Meet Our 2017 Claw Down Chefs!

Ralph Smith – Mine Oyster – Raw Bar & Gathering Place

Chef Ralph C Smith II, here today representing Mine Oyster, one of his three restaurants in Boothbay Harbor Maine.  Ralph has been in the restaurant and hospitality business his whole life.  He started working at the age of 13 at Rehoboth Beach Country Club.  In a span of over 9 years Ralph worked as a dish washer, prep cook, line cook, bus person, waiter and bartender. This is where Ralph learned he had a thirst for the food and beverage hospitality business.




Karin Guerin – The Boathouse Bistro Tapas Bar & Restaurant

Chef Karin Guerin grew up on a farm in Austria where her family grew their own produce and raised their own livestock.  Inspired by her mother, Karin developed and appreciation for farm fresh ingredients.  At 19, she was under the wing of a Master Chef who honed her skills at a five-star resort in the Austrian Alps! Karin’s influence and inspiration is evident throughout the menu and tapas style format. She brings over 25 years of experience to the Claw Down Competition!



Kelly Patrick Farrin – Carriage House Restaurant

Kelly is the chef and owner of the Carriage House Restaurant in East Boothbay. A Boothbay and Southport native, Farrin’s culinary journey has come full circle. Starting as a short-order cook at Boothbay’s Andrews’ Harborside right out of high school, his interest was peaked. Stints at Boothbay Harbor’s Rocktide Inn and the Church Street Tavern in Burlington, Vermont each brought elevated degrees in volume of service as well as an introduction to fine dining, which led to his earning a degree in the culinary arts at the New England Culinary Institute in 2008. From there it was the Hot Tin Roof in Key West, Florida, and back to Maine at Azure Café in Freeport as Sous Chef. Farrin earned the title Lobster Chef of the Year in 2010 at Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor. This opened the door to a position at Primo in Rockland, Maine where Farrin worked under his mentor, Chef Melissa Kelly. In the spring of 2016 Kelly purchased and re-opened the Carriage House  Restaurant which had been closed since 2002. Farrin’s menu features fresh seafood, local farm-raised produce, local meats and the bar features craft cocktails and beer. Chef Farrin was also a judge for the 2011 Claw Down which took place at Boothbay Harbor’s Opera House. This will be Farrin’s second appearance in the Lobster Claw Down competition.


Mike Nguyen – Oliver’s at Cozy Harbor Wharf

Chef Mike Nguyen is in his third season at the beautiful Oliver’s at Cozy Harbor. He was born and raised in Lancaster County, PA and credits his strong work ethic to his father who was a Vietnamese immigrant. He is self – taught chef who has been fortunate to have worked under some great chefs over the past 14 years. Chef Mike takes pride in incorporating the freshest of local ingredients.  He currently splits his time between Southport in the summer months and Sugarloaf in the winter months.




Nathaniel Adam – Boothbay Harbor Country Club

Nathaniel found his passion for food at an early age. Born in Detroit, MI and raised in Bonita Springs, FL, Chef Nathaniel has 8 years of culinary experience mostly in country clubs. At the young age of 22, Chef Nathaniel is the Executive Sous Chef at the Boothbay Harbor Country Club during the months of May through October, and is a private chef in the winter months in southwest Florida. Chef Nathaniel is a modern American chef executing global cuisine with classical French technique. He is dedicated to sourcing the finest of ingredients and treating them with the proper technique to achieve maximum flavor. He can often be seen harvesting fresh herbs and vegetables from the onsite organic garden at the Boothbay Harbor Country Club.



Jonathan Dexter – Linekin Bay Resort

Chef Jonathan returned to Linekin Bay Resort this season as the head Chef! Chef Jonathan comes with twenty-seven years of experience in various establishments ranging from hotels to private clubs and some of Portland, Maine’s best restaurants. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University located in Providence, Rhode Island.




Daron Goldstein – Feast Maine Catering


Stanley Hornsby – Cod’s Head Fish House & BBQ

Stanley Hornsby, 31, grew up on the North Shore of Boston. Inspired by his parents who owned a restaurant on Bailey’s Island, Maine, Stan started working in professional kitchens at 14. Knowing that he wanted to pursue the culinary arts, Stan started his career education early, earning a culinary arts certificate from the North East Vocational Program in high school. He later attended Macintosh College, earning an associates degree in business management and the Le Cordon Bleu certificate in culinary arts. After college, his inventive works were enjoyed by Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds on the set of The Proposal where Stan worked in motion picture catering. Stan went on to become the executive chef in the kitchens of Capri Seaside International Grille and Black Swan Country Club. Deciding it was time to pursue his dream of returning to midcoast Maine, Stan came to Boothbay Harbor, first as the sous chef at the Thistle Inn and Linekin Bay Resort. He is currently the executive chef at Cod’s Head Fish House & BBQ, a member of the Boothbay Harbor Restaurant Group.



Dick Reid – The Thistle Inn

Dick Reid probably considers himself more of a business man than a chef. But somehow with all the twists and turns life brought him, Dick’s office was always in the kitchen cooking. Through his 8 years in the pizza business starting as a General Manger at Sabaros, with stints on the line at Damariscotta River Grill and The Anchor Inn, food & cooking has long been a passion for Dick. As the new owner of The Thistle Inn Restaurant, Dick is almost always in the kitchen on either side of the line, carefully watching and perfecting each dish as it leaves the kitchen. Under the guidance of Thistle Executive Chef, Michael Whitney, Dick has grown even further with in his mastery of preparation and execution, creating flavorful guest experiences for those who dine at The Thistle Inn.



Daniel Lynch – 1820 House @ Smuggler’s Cove

Chef Daniel Lynch from the 1820 House and from South Jersey!   Daniel went to culinary school at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia Pennsylvania has cooked in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and all over the United States! He still has the passion and desire to make everyday a better day as a culinarian.