Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Voting Begun for the 2016 Indie Biz Awards

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

indiebizThe ballot is now online for this year’s Indie Biz Awards. This is the 9th year that Buy Local has run the awards program which celebrates outstanding independent Portland businesses.

Many restaurants and food businesses are nominees: Local Sprouts, Vinland, Casco Bay Organics, Woodford F&B, Aurora Provisions, Asmara, Thanh Thanh 2, Treehouse, Lincolns, Rhum, Sister’s Gourmet Deli, The Holy Donut, Gritty’s, Bayside Bowl, Portland Food Coop, and the Farmers’ Market.

Visit the Buy Local website to vote for your favorites.

Certine Flatware

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a feature article about Certine, a new ceramic flatware launched by former Opus Ten server David Muse with Bill Todd and Rachel Rodrigues in June.

“At this point,” he said, “this product is for the type of people who make dinner reservations before they make hotel reservations, because if you don’t get the dinner reservations you’re probably not going to that town. It’s for people who go to buy foodstuffs three or four times a week as opposed to one time a week. It’s for the kind of people who take more pictures of their food than they do their children or their pets. It’s ultimately for the kind of people who are thinking about genuine interaction with their food.”

Fork Food Lab, Feeding the 5000

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Today’s Press Herald includes articles on Fork Food Lab,

The $1.5 million food lab is the creation of Neil Spillane and Eric Holstein, two young entrepreneurs who hope their project will help propel both Maine’s food economy and the dreams of local entrepreneurs who want to scale up their businesses and see their pies, sauces, sports drinks and puddings on every table.

and the Feeding the 5,000 event.

On Oct. 7, the coalition of groups plans to serve thousands of bowls of free hearty stew to the general public in an event called Feeding the 5,000. Some 2,500 bowls will be dished up in Monument Square in Portland, with the remainder going to schools, local companies and hunger prevention programs that serve people who rely on donated food for their meals.

Food Strategy Framework Released

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

The Maine Food Strategy Framework report has been released, according to a report from the Press Herald.

“What is being presented in this document is a set of goals, and in those goals there are a set of underlying ‘how do we get theres,’ ” [Joshua Stoll, founder of] said. “That’s the piece that’s really exciting. This creates a blueprint for moving these ideas forward that people from all over Maine have been thinking about.”

Interested to learn more? Read the full report.

Oral History of the Lobster Roll

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

imageThe new issue of Down East magazine features an extensive “Oral History of the Lobster Roll”. The article talks with “dozens of chefs, food stand owners, magazine editors, historians, and big-city entrepreneurs who witnessed (and helped fuel) one of our favorite morsels”.

the path from its “relative obscurity” in the early 20th century to current stature makes for an interesting read.

The article isn’t online yet but the magazine should be appearing on newsstands shortly.

Tiqa Cafe & Food Trucks

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

The new issue of Portland Magazine includes an article on some of the newer food trucks in town,

The mobile food craze that has spread like wildfire through every major city in the world hit Portland in 2012, or maybe we just finally ran out of building space for more restaurants. We meet the people behind the wheel of Portland’s most dynamic and diverse food scene.

and an article on rebirth of the Deering Oaks castle as Tiqa Cafe.

The fanciful stone Castle in Deering Oaks Park is being invaded by hungry marauding hordes this summer, after many years in the wilderness. Standing sentry by the pond in Portland’s crown jewel public park, TIQA Café houses seating for 20 indoors, with outdoor seating for over 80. Distractions such as bocce ball, horse shoes, bean-bag toss, chess tables, and live music adorn The Castle’s new reign.

Changes to the SMCC Culinary Program

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Today’s Press Herald includes a report on big changes to the Culinary Arts program at SMCC to address falling enrollment and other issues.

Culinary students entering Southern Maine Community College this fall will choose from a different menu of coursework and lecturers as the school’s culinary arts and hospitality management departments undergo major restructuring. Those changes include a new and unusual arrangement in which the college will share resources with the University of Southern Maine’s tourism and hospitality program.

Nonesuch Oyster Tour

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

The Blueberry Files has published a report on the Nonesuch Oyster Tour.

Last month a friend of mine came to visit Maine, and we used that as an excuse to check out the Nonesuch Oyster aquaculture tours that owner Abigail Carroll has started offering. Carroll’s farm is located in the Nonesuch River off of scenic Pine Point in Scarborough. Her oysters can be found occasionally on Portland raw bar menus and at Harbor Fish Market. They’re characterized by their green shells and grassy flavors, which we learned all about why that is on our afternoon tour.

You can sign-up for a Nonesuch touch on Eventbrite.


Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

The Urban Eye met with Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez to learn more about their recent purchase of Caiola’s and plans for the West End restaurant.

The couple has ideas for wine dinners, to work in more local produce and feng shui the space, but that is all down the road. For now the biggest change is an Italian ice cream maker in the back and new energy coursing through the sage and terra cotta building, which they now own.

Observations on Caiola’s

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

The Golden Dish has posted some thoughts and observations on the transition in ownership at Caiola’s and the small impact he’s starting to see on the menu.

When the old is reborn, this or that tweaked, or a  favorite menu item disappears, it’s absolute heresy to old regulars.  But all things change eventually, and it’s exciting to think what such a talented chef as Sansonetti will do in his new kitchen.

Caiola’s Sale Completed

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016


Caiola’s co-founders Abby Harmon and Lisa Vaccaro completed the sale of their restaurant Thursday night to chefs Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez, co-owners of Piccolo.

Harmon and Vaccaro opened Caiola’s nearly 11 years ago, in that time it’s become a well-loved West End destination. They’re immediate plans after the sale call for some much deserved time off.

Lopez and Sansonetti don’t plan to make any dramatic changes to Caiola’s in the near term. The restaurant will be closed Sunday though Tuesday to provide the staff with time off over the holiday weekend and re-opening on Wednesday.

As a West End resident, I  am very happy to have Damian and Ilma running restaurant in my neighborhood, and look forward to seeing how they evolve it over the coming years.

Restaurant Work

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

This week’s issue of the Portland Phoenix includes an article on the challenges of restaurant work and the strategies owners use to find good team members,

Anyone that’s even spent a modicum of time working in the local restaurant industry, knows that it’s hard, sweaty, anxiety inducing work. It’s partly the reason why, despite Portland’s high density of four- and five-star restaurants (Portland’s got 395 eateries that brought in about 326 million dollars in revenue last year) and stellar foodie reputation, there’s a shortage of experienced, enthusiastic line cooks.

and an article about eateries in/near parks.

Public parks and food don’t always mix. Food carts and trucks can face special permitting issues, and predictability of traffic doesn’t always justify a food cart or truck near a public space. But the entry of TIQA Cafe & Bakery into the Castle in Deering Oaks Park — now open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk — could challenge this narrative.

Red’s Strawberry Soft-Serve

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

The Forecaster has published a report on the long running annual collaboration between Red’s and Maxwell to produce strawberry soft-serve.

Red’s Dairy Freeze in South Portland has been making soft-serve ice cream with strawberries from Maxwell’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth since the late 1980s. The limited-edition treat is only available for a few days a year.

Fork Food Lab Kickstarter

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Fork Food Lab (website, facebook, instagram) has launched a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign. The funds will be used to pay for the Lab’s tasting room.

Education is at our core where we’ll develop a variety of programming from tastings to lectures to cooking classes. Our dream is to become a real destination within Portland, Maine. With the Tasting Room, we can support small farmers, drive awareness to our members’ businesses, and celebrate the local food movement.

NY Times on The Honey Paw

Friday, May 27th, 2016

The New York Times has published an article about The Honey Paw.

The original premise, of a global noodle-centric spot, has given way to a focus on Asian flavors, but with culinary techniques borrowed from across the world. The chef de cuisine, Thomas Pisha-Duffly, is of Chinese and Irish descent, with roots in Indonesia and Massachusetts. All of that is reflected in the changing menu at the Honey Paw, where shrimp toast, a dim sum standard, has morphed into a lobster-and-scallop mousse tartine. “That was one of the first dishes that we conceptualized for the space,” Mr. Pisha-Duffly said. “It kind of epitomizes the way we think of cuisine.”