How have they been received?
Great. Some of my customers are Top Chef guys. The James Beard list just came out and it was cool to see that most of my customers were on that list, a lot of high profile folks. I think they also like the fact that I used to be a chef so I know what is needed. I am not just cutting these things from patterns. If the chef has a particular need, I can do it.
Archive for the ‘People’ Category
How have they been received?
Maine Today has published an interview with Sarah Richards, the owner of Homegrown Herb & Tea,
What lesson have you learned?
My biggest lesson that my teashop has taught me is that you can do anything you want to do in life. You know, I worked for someone else my whole life. I was a waitress then a bartender, and then I became a Spanish teacher. And all that time, as much of a free spirit as I am, I felt very obligated to a system. Having broken away from that system has been the most marvelous thing I’ve ever done. It’s just awesome.
and Dispatch has published an interview with Kris Horton owner of the cheese shop in the Public Market House.
Kris describes The Public Market House as “constantly in a state of flux.” A business will get their start in the Public Market, leaning on other vendors for support, sharing costs and gaining strength in numbers. Eventually, the business will outgrow the space and be strong enough to branch out on their own, allowing the opportunity for a new small business to take their place. It’s a ongoing cycle, and it seems to work very well.
A new blog called Feeding Me launched late last month. It’s a project by Henry Leiter to “explore the independent, entrepreneurial spirit of Maine by interviewing local food purveyors and artisans”.
So far Leiter has interviewed:
- A profile of David Buchanan, author of Taste, Memory
- An interview with Alan Spear, co-owner of Coffee by Design
- A trip aboard the Stella Maris fishing for bluefin tuna
- An interview with Tara Barker from 40 Paper, Ilma Lopez from Grace and Krista Kern Desjarlais from Bresca
- A guide to Maine restaurants that I worked on in collaboration with Joe Ricchio and Amy Anderson
Portland Daily Sun columnist Natalie Ladd has written about a night when everything went well . . . except the tips.
So why were the tip so overwhelmingly bad?
It stands to reason there should be a direct correlation between customer satisfaction with the big three: Food, Atmosphere and Service (FAT) and a handsome gratuity. Typically that’s how it plays out, but that night, I just couldn’t figure what was going awry. There was the paper napkin upon which somebody wrote, “Fantastic Service! We had a great time,” and left a little over ten percent of their check.
The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an interview with wine professional and Portland resident Layne Witherell.
Q: I thought one of the best paragraphs in your book was the last one, where you hand out advice to people who want to learn about wine. Can you share a few of those suggestions?
A: Just write down everything that you taste or take a picture of that label, so that way you have a memory of what you had. I ran a store for years and years, and (customers) walk in and go, “This was the best wine I ever had.”
Maine magazine has published an interview with Tara Barker from 40 Paper, Ilma Lopez from Grace and Krista Kern Desjarlais from Bresca about the challenge of being a pastry chef and their approach to their craft.
One of the most fascinating things about the modern restaurant kitchen is the average savory chef’s complete aversion to the art of pastry. It is as if that particular vocation is the culinary equivalent of learning a difficult foreign language, with even the tiniest errors resulting in failure. With so many would-be chefs rushing into the cooking profession, why is it that so few dare to tread the scientific world of the pastry chef? What drives those who do accept the challenge?
The article is a preview of the upcoming March food issue of Maine which should be making its way into subscribers mailboxes in the next week or so.
Eli Cayer, owner of Urban Farm Fermentory, was interviewed on WCSH about his new project.
Eli Cayer is a man with a vision. He’s transforming a garage that was home to a taxi company for 10 years into a space where Maine producers can expand in an affordable way.
The Bowdoin Orient has published an interview with Steve Corry, chef and co-owner of Five Fifty-Five.
But while Corry is inspired by his team, he has also developed an individual methodology in his approach to creating a dish.
“First, it has to taste good,” he told me. “Then you have start thinking about balance, which of course plays into tasting good. You also have to consider seasoning. There needs to be acid and fat. There should be a liveliness. Appearance is also important. Visually, the components need to work in harmony. There should be some definition to the dish. There should be a hot and cold component to the plate.”
The Portland Daily Sun has published a profile of the West End Deli and owner Nancy Arnold.
Nancy Arnold, owner of The West End Deli, is not afraid to speak her mind about how tightly she runs her business, whom she choses to do business with, and how she feels about the customers who frequent the little deli, grocery, and beer and wine establishment she’s owned and operated for eight years.
The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about two local food authors and their books.
In “The MILF Diet,” former full-time Portlander and current summer resident Jessica Porter presents a beautiful cookbook that shows women how to use the techniques of macrobiotic cooking to bring their bodies and lives back into balance.
In “Food Fix,” Falmouth resident Susan Lebel Young provides an accessible self-help guide based on personal experience and the principles of mindfulness to lead readers out of the junk food abyss and into a real food oasis.
The Root has published an interview with Don Lindgren, co-owner of Rabelais.
What is the root of your selection criteria for books?
Well, we have many different types of cookbooks and other food and drink books, so the selection criteria vary. There are tens of thousands of cookbooks in print, and hundreds of thousands of titles printed throughout history, so even the largest store can’t handle it all, but the bottom line for us is that a book needs to treat its subject with respect, and be written by someone who brings knowledge and some skill to the task. In terms of rare books, it’s all about what we find, whether it’s an individual item or a whole collection. I love buying collections formed by chefs and food historians because they often contain obscure books on really specific subjects, like Papaya Culture in Hawaii, or a 19th century Goan cookbook, published in Bombay.
The Portland Phoenix has published a profile of Chris McClay and her business the Modern Vegan Cooking School.
McClay, 38, is the proprietor of Portland’s new Modern Vegan Cooking School and the Maine representative for the Wellness Forum, a national for-profit dietary-education organization. She’s been eating a plant-based diet since 1992, when a college course piqued her interest in vegetarianism and then full-on veganism. She hasn’t eaten any animal-derived products since then — really. No meat, no cheese, no dairy products. And, perhaps most remarkably, no cravings.
The Food & Dininng section in today’s Press Herald includes an article on hot chocolate along with drink reviews from several venues in town like this one for Gorgeous Gelato,
Don’t be surprised if you start hearing sleigh bells while you drink this. This is classic hot chocolate, the kind of drink you dream about when you hear the song “Winter Wonderland” or crave after coming in from a long day of skiing or playing in the snow.
It’s made with two kinds of Belgian chocolate and whole milk. Be sure to ask for whipped cream on top — it’s real whipped cream, cold, thick and delicious, and floats well and long on top of the chocolate…
a profile of Portland resident Dan McGovern who publishes the Sustainable Food News,
Produced in Portland, the online business magazine publishes Monday through Friday and chronicles the health food industry’s latest news and trends. The daily emails go out to 7,500 subscribers.
Also in today’s paper is a piece on the parking situation at Trader Joe’s.
Friday’s Portland Daily Sun included a report on the Culinary Immersion Feast series that taking place on Thursdays at the Museum of African Culture,
If you’re hungry to learn about Haitian culture, and don’t mind feasting on a meal while delving into a Haitian-themed art exhibit, the Museum of African Culture may offer the perfect pairing. The museum is serving culinary immersion feasts, where the meal is an extension of the art on exhibition.
a profile of Others! in Monument Square,
At Others! a great deal of intent is evident in all aspects of the operation. The effect on the environment is a prime consideration, to be sure. The coffee stirrers, believe it or not, are strands of uncooked organic spaghetti. Bio-degradable coffee stirrers. And the to-go coffee cups and lids are state-of-the art bio-degradable as well. You wouldn’t believe the research Brad did to come up with them.
and perspectives from former restaurant workers on their old careers in the hospitality industry.
Nancy Farrell-Baker, Portland, 29. “I’d still be waiting tables if I hadn’t just had a second child. Even though my husband works days and my job was mostly nights, it was too stressful. He sells cars and does pretty well, but I still made more money and loved the people I worked with. Yeah, that’s the hardest part, not being around such great people.”
Dispatch has published a Q & A with Joe Timmins, the bartender at Slainte.
What’s your favorite thing about bartending?
All of it. I’d do this 7 days a week. I get to chat people up, make them laugh, and hear some of the best performance art that Portland has to offer. What’s not to love?
The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about the overuse/misuse of the word artisanal,
Even real artisans need to lay off the word artisanal for a while. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that you are trying to do the right thing, and we do appreciate your craftsmanship. But do we really need to know that the bread you just made came from wheat sown by your great-great-grandmother Clara and was made with a recipe passed down from generation to generation in a Mason jar stored under the floorboards of your Uncle Ned’s log cabin? (Was that an artisanal log cabin?)
Stavros Elias Shamos, the longtime owner of Quality Shop on Stevens Ave, passed away earlier this week at the age of 91.
Steve owned and operated The Quality Shop on Stevens Avenue in Portland for his whole working career, expanding the business to include his son, who owns it to this day. A local icon in Deering Center, many people knew Steve as a hard worker who ran his business as a perfectionist and a gentleman.
MaineToday.com has published a brief interview with Larry Matthews, chef/owner of the Back Bay Grill.
How did you get here?
I was born here and never really left. That’s the truth. I was born in Portland and I’ve lived in 12 different towns over the years. My family on both sides goes really far back – in fact, we can trace family to Campobello Island in the 1600s. I am a seventh generation Mainer on both sides. At some point we obviously crossed the bridge from Canada and came to Maine, and we stayed. My dad was a lobsterman, so was his dad.
The Portland Daily Sun has published a profile of Steve and Renee’s Diner.
Renee was having trouble getting into the interview because she saw that my breakfast was getting cold. We had to take a break so I could finish eating, then things were fine. She cared. Just couldn’t get away from it.
Therein lies the tale. At Steve & Renee’s Diner it’s all about people. Has been for the twenty-nine years they’ve been in business. “Just don’t call us a restaurant,” she said, “there’s restaurants all over the place. We’re a diner, like the ones that used to exist in Portland. When people come in here they’re family.”