18 Chefs vied for the title of ‘Best Lobster Bite’ on Thursday night at a sold out event
East Boothbay, Maine (September 20, 2012)—The Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce announces Chef Mike Ham of the Tugboat Inn and Restaurant as the Judge’s Choice Award in a blind judging competition for the Claw Down Chef of the Year. Jason Chamness of Robinson’s Wharf Tugs & Pub in Southport was voted as the People’s Choice Award winner of the Claw Down competition, a sold out event held last Thursday night at The Ocean Point Marina in East Boothbay. The Judge’s pick, Executive Chef Mike Ham’s bite, was a “Lobster Cannoli”, herbed cream cheese lobster stuffed cannoli with blueberry crème anglaise. Executive Chef Chamness’ bite, the People’s Choice, was a Lobster Beignet, a savory blend of local lobster, Mascarpone cheese and traditional New Orleans house-made remoulade drizzle.
Kim Martin, Chef/Co-owner of Eventide Specialties won First Runner-up Judges Choice. Her lobster bite: Lobster & brie cheese en petit choux, fig balsamic glaze. Geoff Cornell, Executive Chef of Boothbay Harbor Country Club won Second Runner-up Judges Choice with a lobster sashimi on crushed ice in an oyster shell, daikon radish, wasabi peas, pickled ginger, cucumber, and wasabi infused olive oil.
Fiona Dunlap, Executive Chef of Newagen Seaside Inn won First Runner-up People’s Choice. Her lobster bite: Savory herb crisp topped with roasted corn butter, Maine lobster, Meyer lemon drizzle & sea salt foam. Geoff Cornell, Executive Chef of Boothbay Harbor Country Club won Second Runner-up People’s Choice. Other prizes included: Best Decorated Table: Boothbay Harbor Country Club.
The more than 400 attendees from 18 states and as far away as Australia enjoyed savory lobster bites from 18 local Chefs while sipping on wines from Central Distributors. Each chef’s lobster bite was in a blind judging contest and the attendees also voted on their choice for the Claw Down People’s Choice Award for best lobster bite. Judges for the event included Susan Axelrod, writer MaineToday.com and the Portland Press Herald; 2012 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year, Chef Kerry Altiero of Cafe Miranda in Rockland and Sandy Oliver, a food historian and columnist for the Bangor Daily News. Lynn Archer, owner of Archer’s on the Pier and the Brass Compass was scheduled to be a judge but had to cancel at the last minute due to an unforeseen circumstance. Celebrity Chef Michele Ragussis, a finalist in the Food Network show “The Next Food Network Star” and “Chopped”, from The Pearl in Rockland, emceed the event along with Greg Powers.
For the second consecutive year, the Chamber is partnered with the Maine Lobster Promotion Council. Proceeds from the event helped to underwrite the cost of Claw Down® with a stipend to each participating restaurant to help cover the cost of lobster and it will help the Chamber in its efforts to bolster local businesses; serve as guardians of the region’s economic well-being; advocate on behalf of area businesses; and promote avenues of tourism for the communities of Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, East Boothbay, Edgecomb, Monhegan, Newcastle, Southport, Westport, Wiscasset, and Woolwich.
Presenting sponsors included the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce, Maine Magazine and the Brand Company, BDN Maine, Central Distributors, Boothbay Region Greenhouses, Ocean Point Marina along with the Maine Lobster Promotion Council, Ames True Value Supply, Tindal & Callahan Real Estate, BIG 104FM Blueberry Broadcasting, Marshall Tent and Event Rental, Tile Connection, Stone Cove Catering, US. Foods, The Hodgdon Island Inn, Topside Inn, Flagship Inn & Suites, The Inns at Greenleaf Lane, Dead River Company, Greg Powers Agency, Ted Axelrod Photography, Harbor Embroidery, Channel 7- BRCTV, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Hodgdon Yachts, Washburn & Doughty Associates, Lincoln Arts Festival, Martin Page, Country Coach Charters and NEMA Northeast Media Associates. Mark your calendar for the 3rd Annual Claw Down lobster bite competition on Thursday, September 18, 2014.
Angie Helton, Northeast Media Associates