Claw Down to boast starry lineup of region’s chefs

Nineteen Boothbay region chefs are participating in the second annual Claw Down from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 19 at Ocean Point Marina.

Sponsored by the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Maine Lobster Promotion Council, the event challenges participating chefs to come up with the best lobster bite for the title of the 2013 Claw Down Lobster Bite Chef of the Year, Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice.

Guests will have a chance to taste the chef’s dishes and wines provided by Central Distributors.

Michele Ragussis, chef at The Pearl restaurant in Rockland and a finalist on “The Next Food Network Star” and “Chopped,” will emcee the event. Judges will include the Lobster Chef of the Year, Kerry Altiero of Cafe Miranda in Rockland; Lynn Archer, aka “The Queen of Clubs,” owner of Archer’s on the Pier and the Brass Compass Cafe and winner of the “Lobster Dekkah” challenge on the Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”; and Sandy Oliver, Maine food historian, newspaper columnist and author of “Maine Home Cooking.”

Participating restaurants and chefs in the 2013 Claw Down are:

1. Boathouse Bistro & Tapas Bar, chef and co-owner Karin Guerin

2. Boothbay Harbor Country Club, executive chef Geoff Cornell

3. Boothbay Lobster Wharf, chef Kosta Rigas

4. Brown’s Wharf, chef Micah Jones

5. Eventide Specialties, chef and co-owner Kim Martin

6. Fisherman’s Wharf Inn, chef John Reed

7. Kaler’s Restaurant, chef and co-owner Sam Kaler

8. McSeagull’s Restaurant, chef and co-owner Ralph Smith

9. Newagen Seaside Inn, chef Fiona Dunlap

10. Oliver’s at Cozy Harbor Wharf, chef Stacy McLellan

11. Ports of Italy, chef Fabrizio Ventricini

12. Robinson’s Wharf & Tugs Pub, chef Jason Chamness

13. The Lobster Dock, chef and co-owner Mitch Weiss

14. The Rocktide Inn & Restaurant, chef Joe Pinkham

15. The Thistle Inn, chef Michael Whitney

16. The World Is Mine Oyster, chef Steve Richards

17. The World Is Mine Oyster, sushi, vhef Harrison Maung

18. Tugboat Inn & Restaurant, chef Mike Ham

19. Windows on the Harbor, chef Patrick Jones

Cocktail attire is suggested. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased online on the website for Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce or by calling 633-2353.

Various chamber members are posting “Hot Deals” with special pricing, promotions and lodging packages on the Chamber’s website.


Tuesday preservation class all about tomatoes

It’s time to start putting up the harvest, and you can start with the tomatoes.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is holding an “Introduction to Preserving Tomatoes” workshop Tuesday taught by Kate McCarty, food preservation community education assistant.

The class will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Dr., Suite 104. The cost is $15 per person. Scholarships are available.

For more information, call 781-6099. To register online and see details of future workshops, go to: umaine.edu/food-health/food-preservation/hands-on-workshops.


Funky Bow Brewery launches CSB program

Funky Bow Brewery has become the second Maine beer company to initiate a CSB, a version of the CSA with shares of beer instead of produce. (The first was Strong Brewing Co. in Sedgewick, which employed the CSB model to fund its start-up.)

Funky Bow shares are $300, entitling members to fill one 64-ounce growler a week for 20 weeks. There’s also a one-time, $30 fee for the growlers and administration costs.

“We came up with this because we run out of beer every week,” said Paul Lorrain, who runs the brewery with his son, Abraham. He explained that the price of the shares is the same as filling a growler at Funky Bow’s weekly Growler Night: $15. “It also helps fund the brewery for things that we need without going to the credit union for a loan.”

Lorrain, who also owns Sunset Farm Organics, said the brewery has doubled its output, increasing production from 20 to 40 kegs a week. He plans to offer between 30 to 40 shares in the CSB.

CSB members can pick up their growlers from 4 to 6 p.m. at the brewery’s Friday Growler Night; at the Saco River Market from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and starting in November, at the Brunswick Winter Market at Fort Andross Mill.

Funky Bow currently makes two beers, End of the Line Pale Ale and So Folkin’ Hoppy IPA. Lorrain said he hopes to be able to offer CSB members both beers every week. A third, Five-String Oatmeal Milk Stout, dry-hopped with Madagascar vanilla beans, is coming soon.

To get in on the Funky Bow CSB, email [email protected] or call 423-9348 for an application.


Wine one of the highlights of this year’s Union Fair

Going to the Union Fair this week?

Check out the fair’s Wine Pavilion, which features more than 40 Maine wines and spirits from seven award-winning Maine distilleries, between noon and 8 p.m.

Wines can be purchased as samples or by the glass, and spirits can be enjoyed as samples or as a classic cocktail.

There will be speakers in the pavilion every day. Today, the speaker will be Bruce Olson of Tree Spirits, who will discuss fruit selection and the path he took from making spirits as a hobby to winning double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Other speakers this week include:

Thursday: Ned Wight of New England Distilling, discussing the role technology and history play in the art of distilling.

Friday: Keith Bodine of Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery will answer questions on aspects of fermentation in distillation.

Saturday: Ned Wight of New England Distilling will discuss bringing new ideas to the complex spirits market.


Stars turn out to help Arrows guys celebrate

A few good friends are helping chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier celebrate the 25th anniversary of their iconic Ogunquit restaurant, Arrows, next month.

On Sept. 22, an impressive roster of culinary stars, including chef Jeremiah Tower, former Bon Appetit editor Barbara Fairchild, renowned pastry chef Jim Dodge and Gaier and Frasier’s fellow competitors on “Top Chef Masters” season four, will join the duo at an anniversary gala. The event begins at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and Champagne on the front lawn and a tour of the Arrows garden, followed by dinner in the recently remodeled restaurant dining room.

The menu will include dishes created by the “Top Chef Masters” chefs — Patricia Yeo of Om and Moksa in Boston, Sue Torres of Suenos in New York City, Takashi Yagihashi of Slurping Turtle in Chicago and Debbie Gold of The American Restaurant in Kansas – in addition to Tower, Fairchild and Dodge.

The cost is $149 per person; $195 per person with wine. For reservations, call 361-1100.

Gaier and Frasier opened Arrows in 1988 and their second Ogunquit restaurant, MC Perkins Cove, in 2005. In 2010, they were named Best Chefs, Northeast, by the James Beard Foundation. This fall, they will open MC Medici in Boston.


Hugo’s and Eventide chefs serve farm dinner Sunday

Chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley of the Portland restaurants Hugo’s and Eventide Oyster Co. will prepare a farm dinner at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The dinner will be held at Thirty Acre Farm, 419 N. Hunts Meadow Road. The cost is $200 per person. To purchase tickets, go to outstandinginthefield.com.


Rosemont event pays tribute to tomato harvest

It’s a celebration of the tomato at Pomodoropalooza, which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Rosemont Produce Co., 5 Commercial St.

There will be tomatoes to sample, a crowd-judged tomato competition, prepared foods, a wine tasting, local cheeses and Rosemont-baked breads. Some Maine tomato growers will be there to answer your questions.

The event is free, although a $5 donation is requested to help support Cultivating Community.

Makers Market to debut at Urban Farm Fermentory

The first Makers Market at Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St., will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m. today.

The market is a place for farmers, crafters, artists and other producers to show and sell their work.

For more information, call 773-8331.

Brew Festival features beer makers from all over

The third annual Portland Brew Festival will be held Aug. 30-31 at the Portland Co. Complex, 58 Fore St.

The first session will be 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday. Saturday sessions will be 12:30 to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at portlandbrewfestival.com.

Among the brews, meads and ales that will be represented are Old Burnside from Connecticut; Angry Orchard, Boston Beer, Cisco, Clown Shoes and Harpoon from Massachusetts; Smuttynose, Tuckerman, Woodstock and Moonlight Meadery from New Hampshire; and Narragansett, Long Trail, White Birch and Woodchuck from Rhode Island and Vermont.

About 20 Maine breweries will be there, including Baxter, Bunker, Funky Bow, Infidel, Organic Peak and Maine Beer. A full list is available at portlandbrewfestival.com.

Rising Tide, based in Portland, will be serving a special release of Maine Island Trail Ale in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Maine Island Trail Association, the non-profit sponsor of the brew festival.

Between beers, festival goers can watch paddling and sailboat demonstrations, join in a beach clean-up and take part in educational events Saturday on the seawall next to the Brew Fest buildings.

There will be a fundraiser, “Beer ME, Cheese ME,” for the Maine Brewers Guild at 11 a.m. Aug. 31. The fundraiser will feature rare and distinctive beers paired with local artisan cheeses. Tickets for that event, which will end in time for the brew festival, are $20 and available at portlandbrewfestival.eventbrite.com.


Lobster, lobster and more lobster at Lobsterpalooza

Lobsterpalooza, a celebration of the Maine lobster harvest, will be held this year from Sept. 8-14 in towns throughout the Penobscot Bay region.

All during the week, local businesses will offer $10 lobster specials in restaurants. Some stores will offer free lobster with certain purchases. Inns will be offering special packages and lobster breakfasts to guests.

Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars, 503 Main St. in Rockland, will hold lobster-and-olive-oil tastings every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Sept. 12 All Aboard Trolley will have a “Nap-AH Lobster & Wine Tour” of three local wineries, with Maine lobster tastings and a lobster roll lunch. The cost is $55 per person. For reservations, call 691-9300.

The week will culminate in a lobster mac-and-cheese contest and a “lobstacle course” for kids.

For a complete schedule of events, go to lobsterfrommaine.com/lobsterpaloozacontests.aspx.

— Compiled by Meredith Goad and Susan Axelrod, staff writers


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