Chef and Spirit Elites Prepare for Harvest on the Harbor Kick-off Event Tonight; A Chat With The Chefs!

Alan Cook, executive chef, at the Portland Regency Hotel (R) with a Staff Member (L)

Alan Cook, executive chef, at the Portland Regency Hotel (R) with a Staff Member (L)

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 309)

The harbor from the Ocean View Room was spectacular as always, but no one inside the Room was taking note – chefs and beverage vendors were busy setting up for the kick-off event tonight.  It’s the first night of the three-day  Harvest on the Harbor at the Ocean Gateway on the Hill waterfront.  Tonights event is the Grand Tasting on the Harbor – and grand it is.  

Tonights event, the Grand Tasting, was sold out as it was last year.  This year is a repeat appearance  for Alan Cook, Executive Chef for the elegant Portland Regency Hotel & Spa  at Twenty Milk Street in the Old Port.  “So many people tried to get tickets for tonights event, but the event was sold out,” he said.  “I’m sure that if the space were double this size, double the tickets, at least, could be sold. For the people who don’t eat seafood, Chef Cook prepared leaves of Belgian Endive filled with a Roast Duck, Native Apple and Sundried Cranberry Salad entree.   “It’s a nice opportunity to get together with other chefs in the area to compare the summer,” he said.

Making his company’s first apearance at the Grand Tasting was Bob Henkins for Maine Distilleries, LLC who makes Cold River Vodka, Freeport. The vodka is made from potatoes grown in Fryeburg and the water comes from the Cold River aquifer in western Maine.   Said Henkins, (spelling of last name ?!), “This event is a great exposure to a crowd that appreciates what Maine has to offer in terms of great chefs and great wines.  We will be back,” he said grinning.  The company is 4 years old.

Trap Landry, Executive Chef, for the venerable Black Point Inn on Prouts Neck,  in Scarborough was just beginning to prepare for serving his house cured fennel and Lemon Artic Char with Chevre and Salmon Roe on a Salted Cracker. The Char is native to Finland.  Chef Landry invites the public to visit Black Point Inn and witness for themselves all the wonderful changes that have been made in recent years!

Another of the elite restaurants represented  at the event was the dramatic 136 year old  Cliff House Resort & Spa, Ogunquit.  Sous Chef Steven Bernstein was making his first appearance at the Grand Tasting event even though the Cliff House participated last year.  Chef Bernstein brought to the tasting table a Chocolate Pretzel Tart with Maine Sea Salt and a Fall Sugar Pumpkin Sip with Seasoned Pepitas.  “We all hve our specalilties and our niche, but we think of each other as part of a special community.  With the slowing down of the busy summer season, we’ll take some time to explore and discuss other styles,” he said.  

“Down East” magazine and Hannaford Brothers co-sponsored the event.   Harmon’s and Barton’s provided floral arrangements.   

Please visit for more inforation on the weekend events.