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Taste of Cambridge Crab Cook-Off Competition
July 14 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Restaurants are lining up to participate in this year’s Downtown Cambridge Crab Cook-Off competition on July 14. The 13th annual event is scheduled between 5 and 10 p.m. in the streets in downtown Cambridge.
The event features a crab cook-off where tasters – taste, decide, then vote – for their favorites in five different crab dish categories. The entry categories include crab cake/ball, crab dip, Maryland style crab soup, Cream of Crab soup, and crab specialty.
The event typically hosts 10 to 12 competing restaurants. Organizers welcome back a number of past participants including Water’s Edge Grill, Blue Point Provision, Palm Beach Willies, Ocean Odyssey, The Cambridge Yacht Club, RAR Brewing, Jimmie and Sook’s and The High Spot. Lil’ Bitta Bull food truck is new to the competition. Several other new participants are expected at this year’s event.
Tickets are sold to “tasters” who taste each dish then vote for their favorite in each category. Those votes are tallied up to award the “People’s Choice” winner in each category.
A panel of up to five judges is also performing a blind tasting of each dish at the same time. This year’s judges include Bruce Mattel, instructor at Culinary Institute of America; Kate Moose, food editor for What’s Up magazine; and Cambridge Spice Company owner Cecil Johnson. All three are veteran judges for the event and bring very different perspectives. New to the judge’s panel is Carole Whitiker, editor for regional herbavore publication Edible Delmarva.
The Judge’s also decide on their favorite dish in each category and a favorite “dish of the day” to decide an overall winner. The overall dish winner is eligible to enter the World Food Championship, Seafood category and the World Chef competition.
“Each year the line up of dishes and participants is different, which helps keep the event fresh,” shared Katie Clendaniel, Executive Director for Downtown Cambridge, a Main Street organization. “Our team of volunteers is putting together one of the best events yet, and we can’t wait to host this year’s festival.”
The event is more than just a crab cook off competition. It features a Kid’s Zone, crab picking contest, watermelon eating contest, and live music and performances from local talent and community groups.
Returning to this year’s event is Arty Hill and the Long Gone Daddys, who will hit the stage between 8 and 10 p.m. “We had a great dance party last year, with Arty Hill making everyone swing to the beat on Race and Poplar streets,” said Taste of Cambridge event chairman and Downtown Cambridge Board President, Grace Gonzalez. Performances by community favorites ABM Dance troop and the Dorchester YMCA line dance group also make their return, as well as Cambridge local John Enders.
Ticket prices cost $20 and $35 between now and the day of the event. They are now available online at downtowncambridge.org. Taste of Cambridge and the Crab Cook-Off Competition is organized by Downtown Cambridge, a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the Main Street district in Cambridge. It is run by the power of amazing volunteers and entrepreneurs.