor displays showcasing local farmers will keep diners entertained before it’s time to sit down for a meal of grilled chicken, sweet corn, salad and apple crisp with whipped cream.

Advance tickets are available in Yarmouth at Rosemont Market and the Royal Bean on Main Street; Clayton’s on Route 1; and in Freeport at Royal River Natural Foods on Route 1.


Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 8 and younger. Tickets may be available at the door, but seating is limited to 200, and the church expects to sell out. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Royal River Conservation Trust, whose mission includes the protection of working farms.


Organic farm’s celebration features dinner, live music

Once again it’s almost time for Rippling Waters Organic Farm’s Soil to Supper community dinner. This year’s annual harvest celebration takes place from 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at the farm at 55 River Road.

Before an organic and vegetarian meal, guests can take a tour of the farm’s permaculture gardens and listen to live music by Britta Pejic and Les Frenchmen, Gin Mill Julep, the Pineries and Pierce Woodward. Music starts at 3:15 p.m.

Dinner will be served at 4 p.m. and features a menu of baklava, vegetarian chili, vegetable lasagna, spanakopita, cauliflower marranca, Spanish green beans, fresh picked sweet corn, squash soup with mint parsley pistou, kale mushroom crepes, a variety of salads (including potato salad, a grain-based salad, cole slaw and pasta salad), corn and zucchini bread and tomato garlic yeast bread. A variety of desserts will be offered as well as soft drinks from Maine Root and Green Bee Soda.


The farm asks for a $10 donation for dinner. For a small additional donation, guests can enjoy assorted beers and wines.

For more information or to reserve a spot at the dinner, call 642-5161 or email greengrower@ripplingwaters.org.


Julia Child’s biographer appearing at bookstore

Bob Spitz, author of the new Julia Child biography “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” (Knopf $29.95) is vacationing in Maine this week and will make an appearance at Longfellow Books in Monument Square on Thursday.

Spitz will be at the store, located at One Monument Way, at 4 p.m. for a book signing and meet-and-greet.


Call 772-4045.


Chef will prepare 7 courses at Five Fifty-Five on Sept. 12

Matthew Delisle, chef de cuisine from L’Espalier in Boston, will prepare a seven-course meal featuring products from L’Espalier’s farm at Five Fifty-Five on Sept. 12.

The evening will begin with an optional hors d’ouevres and cash bar from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., and there will be one seating only. Seven courses, including wine, will cost $150 per person.

Watch for more details about the menu on the Press Herald’s food blog, Maine a la Carte.


For reservations, call 761-0555.

Five Fifty-Five is located at 555 Congress St.


Farm-to-table chefs vying at Harvest on the Harbor

Four local chefs have been chosen to compete in this year’s “Top of the Crop: Best Farm to Table Restaurant” competition at Harvest on the Harbor.

The chefs competing on Oct. 25 for the title of “Maine’s Best Farm to Table Restaurant” are Eric Flynn, executive chef at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport; Jeff Landry, executive chef and owner of The Farmer’s Table in Portland; Shannon Bard, executive chef and co-owner of Zapoteca in Portland; and Kevin Walsh, executive chef at Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport.


The chefs were selected based on their farm-to-table philosophy, relationship with local farms and the extent to which their restaurant menus reflect the farm-to-table movement on a year-round basis.

The chefs will compete on stage at Harvest on the Harbor in front of a live audience from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Ocean View Room at Ocean Gateway. Audience members will get to taste appetizer-sized portions of each dish, paired with wine selections chosen by a wine educator. The event concludes with a dessert demonstration and tasting.

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at HarvestOnTheHarbor.com.


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