James Beard Finalists Announced

This morning the James Beard Foundation announced the final list of nominees for this year’s awards competition.
It is a disappointing run for Portland this year. While Portland had 3 semifinalists (Sam Hayward from Fore Street for Outstanding Chef, Fore Street for Outstanding Restaurant, and Krista Kern Desjarlais for Best Chef Northeast) none were included in the final list of nominees.
Congratulations to Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier from Arrows in Ogunquit who were nominated in the Best Chef Northeast category.
The award winners will be announced on May 3, 2010 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

Maine at Weiners & Portland Food Coma

Today’s Press Herald includes a profile of Joe Ricchio and his blog Portland Food Coma,

On a recent afternoon, Ricchio was enjoying lunch at Pizza Villa, reveling in it almost. Days earlier, he had survived an intense three-day kitchen lockdown to create “Buddha Jumps Over The Wall,” a Chinese meal that involves whole chicken and duck, abalone, quail eggs, bamboo leaves, dueling stocks and a shark’s fin. It was his 31st birthday and the occasion called for unbridled decadence.

and reporter Ray Routhier spent the day working at Wieners learning about what it takes to run the Commercial Street food cart.

I would not have thought there was any engineering involved in preparing a hot dog.

But I realized quickly – as I tried to sell franks from a cart called Wieners on Commercial Street last week – that there definitely is. The spatial relationship between the dog, the bun, the onions, the relish, the ketchup and the mustard is a delicate thing that cannot be trifled with.

My problem was, I trifled.

I would not have thought there was any engineering involved in preparing a hot dog.

click image to enlarge

Ray Routhier tries to get the squiggle of mustard to look just so as he works the hot dog stand of Jess Cady-Giguere in Portland.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Jess Cady-Giguere demonstrates her method for assembling a hot dog and condiments at her cart, Wieners, in Portland.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

ABOUT THIS SERIES

MAINE AT WORK takes an interactive look at iconic, visible or just plain interesting jobs done by folks in Maine. Reporter Ray Routhier shadows a worker or workers, reports what he sees and tries his hand at some of the job’s duties.

IF YOU’D LIKE to suggest a job to be explored in this feature, e-mail rrouthier@pressherald.com or call 791-6454.

THIS WEEK’S JOB

TITLE: Hot dog seller and owner of Wieners, a cart at the corner of Dana and Commercial streets on Portland’s waterfront.

WORKER: Jess Cady-Giguere, 27, of Portland.

HOURS: Roughly 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at least five days a week.

DUTIES: Towing the cart, buying supplies, preparing the cart, and cooking, selling and presenting hot dogs, sausages and chili.

SURPRISING FACTS: Cady-Giguere sometimes has to work in the rain just to make sure people know she’s still in business and to keep her spot. Also, putting a hot dog in a bun, with condiments, is surprisingly hard to do without touching them directly with your hands.

PERKS: Being outside on the waterfront on beautiful days and being able to take your dog to work.

But I realized quickly – as I tried to sell franks from a cart called Wieners on Commercial Street last week – that there definitely is. The spatial relationship between the dog, the bun, the onions, the relish, the ketchup and the mustard is a delicate thing that cannot be trifled with.

My problem was, I trifled.

Maine at Weiners & Portland Food Coma

Today’s Press Herald includes a profile of Joe Ricchio and his blog Portland Food Coma,

On a recent afternoon, Ricchio was enjoying lunch at Pizza Villa, reveling in it almost. Days earlier, he had survived an intense three-day kitchen lockdown to create “Buddha Jumps Over The Wall,” a Chinese meal that involves whole chicken and duck, abalone, quail eggs, bamboo leaves, dueling stocks and a shark’s fin. It was his 31st birthday and the occasion called for unbridled decadence.

and reporter Ray Routhier spent the day working at Wieners learning about what it takes to run the Commercial Street food cart.

I would not have thought there was any engineering involved in preparing a hot dog.

But I realized quickly – as I tried to sell franks from a cart called Wieners on Commercial Street last week – that there definitely is. The spatial relationship between the dog, the bun, the onions, the relish, the ketchup and the mustard is a delicate thing that cannot be trifled with.

My problem was, I trifled.

I would not have thought there was any engineering involved in preparing a hot dog.

click image to enlarge

Ray Routhier tries to get the squiggle of mustard to look just so as he works the hot dog stand of Jess Cady-Giguere in Portland.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Jess Cady-Giguere demonstrates her method for assembling a hot dog and condiments at her cart, Wieners, in Portland.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

ABOUT THIS SERIES
MAINE AT WORK takes an interactive look at iconic, visible or just plain interesting jobs done by folks in Maine. Reporter Ray Routhier shadows a worker or workers, reports what he sees and tries his hand at some of the job’s duties.
IF YOU’D LIKE to suggest a job to be explored in this feature, e-mail rrouthier@pressherald.com or call 791-6454.
THIS WEEK’S JOB

TITLE: Hot dog seller and owner of Wieners, a cart at the corner of Dana and Commercial streets on Portland’s waterfront.
WORKER: Jess Cady-Giguere, 27, of Portland.
HOURS: Roughly 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at least five days a week.
DUTIES: Towing the cart, buying supplies, preparing the cart, and cooking, selling and presenting hot dogs, sausages and chili.
SURPRISING FACTS: Cady-Giguere sometimes has to work in the rain just to make sure people know she’s still in business and to keep her spot. Also, putting a hot dog in a bun, with condiments, is surprisingly hard to do without touching them directly with your hands.
PERKS: Being outside on the waterfront on beautiful days and being able to take your dog to work.

But I realized quickly – as I tried to sell franks from a cart called Wieners on Commercial Street last week – that there definitely is. The spatial relationship between the dog, the bun, the onions, the relish, the ketchup and the mustard is a delicate thing that cannot be trifled with.
My problem was, I trifled.

This Week's Events

Monday — the James Beard Foundation will announce the finalists for this year’s awards, check back later this morning for all the details; Stephen Lanzalotta is teaching a Piatto per Tutti cooking class.
Wednesday Black Tie Bistro is teaching a cooking class.
Thursday — Browne Trading and Black Cherry Provisions are both holding wine tastings, The Cheese Iron is teaching a charcuterie class, Kitchen & Cook is teaching a Japanese cooking class, the Sea Glass Restaurant is holding a beer dinner and Bard Coffee is running a latte art competition.
Friday — the 6th Annual Celesoiree is scheduled to take place.
Saturday — the indoor Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place, Scarborough Wine Outlet is holding a wine tasting and SMCC is running their 6th Annual International Food Festival.
Sunday — maple syrup producers across the state will be open for Maine Maple Sunday. Visit the Get Real Get Maine site for all the details.
For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.
If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

This Week’s Events

Monday — the James Beard Foundation will announce the finalists for this year’s awards, check back later this morning for all the details; Stephen Lanzalotta is teaching a Piatto per Tutti cooking class.

Wednesday Black Tie Bistro is teaching a cooking class.

Thursday — Browne Trading and Black Cherry Provisions are both holding wine tastings, The Cheese Iron is teaching a charcuterie class, Kitchen & Cook is teaching a Japanese cooking class, the Sea Glass Restaurant is holding a beer dinner and Bard Coffee is running a latte art competition.

Friday — the 6th Annual Celesoiree is scheduled to take place.

Saturday — the indoor Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place, Scarborough Wine Outlet is holding a wine tasting and SMCC is running their 6th Annual International Food Festival.

Sunday — maple syrup producers across the state will be open for Maine Maple Sunday. Visit the Get Real Get Maine site for all the details.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Brunch Review of Caiola’s

The Blueberry Files has published a review of the brunch at Caiola’s.

Brunch is a complicated animal, I realize. Tastes are highly personal, kitchens are very busy, and usually you’re hungover, which can make you even more sensitive to service and food issues. But I don’t find brunch to be Caiola’s strong suit (admittedly after only one try). With other strong contenders for Best Brunch in Portland, I think I’ll stick with a restaurant whose kitchen is more in line with my tastes.

Brunch Review of Caiola's

The Blueberry Files has published a review of the brunch at Caiola’s.

Brunch is a complicated animal, I realize. Tastes are highly personal, kitchens are very busy, and usually you’re hungover, which can make you even more sensitive to service and food issues. But I don’t find brunch to be Caiola’s strong suit (admittedly after only one try). With other strong contenders for Best Brunch in Portland, I think I’ll stick with a restaurant whose kitchen is more in line with my tastes.

Brunch Review of The Porthole

The Examiner has published a brunch review of The Porthole.

Let’s be honest here, the Porthole is a great place to go for a fantastic brunch, upbeat vibe, and all-round good time. Whether you’re a salty seadog or landlubber, you’ll enjoy your maiden voyage with the “new” Porthole Restaurant. We look forward to reviewing the lunch and dinner menus later this summer.
In the meantime, sail on over to the Porthole… You’ll soon be saying “Aye-Aye”!

Lunch Review of Miyake

Portland Eats has published a review of lunch at Miyake.

Don’t overlook lunch at Miyake.  No longer must you wait until dinner for your Japanese food fix.  Get up from your desk and out of the office for some of the best food the city has to offer.

Browne Trading Profile

Find.Eat.Drink has published a profile of Browne Trading penned by Erik Desjarlais, chef/owner of Evangeline.

Beyond the local catch, caviars and shellfish, Browne imports seafood from the Pacific and European waters as well. Mediterranean fish of all sorts have passed through my doors and in to my bouillabaisse pot. Dover sole, turbot, loup de mer, mullet, scorpion fish and John Dory have all been roasted and carved table-side here at Evangeline.