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The 2021 Maine Lobster Festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19. We hope to see you August 3-7, 2022.

Seafood Cooking Contest

Key image for: Seafood Cooking Contest

The Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest

Each year, amateur chefs compete in the annual Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest. The event attracts visitors and contestants from all over the world, as well as print and broadcast media channels.

Amateur chefs age 18 and older compete for $525 in prize money during this popular event.

A panel of judges select the winner based on creativity, suitability of the seafood to the recipe, and simplicity.



The recipes can be any dish and must contain seafood found in Maine waters.

The contest begins at 9 a.m., Friday, August 5, 2022 in the North Entertainment Tent on the festival grounds. Judging begins at 11:30 a.m., with prizes announced and awarded around 12:30 p.m. First prize is $200, second prize is $175, and third prize is $150.

The contest audience will have the opportunity to sample the prepared recipes in the cooking area and pick up the contestants’ recipes after the awards are presented.

For additional contest details, contact Celia Knight by e-mail at or call 207-542-1192.

Cooking Contest Information & Application

Applications are due July 15, 2022.


2019 Winning Recipes

1st Place - Sue Jobes (Lobster & Scallop Corn Chowder)

2nd Place - Billy Doukas (Lobster-Crab Etouffee)

3rd Place - Justice Yanik (Trio of Ceviche)

4th Place - Bobby Elliott (Tacos De Pescado)


2019 1st Place Winning Recipe: Lobster and Scallop Corn Chowder - Sue Jobes

Serves 4-6


  • 6 medium ears of corn
  • 6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, small dice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, small dice (or use 3 - 4 plum tomatoes)
  • 1 pound medium sized red potatoes, medium dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 – 4 cups Half and Half, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound cooked lobster meat
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)




  1. Working over a bowl, cut the corn kernels from the cobs. Set aside. Save two of the cleaned cobs.
  2. In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and fat is rendered. Do not burn the bacon! Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Once drained, crumble and set aside.
  3. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pot.
  4. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until they start to caramelize.
  5. Add the diced poblano pepper, jalapeño pepper, and celery, and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, salt, garam masala, allspice, sugar, bay leaf, and the reserved corn kernels. Stir well. Add the reserved cobs and cook over moderate heat until mixture begins to boil.
  7. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook the mixture until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  8. While the chowder ingredients are cooking, add vegetable oil /butter to a sauté pan. When the butter stops bubbling, add the lobster and cook until warmed through. Remove from pan, cut into bite size pieces and set aside.
  9. Dry the scallops and season with salt and pepper. In the sauté pan, sauté the scallops until cooked through. Do not overcook the scallops. Remove from pan and cut into bite size pieces.
  10. Once the potatoes are fork tender, stir in the Half and Half and milk and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and add the lobster and scallops. Cook until warmed through.
  11. Remove the soup pot from the heat. Adjust the seasonings with black pepper and salt to taste. Note: You may also want to add additional garam masala and allspice spices to your taste.
  12. Ladle the chowder into bowls. Garnish each bowl with crumbled bacon and parsley (if using).