Lobster rolls, lobster shooters, lobster everything. It must be the 67th Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland. The midcoast harbor turns red this week as the city celebrates its local heritage and Maine’s top draw. On Thursday the producers behind Gene Simmons “Family Jewels” and “Hatfields & McCoys” will be shooting a new cooking competition TV show for a major cable network. The Maine Lobster Festival is their first stop at 9 a.m, judging starts at 11 a.m.
Amateur chefs from across the country flock to the fest to compete against top Maine cooks in an all-out seafood-cooking war. Come join the live audience. Cool off at the steins and vines beer and wine tasting from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
On Friday, the annual seafood cooking contest challenges chefs to tempt judges with their own creations from the sea. This year Elizabeth Watkinson, owner of Owls Head Lobster Co., Chaz Dougherty, chef at Trackside Station, and writer Susan Axelrod are the ones to impress. The festival runs from Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets range from $5 to $8. For more information, visit http://www.mainelobsterfestival.com or call 800-LOB-CLAW.
Booze cruise to Nova Scotia
Want to check out the new Nova Star, but don’t give a hoot about Halifax? The cruise that leaves Portland nightly joins with Shipyard Brewing Co. to offer a special beer cruise next month. On Aug. 12-13, “Sail with Shipyard” is a special round-trip voyage that includes a beer tasting and a chef-prepared, four-course luncheon with beer pairings. A Shipyard brew master walks travelers through malt and barley nuances as you cross the Atlantic. Check out the casino, full service spa and duty-free shopping between sips.
Prices for “Sail with Shipyard” start at $221, which includes an interior cabin.
David Turin cooks at James Beard House this fall
In October, the chef behind David’s Monument Square and Opus Ten in Portland, David’s 388 in South Portland and David’s KPT in Kennebunkport will cook for the food cognoscenti at the James Beard Foundation in New York City. Portland restaurateur David Turin will prepare a five-course meal with lobster, quail and lamb dishes at the storied Beard House on Oct. 21.
The talented chef, who specializes in comfort seafood dishes, will start with passed hors d’oeuvre and move to a station with carved serrano and manchego. Warm olives, an Opus Ten tradition, will be featured. This is a milestone for the unflappable Turin, who joins other Portland chefs including Shannon Bard of Zapoteca who cooked here last winter. Tickets will go on sale at www.jamesbeard.org soon.
Compiled by Kathleen Pierce