Fishing for Maine Seafood at Harvest on the Harbor
Mix a room full of Italian wines, savory seafood dishes, fabulous chefs, commercial fishermen and members of Maine’s growing aquaculture industry, lots of media, a good band, and the paying public, and you get a seafood stew worthy of Maine’s food and foodie capitol: Portland.
Down East is a “presenting sponsor” of Harvest on the Harbor, a major food and wine experience spread over three days, October 20 – 22, at Ocean Gateway in Portland.
I attended the opening event on Thursday, The Ultimate Seafood Splash, as a member of the media, feasted my way around the room, sampled the fine wines, visited with some of Portland’s most famous chefs, talked with important people like Paul Doiron, the editor of Down East, and Sebastian Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association, learned a lot about interesting initiatives like Glen Libby’s Port Clyde Fresh Catch fisherman’s coop and Tollef Olson’s Ocean Approved kelp business, and came away very encouraged by our state’s growing potential in value-added seafood products.
I even tried to convince one business to market goose tongue greens, a plentiful and very tasty plant that grows all over the coast. Goose tongues were a favorite of my wife Linda’s mother, and we picked and ate them every time we visited Cobscook State Park. When Lin and I were on Campobello in August, we picked and ate a lot of them.
I visited with Sam Hayward, chef/co-owner of Fore Street Restaurant and probably our state’s best known chef. He’s an avid sportsman, but today we talked about mushroom foraging, something Linda and I are really enthusiastic about, and about Redfish. I was also captivated by Sam’s presentation of a Redfish filet, procured from Glen Libby’s coop. Yummy.
Celebrity Chef Michael Ruoss of Salu offered the tastiest shrimp I’ve ever had – barbecued New Orleans style. Very spicy. I went for seconds on this one.
Tomorrow (Friday, October 21) Harvest on the Harbor presents two great events, the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition and Top of the Crop: Maine’s Best Farm to Table Chef.
Alas, I won’t be able to return until Linda and I attend Saturday’s Savory Samplings at the Marketplace, described as a “cornucopia of products for foodies, offering over 500 culinary and beverage samplings.”
My goal will be to try them all! Please join us there. I may need help!
For information, visit www.HarvestOnTheHarbor.com.