Portland chef looks to be crowned Queen of Seafood

Chef Dila Maloney, of Dila’s Kitchen in Portland, will compete against 13 other chefs from around the country in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off Aug. 6 in New Orleans.

Chef Dila Maloney of Dila’s Kitchen in Portland is set to compete against 13 chefs from around the country in the 18th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans.

Maloney opened Dila’s Kitchen earlier this year to showcase her Turkish heritage and family recipes, but she has been in the restaurant business for more than 15 years. The daughter of a U.S. Army veteran and Turkish national, she grew up traveling the world with her family.

To be eligible to compete in the event, chefs must either hold the current title of King or Queen of Seafood or be appointed by the lieutenant governor of their respective state or territory. This will be Maloney’s first time cooking competitively, and if she wins, she will be the first chef from Maine to be crowned in the history of the competition.

Brunswick businesses bloom

The Great lmpasta won highest honors from the Village Improvement Association in Brunswick for “its exuberant display of creative elevated display,” according to the Brunswick Downtown Association.

Second place was awarded to Shere Punjab, which enhanced its decorations with pots filled with a variety of plants.

Third place was awarded to Hatch On Maine’s painted and stenciled window boxes, while The Butchers and Bakers won the Best New Entry.


Honorable mentions were given to Jenny Station, Morning Glory and Senter Place.

Hires, promotions, appointments


Lauren Gauthier, Infectious Disease Prevention Program director at Maine Center for Disease Control, joined the board of directors at Preble Street, a human service agency.

Aaron Rich was hired by Skowhegan Savings to serve the bank’s commercial lending team as a vice president, commercial lender in Portland.


Jonathan Woodman is the new talent acquisition specialist at Atlantic Federal Credit Union.

For the third year in a row, Allie Lynch has been welcomed back as a summer intern at Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.



Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick will receive a $10,000 grant from the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation to support its school pantry program. The Foundation for Portland Public Schools in Portland will receive a $5,000 grant from Dunkin’ to support a new culturally appropriate food pantry for homeless students and their families at the Multilingual & Multicultural Center of the Portland Public Schools.

Maine Community Foundation’s Frances Hollis Brain Foundation awarded 27 grants to support early childhood, health, food security, legal and homelessness services, including Cedars Nursing Care Center in Portland for oral evaluations and dental X-rays; Greater Portland Family Promise, to find affordable housing for homeless families; and Hope Acts of Portland, to support new asylum-seekers with housing, support services and English classes.