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What's Up Magazine

Taste of Cambridge

Jul 16, 2015 04:05PM ● By Becca Newell

Winning both the Judge's Choice and People's Choice awards, the crab cake from Water's Edge Grill in Cambridge. Photo by Jill Jasuta Photography.

Approximately 2,000 people converged at Cambridge's city center on Saturday, July 11th to take part in the 11th Annual Taste of Cambridge.

Ten restaurants participated in the annual Crab Cook-Off, as five judges picked apart each dish. Water's Edge Grill, on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort, earned the title of Judges’ Choice and claimed a qualifying spot in this year’s World Food Championship in Kissimmee, Florida.

The luxury resort also picked up a second victory when its other restaurant, Blue Point Provision Co., won the Crab Specialty category with its Chesapeake Sushi.

“Water’s Edge Grill has really refined that crab cake. It’s a very traditional Eastern Shore crab cake, refined and presented to set it apart,” said Cambridge Main Street executive director Brandon Hesson. “Crab cake is a very presitigous category in this event, but it also may be the one that is judged the toughest. Having such high scores from all five judges is really a testament to how good that crab cake was.”

This is the second year Taste of Cambridge has been able to offer a spot in the World Food Championship, but the first where judges decided the winner. As a result, Cambridge Main Street sought the best judges it could to ensure restaurants were being critiqued by qualified peers.

Chef Rene Marquis is a combat veteran and decorated competitive chef with the United States Army. Bruce Mattel is the Associate Dean of food production at the Culinary Institute of America. Rita Calvert is the food writer for What’s Up Eastern Shore, and Katie Moose is an Easton-based cook book author. Kevin Scott, a Taste of Cambridge returning judge, is a Dorchester County native and national account manager with the National Restaurant Association.

After tasting all of the dishes in a controlled environment, the judges determined winners in each of the five categories:

  • Crab Cake: Water’s Edge Grill
  • Maryland Vegetable Crab Soup: Katie Mae’s Country Shoppe
  • Cream of Crab Soup: Jimmie & Sook’s
  • Crab Dip: Portside Seafood Restaurant
  • Crab Specialty: Blue Point Provision Co.

Katie Mae’s Country Shoppe won in its first year competing, while Jimmie & Sook’s won its 14th title. Portside returned to the 2015 Taste of Cambridge Crab Cook-Off after taking a year off. Other restaurants competing were The High Spot, Stoked, Black Water Coffee Shop and Bakery, Bistro Poplar and RAR Brewing.

“This event is so much fun, because you can have one business win its first year, and then right across the street, another restaurant is celebrating its 14th title,” said Hesson. “Ultimately, the event is meant to accentuate the wealth of great food we have in this city. It’s competitive, but collaborative at the same time because everyone makes out in the end.”

On July 23rd, Cambridge Main Street hold an event at Stoked to announce the final Peoples’ Choice tally, compiled from the 900 ticket buyers who tasted each offering and cast ballots.

The People's Choice award was announced July 23rd at Stoked Wood Fired Eatery in Cambridge. Compiled from 900 ticket buyers who tasted each offering and cast ballots, the winning dish was Water's Edge Grill's crab cake, also the recipient of the Judges' Choice Award!