Archive for the ‘People’ Category

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.

Interview with Maine-ly Meatballs

Friday, June 27th, 2014

The American Journal has published an interview with Maine-ly Meatballs.

Q: Do you have any long-term goals for Maine-ly Meatballs? Are there ways to expand?
A: We are hoping to franchise Maine-ly Meatballs. You never know, you may be on vacation in Florida and see a Maine-ly Meatballs truck roll on by.

Interview with Bite into Maine

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The Press Herald has published an interview with Sarah and Karl Sutton, owners of the Bite into Maine lobster roll food truck.

Q. Is there a lot of heated competition among food trucks and between food trucks and restaurants?
It’s not as adversarial as the media makes it out to be between food trucks and restaurants. Food trucks are a good way for a restaurant to expand, like if they want to do more catering. And a lot of food truck owners end up opening brick-and-mortar restaurants. We want to be at Fort Williams forever, but we eventually want to have our own brick-and-mortar takeout place. And food trucks work together well. I don’t think of other food trucks as my competition…

BFC Interview with Fishin’ Ship

Friday, June 20th, 2014

A new episode of Booze, Fish and Coffee interviews Fishin’ Ships founders Arvid Brown and Sam Gorelick.

Summary: Bo grabs lunch from Fishin’ Ships, the new fish-and-chips food truck in Portland, and hears from its creators how it all began.

Food & Wine: Cara Stadler

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

CaraFWEarlier this year Food & Wine named Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan one of the 2014 Best New Chefs.

The July issue of the magazine has a 1-page profile of Stadler and her recipe for Miso-Roasted Eggplant with Tomato, Dill, Shiso and Black Vinegar.

Stadler has a new restaurant called BaoBao Dumpling House under construction on Spring Street in the old West End Deli.

Interview with Andrew Taylor

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Knack Factory has published an interview with chef Andrew Taylor from Hugo’s/Eventide.

Is there a secret to running a successful place?
I think the best way to have a successful business is to have worked in successful kitchens and to keep moving up in those roles. I also have only wanted to work in places where people care about food. I have always tried to seek environments where people were as interested in food as I am.

Interview with Kate McCarty

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

The Huffington Post has published an interview with Kate McCarty, author of Portland Food.

In your opinion, what is it about the Portland food community that inspires so much creativity?
The low cost of entry and accessibility (e.g. rents, prime space) is attractive to many chefs, as well as our abundant local ingredients like produce, cheese, meat, and seafood. Everyone in Maine is into making things, whether it’s cured meats or beer or blueberry jam. All of the chefs I talked to while researching Portland Food mentioned how supportive and collaborative the food and restaurant industry is. We don’t have the same competitiveness in the restaurant industry that they have even just down the road in Boston. All these factors created this incredible restaurant scene for a city of our size.


Uni is the New Bacon & WF’s Local Forager

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an interview with Kristen Bartlett, the Whole Foods staffer who tracks down locally made foods for the store’s shelves,

Is this a problem for her at parties? Is she swarmed by local farmers, waving organic broccoli and apple butters? Not yet, she says, though she wonders what will happen after her photo is published in Source.

and an article about Uni being declared the “new bacon” by Food & Wine magazine.

High-end restaurants in major cities have been experimenting with uni for a while, Branchina said. What’s more interesting to him is the big jump Browne Trading has seen in retail sales online: a 54 percent increase between 2012 and 2013, and so far in 2014, up 93 percent from the previous January to May.

Interviews with Joe Ricchio and Thomas Pisha-Duffly

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

The latest to Shift Drink interviews from the folks at Knack Factory are out. This time around they interviewed well known bartender and Portland personality Joe Ricchio, and chef and Family Feast creator Thomas Pisha-Duffly.

Interview with Briana Holt

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Eater Maine has published a short interview with Briana Holt, baker at the upcoming West End location of Tandem Coffee.

Do you have a signature dish (or dishes) or plans for limited special items?
The new spot is going to be pretty pie-centric, with a constantly rotating list including seasonal and year-round options. I’m also pretty excited about the chocolate chip cookie, which I hope will cause a ruckus: Traffic jams, people camping out in front of the shop, that sort of thing.

Dobra in Korea/Japan

Saturday, May 10th, 2014


Dobra Tea owners Ray Marcotte and Ellen Kanner are on a research trip to Korea and Japan. You can follow their travels online at According to a press release,

[They are] seeking to strengthen tea culture in Portland by traveling to meet their tea producers and farmers in Asia and bring their knowledge back home to share. The tea plant – Camelia sinensis – is the focus of this journey. There are six classes of tea including green, white, yellow, oolong, black and pu-er, but the focus of this year’s journey is Korean and Japanese green.

Interview with Nathaniel Meiklejohn

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Eater Maine has published an interview with Nathaniel Meiklejohn on his upcoming cocktail bar, The Jewel Box (website, kickstarter).

What are you hoping to bring to the crowded Portland bar scene that we’re missing, or that hasn’t been fully fleshed out yet?
There are millions of mixed drink recipes out there and thousands more [created] every day. There are forever new distilleries, hundreds of new mixing products, and constantly evolving techniques for making drinks. What we are going to do is honor the ever-changing landscape of mixed drinks by changing our drink menu every week. We will base the week’s menu on a theme, an ingredient we love, our current mixing fixations, and/or seasonal ingredients.

The Jewel Box will be located at 644 Congress Street. Meiklejohn hopes to have it open by the end of June.