Colby Alums in the Food Industry

December 19th, 2015

The new issue of the Colby alumni magazine highlights the stories of 9 graduates making their mark in the Maine food industry including Maine rice farmer Ben Rooney, Pemaquid Oyster Company co-founders Jeff McKeen and Carter Newell, Blue Ox Malthouse founder Joel Alex, James Beard nominated chef Mike Wiley, Ocean Approved co-founder Paul Dobbins, and several others.

I don’t if it’s because I also went to Colby and so am more likely to notice the connection but my sense is there are a lot of Colby alumni working and leading in the Maine food industry.

Serious Eats: Best New Beers

December 19th, 2015

A pair of Maine beers have been included in the Serious Eats list of the Best New Beers of 2015: Super Fresh from Peaks Organic, and Cuvée D’Industrial from Allagash Brewing.

Interviews: Cara Stadler & Tim Adams

December 18th, 2015

The Portland Phoenix has interviewed Cara Stadler, chef/owner of Bao Bao and Tao Yuan.

LO: What made you decide to stay in the industry?
CS: I love food, I love cooking, I love the science behind it, and I love the effect it can have. The fact that you can take someone’s terrible day and turn it around is pretty awesome. We want people to come in and be happy at the end of the day. We do our best every day to deliver something fun and enjoyable.

and interviewed Tim Adams, head brewer and co-owner of Oxbow.

Blending various barrels is clearly an important practice in creating your finished beers. How do you determine what beer to blend with what beer?
It starts with the end goal of having a balanced and complex product. I’ll have a beer in mind, usually that starts with having a color in mind that will need to be accomplished. Flavor profile-wise I want barrel character, but not too much barrel character. I like blending different types of barrels to enhance complexity. I do a lot of mixing of wine barrels and bourbon barrels, and barrels of various ages. I like working with at least a small amount of bourbon barrel beer for the vanillin, I find that it’s a really nice smoother-outer, if you will, on the pointier and sharper notes of acidity.


Review of Fore Street

December 18th, 2015

The Golden Dish has reviewed Fore Street.

Fore Street has not lost its luster one bit.  Yet its gloriousness is so subtle.  It doesn’t blaze with culinary fripperies. Instead its gastronomic Zeitgeist favors a less-is-more approach, maintaining a patina of refinement with everything that comes out of its kitchen.  From the food that’s grilled, spit-roasted or pan seared and roasted in great cast-iron pans to the utter fineness of its ingredients—nearly all locally sourced— it’s the simplicity  of its cooking that speaks with such exuberance.

Under Construction: Pizzaiolo

December 17th, 2015

piazzaiolaA New York style pizzeria called Pizzaiolo is under construction at 360 Cumberland Ave near Schulte & Herr.

Interview with Chad Conley & Greg Mitchell

December 17th, 2015

The North East Kitchen has published an interview with Greg Mitchell & Chad Conley, chef/owners of the Palace Diner. The interviewed is beautifully illustrated with a set of photos from kitchen and counter at the diner.

NEK: What about now, is there someone or something that particularly inspires your cooking?
CC: I’ve moved away from my earlier interest in fine dining and anything “fancy”. My favorite restaurants are well-run local favorites. I’m proud of the way we execute homey, comfortable food at Palace. I’ve become more interested in paying attention to the non-food parts of the restaurant experience. The idea of creating a simply pleasant experience that exceeds people’s expectations and leaves them feeling like they’ve found something unique but approachable has become a part of what drives me alongside creating fun and delicious food.

The North East Kitchen is a new project which will include “interviews – and recipes – from chefs and cooks, and feature kitchens and food life along the North Eastern US”. Author/photographer Myriam Babin is also “producing a photography book about chefs of the North Eastern US to be published by Princeton Architectural Press.”

Union Bagel Co. Expansion

December 17th, 2015

Union Bagel Company is considering moving their bakery to Westbrook where they’d also operate a second retail shop, according to a report from the Press Herald.

The Westbrook Planning Board reviewed a sketch plan Tuesday for the proposed location of the company’s wholesale operation, as well as a new retail shop, at 9 Cumberland St.

The building, located on the rotary leading to downtown Westbrook, has seen frequent turnover in recent years, having been home to Thanksgivings, Hoggy’s Market and most recently, Eddie’s Eatery.

Reviews: Great Lost Bear & Portland Co-op

December 17th, 2015

The Press Herald has published a bar review of The Great Lost Bear,

The Great Lost Bear has an extensive beer list and maintains a hometown-bar vibe. Good for a burger and a beer, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays when it’s “talls for smalls” pricing.

and a lunch review of the Portland Food Co-op.

There are two kinds of organic soups ready to ladle into to-go cups (soups change daily) and the price was right ($3.50 for a small). I chose the mushroom barley, which was vegan (I felt instantly virtuous). Since that was so cheap, I also grabbed a couple of lunch-portioned salads from the cooler right near the soup: a half pound of “Awesome Chicken Salad” for $6.86 and an “Autumn Salad” with chickpeas, kale and pepitas, aka little pumpkin seeds, for $2.64.

Under Construction: Gruit

December 16th, 2015

Urban Eye reports that the Urban Farm Fermentory is expanding into the former Bomb Diggity space where they plan to establish a brewery.

In a 700 square-foot space under the same roof, UFF’s is opening a new grain fermentation facility called Gruit. “This allows us to do a few things that are new in the beer world.” Gruit, an ancient herbal beer, will be made here and served on tap in UFF’s tasting room. As will braggots (a barley malt mead).

Under New Ownership: Expectations vs Vision

December 16th, 2015

An article in this month’s issue of Dispatch examines the challenges new owners face when taking over an existing restaurant–putting in place their vision while trying to retain an established customer base. Specifically the article looks at the purchase of Steve & Renees Diner and the conversion of Quatrucci’s to Other Side Deli.

Two people would come in and sit at a table for six, drink a pot of coffee over the course of an hour, and leave without ordering food. This is their preferred method of protest.”

Such is how Josh Bankhead, who owns and operates Hella Good Tacos in Portland with his wife Melissa, describes the war waged on them by estranged patrons, mostly senior citizens, upon their purchase of the venerable Portland institution, Steve & Renee’s Diner.

Thursday Release: Fernet Michaud

December 15th, 2015

fernetmichaudLiquid Riot is releasing a fernet style amaro which they have named Fernet Michaud. The Fernet goes on sale at Commercial Street brewpub and distillery starting on Thursday.

Maine Shrimp

December 15th, 2015

The Maine shrimp fishery remains closed during the 2015-16 season.  However, as they did last year, regulators are allowing a very limited amount of shrimp to be caught for research purposes, the excess of those hauls will be sold. I was lucky enough to have a dish of them last year at Ebb & Flow and hope they’re able to get more this winter.

Intervale Mercantile Now Open(ish)

December 14th, 2015

intervalesignIntervale Mercantile Co.(instagram) had a soft opening on Saturday and is now “slightly open“, 10-2 Monday through Friday with a grand opening planned for Saturday.

Intervale is located at 4 School Street in Freeport. A studio and retail shop for Erik Desjarlais’ line of Weft & Warp brand products (knife rolls, aprons, leather goods, etc) as well as a growing assortment of vintage chefs knive, grooming products and an interesting collection of flatware based jewelry and decorative items.

This Week’s Events: Tap Takeovers, Fernet Michaud, MBC Dinner, Dim Sum Brunch, NYE List

December 14th, 2015

Tuesday — the Local Foods Networking Breakfast is taking place at Local Sprouts.

Wednesday — there will be an Allagash tap takeover at Eventide Oyster Company, and Maine Craft Distilling and Coastal Root Bitters are being featured at the Ri Ra Meet the Makers event.

ThursdayLiquid Riot is releasing Fernet Michaud, Bao Bao is hosting a Foundation Brewing tap takeover, and there will wine tastings at the Public Market House and C Salt Gourmet.

Friday — Rising Tide is holding a beer and oyster event in  collaboration with O’ Oysters.

Saturday — MBC is having a bottle release for Dinner (starts at 7am, 1 case limit), Bissell Brothers is having a can release for Angels with Filthy Souls, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday — The Honey Paw is holding a Dim Sum Brunch.

New Year’s Eve – restaurants have started announcing NYE specials. Let me know if you know of one that’s missing.

  • Back Bay Grill – 4-course dinner, $105.
  • BiBo’s Madd Apple Cafe – 3-course, $55.
  • Boone’s – 5-course dinner, $85.
  • Central Provisions14-course tasting menu, $220 per couple (including tax and gratuity) with optional pairings $55 per person.
  • East Ender – snack buffet and glass of sparkling wine, $25.
  • Evo – 5-course dinner in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot, $75 per person with optional wine pairings.
  • Five Fifty-Five – 4-course, $85, with optional wine pairings.
  • Honey Paw/Eventide – passed apps and champagne toast, $53.74.
  • Isa – 3-course dinner, $45.
  • Lolita – over-the-top tapas party including 30 of the most popular items from their 2015 menus
  • MK Kitchen – 4-course dinner, $75.
  • Pepperell Mill – party in the Biddeford, $20 per person.
  • Petite Jacqueline – 3-course tasting menu with champagne, $75.
  • Piccolo – 9-course dinner and glass of prosecco, $115.
  • Sur Lie – tasting menu, $75.
  • Tempo Dulu – 8-course dinner with cocktail and champagne toast, $195.
  • Terlingua – 5-course and glass of bubbly, $75.
  • Tiqa – 4-course dinner, $55.
  • Twenty Milk Street – a la carte menu.
  • Union – 5-course dinner, $99.
  • Vinland – 5-course dinner and sparkling wine toast, $108.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

SMCC Culinary Continuing Studies

December 14th, 2015

SMCC is offering a set of three culinary classes as part of their Continuing Education program. A collaboration with the state’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife department, the classes focus on cooking with wild game and fish.

  • January 23 – Duck, Duck, Goose
  • February 27 – Freshwater Catch
  • March 12 – Small Game

The classes will consist of a cooking demonstration and tasting with SMCC instructor Geoffrey Boardman and discussion with IFW staff.