Eight chefs faced off for the coveted Maine Lobster Chef of the Year title in Friday’s annual event, part of Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor festival, preparing dishes that ranged from lobster tacos to lobster bolognese with brown butter foam. Heads up, Portland: Chefs from Boothbay Harbor won both the judges’ and the people’s choice awards.

Chef Stephen Richards of the Fisherman’s Wharf Inn was named the People’s Choice 2017 Lobster Chef of the Year for a dish we cannot conceive of making at home, but would be eager to dine on: Smoked lobster and mascarpone-stuffed and tempura-battered zucchini blossom with truffled corn confit fondue, sticky cranberry, pumpkin seed granola and black trumpet powder. This is Richards’ second title; he was also Maine Lobster Chef of the Year in 2014. He’s lived in Maine, land of lobster, since he was 10.

The judges, all culinary professionals, deemed Boothbay Harbor Country Club executive sous chef Nathaniel Adam the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year. His winning entree was Lobster in Foliage, composed of caramelized shallot, lobster agnolotti, lobster Newburg and hazelnut brown butter. Though just 22, Adam clearly knows his way around a lobster; in September, he took the Judges’ Choice Award at Boothbay Harbor’s Claw Down competition.

The 200 guests at the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year, held at O’Maine Studios, dined on nine courses of lobster during the two-hour competition.


This story was updated at 7:44 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2017 to reflect that Stephen Richards is the chef at Fishermans Wharf Inn

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