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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: April 15, 2015

Tickets still available for 2015 ‘Chopped Challenge’

Written by: Susan Axelrod
The 2014 Chopped Challenge chef contestants in the kitchen at Grace, from left: Karl Deuben (the winner and now owner of East Ender); Jason Williams (The Well at Jordan's Farm); Shannon Bard (Zapoteca); Chris Gould (Central Provisions). Ted Axelrod photo

The 2014 Chopped Challenge chef contestants in the kitchen at Grace, from left: Karl Deuben (the winner and now owner of East Ender); Jason Williams (The Well at Jordan’s Farm); Shannon Bard (Zapoteca); Chris Gould (Central Provisions). Ted Axelrod photo

The third-annual Chopped Challenge, which raises funds for Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Cooking Matters program, is Sunday, April 26 at 5 p.m. at Grace Restaurant, 15 Chestnut St., Portland. Tickets, $50, are still available, but the event is expected to sell out soon. Get them at eventbrite.

Modeled on the popular Food Network cooking competition, “Chopped,” the Chopped Challenge features four chefs, who cook live using ingredients from “mystery baskets;” the resulting dishes are tasted and critiqued by a panel of judges and one chef is eliminated after each of three rounds.

Competing this year: Justin Walker of Earth at Hidden Pond, David Levi of Vinland, Adam Flood of Grace and Emil Rivera of Sur Lie. Earth at Hidden Pond is in Kennebunkport, the other three restaurants are all in Portland.

I’m thrilled to be a judge for the first time, along with veterans Rob Evans, the chef and owner of Duckfat, who won Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2011 and was runner up on “Chopped Champions” in 2013; and Joe Ricchio, food editor of Maine Magazine and host of the web-based Food Coma TV.

Food at the event will be provided by b. good, Portland; Otto, Portland; Foreside Tavern, Falmouth; Eventide Oyster Co., Portland; Nosh Kitchen Bar, Portland; Artemisia, Portland; Otherside Deli, Portland; Love Kupcakes, Portland; Maple’s Organic Gelato, Yarmouth; Bayside Bowl, Portland; Windham Raymond Schools; Chef Jeff Landry from Native Maine; chef Nancy Wood of Cooking Matters; The Peter A. McKernan Hospitality Center at SMCC. A cash bar will feature specialty cocktails mixed by bartenders from Bramhall, Sur Lie, Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, and Grace.

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