Chefs from Mine Oyster and Rocktide Inn, both in Boothbay Harbor, won the 2014 Claw Down lobster bite challenge and will go on to compete for Lobster Chef of the Year at Harvest on the Harbor.
Winners Dwayne Whitlocke of Rocktide Inn (left) and Steve Richards of Mine Oyster, both Boothbay Harbor.
People's Choice winner: Fried lobster Gruyere mac n' cheese from chef Steve Richards of Mine Oyster, Boothbay Harbor
Judge's Choice winner: Popover with blueberry-cognac jam, mousseline sauce and three cheese crumble from chef Dwayne Whitlocke of Rocktide Inn
Judges, from left: Cathy Billings, Cal Hancock, Christopher Papagni
Peruvian-style lobster ceviche on a mini tostada with mango guacamole and brown butter crema from Boothbay Harbor Country Club.
Chad Penman, golf pro at Boothbay Country Club and Allyson Melchriet, the country club dining room manager.
Chef Tony Bickford of The Thistle Inn with his lobster tartare, black garlic mustard, wonton crisp.
Rachel Roberts of San Diego and her mother, Karen Roberts of Boothbay
Claw Down Master of Ceremonies Kerry Altiero, left, with honeymooners Jeff and Valerie Root from Chicago
Chef Roger Bintliff of The Tugboat Inn, Boothbay Harbor with his Maine beggars purse.
Dana and Greg Moos of Wiscasset
Chef Fiona Dunlap of Newagen Seaside Inn, Southport with her dish, savory patry with lobster mousse, lobster, tarragon oil and crispy tuiles.
The chef of The Boothbay Lobster Wharf, Boothbay Harbor with his signature lobster dip.
Lobster roe phyllo cup with lavender corn Bavarian cream from the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club
Christopher Papagni of Portland and Pam Laskey, proprietor of Maine Foodie Tours
Sushi chef Harrison Maung of The World is Mine Oyster with emcee Kerry Altiero, chef of Cafe Miranda in Rockland.
Chef Stacy McClellan of Capers, Boothbay Harbor with her lobster and corn blini
Lobster twice-baked red potatoes from McSeagull's, Boothbay Harbor
From left: Pam Baldwin and Maddie Rideout of Southport, Pam Lauzau of East Boothbay
The chef of Lobster Dock, Boothbay Harbor with his Red, White & Blue lobster dish: caramelized bacon, applewood smoked lobster and Maytag blue cheese.
Anya Arsenault of Wannawaf, Boothbay Harbor, with her lobster ice cream waffle bite.
Lobster with coconut and lemongrass in a yellow curry edible spoon from Sheepscot Harbour Village & Resort, Wiscasset
From left: Marianne Lacroix, Jennifer Hale of Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau and Angie Helton, Northeast Media Associates
Abbie and Brian Shaw of Boothbay Harbor
A sell-out crowd in the decorated boat shed.
Time Henke, Rhinebeck, N.Y. and Claire Edelman, Boston, both students at Colby College in Waterville.
Emcee Kerry Altiero with Crusher from the Red Claws.
Jase Havron and Ian Kipp, both of Colorado
Stephanie and Doug Wilcott of Augusta.
Maria Boord and Jeff Curtis of Boothbay Harbor.
Brandon Lutterman of Wiscasset won the Sea Bags raffle prize.
Warren Davis of East Boothbay and Madge Hemming of Washington D.C.
Event organizer Cherie Scott of the Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce (center) with Claw Down judges Cal Hancock (left) and Cathy Billings.
Jen and Max Ross, owners of The Thistle Inn, Boothbay Harbor.
Chef Dwayne Whitlocke and members of the Rocktide Inn team find out he won the Judge's Choice Award.
Chef Steve Richards and the crew from Mine Oyster hear that he won the People's Choice Award.
A beautiful evening at Ocean Point Marina in East Boothbay
The 18 participating chefs
All photos by Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography
A decadent nugget of fried lobster Gruyere mac n’ cheese and a luscious mini popover filled with lobster, blueberry-cognac jam and a creamy sauce took the top honors at the 3rd annual Claw Down lobster bite competition on Thursday evening. Eighteen chefs brought their best lobster game to the Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce’s sell-out event at Ocean Point Marina in East Boothbay, It drew guests from as far away as Chicago and Colorado to sample dishes like Peruvian-style lobster ceviche on a mini tostada with mango guacamole and brown butter crema (Boothbay Harbor Country Club) or crispy pork belly, cream cheese and lobster with a crispy Parmesan frico (Robinson’s Wharf & Tug’s Pub).
The two winning dishes were the creations of Dwayne Whitlocke of Rocktide Inn, who won the Judge’s Choice Award with his lobster-blueberry popover, and Steve Richards of Mine Oyster, who took home the People’s Choice Award for his fried lobster mac n’ cheese. New this year: The two winners will go on to compete for Lobster Chef of the Year at Harvest on the Harbor in Portland next month.
The evening’s emcee was chef Kerry Altiero, chef/owner of Cafe Miranda and Hardacre Farm in Rockland. Judges were Cal Hancock, president of Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.; Cathy Billings, author of “The Maine Lobster Industry – A History of Culture, Conservation & Commerce;” and Christopher Papagni, former executive vice president of the International Culinary Institute, New York City
Chef’s Choice: Jeremy Donovan, Boothbay Harbor Country Club
People’s Choice: WINNER — Steve Richards, Mine Oyster; 1st runner up — Tony Bickford, The Thistle Inn; 2nd runner up — Dwayne Whitlocke, Rocktide Inn.
Judge’s Choice: WINNER — Dwayne Whitlocke, Rocktide Inn; 1st runner up — Tony Bickford, The Thistle Inn; second runner up — Eric Garringer, Robinson’s Wharf