Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

More on the Portland Food Co-op

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

MPBN, WCSH and The Golden Dish have all published reports on the Portland Food Co-op,

The dairy cases stock all of the products that we’ve become so familiar with at farmers’ markets: Lakin’s Gorge’s ricotta (Rockport), Balfour cultured cream (great sour cream), yogurts and cheese to Swallowtail’s dairy lineup of kefir, cheese and flavored yogurts. Ice cream choices include the excellent Catbird Creamery and the store has a small but professional kitchen where many preparations like soups, sandwiches, salads and vegetable dips are made. [Golden Dish]

and today’s Press Herald includes an interview with Mary Alice Scott, the co-op’s education and outreach coordinator.

Q: Why join a co-op instead of going to a mainstream grocery store?
A:
It’s a mission-driven idea. People want to support businesses that are locally owned and know they’re generating jobs. Our mission is to have a huge amount of organic and local products and buy from local vendors whenever practical. It’s not just fruit and vegetables, it’s local cleaning supplies and other local items. We already have relationships with more than 120 local producers.

Two Fat Cats Buys Maine Pie Line

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

News became public yesterday that Two Fat Cats bakery has purchased Maine Pie Line from owner Briana Warner.

Two Fat Cats has purchased both the business name as well as the recipes and plans to restart MPL’s wholesale business,

That means savory hand pies like spinach, feta and artichoke and southwest veggie will be back in Maine cafes, such as Coffee By Design, and a fresh line of gourmet, locally sourced pies will soon fill the cases at the nine-year-old India Street bakery.

[Two Fat Cats owner] Begin expects to see her retail business grow by 15 percent and double wholesale orders with the acquisition.
[Urban Eye]

For more information see these reports from Urban Eye and Eater Maine.

Star Ratings, Restaurant Critic Interview, Natural Foods Movement

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article by Krista Kern Desjarlais about star ratings in restaurant reviews,

On the positive side, stars can fill seats, and they give a measure that lets chefs place their restaurant against others in their genre. A lukewarm review may not affect an already busy and popular restaurant. In this business, we all know the restaurants that meander up and down the scale of consistency and quality, yet remain popular regardless of a critic’s awarding (or withholding) of stars. This is an enigma of the restaurant world and shows why stars do not always tell the whole story.

an interview with Sunday Telegram restaurant critic James Schwartz,

Q: Many restaurant critics say that awarding stars is the hardest part. Is it?
A: Yes, it’s my least favorite decision. I am conscious of two things: First, I am standing in for the reader, because I have had the good fortune to go to the restaurant. So I feel a responsibility to the reader to accurately describe my experience. And I am conscious of the fact that the number of stars awarded can positively or adversely affect the business life of a restaurant. That is a second responsibility that I take very seriously.

and a conversation with author Joe Dobrow on “How the natural foods revolution has changed what we eat”.

His book offers a captivating behind-the-scenes look at exactly how we got from the dusty co-ops of yesteryear to the shiny mega-stores of today. It also explains how the growth of natural foods propelled a number of health food products into the mainstream, such as granola bars, almond milk and kale. Along the way, Dobrow explains how natural foods companies (built on values and ideals as much as capitalist principles) have begun to influence mainstream business culture by promoting concepts such as corporate accountability, transparency and the triple bottom line.

Bao Bao Review & Maine Cookbooks

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Portland Magazine has published a short review of Bao Bao,

On to the dumplings. Our first indulgence, Steamed Hake, Burdock ($8.08), is like nothing we’ve seen anywhere. “Thread-cut” dumpling wrappers are ribboned layers enveloping the tender fish. Happily devouring our six pieces, we accelerate into our next plate of dumplings: the absolutely essential Lamb, Black Bean, Chili, Peanut ($8.08).

and an article about Maine cookbooks.

Some of the great Maine cookbooks are out of print but hardly out of sight in a city and state with such a good used-book network of stores and used sections within stores. “Saltwater Seasonings is one of the very few that really catches the spirit of Maine,” says Don Lindgren, owner of Rabelais Books in Biddeford, probably the center of the universe for vintage and rare cookbooks.

Crowdfunding: Als Pals Pickles

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Westbrook-based Als Pals Pickles(twitter, facebook, instagram) has launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Kickstarter-clone site Indiegogo. Owner Al Arsenault is hoping to raise $5,000 to “better pickling equipment, promotion and building up a stock”.

I am passionate about making awesome pickles, I take pride in the quality of my product and I’ve really enjoyed all of the pickle lovers I have come across in my time as a pickler What your contribution will go towards is better equipment for maintaining a great quality pickle, this includes kitchen equipment such as knives, cutting boards, pickling pots and gloves and would allow me to buy my pickle jars in bulk. It also includes promotional equipment like banners, business cards, label paper, label printers, promo art and a tablet for mobile card transactions.

For more information or to contribute to the campaign visit the Als Pals page on Indigogo.

Portland Food Co-op

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

The Forecaster has published an article about the new Portland Food Co-op.

West End resident Jennifer Morrison works nearby on India Street, and said her first store visit came after months of anticipation.

“It’s beautiful,” she said, clutching a carton of almond milk and an orange. “I feel like I could do all my shopping here.”

Morrison said she tries to shop at locally owned markets, and was pleased to find a large selection of organic fruits and vegetables. Before leaving, she stopped at a table in the front of the store and signed on as a co-op member.

The co-op has a grand opening planned for December 10.

Outdoor Seating Regulation

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald reports on discussions between city officials and restaurant owners regarding regulation of outdoor seating.

Portland planning officials are struggling to find a way to protect the city’s vibrant restaurant scene while also making sure that pedestrians can maneuver through sidewalks and public spaces cluttered with outdoor seating.

Turkey Buying Guide

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

The Blueberry Files has published her annual Thanksgiving turkey buying guide. It includes price per pound details on 18 different turkey brands available from local farms and markets.

Ah, meat. The epicenter of the local food dilemma. On one side, you could argue that meat should not be cheap. On the other side, you have your desire to serve a huge, perfectly-roasted, glistening bird that will satisfy all of your guests, with plenty of leftovers for the next day. Somewhere lost in all of that is the financial reality that locally-raised or organic meat simply costs more than the unethical alternative. 

Booze, Fish and Coffee: Bramhall, Hunter’s Bend, Wich Please

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

In the new episode of Booze, Fish and Coffee co-hosts Bo Bigelow and Brian Ericson talk about the new Bramhall, The Hunter’s Bend and the kickstarter campaign for Which Please food truck.

Maine Food Co-ops

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

MPBN’s Jennifer Rooks interviewed journalist Laura McCandlish, Mary Alice Scott, and Veronique Vendette from the Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe for yesterday’s edition of Maine Calling.

A look at the rise of food co-ops in Maine.  We’ll find out how they differ from your  local grocery store, and the benefits of joining a co-op.

You can listen to the entire show on the MPBN website.

Financial Times: Portland Steps into the Spotlight

Monday, October 27th, 2014

The Financial Times has published admiring look at Portland that touches on the city’s food scene.

Culture is one thing but if there’s one area where the new Portland has truly excelled, it is food and drink. In the past two decades the city’s restaurant sector has mushroomed and, as in the rest of the country, good ingredients are increasingly high on the agenda.

The article recommends Empire, Duckfat, Central Provisions, Salvage, Eventide and Blue Rooster and draws special attention to Vinland,

But a serious star has emerged in the shape of Vinland, since last January the city’s leading contemporary restaurant, where chef David Levi favours localism, seasonality and foraging. This is the place Portland needed to crystallise its gastronomic ambitions once and for all.

O’Maine Media Kitchen

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports on O’Maine Studios and owner Rory Strunk’s current initiative to launch the O’Maine Media Kitchen.

Popular in larger cities such as New York and Los Angeles, the media kitchen concept is new to Maine. But marketing pros such as Cynthia Fisher of Bar Harbor Foods in Whiting are ready to roll.

“Oh my God. I don’t have to go to Philadelphia to shoot a video,” the company’s vice president of marketing said to the group. “We need to get everyone behind us because this is huge for Maine.”

For more information visit the O’Maine Media Kitchen Kickstarter page. Strunk has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise $65,000 for the project.

Indie Biz Awards

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Portland Buy Local held an awards ceremony last night. Three local food business among the winners of this year’s Indie Biz Awards:

  • Local Flavor – Local Sprouts Cafe
  • Out of Sight but Not Out of Mind – Maine Brew Bus
  • Portland Icon – Rosemont Market and Bakery

Triangle Cafe

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Foundation House, an alcohol and drug addiction recovery program, has leased the former Portland & Rochester. They’re renamed the space Triangle Cafe and plan on using it as “a multi-function space that provides a nutritional and occupational based holistic component to our program as well as a location for our residents and alumni to gather.”

According to their marketing materials their plans also include making “This new venture is also open to the public”.

Gorgeous Gelato’s Liquor License Application

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Gorgeous Gelato(website, facebook, twitter) has applied for a liquor license. As they explain in their cover letter (page 77),

Espresso coffee and certain Gelato sundaes become really exquisite when some liquor is added. We would also love to serve our customers a very small selection of famous Italian liquors, such as: Lemoncello, Grappa and Sambuca.

O’Maine Media Kitchen

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The Business section in today’s Press Herald reports on O’Maine Studios and owner Rory Strunk’s current initiative to launch the O’Maine Media Kitchen.

Rory Strunk has built a successful outdoor sports-themed broadcast network, produced an Emmy award-winning television show and created content for such iconic brands as Absolut vodka. Now he wants to build a world-class kitchen studio in Portland that Maine’s food and beverage industry, restaurants and homegrown celebrity chefs could use to meet the growing demand for culinary-themed online video content.

For more information visit the O’Maine Media Kitchen Kickstarter page. Strunk has launched a crowdfunding campaing on Kickstarter to raise $65,000 for the project.

PPH Food & Dining: Ballet Service, Wine’s Seasonality, Vegan Q&A

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes:

Restaurant Staff Tattoos

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Earlier this week the Press Herald published an article about restaurant staff tattoos.

Walk into any restaurant in Portland, and it’s likely that the cook preparing your entree or the server pouring your glass of wine will have some kind of body art – a chef’s knife tattooed on an arm, or some mythical Japanese creature peeking out from a sleeve or pant leg. The older they are, the more likely they are to be covered in tatts to the point where it’s difficult to tell where one ends and the next begins.

Crema→Arabica

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

arabicaLong rumored to be in the works, the name of Crema Cafe on Commercial Street has been changed to Arabica Coffee, bringing the coffee shop into alignment with owners original other spot on Free Street.

Check out this report from the Urban Eye blog for more details.

New Episode of Booze, Fish & Coffee

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

For the new issue of Booze, Fish and Coffee co-hosts Bo Bigelow and Brian Ericson have lunch at Lolita and discuss Fuji, Oxbow, Lolita, Timber, Taj, Boda, Arcadia, Hugo’s, Central Provisions and Veranda Asian Market.