Maine Restaurant Week 2012 – “The Signature Event” Cocktail & Dessert Competition

Maine Restaurant Week (March 1-10) kicked off this year’s festivities with The Signature Event, a competition / showcase of desserts and cocktails from participating establishments.  Guests were given bead necklaces of different colors, and voted for their favorite dessert, cocktail, and table arrangement by placing beads of the correct color around the restaurant employees who were working the table.

In addition to this method of voting, 3 judges – ( John Gertsen of No. 9 Park in Boston – master barman and expert on the history of cocktails,  Portland’s John Meyers – regarded as the best bartender in the state and also a cocktail historian, and Shannon Bryan, blogger and content producer at MaineTodayMedia) had the tough task of tasting every drink and making their choice.

Chillwave music thumped lightly in the background as the Portland Harbor Hotel’s function rooms began filling to capacity. Beads began accumulating on the necks of the chefs and restaurant employees working different tables, and things quickly became overwhelming – Do I try the habanero-infused margarita from Zapoteca first, or the dessert from Standard Baking Co. that I hear is giving people instant orgasms? Ahhh! Choices!

Somehow, I maintained my composure and had one (or ten) of most everything I photographed. The flavors, creativity, and enthusiasm of the participants was amazing. I was reminded once again how lucky I am to live in an area with such a vibrant culinary scene. Enjoy the photos, and be sure to look into Maine Restaurant Week on Facebook to stay up to date on the fixed-price menu specials running for the next 10 days.

Zapoteca's Table

East End Cupcakes - Chocolate Cupcake with Sea Salted Caramel Buttercream

Great Lost Bear's "Bloodlust"

The Great Lost Bear's table setup

The Pastel Imposible from Walter's

Amaretto Chocolate Torts from David's Restaurant

MRW Sponsor Double Cross Vodka

Drinks from the Corner Room & David's

The Dessert Winner - The Standard Baking Co.'s "Gateau Noisette"

Carrot Cake Parfait from The Frog and Turtle

Rackin' up those beads

These were AMAZING

Chef David Turin of David's and David's 388 - his back must be hurting!

David's Cocktail table setup

Hors d' oeuvres from Natalie's in Camden

The crew from Academe Brasserie in Kennebunk - Their cocktail, "Put Up Your Dukes" , along with their carnival-barker style demeanor, attracted crowds all night

The Salt Exchange's take on a dark and stormy, "The Devil's Gale"

Walter's crew putting the finishing touches on the Pastel Imposible

"Conundrum #1" - Natalie's

Bam Bam Bakery

Judge's Choice Best Cocktail - Conundrum #1, from Natalie's in Camden

Eve's at the Garden presented this Strawberry Basil Mojito

Pastries from Whole Foods

"The Golden Sun" from Local 188

Representatives from the Azure Cafe, People's Choice Cocktail winners

People's Choice cocktail - Fresh Basil Gimlet from Azure Cafe

Zapoteca's Watermelon Habanero Margarita - Truly amazing, and my personal favorite.

The Zapoteca Team

The Judges' Table

The Judges' Table

The Judges' Table

The Salt Exchange's Table

Keep these spicy margaritas flowing!

Maine Restaurant Week's Jim Britt announcing the winners

Time to count the beads!

Enthusiastic Cocktail Enthusiasts.......The Judges.

About Peter Jensen Bissell

Commercial Photographer and aspiring brewer. Documenting interesting clients, Observations on Portland life, and marketing/biz ideas for photographers,
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One Response to Maine Restaurant Week 2012 – “The Signature Event” Cocktail & Dessert Competition

  1. clarke sons says:

    This blog is good too look and well content on article..good work,,, thanks for your post…

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