Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Fly Points & Maine Shrimp

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

MPBN has aired an interview with Eric Horne and Valy Steverlynk about their Flying Points oyster farm in Freeport.

Eric Horne and his wife, Valy Steverlynk (above), fire up their skiff and motor down the Royal River away from the Yarmouth marina and out into Casco Bay. It’s a cold December morning and theirs is the only boat on the water.

They’re on their way to check an oyster bed they’ve been leasing for more than 10 years. After a bone-chilling five-minute trip, they arrive at the site, where they hope to collect about 500 oysters.

Working Waterfront has published a report that explores the possible causes of the collapse of the Maine shrimp fishery.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission did not close this fishery simply because the population was low, but more because we don’t seem to have enough baby shrimp to build a future upon. It was determined by managers that to give this stock the best chance for recovery we needed to leave all the shrimp now in the water in the hope that they spawn and produce abundant offspring.

Richard Foss, 96

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Richard Foss passed away earlier this month at the age of 96. Foss worked for 63 years at Schlotterbeck & Foss, a Portland specialty foods company founded by his grandfather Charles Foss and Augustus Schlotterbeck in 1866.

Mr. Foss joined the family business in 1940 after graduating from Harvard University. He started in sales and worked his way up the ranks to become president of the company.

The company was co-founded by his grandfather Charles S. Foss in 1866 as a prescription apothecary shop. It later evolved into patented medicines and flavoring extracts, which Foss sold to dairy farmers to make ice cream. Over time, S&F developed specialty food items, such as sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and ice cream syrups and toppings.

Best and Worst Tips of 2013

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Portland Daily Sun columnist Natalie Ladd share her Best and Worst Tips of 2013 in today’s paper,

4) I was delighted when a customer left me a $25 Visa gift card. I was not so delighted when I tried checking out at CVS with fun stuff I didn’t need, and was told the card had a zero balance on it. The line was long and I was embarrassed, so I paid cash.

Also in today’s Sun is an article about Steve & Renee’s Diner.

 

Wine Request List for 2014 & MOFGA Field Guide Poetry

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

libby_bookThe Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about a book of poetry by Russell Libby the deceased former director of MOFGA entitled What You Should Know: A Field Guide to Three Sisters Farm,

The poems are about the future of Libby’s land at Three Sisters Farm in Mount Vernon, and the role his family will play in taking care of that land. The underlying theme is mortality. The last in the collection, “Things You Should Know,” begins with the lines: “If I could, I would walk with you long enough that you, too, might find your way about without a map or guide, but I am certain it will take a while to share what I have learned these past three decades, and the time to start is now.”

and columnist Joe Appel shares a wish list for changes he’d like to see in wine consumers, servers and producers,

Drinkers, Again
Hold feet to fire. You ask your grocer where the broccoli came from; you ask your clothier the age of the Bangladeshi child who knit your socks. Wine is a consumable, and ought to be held to the same standards we apply to other aspects of our lives.

Art of Food at Spread

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

The Forecaster has a report on Jung Hur, an artist and the chef/owner of Spread.

Artists exhibiting in restaurants, cafes and bars are fairly common in Maine, but the Jung Hur show at Spread is an exceptional marriage of fine art and fine dining in a setting that is itself largely created by Jung, including the bar, the pillows and the chandelier.

According to the article, Spread will offer “a four-course prix fixe dinner as the culinary manifestation of “Balance: The Paintings & Cuisine of Jung Hur”” from today through February 2nd.

Randall Chasse, 71

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Randall Chasse, owner of the Miss Portland Diner for 24 years and the Middle Street Cafe for 6 years, has passed away at age 71.

Mr. Chasse had dreamed of operating The Worcester Lunch Car Company No. 818 since he was a boy growing up in Portland. His father was a well-known sausage maker and the two would drive past the diner often. He bought Miss Portland Diner around 1980 and served breakfast and lunch seven days a week to a loyal following.

The $500 Tip

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The Press Herald has published an article about a Kentucky man who’s traveling the country handing out $500 tips in memory of his brother.

An organization was founded, Aaron’s Last Wish, and about $50,000 was raised to keep the tips flowing. Collins said his goal is to leave at least one $500 tip in every state in the country by the end of January, and he still has about 10 Eastern states to go.

Update: Also see this article from the Bangor Daily News.

Interview with Chef Shannon Bard

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The Portsmouth Herald has published an interview with chef Shannon Bard.

Bard grew up in Oklahoma on the Texas border. She and her family sat together and enjoyed large meals prepared by her grandmother and mother. She joined them in the kitchen and spent hours making vibrantly flavored meals prepared from scratch. Meanwhile, her father and grandfather, both small farmers, imparted lessons on seasonal produce and the hard work and dedication farmers put into each and every crop.

“My grandmother had a Mexican restaurant before I was even born and I met my husband in San Diego, where there was a lot of Mexican food. It was my passion,” Bard says.

Q&A with Nancy Jo Polito

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Today’s paper includes a Q&A with Nancy Jo Polito on the book she recently published about her father Armand Polito.

Armando Polito sailed to the United States in 1920, when he was 10 years old, with his mother and siblings. His father, Giovanni Polito, had been in America for eight years, successfully running the Napoli restaurants in Maine.

Sergio Ramos, Tequila Sommelier

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Sergio Ramos, the certified tequila sommelier and managing partner at Zapoteca.

The beverage formerly inspiring the cry “let’s do shots” is now a top-shelf contender. In a corner restaurant in Portland, one man is doing his part to bring tequila to its richly deserved prominence.

“I’m a defender of the spirit,” said Sergio Ramos, who notes he is one of only four tequila sommeliers in the country.

Karen Kay Geary, 68 (Updated)

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

The Beer Babe has posted an article about the passing of Karen Kay Geary, co-founder of D.L. Geary Brewing.

Notably, Karen was the first female brewery owner in Maine, and among the first in New England and the U.S., after prohibition. Author and beer historian Tom Acitelli commented that, “To be a woman involved in craft beer in the early/mid-1980s was to be in rare company; it was, like the larger brewing industry, very much a man’s world on both the consumer and business sides.” I, for one, would like to thank her for being a pioneer in the early days and paving the way for those that came after her in craft beer. I hope you will join me in raising a toast in Karen’s honor.

Update: For more information see the article in Wednesday’s Press Herald.

Conley and Mitchell at The Palace

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

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Chad Conley, head chef at Gather, and business partner Greg Mitchell have leased the Palace Diner (website, facebook, twitter) on Franklin Street in Biddeford with plans to relaunch the business this Spring. The pair plan to maintain a traditional diner menu for breakfast and lunch. In the evening they’ll be launching a dinner service with more creative fare, and have submitted an application for liquor license. During warmer weather they’ll have outdoor seating.

Conley is a Portland native who in addition to Gather has cooked at Hugo’s and Jean-Georges in NYC. He worked for Eliot Coleman at Four Season Farm in Harborside and helped launch Miyake Farms in Freeport. He and Mitchell met when they were both working  Four Season Farm.

The Palace Diner was founded by Louis LaChance in 1927 and is being leased to Conley and Mitchell by the current owner, David Capotosto. It was built by the Pollard Company in Lowell, Massachusetts.

The new Palace Diner joins a growing community of food businesses in Biddeford. the former mill town is home to Rabelais which moved their in 2011, Elements coffee shop/bookstore, Royal Rose cocktail syrup (a Brooklyn transplant), Cobblestones (formerly located on Monument Square), newly launched Banded Horn Brewing and the production facilities for Vervacious. The low rent and steadily growing downtown community are making it an appealing place to launch a business. A number of other Portland chefs have recently considered opening in Biddeford. Conley and Mitchell’s may become an example for other chefs looking to launch their own restaurant.

These photos are from a friends and family breakfast Conly and Mitchell held yesterday to celebrate their new business.

Gather is now in the process of recruiting a new head chef.

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Under Construction: Interview with David Levi

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

SoupWhiteBackground4-300x284The Ink & Pine podcast has posted an interview with David Levi about his restaurant Vinland.

Listen in to hear how top chefs in Italy and Denmark influenced Levi’s decisions about Vinland, how to fill a Maine kitchen with exclusively Maine foods, why lard has a bad rap and much more. Here, David Levi will discuss everything from a future Portland culinary school to foraging for edible mushrooms in New York City’s Central Park to the gourmet preparation of reindeer lichen. What food staples could be locally grown in Maine, but aren’t?

El Rayo Bartender in GQ

Monday, November 18th, 2013

henrysaphireEl Rayo’s Henry Jost participated earlier this year in the Bombay Saphire Most Imaginative Bartender competition. Jost (2nd from the left in this segment of the image) and the other 45 bartenders from the competition are featured in a 4-page tableau in the December issue of GQ.

Jost’s entry in the competition was the High Port which is made with “fresh honeydew juice, fresh lemonade infused with three botanicals, juniper berry, coriander seed and orris root; Cocchi Americano Apertif; and Bombay Sapphire gin”.

El Rayo’s holding a release party for Jost on Tuesday, 6-8pm at El Rayo Cantina.

Interview of Maine Pie Line

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

mpl_logoThe Press Herald has published an interview with Briana Warner about her new bakery/pie CSA, Maine Pie Line (website, facebook).

Warner, 30, grew up in Pennsylvania and studied international relations and economics at Yale and George Washington University. She first started baking pies when she was dating her husband, Matt, and found out how much he loves them. But she didn’t get really serious about them until the State Department posted her to Guinea, a tiny west African country south of Senegal and north of Sierra Leone, as an economic and political officer. There was a lot of political turmoil at the time – the embassy had to be evacuated while Warner was there – and she used pie as a cultural bridge.

Today”s paper also includes an article about a Maine sweet potato farm and a list of local bakeries where you can order pie for your Thanksgiving table.

Interview with David Levi

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Frontier Psychiatrist has published an interview with David Levi about his background and his upcoming restaurant Vinland.

FP: So, the burning question: what is the food going to be like?
DL: Wild foods are the ultimate for me. We are biologically wild animals, we evolved to eat wild foods, wild foods are more nutritious, they are more unusual and exciting and varied than anything we can buy, and they connect us in the most fundamental way to our landbase. I’m really interested in fermentation, especially wild fermentation (as in, fermenting without a starter culture, just relying on wild bacteria and yeast), so there will be lots of fermented ingredients and lots of foods that can be stored through the winter. Clearly, I won’t be using any food ingredients I can’t get in Maine. So, no olive oil, no black pepper, no lemon. This is where creativity comes in.

Restaurant Inspector Paid to Leave

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Former restaurant inspector Michele Sturgeon was given a settlement by the city to leave her job, according to a report from the Press Herald.

Michele Sturgeon, criticized for giving too many eateries failing grades, got $18,600 and agreed not to ‘speak ill’ of city officials or services.

Today’s paper also includes an article about the shutdown’s impact on seafood processing inspection.

Interview with Jack Barber

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Bank of America has published a Q&A with Mainely Burgers co-owner Jack Barber.

We came up with this crazy idea because we were meeting up in Boston at these food trucks. We thought: ‘Why don’t we try to bring these to Portland? No one’s done it yet.’ We seized the market opportunity, pooled our resources with friends and family, and purchased a food truck. At the time, Portland didn’t allow for them. In December, a friend of ours in the food industry suggested that we target a local beach.

Anna E. Russo, 93

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Anna E. Russo (article, obituary) passed away last week. Russo and her husband Alphonso ran Al’s Luncheonette on India Street from the 1940s until 1964.

She married Alphonso Russo in 1942, and the couple had six children. Together they operated Al’s Luncheonette at 45 India St. until 1964, when they sold the business to a neighborhood man who was hawking Italian items from the trunk of his car, said her son Joseph Russo. It would become Micucci’s grocery.

Anne Verrill: Grace & Foreside Tavern

Monday, October 14th, 2013

The American Journal has published a profile Anne Verrill.

Anne Verrill, 35, of Falmouth is the owner of two restaurants that are finding and maintaining success in the increasingly crowded, competitive greater Portland restaurant scene: Foreside Tavern in Falmouth, and Grace, the high-end restaurant housed in a renovated church in downtown Portland.