6th annual Lobsterpalooza

Lobster comfort food draws a crowd for a cause

By Beth A. Birmingham | Oct 15, 2018
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham A smoked gouda and bacon lobster macaroni and cheese dish took honorable mention from the judges, but was overwhelmingly named the Peoples' Choice at the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14.

Rockland — More than 150 lobster enthusiasts sampled unique dishes at the 6th Annual Maine Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14 at the Rockland Elks Lodge, sponsored by Blueberry Broadcasting LLC.

The theme "comfort food" included lobster mixed into with such creations as cream puffs, corn chowder, macaroni and cheese, and even a lobster sausage with biscuits and gravy -- which took the top prize.

Dishes prepared by the four professional and three amateur chefs were judged on taste, lobster factor, creativity and presentation. Judges for this year's event were Sue Curtis of Maine Foodie Tours, Tom Groening of The Working Waterfront, Michael O'Leary of Down East Magazine, and "Big Al" Cohen.

Taking top honors in the professional category was Mandy Fountaine, owner and executive chef of Bar Harbor Catering Co., and Chef Matt Leddy for their lobster sausage with biscuits and gravy.

Chefs Nick Andrei and David Schultz of Husson University received honorable mention for their smoked gouda and bacon lobster macaroni and cheese. They also were the overwhelming Peoples' Choice recipients for the second year in a row.

Other professionals competing were Amy Russell and Jordan Crosby of Regional School Unit 24 Mountain View School in Sullivan with their rustic roasted corn chowder with lobster and Joseph Robbins of The Craftsman with his version of fried lobster macaroni and cheese with a brandy cream sauce and suspended raspberry foam.

Judged the best in the amateur category for the second year in a row was Maynard Stanley Jr. of Owls Head, with his lobster corn chowder. Honorable mention went to David Reckards of Cushing, who made a seafood lobster chowder.

Also participating was amateur Randall Hadsell of Liberty, who created savory lobster cream puffs.

Missing from this year's event were any local restaurant entries, which would seem to be a natural. Volunteer Paul Benjamin said he would like to see some type of challenges started up between restaurants or even fire departments to spur some local community spirit.

Along with a silent auction for a gift basket from Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars of Rockland, attendees had the opportunity to enter a 50/50 raffle, which saw David Little of Cushing take the prize of more than $100.

With 136 of the 200 tickets sold, the proceeds of $1,008 will go to benefit AIO Food Pantry and Emergency Assistance, which serves more than13,000 people a year across Knox County.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

6th annual Lobsterpalooza
From left, chefs Matt Leddy and Mandy Fountaine of Bar Harbor Catering Co. are presented the trophy and plaque for their first-place win at the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. Also shown are Paul Benjamin, volunteer and emcee, and Marilyn Quinn, Midcoast sales manager for Bluberry Broadcasting LLC, sponsor of the event. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Lobster sausage with biscuits and gravy took top honors at the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Chefs Nick Andrei and David Schultz of Husson University took honorable mention and Peoples' Choice awards with their smoked gouda and bacon macaroni and cheese at the annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Judges Tom Groening, left, and "Big Al" Cohen sample some of the dishes prepared for the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Maynard Stanley Jr.'s lobster corn chowder took first place in the amateur category at the annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
For the second year in a row, Owls Head's Maynard Stanley Jr., right, takes first place in the amateur category at the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. Presenting the award are Marilyn Quinn, left, and Paul Benjamin. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
The seafood lobster chowder dish created by Cushing's David Reckards received honorable mention in the amateur category at the annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
David Reckards of Cushing received honorable mention in the amateur category at the annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14 with his seafood lobster chowder. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
The volunteersat this year's Lobsterpalooza event are, from left,: Paul Benjamin, Karen Mehorter, Marilyn Quinn, Liz Jenkins, Linda Campbell, Mitch Kihn, Jean Benjamin, Louise MacLellan-Ruf, Lorain Francis, Michael Leonard and Kriste Ernest. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
From Orlando, Fla., and Minneapolis, Minn., are, from left, Jan and Jim Slauter and Dave and Pam Clinefelter, respectively, who saw an advertisement and attended their first Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Making the rounds at the annual Lobsterpalooza, participants got to sample some unique comfort food -- including lobster cream puffs made by Randall Hadsell, left, of Liberty. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
This group from Whitefield enjoys the offerings at the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. From left are Taylor Clark, Andrew Shaw, Katie Shaw and David Shaw. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
A group of family and friends from as far away as Connecticut attended the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14 as well as the 75th birthday celebration of Dave Landry, front right. They even had decorative muffin tins to gather their samples in. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Tom and Alicia Stevenson of Belfast and Texas enjoy the offerings at their first Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
(Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Getting a sample of the winning dish. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Judge Mike O'Leary of Down East Magazine scores the smoked gouda and bacon macaroni and cheese dish submitted by chefs from Husson University. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Lobster cream puffs were submitted by amateur chef Randall Hadsell of Liberty. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
David Little of Cushing checks to be sure he has the winning numbers for the 50/50 raffle at the Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Two of the four judges at the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza were, from left, Sue Curtis of Maine Foodie Tours and "Big Al" Cohen. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Louise MacLellan-Ruf, left, holds tickets for the 50/50 raffle while Paul Benjamin addresses the crowd at the 6th Annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Celebrating his 75th birthday, Dave Landry of Rockport shows off the specially decorated muffin tin he'll use to gather samples at the annual Lobsterpalooza Oct. 14. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Taking tickets at the front desk of the Lobsterpalooza are volunteers, from left, Lorain Francis of Penquis, Liz Jenkins, president of AIO Food Pantry, and Mitch Kihn, treasurer of AIO Food Pantry. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
(Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
(Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
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