PORTLAND, Maine, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2009 was crowned after a cook-off competition at Harvest on the Harbor, the three-day food and wine festival underway on Portland’s waterfront. Mackenzie Arrington, a recent graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, earned the title of Maine Lobster Chef of the Year today with his dish of Roasted Lobster Tail on Braised Cabbage and Cornbread. Two hundred lucky attendees tasted dishes prepared by three chef competitors, watched each chef demonstrate their recipe, and then voted on their favorite.
Arrington competed against Melissa Bouchard, Chef at DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant in Portland, who prepared Maple Butter Poached Lobster Tail served with Sweet Potato & Fuji Apple Bisque and Frizzles of Green Onion, and Rick Skoglund, Sous Chef at the Samoset Resort in Rockland, who prepared Butternut-Mascarpone Lobster Ravioli with Balsamic Pomegranate Spinach Salad. All three chefs were selected from a field of professional chefs who submitted recipes over the summer. A panel of judges reviewed the recipes, minus identifying information from the submitting chefs, and selected the three finalists based on a variety of criteria.
“We are proud to sponsor this annual competition,” stated Dane Somers, Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council. “The chefs did an exceptional job developing recipes that feature Maine Lobster and incorporate ingredients that share lobster’s peak fall harvest time. “Harvest on the Harbor, Maine’s premier food and wine event, was the ideal venue for crowning the new Maine Lobster Chef of the Year. This is the first year that the event was open to the public, and also the first year that the audience determined the contest winner.
In addition to tasting the three dishes prepared by the finalists in the competition, the audience enjoyed wine provided by Maine’s own Cellardoor Winery and Vineyard and Spruce Head Smoked Scallop Lobster Bisque provided by Hancock Gourmet.
Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Mackenzie Arrington grew up in Boothbay, Maine, and was practically raised in the industry, with Chef Margaret McLellan as his mom. In high school, he worked at local restaurants and attended the Bath Region Vocational Center’s Culinary Arts program. After high school, Mackenzie attended The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. During summer breaks, he worked at Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor and completed an externship at The Phoenician Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mackenzie graduated from CIA with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, and moved to Clearwater Beach, Florida to work at The Sandpearl Resort. He went back to CIA for his Bachelors Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management and graduated just last week.
At the competition, Mackenzie was awarded $1,000 in prize money and alimited edition Maine Lobster jacket. He will have a display plaque identifying him as the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year.
Copies of the recipes by all three contestants can be found at www.lobsterfrommaine.com.
Harvest on the Harbor, presented by the Greater Portland Convention &Visitors Bureau, brings nationally recognized chefs using Maine products and blends them with our own award winning local chefs in celebratingMaine as a culinary travel destination. Last fall, Harvest on the Harbor was named one of the “Top Ten Seafood and Wine Festivals” by Coastal Living magazine and it was attended by more than 3,000 foodies from Maine and around the country.
For more information on Harvest on the Harbor please visit www.harvestontheharbor.com.
About the Maine Lobster Promotion Council
The Maine Lobster Promotion Council was founded by the lobster industry and is funded by lobster license holders. The council represents the interests of the entire Maine lobster industry, including harvesters, dealers and processors, and markets and promotes the sale of Maine lobster worldwide.
About the Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau
The mission of the Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau is to stimulate the economic vitality of Greater Portland by soliciting and servicing conventions, meetings, groups, and visitors and by promoting Greater Portland as a preferred destination.
Source: Maine Lobster Promotion Council