Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Anthony J. Napolitano, 79

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Anthony Napolitano founder of Maria’s Ristorante passed away this weeks at the age of 79.

Mr. Napolitano opened his first restaurant, Napoli’s Restaurant on Veranda Street in Portland, in 1960. He ran it until 1972 and then opened the first Maria’s Ristorante in Westbrook. He ran that restaurant for four years before moving to its current location on Cumberland Avenue.

Interview with Fred Eliot

Friday, July 17th, 2015

A Blissful Interlude has published an audio interview with Fred Eliot from Petite Jacqueline.

Fred recounts what Sunday dinners were like growing up in Normandy, France, and lists his industry influences and inspirations. He also shares his secrets for bliss and his favorite dishes and dining spots (hint: he has a soft spot for American Chinese cuisine). 

Interview with John Berry

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The Daily Meal has published an interview with John Berry, chef of Union.

The Daily Meal: In a nutshell, what is the concept of UNION and what inspired it? 
Chef Josh Berry: The cuisine at UNION can be best explained as “enhanced local.” We focus on a particular ingredient and try to showcase it at its zenith state through preparation methods and flavors. Inspiration can come from anything at any time. I have no particular muse that I rely on, with the exception of the season. Seasonal cooking is very important to me, and that shows through in the cuisine.  

Evo & Editor’s Cookbook Collection

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Today’s Press  Herald includes an update on Evo, the new Eastern Mediterranean restaurant opening on June 7,

The tight space offered significant design challenges. Just 1,000 square feet, which was increased to 1,400 with the addition of the mezzanine, Evo has floor-to-ceiling glass walls on two sides with sharp corner angles. The design makes the most of this by wrapping the inside of the walls with a dining counter.

and an article on food editor Peggy Grodonsky’s relationship with her cookbook collection.

But this spring, unpacking and re-shelving my cookbooks for the fourth time in just 10 years, I decided to count them, and I came up with 334 cookbooks, more or less, plus another 160 books about food. In the latter category, such items as memoirs by Betty Fussell, histories of the spice trade and the no-nonsense “The Maple Sugar Book” by Helen and Scott Nearing. That last entered my household long before I lived in Maine, and I’m tickled that it has found its way home.

Interview with Greg Mitchell & Chad Conley

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Map & Menu has published an interview with chefs Chad Conley and Greg Mitchell, owners of the Palace Diner in Biddeford.

After an (always) outstanding meal at Palace, we spoke with them about their trips, their travel styles, and the community they’re building around the diner. The way that they both use food and cooking to get a better feeling for an area’s culture is something that Meredith and I can certainly appreciate, while their authentic, relaxed approach to exploring the places they visit will no doubt serve as inspiration on our own future trips.

This is interview is the first installment of a new series from Map & Menu.

Cheryl Lewis Joins C Salt

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Chef Cheryl Lewis has joined the team at C Salt where she’ll be taking the lead as the General Manager of the Cape Elizabeth market.

Lewis has spent the last several years working as executive chef at El Rayo. She was also the original owner of Aurora Provisions and tells me she’s looking forward to once again working at a retail store.

JBF Finalist: Masa Miyake

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

WGME has posted an interview with Masa Miyake.

When Chef Masa Miyake was growing up in Aomori, Japan, he dreamed of becoming an artist. Today, he creates art one dish at a time.

“I like to eat, of course.  Then I like to make the dishes on the plate look like art,” said Miyake. “That’s why I wanted to be a chef.”

Primo’s Kelly at JBF Gala

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Melissa Kelly, chef/owner of Primo in Rockland is one of a team 17 award winning chefs that have been invited to prepare a dish for the James Beard Award Gala in May.

Other chefs participating in the gala include luminaries such as David Chang, Daniel Patterson and Nancy Silverton.

Four Maine chefs are nominees in this year’s awards competition: Cara Stadler(Rising Star), Central Provisions(Best New Restaurant), Masa Miyake(Best Chef: Northeast) and Andrew Taylor/Mike Wiley(Best Chef: Northeast).

Interview with Sean Wilkinson

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Eater Maine has published an interview with Sean Wilkinson from Might & Main about the design/branding work his company has done with several Portland restaurants.

Can you have a house design but ensure you’re not copying yourself with all these restaurants?
I feel like as time has gone by, it’s easier for us to recognize we have a certain set of house aesthetics. We work really hard to make sure things don’t look alike but when you have a creative director in charge of decisions, things are going to be put through that person’s filter.

We try to make sure that the overall appearance for each restaurant is appropriate, and we turn projects down on a fairly regular basis because we’re afraid they may be a conflict. If somebody were to open a nordic-themed craft cocktail bar and asked us to design the menu systems, that’d be a no-brainer for us to say no to [because of Might & Main’s work with The Portland Hunt and Alpine Club], or if somebody were opening an oyster bar. We’re very conscious of differentiation in this town.

Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

nhj_vtThe Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about Maine native and food book author Nancy Harmon Jenkins and her new book on olive oil.

Jenkins, already a nationally known expert on the Mediterranean diet, has just written a book that focuses exclusively on olive oil. “Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil” is part primer on olive oil, part cookbook – it includes more than 100 Mediterranean recipes – and part autobiographical account of producing olive oil on her own Tuscan farm. It’s the sixth book she’s written about Mediterranean food.

Portland Bar Lore

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Chris Busby’s article in the April issue of The Bollard shares some interesting stories from Portland’s past.

Since it was late in the war, with the outcome in Europe already decided, our government had no use for the services of the sub’s crew. They were given the option of being returned to Italy or remaining in this country…one of them was a man with the surname Ricci.

With the money allotted to him, Mr. Ricci opened an eatery on Portland Street and named it Ricci’s Tavern. Ownership passed from one individual to another over the years, and the name was eventually Americanized to Rickey’s Tavern — the addition of “Rockin’” being the latest twist.

Chef Cara Stadler

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about chef Cara Stadler.

Also on her 10-year agenda is expanding her business. She doesn’t want any more restaurants, but hopes to develop some food businesses that will give her employees a living wage, health care, and some growth opportunities so they’ll stay with her longer. She’d like, for example, to start some kind of fermentation company with [Josh] Fratoni, who is an expert on the topic. She also wants to start making and selling the hot sauces that [Saskia] Poulos has been experimenting with the past few years.

But for now, she’s still enjoying the national spotlight and the boost it has given to her business. While loyal locals keep Tao Yuan busy in winter, summer traffic was “way more intense” last year.

Interview with Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The Press Herald has published an interview with Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor, the chefs/co-owners of Hugo’s and Eventide.

Q: You are both owner/chefs. What’s the division of labor?

TAYLOR: He focuses much more on Hugo’s, and I focus much more Eventide. We’ve hired an old sous-chef for Honey Paw. Both of us are intimately involved with the menu at Honey Paw. If I have a flash of inspiration that fits better at Hugo’s, I’ve no problem saying that. And the same for him. We try to cultivate a collaborative atmosphere in the restaurant. I really like it when a cook says, “I’d really like to do this.” It’s much better if the cooks have a sense of ownership because it’s going to taste better.

WILEY: It sounds clichéd, but we have a really awesome community that helps us run the restaurants.

Taylor and Wiley are semi-finalist nominees for this year’s James Beard Best Chef: Northeast award. Along with their co-owner Arlin Smith, they’re currently in the process of launching a third restaurant, The Honey Paw.

Interview with Standard Baking Co.

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

The Press Herald has published an interview with Alison Pray and Matt James, co-owners of Standard Baking Company.

Q: I run into bakers and pastry chefs all the time with Standard Baking on their resume. Is mentoring important to you?
PRAY: Mentoring is huge. That is the beauty of baking and bread especially. You can’t learn it from a book. You have to learn by having your hands in the dough. And you have to learn from master bakers, or just bakers better than you. Watching what they do, trying to duplicate their movements, watching as they make adjustments to the dough. You learn from every batch that you make. It’s a constant work in progress to try to make good bread consistently.

Update: MPBN has also posted a profile of Alison Pray and Matt James.

New Blog: A Women’s Guide to Butchering

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Kathleen Lomen, a former vegetarian current staff member at The Farm Stand, has launched A Women’s Guide to Butchering, a blog on her chosen career path as a butcher.

I needed to find a way to BE the butcher and own my space. And it’s not just me. I’ve seen the women coming out of the wood work giving a go at breaking into this field and that’s who this website is for. Part anecdotal and part instructional, i want this to be a place for people to see a woman at work and also one who is still in her early beginnings of becoming a seasoned butcher.