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Restaurant Lineup Taking Shape

Jul 05, 2011 05:54PM ● By Anonymous


Area restaurants are gearing up to compete in the Crab Cook-Off at the annual Taste of Cambridge event coming up this Saturday, July 9. Now in its seventh year, the competition generally features 8 to 10 restaurants making a total of 10 to 15 different dishes.

The crab-cooking competition happens inside the Taste of Cambridge street festival in downtown Cambridge. Starting at 5 pm, the event features four musical acts, two dance troupes, a juggler, dozens of vendors, and much more.

While admission is free, only attendees who buy a $25 ticket get tastings of all the crab dishes—and a ballot to help choose which restaurants are the winners in various categories.

“It’s a friendly competition, but it’s also something everyone takes seriously,” said Billie Jo Heister, the volunteer co-chair of the team organizing the event for the nonprofit Cambridge Main Street. “The chefs know this event puts their talents in the spotlight, and they definitely want to be at their best.”

The contest is judged in two ways. In addition to the “People’s Choice” selected by ticket buyers, a trio of celebrity judges receive blind tastings of all entries and choose “Judge’s Choice” winners in five different categories based only on ribbon colors associated with different entries.

In a new twist this year, event organizers added a “Best in Show” category for both Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice balloting. That award will go to the single best dish across all the categories—cream of crab soup, other crab soup, crab dip, crab cake, and crab specialty dish.

As the event approaches, organizers were still finalizing the lineup of participating restaurants. Downtown Cambridge restaurants signed up for the contest include Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar & Grill, Bistro Poplar, and “The High Spot,” the tentative name for a brand new restaurant getting ready to open in the coming months on High Street.

Two restaurants at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort will be competing—the Water’s Edge Grill and the Blue Point Provision Company.

Four other Dorchester County restaurants have signed on as well. These are Ocean Odyssey; Clearview at Horns Point; University Restaurant; and Kay’s at the Airport. Additional restaurants may be added at the last minute.

“At Cambridge Main Street, we’re really proud to deliver this showcase event for both downtown restaurants—and our restaurants doing business around the county,” said Jim Duffy, executive director of Cambridge Main Street. “Our chefs perform at such a high level—they’re a real asset to our community.”

For more information about Taste of Cambridge, visit

Advance tickets are available at the Dorchester County Visitors Center, 2 Rose Hill Place; A Few of My Favorite Things, 414 Race Street; and the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, 528 Poplar Street. Phone orders can be placed at 410-228-3575.