Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Interview with Bernie Larsen

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with Bernie Larsen, co-founder of Moran’s Market in 1956.

Q: Why are you continuing to work at 85?
A: There’s still that touch, that personal touch. People just love to come in and that’s why I’m still working – I enjoy people. I work six days a week, but I go in at 6 (a.m.) and get out at 1 (p.m.), so I don’t want to sound like a hero. It keeps me young, even though my body says no.

Interview with Kathleen Pratt

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Knack Factory has published an interview with Kathleen Pratt, co-owner of Tandem.

What I find fascinating about Tandem is that—outside of the coffee, which is great—you have sort have built a micro-culture around this place. I heard about Tandem before I even knew about your coffee. It was a place to go, to be. Was it a conscious decision to develop that?
We definitely had an environment that we wanted to create. In opening a cafe, I remember sitting down and asking, “What is it that we want to make here?” We want people to feel like they are stepping into our home, to create an intimate setting where people can meet each other. The whole reason I was drawn to coffee in the first place was my first cafe job. There, I had found a sense of community. But this place took on its own thing completely.

Interview with Chef Fred Eliot

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Eater Maine has published a 3-part interview with chef Fred Eliot (part 1, part 2, part 3) from Petite Jacqueline.

Fred Eliot didn’t intend to cook for a living. Growing up in France, he learned plenty of useful kitchen skills from his grandmother and mother, but his English Literature studies led him away from food. A move to Iowa and then Ohio with his first wife took him even further from food culture, surrounding him with fast food chains. The shock this caused was enough to get him “cooking more” at home again, which ultimately convinced Eliot he needed to stand in front of stove rather than sit in front of a computer.

Interview with John Naylor at Rosemont

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with John Naylor, co-owner of Rosemont.

Q: You’ve gone from one store to four and a catering operation. What are the plans for growth?
If we’re going to expand, our kitchen needs to get bigger and our warehouse needs to get bigger, so were going to start looking for space. We’re at about 4,000 square feet at the warehouse and we’re looking to expand to 10,000 to 12,000 square feet. We’d like to be able to take big animals in bigger pieces (for the butcher shop) and to get into preservation with the produce and offer Maine products year-round. That’s our mission now, to find that space. If we could have a warehouse big enough to help farmers store their crop, it could open up business with institutions. For instance, I’m on a committee that’s looking at how we get more local food into Portland’s public schools.

Apple Interview with Rowan Jacobsen

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

applesThe Press Herald has published a extended interview with James Beard award-winning author Rowan Jacobsen about his new book on heirloom apples.

Did you just go in search of different varieties – a random search – or did you put out feelers to try to find out who was growing what?
It was kind of a mix. I talked to growers about some of their favorites, some of the apple collector guys, and I’ve done research. There are some great books written about apples in the 1800s. Some of those are very opinionated about certain apples. So I developed a wish list of apples that I knew I wanted to check out.

Were there times you’d just stop by the side of the road and try something?
In Vermont, I do that all the time. This time of year the roadsides are just laden with wild apple trees, volunteer trees that nobody planted. But those aren’t any particular variety. You don’t know what you’re going to get with them. My wife and son don’t like to drive with me this time of year.

I had the chance to read an advance copy of the book and can give it a hearty 2 thumbs up. Jacobsen catalogs 100+ apples, providing tasting notes, detailed histories and does it all with an approachable and witty style that made it a pleasure to read.

Jacobsen will be in Portland on Monday September 22nd at SPACE Gallery for a reading and an apple tasting in collaboration with David Buchanan.

Innovative Women in Food: Chellie Pingree

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Fortune and Food & Wine magazines have included Maine Congresswoman and farmer Chellie Pingree in their list of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink.

Rudolph Ferrante, 91

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Rudolph Ferrante passed away last week at the age of 91.

In the 1950s, he co-owned restaurants including the Forest Gardens and Espans Quick Lunch in Portland. In the mid 1960s, he opened Rudy’s Lunch on Middle Street in Portland. He also owned Harbor Lunch on Commercial Street. Most recently, he owned and operated the iconic Rudy’s Diner on Main Street in South Portland. He retired in 1992, after running the diner for 17 years.

Interview with Steve Corry

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

As part of a new series that looks at how business leaders innovate their way around challenges, the Press Herald has interviewed Steve Corry, chef and co-owner of Five Fifty Five and Petite Jacqueline.

In a stroke of good timing, in April 2007, Corry was named Best New Chef by Food and Wine magazine. But he didn’t get to savor that success for long. In September 2008, Wall Street banking giant Lehman Bros. filed for bankruptcy, and the economy went into a tailspin.

Interview with Love Cupcakes

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

From Away has published an interview with Amy Alward, co-owner of Love Cupcakes.

5. Do you plan to try and transition your truck to a more traditional restaurant someday?
We recently finished construction on the second floor in the Public Market House in Monument Square of a food stall that looks like our food truck. You can find us there Tuesday through Sunday. It is where we bake our cupcakes these days. We will also be offering savory sliders from the market house, which we’ve started selling at the truck out on Outer Congress at the Portland Racket and Fitness Center.

Jay Villani & Salvage BBQ

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The August issue of Maine includes a profile of Jay Villani,

Villani’s decision to return to the kitchen at Local 188 comes after an extended absence, a time he spent opening and maintaining the operations of his other two successful Portland outposts, Sonny’s and Salvage BBQ. Though nearing 50 (which, as he tells me, is like “300 in chef years”) he has grown as a cook, learning new methods and old tricks, and discovering a new appreciation for the art of plating dishes. He has also grown wiser, learning one of the most important lessons in the restaurant world: how to delegate responsibility when necessary.

Barbecue Rankings was recently in town and paid a visit to Salvage.

I greatly enjoyed my visit.  These guys are doing things right and Salvage BBQ comes with my stamp of approval.

Video Interview: George Parr

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The first episode of a new video series from the Portland Trading Company features an interview with fishmonger George Parr.

Under Construction: Sur Lie

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

emilSur Lie is a new bar and restaurant under construction at 11-13 Free Street. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Emil Riverva, the chef who’s slated to lead the kitchen to learn more about his background and what he has planned for the menu.

Rivera moved to Maine after scouting trips to the state this past fall and winter. He’s come to Portland from the DC where he worked for several years as part of the ThinkFoodGroup—a family of 15 restaurants founded by chef/restaurateur Jose Andres.

Rivera tells me he’s excited by the design for the restaurant and looking forward to working in the new kitchen. He’s well on his way to developing a menu that will serve as a starting point for when they open. While it is a tapas-style restaurant Rivera is drawing on a wide range of influences for the menu. He’s especially interested to get a read on customer reactions once they open to further tune the menu. The menu will include some larger plates intended for sharing in addition to the broader range of small plate options.

While construction is under way he’s had the chance to get out and explore the Portland restaurant scene. Pai Men, Eventide, Central Provisions, Hunt & Alpine have been some of the high points so far. In between moving to Maine and helping to launch the restaurant he’s finding the time to plan a wedding, he’s getting married in late August.

Co-owners Antonio Alviar and Krista Cole are combining the spaces formerly occupied by Roost juice bar and Compositions into a single 70-seat restaurant and bar. Their hoping to open sometime in late summer/early fall.


Interview with Luke Davidson, Distiller

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with Luke Davidson from Maine Craft Distilling.

Q. What are some other unique spirits you make?
We have two other great ones – one we’re calling “Sea Smoke,” an aged whiskey, and we’re taking sugar kelp and Maine-grown peat and heating it to smoke some of the grains. Then we distill the barley and make a nice, richly profiled whiskey. The other up-our-sleeve one is taking traditional-styled gin and putting it in a barrel and making it age. It’s sort of a hybrid of whiskey and gin.

Interview with Karl Deuben

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Knack Factory hasposted an interview with Karl Deuben from Small Axe.

Without being precious, your food is perhaps more sophisticated than one might expect to get from a truck. How did you decide to go that route?
It is food that we like to cook in a style we thought was accessible for people who would be coming to a food truck. We wanted to put into our business everything we had learned at Hugo’s and Miyake. Bill had been in New York and I was in Chicago, and we wanted to utilize the techniques and philosophies behind cooking food that we had picked up over time. You have to have pride in what you are doing. This isn’t necessarily the optimal business model, but we are very proud of the food that we execute.

Review of Dancing Elephant & News from Empire

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The Golden Dish has reviewed Dancing Elephant in Westbrook.

But here’s the good news: The food is actually pretty good and probably the best example of Indian cooking in Greater Portland.

The review also reports a bit of unrelated news about Empire.

Empire Chinese, known for its dumplings and Cantonese stir fry,  has  announced the hiring  of a new stir-fry master, Wei Sook, who hails from the world-class kitchens of Hakkasan MGM Grand in Las Vegas…New stir-fry dishes will be introduced in the coming weeks at Empire Chinese.  This is truly exciting to have such a master Chinese chef cooking in Portland.

Anapurna’s Thali Food Cart & the Thai Culinary Studio

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes a profile of Anapurna’s Thali, a vegetarian food cart in East Bayside.

At the new Annapurna’s Thali vegetarian food cart in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood, the flavors have roots in the Himalayas.

Owner Gloria Pearse spent part of last summer on a vegetarian farm in Kotabagh, India. The farm sits in the foothills of the famous mountain range near the border with China and Nepal. While there, Pearse, a long-time vegetarian, was able to learn traditional vegetarian recipes from the cook.

Today’s paper also has an article about the Thai Culinary Arts Studio in Yarmouth.

Limanon, a native of Bangkok, is an environmental lawyer embarking on a new path in life, one in which she will teach traditional Thai cooking to Mainers. She’s calling her new business the Thai Culinary Arts Studio. In addition to regular cooking classes, Limanon plans to offer group dinner party classes and, eventually, culinary travel to Asia.

Interview with Chef David Turin

Monday, July 7th, 2014

The American Journal has published an interview with chef David Turin.

Turin is about food, not flamboyance. Following a couple of years as executive chef at Boston’s Bay Tower Room, which at the time took in the 13th-largest dollar volume of any restaurant in the country, Turin turned to the Massachusetts coastal town of Newburyport. He then ventured north to Portland in 1994. In the city’s arts district, Turin began creating what he calls “refined comfort food” at his eponymous restaurant.

Interview with Foundation Brewing

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Epicurious has published an interview with Foundation Brewing.

“The biggest change,” he says, “is that something that was only a goal a short time ago is now a reality. You make plans, and when you really get into it, there’s a big difference.”

“How so?” I ask.

“We knew this intellectually,” John says, “but we really learned that when you are brewing, or doing some other task around the brewery, that you can’t leave until it’s done. So if it’s eight or nine at night, and you’re still in the middle of some process, you know you are staying late.”

Q&A with Leigh Kellis

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Knack Factory has interviewed Leigh Kellis, owner of The Holy Donut.

Whenever I go into your places, there is a full line, sometimes extending out the door. What is it about what you do that people are responding to?
That’s a really good question. I have been trying to figure it out for a couple of years. We have had a spectacular reception to this business. I don’t take that for granted. I am grateful for literally every person who comes through the line. I realize that this might not last forever. Yes, we have a good product, but there is also something very quirky about this place and I know that…

Interview with Locally Sauced Burritos

Friday, July 4th, 2014

From Away has published a Q&A with Charlie Ely, owner of the Locally Sauced Burritos food cart.

What first attracted you to the food business?
My garden. Four years ago I had a small garden that produced over 100lbs of peppers (way more than I knew what to do with anyway). So I started to play around with hot sauces. I reached a point where I had around 10 sauces. At this time, I was working as an accountant and hating every second of it. I realized there had to be more to life than sitting at a desk. I decided to focus on how I could get these sauces out to the public and turn that in to a job. Locally Sauced was born.