Maine Voices Live features 1:1 conversations between Portland Press Herald writers and notable Maine voices. Audience members can expect a memorable night and a chance for Q&A at the end. 

These two chefs with roots and restaurants in Maine have showcased their skills on national television as competitors, and winners, of the Food Network’s cooking game show, “Chopped.”

As executive chef of Prentice Hospitality Group, Matthew Ginn oversees menu creation and operations at Evo Kitchen + Bar in downtown Portland and Chebeague Island Inn. Ginn has been interested in food since his first job at age 14 picking strawberries at Maxwell’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth. His first culinary position was working the busy line at Five Fifty Five in Portland before moving to Boston, where he honed his skills at several award-winning restaurants, then returned to Five Fifty Five in 2012 as chef de cuisine. He and his wife are the proud parents of their son, Bryce and baby girl, Claire.

Christian Hayes is an eighth generation Mainer whose deep ties to the ocean spawned his love and appreciation for seafood. Starting as a dishwasher in his early teens, Hayes quickly found his footing at the prep table, then the pass, working his way from sports bar grub to dim sum boards. At the same time, Hayes launched a three-piece band Sidecar Radio, which released four studio records, but ultimately Hayes had to make a career choice, and he chose food. Christian and his wife, Christine, launched Dandelion Catering in Yarmouth in 2009 and are planning to open an adjacent restaurant, called The Garrison, this year.

This event took place at One Longfellow Square in Portland.

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