Maine Restaurant Week kicks off with the 2011 Signature Event | Events

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Maine Restaurant Week kicks off with the 2011 Signature Event
Events, Restaurants

PORTLAND, Maine – Expanding on last year’s legendary cocktail competition, the March 2011 Maine Restaurant Week kick-off Signature Event introduces a two-pronged dessert competition. Taking place on February 28 at the Masonic Temple in Portland from 5-8 pm, the Signature Event celebrates the priceless individuality behind Maine’s cocktail shakers and sugar shacks.

Cookies challenge cakes and cupcakes take on truffles in the “How Sweet It Is” portion of the competition, but only one can win. Guests at The Signature Event have the final say in this people’s choice face-off. Notably, many competitors are exclusively bakers and confectioners, expanding Restaurant Week’s sphere of influence beyond traditional restaurants.

People's Choice “How Sweet It Is” Competitors:
Academe, Kennebunk Inn - Shanna Horner O'Hea
Bam Bam Bakery - Bevin McNulty
Dean's Sweets -  Dean Bingham
Gritty McDuff’s - Dave French
Havana South - Mercedes Foster-Dougherty
Katie Made - Katie Capron
Kristin F. Simmons – Kristin Simmons
Maple's Organics - Kristie Green
The Salt Exchange - Patrick Tubbs
Sea Glass, Inn by the Sea - Karen Turner
Sonny's - Gabrielle Girard
Tulips Cupcakery - Stephanie O'Neil
Walters - Tony Scherrer
Whole Foods Market – Tiffany White

“The Art of Dessert” is a juried competition of Maine’s elite pasty chefs judged on taste, presentation, and creativity. The judges’ table is comprised of an elite cast of tasting professionals: Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram food writer Meredith Goad, Down East Magazine Food Editor Kathleen Fleury, cookbook author and Maine hospitality specialist Dana Moos, cookbook author Kathy Gunst, and former “Top Chef: Just Desserts” competitor and Maine native Zac Young.

Maine’s stellar bartenders join the state’s dessert masters under the hallowed walls of the Masonic Temple with their own signature concoctions. In the spirit of The Signature Event, anything goes; ingredients are limited to anything and everything that inspires them as mixologists. And as in “How Sweet It Is,” guests will decide the winner.

Signature Cocktail Competitors:

Academe, Kennebunk Inn - Adrian Trudeau
The Armory - David Boger
Azure Café - Erin Davis
Blue Sky, York - Paul Russell
Brian Boru - Jay Towl
David's - Patrick Morang
DiMillo's - Chelsea DiMillo
Great Lost Bear - Michael Dickson

Grill Room - John Myers, last year's runner up
Local 188/Sonny's - Dave Thompson
Natalie's - Tom Laslavic, last year's winner
The Salt Exchange - Tatum Thistle
Sea Glass, Inn by the Sea - Mike Worley

This event will showcase the individuality, creativity, and talents of Maine's leading bartenders and pastry chefs. Alongside cocktail sipping and dessert nibbling, guests at The Signature Event will enjoy gourmet grazing provided by Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn. The Signature Event is sponsored by Camden Harbour Inn and Maine Beverage Company and will raise money for Maine Harvest Lunch. Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance through Brown Paper Tickets.

PLEASE NOTE: No one under 21 years old will be admitted.

About Maine Restaurant Week:
Founded in 2009, this is the third year for this statewide event. Participating restaurants offer specially priced menus from March 1-12. For restaurant names, menus and special event information, visit

Sponsors of Maine Restaurant Week include: Down East Magazine, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Constellation Wines (Robert Mondavi, Estancia, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Ravenswood), American Express, Maine Office of Tourism, MPBN, Shipyard Brewing Company, Citadel Broadcasting (WHOM, WBLM, WCYY, WJBQ), Oakhurst, and Native Maine Produce.

Events, Restaurants