I do believe that 42 of the past 61 days have been filled with rain. God awful bone drenching rain. In this time I’m either going to gain 50 pounds, because I’ve taken to gorging myself on food and smoke to get over this depression, or I’m going to end up punching someone in the throat out of frustration. And, like many, the lack of sun is slowly killing off my container garden. All that money spent at the beginning gone to absolute shite because of the weather. Bastards.
Last Thursday, like the Thursday before, gray skies gave way to rain but it failed to put a true damper on Share Our Strength’s Maine Taste of the Nation. Fourteen local chefs shared their time and talent for a great cause. Many thanks to them and to the SOS organization for a great evening.
The Beet topped oysters from Hugo’s were the first things I reached for and, I must admit, I went back several times throughout the course of the evening. The other three offerings were Pemaquids w/Sezchuan Pepper; Norumbega Oysters w/Saffron and Tabasco and Glidden Points w/Lime EVOO aioli. While I loved all of them it was the little burst of beets and horseradish, as the orb broke on my tongue, that won me over.
Sea Glass Inn’s Lobster Eclair was perfect. Though it had rained all evening, the moisture in the air never compromised the texture of the eclair shell and the salad, topped with chive flowers, was light and finished nicely with the slight tartness of the lemon.
Natalie’s was the Mrs. favorite of the evening and the one she ventured back to on our last visit of the tables. Similar to the burst of the beets from Hugos, the whole tomato gave a great textural play on traditional gazpacho and the avocado and cucumber cut the acidity very nicely.
Back Bay Grill put out the best lamb sausage I do believe I have ever had. Simply presented and simply delicious.
Steve Corry and the group at 555 had several offerings of on site made ice creams: Stout and Pretzel, Lime Mojito, Strawberry Milkshake, “Fire and Ice”–Vanilla, cayenne and shaved chocolate and Coconut with Curry Oil. The last two were our choices and, while the Fire was a bit too much for my partner, I had no problem scooping one up for myself. But, honestly, it was the Coconut and Curry Oil that nearly had me in tears as it brought back memories of Baba–a Malaysian restaurant in NYC that closed in the months after 9/11. I’ve had many plays on Coconut Curry ice cream since, but this was the closest I’ve had to their dessert that I’ve missed so much.
I could get into the not so great dishes, but the evening was too wonderful to dwell on the shite. We had a great time, were introduced to some wonderful chefs outside of the city limits and are already making far off plans to see what else those chef’s have up their sleeves.
Next Thursday, on the SMCC Campus, Share Our Strength’s Maine organization will be holding their Taste of the Nation. Weather permitting, it will be outside overlooking the ocean but, with the week out forecast already predicting rain, it’ll probably be moved into the gym. Personally, I would like to see a game of dodge ball start up.
This will be my first year attending, because of Comp tickets not because I could actually afford to drop that much money for my partner and I. I’m sure I’ll have more than a few pictures by next Friday.
Here’s the menu that was sent out last week:
Back Bay Grill, Larry Matthews, Jr., Chef/Owner
Cumberland Lamb sausage on mini brioche buns – fresh potato chips
Cinque Terre, Lee Skawinski, Executive Chef
Berkshire pork and duck terrine + Maine rabbit and pork rillete + duck liver and cognac mousse cotechino sausage with fruit mostarda
David’s Restaurant, David Turin, Chef/Owner
Ahi tuna tartar Napoleon with coconut chili and white truffle oil, sweet potato goufret
The Edge Restaurant, Bryan Dame, Executive Chef
Maine tofu with red wine emulsion
Eve’s at the Garden, Earl Morse, Executive Chef
Riesling Braised Lapin (Rabbit) – Crispy Carrot Spaetzle, Morels, English Peas, and Smoked Loin
Farmer’s Table, Jeff Landry, Chef/Owner
Braised local pork, silvery moon brie polenta, sour cherry sauce and seared salmon, honey-soy mushrooms and bok choy
Five Fifty-Five, Steve Corry, Chef/Owner
Chef’s Signature Selection of ice creams and sorbets
Fore Street, Brant Dadaleares, Pastry Chef
Brioche-vanilla bean bread pudding with rhubarb compote, rhubarb sorbet and pistachio praline
The Grill Room & The Front Room, Harding Lee Smith, Chef/Owner
Duck and goat cheese grilled cheese
Hugo’s, Rob Evans, Chef/Owner
Maine Oysters with Beet and Horseradish
Local 188, Jay Vilani, Chef/Owner
Turlu turlu (a Moroccan roasted vegetable dish)
Natalie’s Camden Harbour Inn, Lawrence Klang, Executive Chef
Fresh Chevre, Cucumber and Lobster Gazpacho, Marinated Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado Gel, Curried Mustard Seed Dressing
Sea Glass Inn by the Sea, Mitchell Kaldrovich, Executive Chef
Lobster Éclair, lightly spiced-lobster salad served in a savory Profiterole cup “Éclair” with lemon Glaze
Solo Bistro, Esau Crosby, Executive Chef
Seared all Natural Pork Tenderloin Black Quinoa and Black Lentil Pilaf Blueberry, Pomegranite, Ginger Barbecue Glaze
She’s apparently macrobiotic, but I forgive her.
Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Ajasteak is serving Kobe beef fat fries on it’s menu.