Natalie's Long named Lobster Chef of the Year
Portland — The Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2013 was crowned after this year’s lobster cook-off competition held Oct. 24 at Portland,four-day food and wine event, Harvest on the Harbor.
Two-hundred audience members and a panel of judges voted and selected Chef Chris Long of Natalie's at the Camden Harbor Inn as their Lobster Chef of the Year 2013.
Chef Long provided a cooking demonstration and samplings of his dish, butter poached Maine lobster ragout and thyme butter, for the audience and judges.
The judges included Chef Abby Freethy, Northwoods Gourmet Girl; Emily Lane, Calendar Islands Maine Lobster; and Kathleen Fleury, Down East Magazine. Celebrity Chef Michele Ragussis from the Pearl Restaurant in Rockland and a finalist of the Food Network's show "The Next Food Network Star," emceed the event keeping the audience entertained.
Long started his career as a kitchen leader at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago between 2005 and 2007 after finishing the New England Culinary Institute in 2002 and the Greenbriar Culinary Apprentice Program in 2004.
Long was the executive chef at 1515 Restaurant in Denver, Colo. between 2007 and 2008. He also held other executive positions including at Black Cat in Boulder, Colo. and EOS in San Francisco.
Presented by the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, the annual Maine Lobster Chef of the Year cook-off competition helps celebrate and showcase Maine's peak lobster harvest season by giving esteemed Maine chefs the opportunity to vie for the prestigious title.
The cooking competition also included three other chefs. Chef Shanna O'Hea of Academe at The Kennebunk Inn, Executive Chef Jon Gaboric of Natalie's at The Camden Harbour Inn and Executive Chef Brandon Blethen all competed.
“All four chefs did an exceptional job representing Maine lobster during its peak harvest season and showcasing innovative new ways for people to enjoy Maine Lobster,” said Marianne LaCroix, acting executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative in a news release. “We are proud to host this annual competition and pleased to partner with Maine’s premier food and wine event, Harvest on the Harbor, which allows us to share this special event with people from all over the country.”
At the competition, the winner received a check for $1,000 and plaque indicating the prestigious title of Lobster Chef of the Year. The three runner ups received $500 each.
Copies of the recipes by all three contestants can be found at lobsterfrommaine.com.
The Lobster Chef of the Year competition is a part of the larger Convention + Visitors Bureau's culinary event Harvest on the Harbor held annually at Ocean Gateway in Portland.