Natalie’s Chef Chris Long named Maine Lobster Chef of the Year.
For Immediate Release
October 25, 2013
Gillian Britt, 207-775-2126
Chef Chris Long from Natalie’s, Camden Harbour Inn, named Maine Lobster Chef of the Year
PORTLAND, Maine – Chef Chris Long from Natalie’s, Camden Harbour Inn, Camden, Maine, was named the winner in this year’s Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition, held this afternoon during Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor.
Long was one of four Maine finalists selected to prepare lobster dishes in front of a live 200+ member audience and three select judges. Long’s winning dish was a butter poached Maine lobster with grilled local mushrooms, corn, parsnip ragout and thyme butter.
Other competitors included Jon Gaboric, also of Natalie’s, Shanna O’Hea of Academe at The Kennebunk Inn and Brandon Blethen of Robert’s Maine Grill in Kittery.
Beginning on Monday, October 28, Long’s winning dish will be on the menu at Natalie’s Restaurant. Also featured will be Gaboric’s submission: butter poached lobster with a corn and miso puree, shaved radish salad, geoduck dressing, crispy quinoa and yuzu foam.
“This was a great opportunity for Chef Long to shine,” said Raymond Brunyanszki, owner of the Camden Harbour Inn and Natalie’s. “He’s truly gifted in his ability to craft unique dishes using Maine’s finest ingredients – a talent we’re proud to have in the kitchen at Natalie’s.” Brunyanszki added, “Lobster is Maine’s most famous food, we’ve always loved Maine lobster in our kitchen. One of our most popular offerings is our lobster tasting menu, four courses of lobster dishes, each highlighting the sweet, fresh flavor of the meat. This menu is available year-round.”
Long joined Natalie’s after working as Executive Chef at Spread Restaurant in Portland. Previous experience includes working as a leader in the kitchen at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and as an apprentice to Master Chef Hartmut Handke in the Bocuse d’Or World Cooking Contest in France. Long is a graduate of the Greenbriar Culinary Apprentice program in West Virginia. He has received gold and silver medals for competing in American Culinary Federation events.
Long took home a prize of $1,000 for winning the competition.
The competition was judged by Kathleen Fleury, Editor in Chief of Down East Magazine, Chef Abby Freethy of Northwoods Gourmet Girl in Greenville, and Emily Lane from Calendar Islands Maine Lobster Company.
The Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition is presented annually by the Maine Lobster Promotion Council as part of Harvest on the Harbor.
About the judges:
Kathleen Fleury is the Editor in Chief at Down East Magazine in Camden. Since arriving at Down East six years ago, she has also served as Assistant Editor, Food Editor and Features Editor. Fleury edited cookbooks for Down East Books, including Desserted, Maine Home Cooking, and Standard Baking Co. Pastries.
Chef Abby Freethy owns and operates The Little Leaf Café and Northwoods Gourmet Girl, which produces 25 all natural pantry goods that are distributed widely throughout Maine and New England. Freethy is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Prior to moving to Maine she was a private chef in the Greenwich Connecticut area where she traveled the world with clients taking care of their culinary whims.
Emily Lane is Vice President of Sales for Calendar Islands Maine Lobster, specializing in export sales and marketing. Lane has been selling lobsters since 1991 when she worked at Claw Islands Foods. She has also worked for Portland Shellfish.Lane has served on the Maine Lobster Advisory Council and currently chairs the Maine Lobster Promotion Council. She is also company representative to the Maine International Trade Center and Maine Lobstermen’s’ Association and serves on the Board of the Maine Food Producers Alliance.
About Camden Harbour Inn and Natalie’s:
The nationally acclaimed Camden Harbour Inn consistently receives praise from publications such as Departures, Travel & Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, Yankee Magazine and Dispatches for its world-class service and amenities and unparalleled views. Awarded among “51 favorite splurges in the world” by Sherman’s Travel, the Inn attracts an upscale clientele who return often to experience one of New England’s most tranquil, inspired and treasured settings.
Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn has been called the finest gourmet eatery in Maine and is currently listed in the Diner’s Choice Award categories for Best Food, Ambiance, Service and Best Overall on opentable.com. Eater Maine named Natalie’s one of 18 Essential Restaurants in Maine and the restaurant was identified as one of the Best Meals of 2012 by two Maine-based food writers, Joe Ricchio and Nancy Heiser. Natalie’s earned 4 1/2 stars from the Maine Sunday Telegram, which called the “dining experience flawless and the food magnificent.”
Natalie’s has redefined modern, fine dining in Maine. The restaurant places an emphasis on Maine seafood and offers a four-course Lobster Tasting menu, a three-course prix fixe menu and a Chef’s Tasting menu. The Wine Spectator-honored wine list features more than 250 specialty wines.
The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday currently; reservations are recommended and may be made through OpenTable or by calling (207) 236-7008. To make a reservation at the Camden Harbour Inn, call (207) 236-4200.
The address of the Inn and Natalie’s is 83 Baview St., Camden, Maine. The Inn and Natalie’s have both earned the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award.