Portland, Maine’s, annual Harvest on the Harbor food and wine experience has become the culinary event in a state renowned for its locavore culture, in the town named “America’s Foodiest” by Bon Appetit. Since it’s inception in 2008, the October food-and-wine celebration has grown each year, fed by locals who seem to have an insatiable appetite for anything food related and culinary travelers, who want a tasting course in Maine’s best.
New events for 2011 include:
• Top of the Crop: Maine’s Best Farm-to-Table Chef
Four Maine Chefs—Derek Federico, of five fifty-five; Eric Flynn, of the Harraseeket Inn; Joshua Mather of Joshua’s; and Masa Miyake, of Miyake—compete for the coveted title, creating entrees from specified local roducts. Wines will be paired by Cellardoor Winery.
• The Ultimate Seafood Splash: Familiar Name, New Twist
Five chefs (Sam Hayward, of Fore Street; Mitchell Kaldrovich, of Sea Glass; Adam White, of Salt Exchange; Cassady Pappas, of Havana South; and visiting celebrity chef Michael Ruoss, of Salu) are partnering with local fishermen to highlight lesser known sustainable species from the Gulf of Maine: red fish, whiting, cod, northern shrimp, and pollock. This is an educational event, with opportunities to learn more about sustainably harvested seafood from the chefs, fishermen, and representatives from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Wine and other seafood is available, too.
These events join three others that serve to dish out Maine’s best:
• Grand Tasting on the Harbor
Nibble and sip your way around the room, tasting small portions prepared by local restaurants complemented by wines, brews, and spirits.
• Savory Samplings Marketplacen
A nibble of this, a sip of that… Watch culinary demonstrations and presentations; get cookbooks signed; enjoy live entertainment; and sample your way through beverages provided by more than two dozen wineries/breweries/distilleries and plentiful bites from Maine restaurants and producers
• Lobster Chef-of-the-Year Competition
The title says it all. This year’s finalists are:
Kristian Burrin, of The Seasons of Stonington, preparing Trio of Maine lobster rolls
Ryan Campbell, of Lake Parlin and Cabins, preparing Maine lobster menage a trois
Thomas Regan, a private chef in the Kennebunks, preparing slow poached lobster tail Nipponese
Complementing these signature events are other culinary-centered activities, including dinners at local restaurants.
Some events are already sold out, so if you want a taste of Maine’s best, get crackin’!