Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Kickstarter: Weft & Warp

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Erik Desjarlais has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help expand Weft & Warp Seamester. Desjarlais is a former Portland chef who now uses his skill at working with fabric and leather to produce knife rolls, aprons and for chefs and home cooks around the country.

The business has an ongoing backlog of orders and Desjarlais will be using the funds to move to a larger space, add staff and buy the supplies and tools needed to expand.

Visit the Weft & Warp Kickstarter page to learn more and to contribute to this effort.

Winnegance Oyster Farm

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Winnegance Oyster Farm has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $7,500 for their oyster and seaweed aquaculture farm.

Winnegance Oyster Farm is located on Maine’s New Meadows River. Our aim is to grow high quality oysters and edible seaweeds using techniques that are good for the environment. We chose the New Meadows for its clean water, its ability to support abundant sea life, and its proximity to the Portland market.

Jordan, Winnegance Oyster Co’s owner and sea-farmer, spent much of the last ten years working in wildlife biology. His background in environmental science, the food industry, and horticulture led him to the world of aquaculture.

Winnegance will be seeding their first batch of oysters this Spring and expect them to take 18 to 24 months to reach full size. Their first seaweed crop will be available in the spring of 2015.

Visit the Winnegance page to support their new venture. For more information on the farm checkout their blog and Facebook page.

Eating in Maine by From Away

Monday, April 14th, 2014

eating-in-maine-240x300Another new book about the Maine food scene, Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road is now available.

Discover places and plates old and new under the expert guidance of Jillian and Malcolm Bedell, who bring a unique Millennial Generation perspective to the Maine food scene. Month by month, the Bedells dish great Maine food, and their tastes are as wide-ranging as this book. Restaurant reviews range from Dysart s Truck Stop to Fore Street, from Fat Boy Drive-In to Duckfat. Recipes range from a riff on the Maine Italian sandwich to Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Roasted Golden Beets and Moroccan Couscous.

Eating in Maine is by Malcolm and Jillian Bedell, authors of From Away.

The book ($22.95, 288 pages) is available on the Tilbury House  website.

Restaurant Wages

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

An analysis by Commercial Confidential blogger Christian Milneil looks at whether the increasing number of Portland restaurant has had a positive impact on the wages paid restaurant staff.

In short, though Portland’s diners might feel a lot happier than they did a decade ago, the people serving us don’t feel much difference in their wallets.

Portland Food by Kate McCarty

Friday, April 11th, 2014

KMcCartyBookA new book about the Portland food scene, Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine is due out next month.

Portland, Maine’s culinary cache belies its size. The vibrant food scene boasts more than three hundred restaurants, as well as specialty food businesses, farmers’ markets, pop-up dinners and food trucks. Since back-to-the-landers began to arrive in the 1970s, Maine’s abundant natural resources have been feeding local dreams of sustainability and resilience. Portland is uniquely primed for chefs and restaurateurs to draw on local agricultural and marine resources. Gulf of Maine fisheries and the working waterfront bring the freshest seafood to Portland’s palate, while Maine’s rural landscape is fertile ground for local farming.

Portland Food is by Kate McCarty, author of The Blueberry Files blog, and food writer for the Portland Phoenix.

The book ($19.99, 160 pages) is available for pre-order via the publisher on The History Press website.

Chef Bard Loses on Bobby Flay Show

Friday, April 11th, 2014

The Press Herald reports that chef Shannon Bard from Zapoteca didn’t make it to round 2 on last night’s episode of Beat Bobby Flay.

Shannon Bard cooks Mexican fare at Zapoteca every day, so it’s a bit ironic that it was a poblano pepper and chipotle pepper spice that brought her down on “Beat Bobby Flay” on the Food Network Thursday night.

Arcadia National on Kickstarter

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Owners Dave Aceto and Ben Culver from Arcadia National Bar (twitter, facebook) have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 for the arcade/bar they’re launching this Spring. They plan on using the money to help renovate the space they’ve leased at 24 Preble Street.

Visit the Arcadia Kickstarter page to learn more and to contribute to this effort.

The City Council approved Arcadia’s liquor license application on Monday night. For more on Arcadia see this recent article on Maine Today.

Crowdfunding Food Ventures in Maine

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Meredith Goad has written an article for today’s Press Herald Food & Dining section that looks at how food industry businesses in Maine are using crowdfunding to raise money to launch or support their businesses.

Jarrod Spangler wants to open an Italian-style butcher shop in Kittery. Lisa Laurita and Tom Sigler want to spiff up their Camden restaurant. Gloria Pearse dreams of selling Indian food on the streets of Portland. Arvid Brown and his best friend plan to peddle fish and chips from their Portland food truck this summer. And Anya Heyl just wants to save her waffle business.

Sangillo’s: Council Votes to Deny Liquor License

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The Council voted last night in a 5-4 decision to deny Sangillo’s application for a liquor license renewal, according to reports from the Bangor Daily News and Press Herald.

The Portland City Council on Monday night voted 5-4 to deny a liquor license for the embattled Sangillo’s Tavern, a neighborhood bar on Hampshire Street which police have labeled as dangerous in the aftermath of a late January shooting nearby.

The vote is expected to force Sangillo’s to close down after more than a half century of business in the city’s India Street neighborhood, unless bar managers can get a reprieve from the state.

Also read these articles in the Portland Daily Sun and Portland Phoenix.

Phoenix Best of Portland Readership Poll

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

PhoenixBest_logoThe nominees have been announced and voting has begun in the Portland Phoenix 2014 Best of Portland Readership Poll.

Portland Food Map is a nominee this year in the Best Food Blog category along with The Blueberry Files, Food Coma, From Away and Mister Meatball.

Visit the Phoenix website to vote for your favorites in one or more of the categories.

MECA Offering Culinary Classes

Friday, March 28th, 2014

meca-logoThe Maine College of Art is offering a set of Culinary Arts classes this Summer as part of their continuing education program. Here’s the list of the Summer options:

  • The Art and Craft of Food Writing taught by Susan Axelrod from the Press Herald
  • Pastry Perfection taught by Tara Smith from Standard Baking
  • Farm to Fork Workshop taught by chef David Levi, owner of Vinland
  • All About Cheese taught by Sarah Wiederkehr from Winter Hill Farm
  • Microbrewing taught by Chresten Sorensen from Bunker Brewing

According to the release:

To help orchestrate this new realm of programming, MECA has engaged the expertise of Culinary Consultant and former Executive Vice President of The International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute), Christopher Papagni, Ph.D. According to Papagni, “Some of the best of Portland’s culinary scene has been selected for this first round of MECA classes. Keeping up with new food trends and the rapid growth of artisan talent in Maine, will insure dynamic programming for a long time to come.”

Papagni is now working to recruit instructors for the Fall semester at MECA.

Petty Table Larceny

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Today’s Portland Daily Sun reports on restaurant patrons who clear a table of items they can pocket for later use at home.

The elderly couple sitting at table 12 were either siblings or close cousins who had not connected in quite some time. They were sharing childhood stories and laughing about events that had obviously taken place well over 50 years ago. Also, they were swiping stuff off the table with no shame.

Launchpad: Holy Donut, Bixby, Litl’ Squirts

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

The Holy Donut, Litl’ Squirts and Bixby  Bars are in  contention to win $30,000 from Gorham Savings Bank as part of their Launchpad competition. The top five winners of the popular vote will get the chance to pitch their ideas to the judges.

Visit the Launchpad website to read their business plans and vote on your favorite.

If they win The Holy Donut plans to open a new store outside of Maine.

Food & Wine: People’s Best New Chef

Monday, March 24th, 2014

pbnc2014Three Maine chefs are contenders in this year’s Food & Wine Best New Chef Competition:

  • Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley from Hugo’s/Eventide
  • Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan in Brunswick

You can see the full list on candidates and vote for the hometown favorites online.

More on Sangillo’s

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Here are a couple more Sangillo’s items:

Little Big’s Cronuts (Updated)

Friday, March 21st, 2014

The Forecaster has published an article about Little Bigs and their Sunday sales of cronuts.

Updated: The Press Herald has also published an article on this topic.

2014 Best of Portland Nominations

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has kicked-off their 2014 Best of Portland readership poll. The Phoenix readership poll is a 2 step process:

  • Step 1 which just started, nominate candidates you think are an especially good fit in any or all of the categories
  • Step 2, next month the Phoenix will publish a ballot summarizing the top nominees from each category for us all to vote on

There are a plethora of food and drink categories (Bagels, Bars, Barbecue, Beer Selection, Brewpubs, Brunch, etc) to make nominations in there’s even one for food blogs. A list of the 2013 winners is available online as a reference.

If the 2014 polls follows the same schedule as past years then the final results will be made public in April at a live event at the Port City Music Hall.

Food Truck Rules

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun has a report on last night’s City Council subcommittee review of proposed changes to rules regulation food trucks.

The Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday supported policy initiatives that would amend the request for proposals process used for the city’s parks to allow food trucks to cluster and use the space and fix a requirement that proscribes what types of food can be served; amend the ordinance related to Compass Park that bars food service in that area; and recommend the city dedicate four spaces on Congress Street adjacent to Lincoln Park for trucks.

The changes no go before the full City Council for final approval.

Sangillo’s Decision Delayed

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

After several hours of presentations from the bar, the police and the public last night, the City Council decided to delay a final vote on Sangillo’s liquor license until the April 7th meeting.

For more information on last night’s meeting see articles in today’s Bangor Daily News, Press Herald and Portland Daily Sun.

For additional perspective on the Sangillo’s issue read this piece by Samuel’s Bar & Grill owner Sam Minervino published by Eater Maine.

Portland Coffee Guide & A Tandem Interview

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Sprudge has posted a Good Coffee Lover’s Guide to Portland,

Beautiful Portland, Maine! As discussed previously in these pages, this jewel of the Northeast is a city of food, and within these food-filled streets is a growing need for coffee. Here’s a snapshot guide to the coffees of Portland—almost entirely roasted in the city itself—bearing in mind we may have been too dizzy from frites endorphins after lunch at Duckfat to remember every single cafe.

and The Root has published the final in their series of interview with local roaster. This final piece is an interview with Will and Kathleen Pratt from Tandem.

“What drew us to wanting to do this in the first place, was we loved how cafes could create that sense of community,” said Kathleen. “Just knowing your regulars and people who come in the door, so when we were planning and building out the space we said we really want this to feel welcoming and inviting like you are walking into our home. That this is some place you can come and meet people and the Wi-Fi thing was definitely a conscience effort. We didn’t want people to be on their computers. We wanted people to talk and engage.”