Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Portland Barrel Co.

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Mainebiz has published an article about the Portland Barrel Co. and its owner Ed Lutjens.

Lutjens works alone, planing staves so they fit together tightly, sculpting the staves’ inside and shearing off some wood outside so they’ll form a round barrel when set into hoops. He starts from the top of the barrel, placing the staves, which are of different widths, inside a metal hoop that he also hand makes. No glue is involved, so the sides of the staves need to be planed flat and fitted carefully.

Maine Street Designs in Chicago

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Portland-based interior designer Brett Johnson from Maine Street Design Co. is working on a prominent new restaurant in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood called Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar. Johnson has designed interiors for several Maine restaurants including Fore Street, the White Barn Inn, The Edge and Stripers.

Johnson’s work in Chicago is an example of a trend of Maine hospitality and design expertise being exported beyond the state’s borders. Branding and design firm Might & Main worked with chef/owner Michael Scelfo on the launch of his new restaurant Waypoint, both in Boston. Eventide is expanding into the Boston market this year, Boda opened a second location in Portsmouth last year, and the Brewers Guild built and delivered the Maine Beer Box to Iceland.

Maine agricultural and fishery products (lobster to China, native blueberries, glass eels and urchins to Japan) have been widely sought after for some time. It’s nice to see homegrown talent and concepts following their foot steps to have impact in the wider food world as well.

Rabelais Books Video

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

The good folks at Knack Factory has produced a wonderful video about Rabelais Books and its owner, resident bibliomaniac and culinary historian, Don Lindgren.

Interview with Chad Conley

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Urban Eye has posted the video of an interview with Chad Conley. Conley is the co-owner of Palace Diner and is in the process of launching Rose Foods.

Interview with Gillian and Jim Britt

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

The Press Herald has published an interview with the owners of gBritt, a firm that specializes in providing public relations support to restaurants.

Q:Still, it’s 2016. Why can’t I tweet/Instagram/website and market my restaurant myself?

JB: Our clients tend to be chef-driven restaurants. There is no marketing person in place. They are trying to do payroll, meet the delivery truck out back, fix that ice maker that stopped working.

Then in the very back of their mind, they are thinking, “We haven’t posted on Instagram in a week,” or “We haven’t updated our Facebook.” Then there is the storytelling. They might have a great story to tell, but they just don’t have the contacts with professional media or the time.

Mark’s Hot Dogs

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Mark’s Hot Dogs.

Since long before James Beard Award-winning chefs, culinary tourism, Instagramming hipsters and Food Network scouts turned this city into a culinary capital, Mark Gatti has hawked steamed hot dogs on the streets of Portland.

Coffee Me Up

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about Coffee Me Up and its owners Alba Zakja and Mateo Hodo.

What sets this gem apart are three things: First, the owners, Alba Zakja and Mateo Hodo are two of the most beautiful humans I have encountered. Their smiles are warm, welcoming and real. Second, their pastry offerings are homemade and Albanian; Albania is their birthplace, although they have both become American citizens. Two of their pastries are especially delicious: Byrek is a traditional phyllo savory pastry. It’s light, unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else in Portland, and you can rely on seeing it at Coffee ME Up seven days a week. The other is Alba’s mother Simina’s Baklava.

Joseph C. Anania, 94

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
Joseph C. Anania, co-founder of the first Anania’s Market passed away at the age of 94.
In 1960 Joseph and his sister Vivian opened the original Anania’s Market, which was located on Newbury Street in Portland. He worked in the store along with his brothers who became involved in the business over the years, until Joseph’s retirement in 1987.

Staff Training, David Levi, VegFest

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article on how restaurants train their staff to be ready for the summer season,

The summer tourist season is looming, and Maine restaurants are gearing up. That means hiring extra wait staff and training them to deal with all kinds of situations, before their businesses get insanely crowded. It’s a common rite of spring, for both destination restaurants with national reputations and more casual spots that cater to the shorts-and-T-shirts crowd.

the first article in a three part series written by David Levi about his restaurant Vinland,

“Restriction” is a word I sometimes hear when people first hear about our concept at Vinland, where every ingredient in every dish is local. I counter with two words: “form” and “mission.” To be clear, Vinland is a restaurant, not a concept. At the most basic and real level, it is a place to eat, drink, enjoy company, relax, be delighted and have fun. Like any restaurant. So what makes this restaurant unique? Actually, a fair number of things, but they all boil down to form and mission.

and an overview of the upcoming vegan food festival, VegFest.

Culinary Cultural Exchange

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about the culinary cultural exchange between Kari Suva and Somali immigrant Halima Abu.

“I walk by this little halal market every day, and I never thought about going in because I don’t know how to cook Somali food and don’t really know what they have inside,” Suva said. “So I stopped by to find out more about them, to introduce myself and say I’m a neighbor.”

Maine Cookbooks by Rudalevige, Jubinsky and Ahearn

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Three new cookbooks by Maine authors are being released:

  • Christine Burns Rudalevige has written Green Plate Special where she “shares her recipes for sustainable and delicious meals, alongside tips and tricks for greening your kitchen and making the most of your produce. From the farmer’s market to the dessert plate, this book is filled with ideas that will surprise and delight home cooks and eco-advocates, including recipes for meatless mains, summer barbecue favorites, and mouth-watering side dishes.”
  • Annemarie Ahearn has written Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm which “invites you to a series of magical, seasonal suppers where friends gather around the table to celebrate the bounty of land and sea. This menu-driven cookbook offers twelve beautifully crafted meals derived from more than one hundred sold-out dinners at Salt Water Farm, the author’s cooking school in Maine.”
  • Sandy and Michael Jubinsky have written No Passport Required, “A blend of international but very doable dishes and a breezy, casual style make for a cookbook that’s as much fun to read as it is to use.”

B&M Baked Beans Factory

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article on the B&M Baked Bean factory in Portland.

Inside, the production line is gravity-fed, for the most part. On the top floor, empty 200-pound iron bean pots swing from a ceiling-mounted rail system. Hairnet-clad workers use brute force to roll the cauldron-like pots from one station to the next, filling them with beans, molasses, cane sugar and other ingredients.

The article includes a video interview with Thomas Coreau who has worked at the plant for nearly a third of the company’s 150 year history.

Restaurant/Life Balance

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

The Press Herald published an article this week on the challenges restaurant owners face when raising children and working late night shifts at their establishments.

The Goulds are one of many young couples in Portland’s restaurant industry who have started a family at the same time they launch and run restaurants in the hottest market in the state. Working in the restaurant business, with its long hours, odd schedules and loads of stress, is difficult enough for any parent. It’s even harder when both parents are in the business. How do they do it?

Bresca & The Honey Bee Video

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

This video about Krista Kern Desjarlais and the path that took her from fine dining at Bresca to operating Bresca & the Honey Bee in New Gloucester has been nominated for a Northeast Regional Emmy in the Magazine Feature Segment category.

Ned Swain

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Maine Icons has published a profile of Ned Swain, owner of Devenish Wines.

Swain discovered his passion for wine in Italy and brought his knowledge back to Maine. He got to work, starting as a clerk, impressing others in the industry and creating relationships that opened new opportunities. Now, he’s the successful owner of two businesses, both of which continue to expand. Swain has worked tirelessly and has never been afraid to take a chance. His determination has paid off, for him, for his business partners, and those they employ.