Countdown is on for Maine Lobster Chef of the Year


Where can you get the best lobster in Maine? It’s a tough question to crack. To keep your answers fresh attend Harvest on the Habor October 23 for a taste of the most creative crustaceans in the Pine Tree State.

This year, five chefs compete claw to claw for the Maine Lobster Chef of Year crown. The highlight of the five-day dining and food extravaganza held at Portland’s Ocean Gateway, is one part food party, one part fierce showdown.

LCOY Chefs (1)

This year’s compeition looks tough. Stephen Richards (far right) must defend his title.

Returning champ Stephen Richards of Boothbay Harbor’s Mine Oyster attempts to hold down his title, which he nabbed with the longest name in the event’s history: Pumpkin powdered, mascarpone and chestnut crispy polenta bar with roasted fig gastrique, brown butter froth, peppered pancetta chip and 24-hour cold-smoked lobster claw.

Will he tone it down this year? Go simple? Crank it up a few notches?

He’ll have some tough competitors. Matt Ginn of Portland’s raved over EVO, chef Josh Berry of Union in the swank Press Hotel, Isaac Aldrich of Pilot House at Sebasco Harbor Resort and fresh from taking the Claw Down title, Nicholas Krunkkala of The Thistle Inn are sure to dazzle.

Now in its 8th year, the event has returned to is popular format. Guests watch live cooking demos and enjoy samples of inventive dishes paried with wine. What’s not to like?

This year’s judges are a well chosen lot: Chef Larry Matthews of Back Bay Grill; Chef Steve Corry of Five Fifty-Five; chef Harding Lee Smith of The Rooms; Virginia Wright, senior editor of Down East Magazine; and Linda Greenlaw Wessel, Maine captain and author.

It may be fall, but lobster is plentiful year round. Crack out your best bibs and get your tickets now, here. See you there!

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.