Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

WSJ: A New England Focus on Local Foods

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Chefs at Vinland and Hugo’s/Eventide are featured in this Wall Street Journal article about the New England local food movement,

Griddled until golden but still tender at the center, it arrived nestled up against crescents of delicata squash, in a pool of sage-scented melted goat cheese that evoked the world’s most rarified Welsh rarebit. A tousle of tiny arugula stems and sunshiny tatsoi blossoms topped it all off. The dish was simultaneously surprising and comforting. It tasted of place and possibility. And like everything else on the menu at Vinland, chef David Levi’s fledgling experiment in Down East cuisine, not one morsel of it had started life more than a few dozen miles from my mouth.

Anywhere Coffee Truck (Updated)

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

The Gorham Grind is in the last day of a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to launch their coffee food truck, Anywhere Coffee Bar (twitter). There goal is to raise $9,000 and they’re currently just shy of $6,000.

Update: The campaign reached it’s goal yesterday raising a total of $9,130.

Cupping Coffee in Portland

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Follow along with Portland Phoenix food columnist Kate McCarty on her visits to four local shops to learn more about coffee processing and coffee tasting.

While sipping the four samples, my thoughts went like this: “Hmm, tastes like coffee… also tastes like coffee… yup, coffee again… Woah!” The fourth coffee tasted radically different due to the processing method. The Ethiopian coffee from Slate was naturally processed, meaning the fruits of the coffee plant, called “cherries” (inside of which you’ll find the “bean” or seed), are dried in the sun rather than mechanically pulped and then dried. The resulting coffee frequently is full of berry flavors; this one tasted like someone had infused it with blueberry syrup.

Maine Food Strategy Survey

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a report on the results of a local foods survey released yesterday by Maine Food Strategy.

In a survey of food-buying habits, nearly 80 percent of Maine consumers said they prefer purchasing their produce, meat and fish locally, primarily because they want to support their farmers, fishermen and community businesses.

Restaurant Impossible: Uncle Andy’s (Updated)

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The Portland Daily Sun, The Forecaster and the Press Herald have published reports on the upcoming visit of Restaurant: Impossible to film a show at Uncle Andy’s.

On June 9, “Restaurant: Impossible” host Robert Irvine and crew will take over the 60-year-old diner from owners Dennis and Tina Fogg for a 36-hour, $10,000 marathon restaurant rescue mission before a grand re-opening June 11.

The breakfast-and-lunch diner staff, menu and aesthetic will get an extreme makeover – as well as some tough love – for an episode to be aired later this year.

From Away on Portland Food Book

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

From Away has published an article about Kate McCarty’s new book, Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine.

Portland, Maine is fortunate to have so much incredible food, and even more fortunate to have such gifted local writers to document it. Kate McCarty’s new book, “Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine” is the kind of volume you thumb through again and again, admiring its thoughtfulness, research, and the care the author took in crafting it.

Malcolm and Jillian have just completed their own book about Maine food and I am eagerly awaiting my copy from Amazon.

Restaurant Impossible in SoPo

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The Food Network show Restaurant Impossible will be in South Portland next month where they’ll be filming at Uncle Andy’s.

Under Construction: Danforth Inn

Friday, May 9th, 2014

New owners of the Danforth plan eventually open a restaurant in the Inn, according to reports from the Press Herald and Bangor Daily News.

“I think the restaurant and how it looks needs a different concept. It will be fine dining like Natalie’s. It will also be relaxed fine dining like Natalie’s,” he said. “But we are looking at different cuisine and concepts and talking to different chefs right now to come up with something Portland would like to have, embrace and would also fit our brand and what our guests are expecting from us.” [PPH]

Sangillo’s, Joe’s, Hyatt Lounge, Lobster Away

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

In other recent food news:

Maine Spirit

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has published a report on the growing Maine distilled spirits industry.

Food Truck RFP

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

The City of Portland has put out an RFP for food trucks and carts that want to operate this summer in parks and other public spaces, according the Bangor Daily News and West End News.

The City of Portland has issued a Request for Proposals to seek qualified vendors to provide concession operations through the use of food trucks and push carts at seven locations throughout the city. The food truck locations include: Back Cove Trail, Congress Square Plaza, Deering Oaks Park parking lot, Western Promenade, and Kiwanis Pool parking lot. The push cart locations include: East End Beach, Lincoln Park, Kiwanis Pool parking lot, and Western Promenade.

Kosher BBQ

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The Press Herald has published a feature on the kosher BBQ taking place this weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Levey Day School in South Portland.

Why is a rabbi getting so close to a barbecue smoker, a device that is most often used to cook decidedly unkosher pork? This particular smoker, built by Doors Services Inc. (owned by a Levey alum) and never used before, will make its debut Sunday at a kosher barbecue at the school on Deering Avenue. A kosher barbecue is an event so rare that organizers could find reference to only one other like it in the whole country.

For more info see the event listing on

Sangillo’s Postponement

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reports that the City Council has voted to postpone sending the liquor license denial to the state to address a procedural matter.

Councilors unanimously approved the postponement to Monday, May 5, but cautioned Bryant and Sangillo that public comments will be limited to the record of the council action.

“This is not a do-over,” warned Councilor Ed Suslovic, one of the strongest opponents of the liquor license renewal because of incidents city police linked to the bar or its patrons.

More Food Truck Reporting

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on the Good Shepherd Food Bank food truck and its chef Matt Brown.

The Blueberry Files has published an addendum to the food truck article she wrote last week for the Portland Phoenix.

Food Truck Update

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The Portland Phoenix has published an update on Portland’s 2014 food truck fleet.

Portland food trucks are coming out of hibernation, so we thought we’d check in with the existing fleet for an update on their upcoming season. First, the good news: most truck owners were very happy with their first year of service in Portland. Only one truck ran out of gas, so to speak, after a season in Back Cove Park — Portside Picnic. Owner Rich Earle cites costly permits as well as size and location restrictions as his reasons for closure.

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.