Ragussis to host cooking competition
Rockland — As part of the Harvest on the Harbor from Oct. 24-27, Michele Ragussis will host the inaugural Cutting Edge: Culinary College Competition on Oct. 26. The True North Salmon Company will sponsor the event by providing fresh Atlantic salmon for the competition and award scholarships for all competitors.
The cooking competition will take place in the Ocean View Room at the Ocean Gateway on the Portland waterfront at noon. Ragussis, chef at The Pearl in Rockland and a finalist on the reality TV show "Food Network Star," will emcee the competition for aspiring chefs from Southern Maine Community College and Washington County Community College.
"I love cooking with Maine seafood, especially fresh salmon. It's going to be really fun to get behind these kids and see their creativity. I am excited to push them and maybe inspire them and give them a little drive to compete, since competing in this industry is fun and challenging. I think this competition was a great idea and I am proud to be part of it," said Michele Ragussis, emcee and top competitor versus Bobby Flay from this season's Food Network Star, in a news release.
True North Salmon Company will provide fresh Atlantic salmon from the Gulf of Maine for the competition as well as award $6,000 in scholarships to the first and second place teams. The members of the first place team will each receive $1,000 and members of the second place team will receive $500 each. The State Community College System and Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau will also be providing scholarships for the event, and the NorthCenter, The Maine Mall and DiMillo's Restaurant are sponsors for the competition.
The idea for the cooking competition came from Sebastian Belle of the Maine Aquaculture Association in collaboration with Andrew Lively from the True North Salmon Company as a way to promote cooking with seafood, give back to the community and inspire the next generation of Maine chefs.
"We see this competition as a way to give back to the community and showcase the benefits of cooking with seafood. By providing our fresh salmon from the Gulf of Maine, it will also mean that all the food in the competition will come from Maine. Supporting the local farmers and seafood industry in Maine are two things we are very passionate about," said Andrew Lively, marketing and communication manager for True North Salmon Company.
There are only 200 tickets available for the competition for adults age 21 and older. The Harvest on the Harbor event from Oct. 24-27 is expected to draw more than 5,000 people from 38 states and five countries during the three-day period.
For more information, or to purchase tickets to the Cutting Edge: Culinary College Competition, visit harvestontheharbor.com/experience/event/cutting-edge-culinary-college-competition.