Unity pie-baking contest — Once again Unity Barn Raisers will hold its annual pie-baking contest, in conjunction with the Harvest Supper Community Meal. Bakers have a chance to show off their culinary skills with this year’s contest, which features three ways to enter and three ways to win. Interested bakers can submit a pie following the rules, posted at unitybarnraisers.org, or bake a pie made with ingredients from Maine. There will also be a youth contest for those age 16 and under. The judging will be based on taste, texture of the crust, appearance and creativity, with a certain number of points possible for each criterion. The winners will each receive prizes donated from local businesses. Interested bakers should submit their pies by noon Friday, Nov. 6, or Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Unity Community Center. The submitted pies will be served for dessert at the Harvest Supper, held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday night at the Unity Community Center. The winners will be announced during the meal. All entrants receive $1 off admission to the Harvest Supper. For more information, call the UBR office at 948-9005.
Edible homes for the holidays — Halloween is nearly here, but we all know that Christmas is just around the corner — hey, Christmas decorations and wrapping paper are already for sale all over the place. Pairings in Winterport will start getting into the holiday spirit early this year, with its annual gingerbread house classes and competition. Starting Nov. 10, Carmen Montes from Montes Catering will lead two classes in the fine art of edible architecture, instructing students in how to make the perfect gingerbread house. On Dec. 5, the second annual Gingerbread House Competition will be held, with an evening of festivities and judging. Chefs both amateur and professional are encouraged to enter the competition and get creative with their baking — last year’s competition featured everything from fairy tale castles to traditional Christmas scenes. All houses will be raffled off, with proceeds going to Manna Ministries food banks. To sign up for classes, or for more information about the competition, call Pairings at 223-0990.
Lobster chef of the year — An up-and-coming chef won the annual Maine Lobster Chef of the Year competition last weekend at Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor festival. He’s so up and coming, in fact, that he graduated last week from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Mackenzie Arrington earned the title of Maine Lobster Chef of the Year with his dish of Roasted Lobster Tail on Braised Cabbage and Cornbread. Arrington grew up in Boothbay, with a chef for a mother and surrounded by the lobstering industry. In high school, he worked at local restaurants and attended the Bath Region Vocational Center’s Culinary Arts program. After high school, he attended the CIA, and during summer breaks worked at Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor. Arrington went back to CIA for his bachelor’s degree in hotel-restaurant management and graduated just last week, adding that degree to his associate degree in culinary arts. For a copy of the recipe, visit www.lobsterfrommaine.com.