The 2014 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year, Stephen Richards of The World is Mine Oyster, Boothbay Harbor
The winning dish: Pumpkin Powdered, Mascarpone & Chestnut Crispy Polenta Bar with Roasted Fig Gastrique, Brown Butter Froth, Peppered Pancetta Chip & 24-Hour Cold Smoked Lobster Claw
Event emcee Kerry Alteiro, 2012 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year and chef at Cafe Miranda in Rockland, with Cherie Scott of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce
Guests voted on their favorite lobster bite.
Beth Poitras of The Porthole, Portland with her restaurant's lobster rolls.
Lobster BLT Bites on edible spoon from Sheepscot Harbour Village Resort
Johnny Cakes with Allagash and Butter-Poached Lobster, Local Veg, Sofrito from Roberts Maine Grill
Farmer's Lobster Crepe from The Phat Boys Cafe
Chef Brandon Hicks and Casey Prentice of Prentice Hospitality Group
Lobster Carbonara from Sebasco Harbor Resort
Abby Freethy, Northwoods Gourmet Girl, slices her Grilled Lobster Sandwich with Garlic Sweet Potato Chip and Sour Cherry Mustard
Chef Dwayne Whitelocke of Rocktide Inn, Boothbay Harbor
Rocktide Inn's Skylar Blue Lobster Popover
Alysia Zoidis of East End Cupcakes, Portland
Kerry Altiero announces the winners, with judges, from left: Ginny Wright, DownEastMagazine; Dick Groton, former President of the Maine Restaurant Association; Shannon Bard, Zapoteca restaurant; Harding Lee Smith, The Rooms
All photos by Susan Axelrod
It wasn’t the simplest lobster dish; not by a long shot. “Pumpkin Powdered, Mascarpone & Chestnut Crispy Polenta Bar with Roasted Fig Gastrique, Brown Butter Froth, Peppered Pancetta Chip & 24-hour Cold-Smoked Lobster Claw” sounds like it might be too much of a good thing, a bold, even risky choice in the annual Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition at Harvest on the Harbor. But Stephen Richards of The World is Mine Oyster in Boothbay Harbor made it all work, besting 9 other chefs to take the coveted title.
Richards was one of two chefs from Boothbay Harbor restaurants – both winners of the third-annual Claw Down lobster bite competition last month, which garnered them a spot at Lobster Chef. In previous years, the Lobster Chef contest has involved four competitors, cooking live on a stage in front of a seated audience; this year marked a significant change with 10 chefs and a tasting-style format.