Troy Mains, executive chef at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, has been named the 2018 Maine Chef of the Year by the Maine Restaurant Association.

Mains, a Georgetown native, has worked at the inn for six years. He joins a long line of career chefs who honed their skills at the historic inn, including Sam Hayward, Chris Bassett, Jason Loring, and Melody Wolfertz.

Mains, 40, said in a statement that he is “humbled and honored” by the news. He will receive the award March 27 at the Maine Restaurant Association’s annual awards banquet at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.

The Maine Chef of the Year must exhibit a passion for the profession and a desire to share their enthusiasm with the next generation, according to the Maine Restaurant Association. The selection committee considers both reputation and staying power. The award is not about being the hottest chef in town, or cooking the fanciest food, but rather about being an integral part of a restaurant’s operation and producing consistently excellent food.

Anyone may nominate a chef, but the nominee must be a member of the Maine Restaurant Association. Mains was nominated by his mentor, Michael Gagne, formerly of Robinhood Free Meetinghouse in Georgetown and now owner of Gagne Foods in Bath. Gagne was Chef of the Year in 2008.

Mains is a self-taught chef who started his career at age 14, when he got a job washing dishes at a restaurant.

Harraseeket Inn owner Chip Gray called Mains “a real pleasure to work with, extremely talented and creative.” He said the chef possesses the “very rare ability to handle a private dinner for six or Thanksgiving dinner for 1,000 with equal skill and perfect results. He’s a wonderful team builder and has a great sense of humor.”

The association has also chosen the owners of King Eider’s Pub in Damariscotta as Restaurateur of the Year. More awards will be announced soon.

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

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