When nominees for the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast were announced in spring 2010, Maine chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of Arrows in Ogunquit were on the list…again. Nominated for this most prestigious award six times, this was the year they took home top honors. Mark and Clark now join the ranks of the many other chefs in Maine who have earned James Beard Awards, nominations and other accolades for culinary excellence.
Just glance at any national list of top chefs or stellar restaurants, and Maine shows up again and again:
- In addition to Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of Arrows, Rob Evans of Hugo’s, Melissa Kelly, now at Primo in Rockland, and Sam Hayward of Portland’s Fore Street Restaurant have won the James Beard Award, the most coveted of all culinary honors.
- Food and Wine Magazine editors named Steve Corry of 555 Congress Street, in Portland, one of the “The Best New Chefs in the U.S. in 2007.” In 2004, Hugo’s Rob Evans won this award.
- When Gourmet Magazine issued its latest (2006) selection of the 50 Top Restaurants in the U.S., Arrows in Ogunquit and Portland’s Fore Street made the list (at numbers 14 and 26, respectively).
- Bon Appetit Magazine recently called Arrows “One of the ten most romantic restaurants in the U.S.”
- The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, with executive chef Jonathan Cartwright, is the only restaurant anywhere in New England to win both the AAA Five Diamond and Mobile Five Star awards. It also topped Conde Nast Travelers “Best of the Best” award for any restaurant at a resort worldwide.
Take a culinary travel vacation! Tasting the dishes of award-winning chefs is the perfect excuse for a Maine getaway. Search for Maine restaurants by name, town or region to find one at your destination.