Archive for the ‘People’ Category

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.

Pho Co. & Chau Du

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

The Press Herald has published a feature article on Pho Co. and its owner Chau Du.

By 9:15 a.m., the broths are all simmering, chicken, beef and vegetarian just barely at a bubble. Chau Du is preparing for what she expects will be an average lunch at Pho Co. in Portland, a prediction based mostly on the weather. It’s not raining, it’s not particularly cold and so she is making merely enormous, rather than gigantic, vats of broth in a trio of approximately 30-quart stockpots. They already smell good, with notes of cinnamon and star anise rising up. In the beef broth, a couple big chunks of ginger root bob at the surface, floating alongside five long bones.

Milo DeGoosh at USBC

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Barista Milo DeGoosh from Bard Coffee is headed to Seattle where he will compete in the US Barista Competition.

DeGoosh is scheduled to compete in round 1 of the competition at noon on Friday. If he makes it into the top six he’ll proceed to the semifinals on Saturday. The final round among the top competitors takes place on Sunday.

DeGoosh is the first Maine barista to compete in the Nationals.

LB Kitchen

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about LB Kitchen and its owners Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind.

Byrna and Lee shared with me what they’re aiming for with LB Kitchen:  “Let’s be honest, we are not those kind of people who eat to live. We live to eat, all day and every day. We wake up thinking about food we dreamed about. We spend our days and our nights swirling around in our kitchens creating, tasting, laughing, loving, and sharing. To us, food is life, love, medicine and community. Our mission at LB Kitchen is to tell you stories through our food; where it came from, why we love it, why we chose it, why it tastes and makes you feel so good. We believe that food is fun and functional.”

Interview with Rob Tod

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

All About Beer has interviewed Allagash Brewing founder Rob Tod for their After Two Beers series.

The two discuss how Tod moved from keg washer to brewery owner, and how he came to appreciate and brew beers in the Belgian tradition. Tod talks about some of the beers that influenced him along the way, including one in particular that inspired him to brew Allagash White, a beer that now accounts for around 75 percent of the brewery’s production.

2017 Business Leaders of the Year

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Congratulations to Bob and Carmen Garver, owners of Bard Coffee and Wicked Joe, on being named 2017 Business Leaders of the Year by Mainebiz.

The Garvers have come a long way since starting in a cramped space in Brunswick. Not only does Wicked Joe have a loyal following in Maine, it is also now distributed in 48 states, and expects to be in 50 states by the end of 2017. Distributors include Hannaford Brothers Co. and Shaw’s Supermarkets, as well as two of the largest natural and organic food distributors in the country, KeHE Distributors LLC of Naperville, Ill., and United Natural Foods Inc., which is based in Providence, R.I.

Hutchins to Join Rhum

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Award winning bartender Trevin Hutchins is joining the team at Rhum as a partner and director of their beverage program. Hutchin’s new cocktail menu, as well as a new food menu, is going to be unveiled at a press event next week.

Hutchins cocktails have been featured in Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Down East, and the New York Times. His drink the Jakarta was selected as one of the top 5 cocktails of 2015 by Star Chefs.