Archive for the ‘Profiles’ Category

Vinland at the James Beard House

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

For the final installment in her four-part series Vinland, Mary Pols has written a report on the James Beard House dinner Vinland chef David Levi served this past week in NYC.

Levi said the foundation offered him dates in January through March, but worried whether he could pull it off when nearly everything in Maine, even the bays, tend to freeze. He relished the challenge. “If we’re going to showcase what Maine cuisine is all about, it is much more compelling to do it in the winter than the summer,” he said. “In the summer, we have many of the same things that you’d find in any part of the country.” In the winter, Maine’s famed resiliency materializes in its foods, and he was eager to put any concerns to rest.

Read the Full Series
Part 1: Bold Idea for Portland
Part 2: What’s for Dinner
Part 3: Bountiful Summer

Vinland in Boston Magazine

Monday, December 29th, 2014

The new issue of Boston Magazine includes a profile of Vinland.

So how does Levi stick to his plan during the harshest season? By dovetailing a fairly standard fine-dining playbook (strip steak with poached parsnips, crispy chicken with lovage) with more-exotic ideas (fermented-buckwheat bread sticks may start a meal; radicchio might appear in a cocktail). Creative workarounds replace pantry staples: Yogurt whey and apple vinegar make fine substitutes for the acid in lemon juice; maple syrup and honey are used in lieu of sugar; and the clarified butter known as ghee takes the place of olive oil. There is, Levi acknowledges, no good substitute for black pepper—so if he thinks a dish needs it, he’ll scrap it altogether.

Catbird Creamey

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about the Catbird Creamery in Westbrook.

“Vanilla in the summertime pretty much walks out the door,” said Corey DiGirolamo, who runs the shop with her husband, Andrew Warren.

That’s fine, DiGirolamo said, but the couple put a lot of effort into stretching the idea of ice cream flavors in a lot of different directions, like Furious George, which features caramelized bananas and dark chocolate chips. And, oh, hot pepper.

Catbird is in the midst of a $60,000 Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money so they can move the business to new quarters.

Portland Food Co-op

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

The Portland Sun has posted an article about the Co-op and its upcoming Grand Opening.

“We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback, exciting products to add,” said Mary Alice, education and outreach coordinator at Portland Food Co-op. “People have mostly walked in and exclaimed about how beautiful it is.”

Star Ratings, Restaurant Critic Interview, Natural Foods Movement

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article by Krista Kern Desjarlais about star ratings in restaurant reviews,

On the positive side, stars can fill seats, and they give a measure that lets chefs place their restaurant against others in their genre. A lukewarm review may not affect an already busy and popular restaurant. In this business, we all know the restaurants that meander up and down the scale of consistency and quality, yet remain popular regardless of a critic’s awarding (or withholding) of stars. This is an enigma of the restaurant world and shows why stars do not always tell the whole story.

an interview with Sunday Telegram restaurant critic James Schwartz,

Q: Many restaurant critics say that awarding stars is the hardest part. Is it?
A: Yes, it’s my least favorite decision. I am conscious of two things: First, I am standing in for the reader, because I have had the good fortune to go to the restaurant. So I feel a responsibility to the reader to accurately describe my experience. And I am conscious of the fact that the number of stars awarded can positively or adversely affect the business life of a restaurant. That is a second responsibility that I take very seriously.

and a conversation with author Joe Dobrow on “How the natural foods revolution has changed what we eat”.

His book offers a captivating behind-the-scenes look at exactly how we got from the dusty co-ops of yesteryear to the shiny mega-stores of today. It also explains how the growth of natural foods propelled a number of health food products into the mainstream, such as granola bars, almond milk and kale. Along the way, Dobrow explains how natural foods companies (built on values and ideals as much as capitalist principles) have begun to influence mainstream business culture by promoting concepts such as corporate accountability, transparency and the triple bottom line.

WMTW: Portland Food Co-op

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

WMTW TV has aired a news report on the new Portland Food Co-op.

Boston Globe Profile of Slab

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The Boston Globe has published an article about Slab.

On the Slab menu, Luna holds beer-braised meatballs, is used for caponata sandwiches, and is the utensil provided for scooping up orange- and saffron-scented Sicilian hummus. The kitchen also offers a rotation of “Sicilian street food” specials, including hearty slaw, fried cauliflower with pepperoncini and lemon aioli, Silician-style jerk chicken with grilled orange wedges, and rhubarb pork osso bucco.

Friday Pie Club

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

fpcThe Press Herald has published an article about the Friday Pie Club.

For instance, wild blueberry pies – as iconic as the lobster roll in Maine – fell flat this summer. Yet blueberry ginger pies were wildly popular. At the farmers markets, slices of squash pie turned out to be a hit with teenage boys, while the girls coveted slices of lemon chess pie, a sweet blend of lemon, sugar, eggs and milk. Apple crumb, pear cranberry and green tomato pies were all best-sellers.

For more information visit the Friday Pie Club website or facebook page.

Coastal Root Bitters

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News has profiled Coastal Root Bitters.

With a classic aromatic on the market since May, he is gearing up for a few more varieties. Coffee bitters made with Tandem Coffee Roasters coffee, star anise, oak and chocolate is in progress, as is an Indian spice, garam masala, and possibly a pine.

“I’m working on giving it a Maine identity,” [Nolan] Stewart said. “The possibilities are endless.”

Crown O’Maine

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about Crown O’Maine.

Crown O’ Maine helps farmers and food producers get their product in supermarkets, company cafeterias and hospitals.

Maine Butcher Series

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The Golden Dish has published the second installment in an (part 1, part 2) ongoing series on butcher shops in Maine.

The revival of the neighborhood butcher shop is strong in Maine, with master butchers relying on nose-to-tail butchery and the bounty from local farms.

Vinland

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

The Maine Sunday Telegram features a check-in with chef/owner David Levi as his restaurant Vinland(website, facebook) approaches its 1-year anniversary.

It started slowly. Other restaurateurs had told him not to expect business to pick up until after the Fourth of July, but still, June dragged on. He shook up the menu with a new small plate theme – letting customers build a meal of any five plates for $60. He’d had good press in the Wall Street Journal in May. The cruise ships came in, but those passengers never seemed to make it up the hill. He decided to stay open on the 4th itself; other restaurants were closing, but if there were customers to be had, he resolved to take advantage. “It turned out to be a really big night for us,” he said. For the next couple of weeks, there would be sporadic bursts of business, huge nights on a Monday or Tuesday and then relative calm again. Then around the middle of the month, high season started in a big way. “Every night was a huge night until Labor Day,” Levi said.

Casco Bay Organics Produce Delivery

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The American Journal has published an article about Casco Bay Organics, a Portland area produce delivery service.

Two years ago, when Jillian Hilton was in the midst of moving back to Maine from California, where there is an abundance of affordable organic produce that is easily accessible, she had what she called a “light-bulb moment.” 

“I was at a farmers market every single day, and I loved it,” said Hilton, 33. “I saw the opportunity and the necessity, really, to bring back to Maine the option of flexible and organic produce delivered right to your doorstep.”  

Visit the Casco Bay Organics website to learn more and to sign-up for the service.

El Rayo Photo Essay

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The Angela Adams blog Sea Fantasy has posted a photo essay of El Rayo.

Interview with Alison Pray

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

standard

Maine Today has posted a very nice multimedia interview with Alison Pray, co-founder of Standard Baking.

This connection to tradition is a huge part of it and that informs our work every day.