Maine's top lobster chef a new grad

PORTLAND, ME -- Being a good lobster chef is one thing. But, if you're the best in Maine, world-renowned for its lobsters, you've really added to your list of credentials.

If you're planning to visit Maine, you may want to dine at whatever restaurant winds up hiring Mackenzie Arrington (right), who just graduated from the the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

He won the title of "Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2009" after a weekend cook-off competition at Harvest on the Harbor, part of a food and wine festival on the city's waterfront.

Arrington's dish was a roasted lobster tail on braised cabbage and cornbread.He finished ahead of Melissa Bouchard, chef at DiMillo's Floating Restaurant in Portland, who prepared maple butter poached lobster tail served with sweet potato and Fuji apple bisque and frizzles of green onion, and Rick Skoglund, sous chef at the Samoset Resort in Rockland, who prepared butternut-mascarpone lobster ravioli with balsamic pomegranate spinach salad.

The chefs were selected from a field of professionals who submitted recipes over the summer. Their dishes were samopled and voted on by about 200 attendees.

Arrington grew up in Boothbay, ME, son of chef Margaret McLellan. He was awarded $1,000 in prize money.
Maine Lobster Council
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McDonald's closing up in Iceland

There are currently just three McDonald's fast-food restaurants in Iceland. After next week there will be none.

The north Atlantic island nation, still struggling with the effects of a financial crash that hit it last year when its banks collapsed, will join the list of European countries without a McDonald's. The others are Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Jon Ogmundsson, managing director of Lyst, which holds the McDonald's franchise in Iceland, said the rising cost of importing ingredients and no sign of economic recovery meant the business no longer is financially viable.

He said the cost of McDonald's ingredients, which the company insists be imported, mostly from Germany, had doubled in the last 18 months as a result of severe depreciation of the Icelandic krona and high import taxes.

"I've sold more hamburgers in the last few months than ever before, but the cost is prohibitive. It just makes no sense," Ogmundsson told Reuters. "For a kilo of onion, imported from Germany, I'm paying the equivalent of a bottle of good whiskey."
Official Iceland Travel Guide
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