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Maine Agriculture in the Classroom


The 2024 Local Foods Culinary Competition Challenge

The griddles and ovens are now turned off at the UMaine Food Pilot Plant and Commercial Kitchen but the scents linger from the 2024 Local Food Competition for CTE Culinary Arts Programs. On April 25, teams from ten Maine Career & Technical Education High School Culinary Arts Programs competed to demonstrate their skills in preparing local, seasonal Maine foods. The emphasis on Maine grown and processed food helps students better understand agricultural literacy and gain knowledge about the role that the food industry can play in supporting Maine agriculture. This is the final year of a 4-year USDA Professional Development in Agricultural Literacy Grant which concludes in September.

First Place

Bath Regional Career and Technical Center
Eleanor Nery and Gwen Weaver made Local Salmon over Black Barley Risotto and carrot purée.

Second Place

Tri County Technical Center in Dexter
Lucy Alexander and Alex Mullins made a Rainbow Grain Bowl

Third Place

Region Two School of Applied Technology in Houltonn
Sadie Lee and Sean Crose made Sausage and Gravy over Maine Grains biscuits with root vegetable hash and a sunny side up egg.

Judges Awards

Many thanks to the esteemed judges, Brian Langley from Union River Lobster Pot, and Katie Knowles, the Maine Department of Education Farm and Sea to School Coordinator, Lucas Knowles, from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry. and, our hosts, Rob Dumas and Caitlin Hillery from the University of Maine's Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant for Food Processing at the UMO School of Food and Agriculture. At the end of the day everyone was astounded by the level of culinary excellence achieved! Congratulations to ALL! This 4-year grant program has provided annual grants, a Summer Learning Institute, and direct instruction for CTE students. Maine Agriculture in the Classroom is proud to have been a contributing partner in this endeavor since 2020!