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Maine Chef Challenge planned at EMCC

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BANGOR - Three chefs will put their culinary skills to the test during the Maine Chef Challenge being held at Eastern Maine Community College later this month. Laurie Turner, resident chef at Winterport Winery; Jason Payne of Jeanie Marshal Foods and an in flight chef and caterer for private and corporate flights; along with Meghan Woodbury, executive chef at Ipanema Bar & Grill and The Reverend Noble Pub, will be whipping together three courses of their choosing from ingredients that they will be shown just moments before the competition.

"Slightly before the competition begins, they will [also] be informed of a mystery ingredient they must use, which will add some excitement and a bit of a twist," said CarolAnne Dube of Eastern Maine Community College.

The chefs will not only have the pressure of creating their culinary works of art in front of a live audience, but they'll also have a time limit in which to do so.

"They'll have 15 minutes to cook each course, so they'll be hustling," said Dube. "Each chef will have two other chefs with them of their choosing and what we anticipate is that someone may be doing the first course while two other people are working on the second course."

The judges are all vying to win over the taste buds of a panel of judges that includes Lou Kiefer, executive chef at the Bar Harbor Inn, and food connoisseur and local meteorologist Todd Simcox of WABI-TV 5.

The Maine Chef Challenge will be held on March 23 at Johnston Gymnasium at EMCC. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the competition will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 each, or $22 each if you purchase two or more, and can be reserved online at www.mainechefchallenge.kintera.org.

All proceeds raised at the event will benefit the school's culinary and hospital and tourism management programs.

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