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Deathmatch - Summer 2008

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Deathmatch, an occasional gathering of chefs and other restaurant professionals working in Portland Maine, considers a different challenge at each event. Each dish reflects the criteria in a unique way, with interesting, and usually wonderful results.

In the past, the criteria has been Foie Gras, Deer/Venison, Japanese cuisine, and for a visit from Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, a special Deathmatch using bizarre ingredients indigenous to Maine.

This Deathmatch, the challenge was to use ingredients that you found, grew or killed yourself, with an allowance of one degree of separation. So if your friend farms vegetables or raises chickens, the chain of acquisition is very close, short of getting it yourself (bonus points if you did). Therefore, the fresh-factor is obviously high, as is support for our local food community.


It was yet another memorable evening with remarkable food. I will attempt to break down the feast in the following posts, as well as list the local sources where it all came from.

Welcome to Deathmatch Summer 2008!

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Am I seeing things, or is that a picture of Broadturn Farm in Scarborough?

Right you are, CSASphinx. The Pickett Street Posse visited Broadturn Farm Saturday to pick up some fennel, cipollini Onions, garlic, tomatoes, various squash, fresh milk and cream, and a fabulous bouquet of flowers. Stacy Brenner and Josh have been chums for a while.

I know another team visited Sumner Valley Farm in Oxford county early Friday morning to get fresh milk, heavy cream, butter, beef lard (deep frying capabilities!), eggs, and chickens.

The party was a whirlwind as usual so when I connect with the others shortly, I'll know more local ingredient sources and what was created with them for the Deathmatch.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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While we wait to gather more details of the menu from some other Deathmatch chefs, I'll break down my contribution to the evening and show how it got to the table.


This is the Bangs Island Mussel Farm operated by Ocean Approved LLC. They are old friends from the sea urchin diving gig I had back in the '90s. Every so often they need an extra hand so I pull my boots on and meet them at six AM for a day harvesting - or seeding - rope-grown mussels.

Since I am closely involved here, mussels are the obvious choice for Deathmatch. Here are some photos I took from a trip out to the raft last year.


This is Bernie choosing a "dropper" that has market-ready mussels.

They are scraped off the rope and loaded into a conveyor for cleaning.



They are scrubbed clean of mud and barnacles, then de-bearded and bagged for retail and restaurants as far as Austin, Texas

I called Bernie and arranged to pick up 60 lbs a couple days before Deathmatch. The Pickett Street Posse worked well into Saturday night cooking them off and extracting their delicious little meats.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

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Next, it's off to see Stacy at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough for some vegetables and cream to make butter.

It's a magical place. We saw some chickens of all sizes...



Some happy pigs...


Josh decided he had to have a rack of heirloom tomatoes for his restaurant, 158 Pickett Street Cafe & Bakery


Little Flora decided she had to have a tomato right away...



Broadturn Farm

388 Broadturn Rd.

Scarborough ME 04074


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158 Pickett Street Cafe owner/chef Josh Potocki and ace co-conspirator and chef Kate Squibb round out the 'posse. They inspect the final Deathmatch bounty: fennel, cipollini Onions, garlic, tomatoes, parsley and pattypan squash.

Stacy picks out a beautiful bouquet for our table on Sunday,


Stacy wanted to say that contrary to their recent profile in Gourmet magazine, Broadturn Farm does not offer harvest dinners to the public at this time.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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Josh, Kate and I split the 60 lbs of Mussels three ways for our respective dishes which I will describe with the others later.

On the invitation of Toloff Olson, owner/operator of Ocean Approved LLC, I took a boat ride out to Jewel Island, one of the outer islands in Casco Bay, to harvest some seaweed.



Toloff has been experimenting with various types of kelp and seaweed hoping to create a market.

I decided to dust off the wet suit and jump in the water to get some for the Deathmatch!



Any day is a good day to get in the water. :cool:

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Toloff has been experimenting with various types of kelp and seaweed hoping to create a market.

What kinds of kelp and seaweed?

These are beautiful pictures, I can't wait to see what develops. I feel bad for the little piggies, though - I know what happens in these sorts of topics, and it usually ends badly for the pig.

But deliciously for everyone else, though, that's some consolation.

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The Deathmatch Hosts had the excellent idea to head down to the waterfront and get a truck filled with ice from the fishing supply wharf. We had to have somewhere to put all the locally produced beverages.


The crowd agreed.

Some of the contents therein:


Red Ale

Adam Wilson

Portland, ME

Allagash White

Rob Todd

Portland, ME

D.L. Geary Brewing - Summer Ale

David L. Geary

Portland, ME

Doc's Draft Hard Apple Cider

Jason Grizzanti

Warwick, NY

High and Mighty St. Hubbins Abbey Ale by Paper City Brewing

Will Shelton

Holyoke, MA

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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As usual, things were bustling in the kitchen.


Pot in the back w/spoon has Sweet Corn & Duck Soup with House Smoked Chilis.


Poblano Chilis from Snell Farms, Buxton Maine

Corn - which is everywhere, really - was from Merriweather Farm in Cornish, ME

Ducks were courtesy of the lovely Ms Leslie Oster.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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At left, Brad, who works at 555 in Portland, made some Head Cheese:

beer english mild (brad + nolan), braised belly, hardwood smoked shoulder, tuscan kale,

Nolan, had some tree-ripened Snell farm peaches, Slow Cooked Pork from Cornerstone Farm in Palmyra Maine, with porch foraged herbs and honey from Overland Apiaries.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

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Peter: Ice, sure; booze, no, not in this part of Maine anyway.

I'd wager that canoe isn't going anywhere fast with a load like that!

Chris and nakji: Not sure but I'll find out!


The Pickett Street Posse sets up their table.

Cap'n Kate constructed a chicken wire sculpture filled with mussel shells - yeah, we had a lot of 'em.


Meanwhile, inside, Jack tends his Applewood smoked, sea salt crusted chiccaron and pork rinds,


Honey – Jacks hive

Wild Blackberrys – Jacks yard

Mead from Steve's cider and Jacks honey

Pig - Carl Chasse – Sanford Butcher Shop, ME

Salt – Made yourself

appletree – stolen from tree

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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More dishes coming out of the kitchen:

Rusty Stag - Andrew

Salsa Fresca

Apple Chips

Herb Granita

Stag –

Tomato, Sungold Balseno Brandywine Peppers – blushing beauty green cherry

chives, basil, cilantro, oregano

green beans

cider cucumbers beets!

Salt – Brad

Venison Ravioli en Brodo - Jon + Piepers + Patty

Pommes Frites - Candace

Dennis McClure Salt

Smiling Hill Farm Butter

Candace Garden Herbs


”Black berry Blue berry” wine cooler

...which I never tried but her White Pine and Teaberry Flip she made for the Bizarre Foods Deathmatch was quite memorable.


A full list of ingredients and their sources will be posted after the photo parade.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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This is Candace Kuru from Maine Home & Design. She and her photographer, Irwin Serrano, dropped by to write a little something about the Deathmatch Posse and take some, no doubt, smashing photos.


Irwin had a professional set-up. He asked several chefs to present their dishes for a formal portrait, which is good because I didn't manage to photograph everyone's effort.


MH&D has featured top Portland Restaurants in prior issues like 555, Bresca and Evangeline. When the Deathmatch article appears, I will post a link here.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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Pickett St. Crew

Josh, Kate, and Johnny D.

Moules Verts avec Beurre de Dent Douce - Josh

Cap'n Kate's Swashbuckled Mussels with Purloined Vegetables - Kate

Clapboard Island Mussels Andalusian Style - Johnnyd

Bonus Treat:

Jewel Island Seaweed Salad - Posse


Cap'n Kate, true to her Pirate Heritage, took off one night and scoured the neighborhood gardens for tasty ingredients. A true forager, that one. She poached squash, corn, onion and herbs, then stuffed them and mussel meats into tomatoes, with spectacular and colorful results.


johnnyd put together a tapas dish I once enjoyed in southern Spain. Mussels, roasted fennel, roasted cippolini onion and roasted orange bell pepper, fresh lemon thyme leaves, all married together in about a quart of killer olive oil from Dietz's pal out in Napa Valley. We put a few pounds of mussel shells through the Hobart to use as dipping spoons. :cool:


Josh's Moules Verts utilized a compound butter made from Broadturn Farm's cream and some... um, "herbs" he had growing... uh, "somewhere".


The red and white plates at the outside edge of the table features seaweed I harvested from Jewel Island (see up-topic) dressed in some sushi vinegar and a little Mae-ploy (which is cheating, but hey now) served atop some turnip chips from Candace's garden and a bit of pickled daikon leftover from Deathmatch Japanese (also cheating, but my main was true to our challenge - so there). Irwin has a better shot of this dish which I hope to post later.

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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As evening took over from late summer afternoon, candles were brought out for yet more Deathmatch feasting.



Bronwen and Colin Wyatt had, as usual, some stunning plates:


Bronwen's Braised chicken salad with herbs and maple crab apple jelly with warm bacon vinaigrette, and Colin's Beef Tartare with marinated cucumber and brown butter cider vinagrette with corn sauce.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

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While the action outside was rolling...


The scene inside was rocking.


Sugar on Snow - Sean

Maple Syrup


Hawaiian Sea Salt


Sean dipped a ceramic spoon into salt he collected himself off the rocks in Hawaii, then into some scrumptious maple gratinee. Awesome combo.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

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Wine List - Deathmatch Summer 2008 ~~~ Forage! Grow! Kill!

2007 Amador Foothills Rosato of Sangiovese,

Amandor County, California (Katie Quinn & Ben Zeitman)

2007 De Martino Sauvignon Blanc, Maipo Valley, Chile (Marcelo Retamal)

2007 Torii Mor Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon (Jacques Tardy)

2006 Gueguen Chablis, Burgundy, France (Frédéric Gueguen)

2005 Rijckaert Savignin Côtes du Jura “Les Sarres,” Jura, France (Jean Rijckaert)

2007 Alois Lageder Moscato Giallo “Vogelmaier,”

Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy (Alois Lageder)

2006 Rijckaert St. Véran “En Faux” Vieilles Vignes (Jean Rijckaert)

2006 Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon Côtes du Py Vieilles Vignes,

Beaujolais, France (Jean-Marc Burgaud)

2006 Domaine Parize Givry “Champ Nalot,”

Burgundy, France (Gerard & Laurent Parize)

2005 Sorine & Fils Chassagne Montrachet Vieilles Vignes,

Burgundy, France (Christian Sorine)

2006 Château de Flaugergues Côteaux du Languedoc La Méjanelle “Cuvée Sommelière,” Languedoc, France (Henri de Colbert)

2005 Castello La Leccia Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy (Francesco Daddi)

2005 Domaine la Réméjeanne Côtes du Rhône “Les Arbousiers,”

Rhône, France (Remy Klein)

2006 Domaine Roger Perrin Châteauneuf du Pape, Rhône, France (Luc Perrin)


1995 Château Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (Gaston Hochar)

2003 Spann Syrah, Russian River Valley, California (Peter Spann)

2006 K Vintners The Boy, Walla Walla Valley, Washington (Charles Smith)

2005 K Vintners Ovide, Walla Walla Valley, Washington (Charles Smith)

2005 K Vintners Syrah Cougar Hills,

Walla Walla Valley, Washington (Charles Smith)

2003 K Vintners Syrah Lucky No. 7,

Walla Walla Valley, Washington (Charles Smith)

2006 Stanley Lambert Three’s Company GSM,

Barossa Valley, Australia (Lindsay Stanley & Jim Lambert)

2005 Stanley Lambert Cabernet Sauvignon “Silent Partner,”

Barossa Valley, Australia (Lindsay Stanley & Jim Lambert)

2003 Miss Olivia Brion Cabernet Sauvignon,

Napa Valley, California (David Mahaffey)

2002 Arbios Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, California (Bill Arbios)

2002 Veraison Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard,

Napa Valley, California (Nigel Kinsman)

2006 Mas Amiel Muscat de Rivesaltes, Roussillon, France (Olivier Decelle)

NV Stanley Lambert Choc-o-Bloc,

South Australia, Australia (Lindsay Stanley & Jim Lambert)


Edited by johnnyd (log)

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The Source List - Deathmatch - Summer 2008

Snell Family Farm, Buxton, ME - Carolyn

Super Chilis

Anaheim Chilis

Poblano Chilis

Serrano Chilis








Apple Wine


Merriweather Farm, Cornish, ME - Matt


Sumner Valley Farm, Sumner, Maine - Larry & Dan


Heavy Cream



Leaf Lard


Cornerstone Farm, Palmyra, Maine - Hanne

Pigs by the Name of "Blueberry",

"Strawberry", and "Raspberry"

L&A Farm, Cape Elizabeth, ME - Lester

Italian Parsley



Fishbowl Farm, Bowdoinham ME - Chris


Heirloom Tomatoes

The Rusty Stag - Westbrook, ME - Corey & Andrew


Brandywine, Balseno, Sungold


Blushing Beauty, Green Cherry








Green Beans

Apple Cider

Broadturn Farm, Scarborough, ME - John & Stacy



Red Pepper



PattyPan Squash

Cold Spring Ranch, North New Portland ME - Gabe


Sanford Butcher Shop, Sanford, ME - Carl


Clapboard Island Mussel Raft, Casco Bay, Maine - Toloff Olson / Bernie Sutherland


Overland Apiaries, Portland ME - Erin


Aurora Mills & Farm, Linneus, ME - Matt

Stone Ground Winter Wheat Flour

Podere Tramonti, Castellina in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy - Bruno

Olive Oil

Krupp Brothers Estates, - Jan

Olive Oil

Jackie Buchanan - Green Cove Springs, FL




Garlic Chives

Nolan - Portland, Maine

English Mild Beer


Brad - Portland, Maine



Tuscan Kale

Bronwen - Portland, Maine

Crab Apples

Jon - Portland, Maine

Casco Bay Sea Salt

Jack - New York, NY

Apple wood


Wild Blackberries

Smoked Salt


Dennis McClure - Bradford, VT

Maple Syrup

Hawaiian Sea Salt

Leslie Oster - Portland, ME


Jim Marchant - Portland, ME




Bonnie Dietz, - Great Diamond Island, ME /Camden, ME


Yellow Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes




Jon @ The Snug, Weld, ME

Maple Syrup

Doug Brown - Upstate, NY


Candace - Portland, ME

Assorted Herbs


Steve Shelton - Portland, ME

Crab Apples

Josh - South Portland, ME

Assortment of “Herbs”

Johnny D - South Portland, ME

Lemon Thyme

Jewel Island Seaweed

Kate’s Pirate Adventures - Maybe Your House, ME



What’s Missing From Your Garden


Thank you for visiting the Deathmatch Summer 2008!

Word has surfaced that far better photographs will become available by next weekend. Subscribe to this topic and check back later ~ johnnyd ~

Edited by johnnyd (log)

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Wow. Admiration and envy are the words that best sum up my feelings at the moment. More pictures, descriptions, and even recipes, please.

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Bravo. Both for the meal and the report. Thanks much.

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Bloody brilliant!

I am so, so jealous. The place, the people, the food: my kinda gig. Did I mention that I'm jealous?

But as the literary guardian/insomniac here I have to give you credit for three words that might actually glide me off to sleep with their beauty: porch foraged herbs

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