BLUE HILL — Long before the buy local and organic drumbeat came to be, John Hikade was looking for fresh sources of food close to home.
He and his wife, Beth, had opened their first restaurant, Firepond, in 1979.
“There were few purveyors coming down the long road from Boston to Downeast Maine,” said John. “So it was out of necessity as well as desire to find and use locally grown and harvested food.”
“Organic and local is the way people are going now,” he added. “We’ve been doing it for 30 years, not because it’s in vogue, but because it tastes the best.”
This devotion to fine food was recognized recently when Hikade was selected as one of the top 14 chefs in Maine in the “Top of the Crop: Best Farm to Table Chef” competition in Portland.
Rich Hanson, chef and owner of Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro in Ellsworth, also was among the chefs nominated by a group of farmers, farm distributors and food writers.
The contest is intended to give Maine chefs committed to using locally grown and produced foods an opportunity to illustrate how they put together the best farm-to-table experience at their restaurants.