Two Rockland chefs take first prize in cooking contest
Rockport — Lobsterpalooza, a week-long celebration of all things lobster, culminated Saturday, Sept. 14 with a farmers market, Lobstacle Course and children’s activities at State of Maine Cheese Company. in Rockport, sponsored in part by the Coastal Children’s Museum and Brooks Trap Mill.
The highlight of the day, however, was the Lobster Mac n Cheese contest, which drew 21 competitors from throughout Maine. Eight amateur chefs and 13 professional chefs went head-to-head for the honor of Lobster Mac n Cheese Champion.
Judges included Portland Press Herald Food and Features writer, Meredith Goad, author and lobster woman, Linda Greenlaw, her mother and fellow cookbook author, Martha Greenlaw, and Sean Durnam of Maine Street Meats. In both the amateur and professional category, the winning chefs hailed from Rockland. Louise MacLellan-Ruf took first place in the Amateur category with her Lobster Mac n Cheese Rockland Style dish, served in individual ramekins adorned with lobster tails. Chaz Doherty, from Trackside Station Restaurant, took first place in the Professional Category with a spicy Thai My Lobster dish, featuring Thai spices and served with chopsticks.
Additional winners were:
Amateur chefs: Second place: Allison Lakin, also from Rockland, for her Maine Lobster Sformati dish, prepared with Lakin Gorges Cheese. Third place: Deanna Zoe Smith for her Memes Lobster Mac and Cheese dish.
Professional chefs: Second place: Kerry Altiero from Rockland’s Café Miranda for his Lobster Mac n Cheese dish, featured on the Café Miranda menu.Third place: Becky Butler from Graffam Brothers Seafood Market for a crumb-topped Lobster Mac n Cheese.
Winners were presented with custom-made lobster trophies created by Capt. Ken Barnes of the Captain Lindsey House or certificates of merit created by PJ Walter of LimeRock Inn and cheese gift packs from State of Maine Cheese Company.
The Lobster Mac n Cheese contest was hosted by State of Maine Cheese Company with help in coordination from the Historic Inns of Rockland. Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine and State of Maine Cheese Company assisted contestants in making ingredients available. The second annual Lobsterpalooza celebration was brought to the Penobscot Bay region by the Maine Lobster Promotion Council, Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce, Blueberry Broadcasting, Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine, Rockland Main Street, Inc. and Historic Inns of Rockland, with support from K Stephens, State of Maine Cheese Company, Coastal Children’s Museum, FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars, All Aboard Trolley.