Community Kitchens TV

Yesterday’s Locavore column in the Portland Daily Sun was about the Community Kitchens local access cable TV show. Each episode the show visits and interviews cooks in their own kitchen. January’s episode of Community Kitchens was an interview with the creator’s of Otto Pizza. The article isn’t available online but you can watch full episodes of the show at the Community Television Network website.

PPH: Dueling Cocktails & Processed Food Protest

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a detailed look at the dueling cocktail events happening on February 28: The Signature Event and the 2nd Annual Bartender’s Bash,

The confusion even trickles down to the bartenders themselves. Both events have John Myers.

John Myers from Fish Bones American Grill in Lewiston will be at the Cold River Bartenders Bash.

Another John Myers, a popular bartender at the Grill Room who lost last year’s top prize by just a whisker, will be at the Signature Event. (Did he jump ship this year since he won’t be at the Bartenders Bash? Or did he stay loyal by sticking with the Maine Restaurant Week event? It’s like a Zen koan, isn’t it?)

and the story of one woman’s efforts to make consumers aware of partially-hydrogenated oils in packaged foods.

The story told how a woman was going to her local grocery store and turning around products that contained trans fat so the nutrition label, rather than the product logo, was showing. [Erin] Judge was struck by the simplicity of the action, and began doing it in Maine.

Reviews: Figa and District

Portland Bar Guide has published a review of District,

If you are looking for a sophisticated place to take a date or meet up with business associates and friends with delicious hand-cured meat dishes and an abundant choice of beers, wines and drinks then make sure to add District to your favorite spots in Portland.

and Dine in Portland has published a review of Figa.

Overall, Figa Restaurant has a bright future. The staff appears to have been hand-picked, as are the ingredients, and the hard work of the chef (clearly visible in the open kitchen) will keep me coming back.

Reviews of Figa, Walter’s

John Golden has written a review of Figa for his new The Golden Dish on

Figa is a good addition to Portland’s dining lineup.  We’ve got the trendy and the exalted in our midst—without  too much middle of the road for relief—but Figa fits somewhere in the middle of these extremes: well conceived fare without an ounce of culinary pretention but awfully fine regardless.

An earlier review of Walter’s went live earlier this month.

Serious Eats on Maine Pizza

Serious Eats has published recommendations on where to eat Pizza across the state of Maine. Otto, Micucci, Bonobo and Angelone are their highlights from Portland.

Italian grocer and restaurant supplier Micucci’s has a hidden bakery that serves some of the state’s most revered slices. Finding ‘The Sicilian Slab’ requires a little perseverance—it’s tucked in the back of the store, and often requires at least a short wait.

Food Insecurity, Maine at Work @ Amato’s

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about a newly formed coalition to fight food insecurity,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that 195,000 Mainers — nearly 15 percent of the state’s households — struggled with food insecurity in the period from 2007 to 2009. “Food insecurity” is defined as having difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for one’s family.

and a new Maine at Work article, this time reporter Ray Routhier spends the day making sandwiches at Amato’s,

How much ham? How much cheese? Which vegetables?

I was relieved when sandwich maker Brenda Billings showed me the little flip cards that list all of the ingredients of Amato’s sandwiches — and pizzas — along with the amount of each item.

This Week’s Events: Ice Bar, Latte Art Throwdown, Bob Smith Memorial

TuesdaySlow Food Portland is having at potluck dinner at the Quimby Colony.

WednesdayBack Tie is teaching a cooking class, and RSVP is having a wine and pizza tasting.

Thursday — the first night of the Ice Bar at the Portland Harbor Hotel (tickets available online), Bard Coffee is hosting their monthly latte art throwdown for baristas and amateur coffee enthusiasts, the 12th Annual Brew Pub Cup is taking place at The Great Lost Bear, andboth the Public Market House and Browne Trading are having a wine tasting.

Friday — the Ice Bar enters its second night at the Portland Harbor Hotel and the 3rd Annual Farmer’s Market Convention is taking place in Belfast.

Saturday — it’s the last night of the Ice Bar, the Winter Farmers Market is taking place at the Irish Community Center, Wine Wise is teaching a class on sweet/late harvest wines, and Black Cherry Provisions is holding a beer tasting.

Sunday — friend and colleagues of Chef Bob Smith will be gathering at The Coastal House in Wells to commemorate his life and passing. The Chef Bob Smith Fund for Education in Farming and the Culinary Arts has been set up in his memory.

Valentine’s Day — February 14 is coming up fast. V-Day is is a very busy night for Portland restaurants. Already a number of them are fully booked for the big night. If you’re planning on taking your significant other out for dinner on Valentine’s Day now is the time to call your favorite restaurant for reservations.

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.