Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Artisanal & Roger Doiron

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

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?)

an article about Roger Doiron and Kitchen Gardens International, and a piece about a new locally produced cookbook.

Stavros Elias Shamos, 91

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

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.

Q&A: Larry Matthews

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 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.

Steve and Renee’s Diner

Friday, December 14th, 2012

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.”

Russell Libby, 56

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Russell Libby, the longtime Executive Director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, passed away early Sunday morning after a battle with cancer.

Russell lent his extraordinary leadership skills to MOFGA for almost 30 years. He served on the Board of Directors for a decade before becoming its long-serving Executive Director in 1995. He held that position until November 2 of this year, when he assumed the title of Senior Policy Advisor. In that role he continued to guide the organization with his characteristic wisdom, compassion and dedication, even as his health failed.

For more information see  the Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, Broadturn Farm, MPBN, Maine Cheese Guild and MOFGA on Facebook.

The State flew flags at half-staff to honor his passing.

Joe’s Moving to Boston

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Joe Ricchio has announced he’s moving to Boston.

Why? Well, I’ve accepted a sales position with an established wine company, which is certainly the catalyst for the transition. More importantly though I think it’s important for Food Coma to expand a bit (and really, Boston is closer to Portland than Camden!), and there are few things I enjoy more than drinking and eating my way through a new city, so this seemed like as good a time as any to pull the trigger and get the f[***] out of dodge.

Three Buoys Seafood Shanty

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

The Munjoy Hill News has published a report on the Three Buoys Seafood Shanty and Grille which opened earlier this week on Cumberland Ave.

The two business partners behind 3 Buoys are former Legal Seafood officials.  Bill Park, chef/owner, directed the test kitchen for it.  “I got tired of being a number,” Park said recently.  Legal Seafood has 30 restaurants between Boston and Florida.  Although they do have growth in mind, the first and highly successful 3 Buoys in York will always be the flagship restaurant for Park.  Currently, he’s looking for the right chef to step into his shoes here so Park can return to the larger York restaurant.  The other business partner is Bill Holler, formerly vp of purchasing at Legal Seafood, Boston, with his wife Nikole.  She’s  former employee in the seafood business and is the operations manager at 3 Buoys.  Nikole is looking for a few good servers, to fill out the staff.  Currently Katie Haggerty is doing that job.

Jeremy Sossei Interview & Dean’s Sweets

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Dispatch has published an interview with one of my favorite Portland bartenders, Jeremy Sossei at Boda,

Because you were a novice until three years ago, did you find yourself researching drinking history like a mad man?
Oh God, yeah. Absolutely. I still am. I also went around to different bars and tried to watch and see how people made things. I was never much of a cocktail drinker before this job and honestly I don’t drink a lot of cocktails still right now. This job has kind of spoiled me in that I just developed a taste for hard liquor and it’s hard to go back once you get used to it.

and a profile of Dean’s Sweets.

As [owner Dean] Bingham humbly began recounting his journey in chocolate-making, his wife chimed in. “You were making some chocolate truffles and your friends all said ‘You should sell these!’”

“And I tell people that I foolishly believed them!” Bingham playfully countered.

Interview with Bartender Guy Streitburger

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Eater Maine has published an interview with Gingko Blue bartender Guy Streitburger.

What do you think of current cocktail trends? Are there some that you just say “no,” I’m not doing that?
The more weird trends there are, it makes people want to explore and try out all kinds of new things. I’m not a fan of fruity/sweet cocktails but some customers like those drinks, so I have to be able to make them. A sour apple martini is like fingernails on a chalkboard for me and for the longest time I didn’t carry anything apple so I could just say no. But now, if you really want it that badly, I’ll make it.

Interview with Whitney Reynolds

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Dispatch has published an interview with Brian Boru bartender Whitney Reynolds.

Thoughts on the term mixologist?
Well my idea of a mixologist is a little different. To me it’s mixing everything that goes into bartending, which is creating a certain atmosphere. I’ve always worked at places where it’s not so much about making this amazing drink that you’ve never had before that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s more about knowing who’s walking in the door, knowing their name, and having their drink on the bar by the time they get to you.

Food Gift Ideas, Slow Food Delegates, Butchering Workshop, Restaurant Inspections, Pirates Cooking

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a set of holiday food gift ideas,

Think of these items as hostess gifts you can take to all the holiday parties you’ll be attending this year, or as not-so-last-minute stocking stuffers. Some of these ideas are things I’ve written about earlier in the year, while others are brand new items I have given as gifts myself.

The common denominator: I promise you I have tried them all and liked them.

an interview with the Maine delegates who attended the Slow Food conference in Italy in October,

Fellow farmer and Maine delegate Sarah Bostick works for the New Americans Sustainable Agriculture Project at Cultivating Community, where she teaches Maine farming techniques to immigrant farmers from warmer climates. In addition, she runs a permaculture design business.

Bostick went to the conference looking for specific ideas that could help her in her work with immigrant farmers.

a report on a hog butchering workshop scheduled to take place at Local Sprouts in December.

Also in today’s paper is an update on restaurant health inspections,

The Wok Inn, which was shut down after failing four health inspections since April, is among four Portland restaurants to be closed in the past two months for health code violations. The other three — Sapporo Restaurant, The Loft and Mekhong Thai — have reopened after correcting violations.

and a report on a program that’s teaching Portland Pirates players how to cook healthy meals for themselves.

Chris Brown, a 21-year-old forward from Flower Mound, Texas, who calls himself “a sometimes cooker,” credited his ease with a knife to a lifetime of hunting deer. “I’m not a big vegetable person, so all these greens are freaking me out a little bit,” he said.

Brown said he is trying to eat better, and hopes the cooking class will help.

Solo Dining & Bartender Interview

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Dispatch magazine has published their list of the 5 best spots in Portland for solo dining,

…I think there’s something totally underrated about alone time.  I especially like eating alone and my buds here at Dispatch agree. In fact, my twitter identity is the @thelonelymower because I often “mow” (meaning to eat quickly/aggressively) alone. Thus, we bring you a list of five great spots to go and have a meal in the company of yourself in Portland.

and an interview with Sonny’s bartender Jon Clemons.

So, what’s your favorite thing about bartending?
Making drinks and watching people—teaching people about cocktails. I love it when people sit in front of me and ask, “What’s that? Why you doing that? What’s that for?” I love turning people on to cocktails that don’t like cocktails. Like some dude sitting in front of me watching me make cocktails and he’s drinking a beer and ten fifteen minutes into it he’s asking me a million questions then all the sudden he’s drinking cocktails. That’s what I like.

HuffPo: Interview with Erin MacGregor-Forbes

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The Huffington Post has posted an interview with Portland Master Beekeeeper Erin MacGregor-Forbes.

Having just wrapped up a two-and-a-half year term as president of the Maine State Beekeeper Association, what are the biggest hurdles you see Maine beekeepers facing?
Education is the biggest hurdle for Maine beekeepers and beekeepers throughout the county. There are so many new beekeepers getting into the craft, and not enough educational resources. Beekeeping is much more complicated than just “adopting a beehive”. You really need to be able to understand the biology of what is going on in the colony because the bees can’t just tell you when things aren’t going well. Beekeeping is a skill best taught hands-on or in classroom…

The interview is part of an ongoing series that Maine food blogger Sharon Kitchens is writing for the Huffington Post.

Maine’s Spirited Connection to Martinique

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Joe Ricchio has written a piece for Bon Appetit about the Maine connection to Rhum Clément from Matinique.

Sipping Rhum Clément 10-year old Grande Reserve Tres Vieux, a special-edition rum aged in a combination of French and American barrels, may mentally transport you to the tropical idyll of Martinique, but the man behind import, sales, distribution, and marketing of his family’s Rhum Clément does does his business from a decidedly temperate place: Brunswick, Maine.

Interview with Chef Cheryl Lewis

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Sabroso, El Rayo’s in-house blog, has posted an interview with chef Cheryl Lewis.

What drew you to Mexican cuisine? Just before we opened El Rayo, my mother handed me a Mexican cookbook I had written for my 5th grade class. I had made each kid their own copy to accompany my Mexican fiesta of tacos, beans, and buñuelos for dessert. I might have even made a piñata. Mom and I laughed and said something like “we should have known then!” Later, I paid my way through college in California by working in restaurants. In California, Mexican is a powerful undercurrent and when I moved back East I constantly missed that cuisine, always full of piquant flavor and freshness.

Wall Street Journal: Saigon’s Pho

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

The Wall Street Journal has published an article by Portland author Kate Christensen about the Pho at Saigon on Forest Ave.

But now, I just got out my laptop and Googled. I found a Vietnamese place called Saigon that delivered, and on the menu was beef pho. I gasped with joy. Within a half-hour the paper bag arrived, containing two huge plastic containers of broth, piping hot and smelling incredible. We squeezed in lime juice and added cooked rice noodles, then thin slices of raw sirloin, which cooked instantly in the steaming soup, then slivers of onion and chili, crunchy mung bean sprouts and fresh basil and cilantro. We fell on it with chopsticks and spoons, too impatient to wait for it to cool. The broth was rich and beefy and very clear, full of the delicate flavors of cinnamon, black pepper and a familiar yet mysterious mix of other spices I’d come to associate with this warming soup.

the article includes Saigon’s recipe for Pho.

Interview with Frosty’s

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Thursday’s Press Herald includes an interview Nels Omdal, co-owner of Frosty’s Donuts. As reported earlier this week, Brunswick-based Frosty’s will soon be opening a location in South Portland.

Q: How many doughnuts do you make each day?
Last Tuesday, we made about 140 dozen and sold out around noon. On the weekends, I make 225 dozen. There is usually a line out the door and everything’s gone by 9:45 a.m. On Labor Day weekend, when we opened the Freeport shop, we made 400 dozen.

Maine Spirits Calling (UPDATED)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Today’s episode of Maine Calling on MPBN radio will take a look at the evolving craft distilling industry here in Maine.

Host Keith Shortall will be interviewing bartender extraordinaire John Myers, Joe Swanson from Maine Distilleries and Ned Wight from New England Distilling.

The radio show airs at 12:15 on 90.1 FM. I’ll post a link to a recording of the show once it’s available.

Update: The audio recording of this interview is now available online.

Corry Interview about L’Espalier Dinner

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

The Press Herald blog Maine a la Carte interviewed Steve Corry about the upcoming L’Espalier dinner at Five Fifty-Five.

Interview with Dean’s Sweets

Monday, August 27th, 2012

The Maine Culinary Podcast has posted an audio interview with Dean’s Sweets.