NY Times: Maine’s Own Organic Milk

The New York Times has published an article about Maine’s Own Organic Milk and the challenges the organic dairy operation faces in trying to in business.

So far, success has been elusive. Ever since its milk began hitting shelves in January 2010, the company has barely managed to stay afloat, relying on a mix of investor money, grants, charitable donations and the kindness of neighbors buying half-gallons in solidarity.

“Our boat is made of duct tape and we’ve almost sunk a few times, but we’re paddling along,” said Mr. Bell, 33.

For more information about Maine’s Own Organic Milk and where to buy it, visit their website.

James Beard Awards Semi-Finalists

The semi-final list of nominees for this year’s James Beard Awards were released today. Several Maine chefs and restaurants are on the list:

  • Best New Restaurant — Shepherd’s Pie in Rockport
  • Outstanding Chef — both hometown favorite Sam Hayward from Fore Street and Melissa Kelly, chef/owner of of Primo in Rockland are in contention
  • Outstanding RestaurantFore Street
  • Best Chef: Northeast — Krista Kern Desjarlais, Bresca; Demos Regas, Emilitsa; Brian Hill, Francine, Camden; and Megan Chase, Penelle Chase, Phoebe Chase, and Ted LaFage, Chase’s Daily, Belfast

Sam Hayward and Melissa Kelly are both past winners in the Best Chef category. Fore Street has been in contention in the Outstanding Restaurant category before. All four semi-finalists for Best Chef: Northeast have been semi-final nominees or nominees in past years in either Best Chef: Northeast or Best New Restaurant.

The final list of nominees will be announced on March 21st and the awards ceremony is scheduled for May 9th.

Congratulations and good luck to them all.

Dinner Review of Hot Suppa

The Portland Phoenix has published a review of the dinner service at Hot Suppa.

While the boudin sausage came in the shape of three perfect snowballs, our other appetizer of fried green tomatoes came as three golden pucks. The slight sourness of the al-dente tomatoes worked well with the light crispy breading. Again, the flavors were pleasant enough that we barely took advantage of the mild remoulade that came alongside. The real star of this appetizer, however, was the pile of cool little bay scallops. The deep smoky flavor worked well with the squishy scallops’ natural sweetness.

Bar Review of the Old Port Sea Grill

The Portland Bar Guide column in today’s paper is a review of the Old Port Sea Grill,

Whereas most bars run happy hour specials exclusively during the work week, this lounge offers its two hours of happiness seven days a week, from 4 to 6 p.m. The winter happy hour is an easy choice with $3 draft beers, $4 wines by the glass, and tasty treats featuring what the Old Port Sea Grill is best known for — the raw bar. Pay $3 for two oysters on the half-shell, and $5 for P.E.I. mussels with white wine, garlic, butter and tomatoes. Yum.

Restaurant Staff Weight Loss, Girl Gone Raw, Wine with Tofu

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an interview with raw vegan chef Elizabeth Fraser,

The ease with which she made the almond milk coupled with its flavor was like a health food revelation to me. But to Fraser, it was just another day in the life of the Girl Gone Raw.

That’s the name of her raw vegan chef business, which offers classes, private parties and food coaching from her Munjoy Hill studio to groups and individuals.

an article about a staff weight loss program being run by the owner of David’s,

David Turin, the owner of David’s, noticed his staffers’ girth increasing from year to year, and decided to do something about it. He started a 90-day weight-loss competition at the restaurant and will be rewarding the “biggest losers” on his staff with lots of cash.

and advice on pairing wine with tofu.

She literally laughed. “I have no idea. You can’t drink wine with tofu.” With that, she was off to pay, and I started to say, Yes-Wait-Yes, but she laughed again and was gone.

This was what’s known as a teachable moment, and although I missed the opportunity then, I’ll try to re-seize it now. First of all, you can and should drink wine with tofu! There’s wine for everything.

Joycott a Success

The Portland Daily Sun published a report on the joycott that took place this weekend at the Public Market House.

The Joycott was a marquee day for the Public Market House as a whole, with business owners reporting around $3,529 in profits — double what they make on an average day.

“I pretty much had my best day so far with more than double my average daily sales,” said Steve Miner, owner a Peanut Butter Jelly Time, a food vendor on the market’s second floor.

Winter Farmer’s Market

The Forecaster has published a report on this year’s Winter Farmers Market.

A steady flow of people found their way into the Irish Heritage Center on Saturday morning to peruse winter offerings from Maine farmers and listen to a little local music.

About 15 vendors filled tables with potatoes and carrots, canned goods, honey and meat. Lots of meat. Plus eggs, butter, yogurt and cheese.

Bob & Dan, Petite Jacqueline, Tips

Today’s Portland Daily Sun includes an interview with the owners of Boda. They were asked “What one dish and one drink really define you?

Bob’s signature dish is braised pork hock with star anise. It’s the only thing on the menu that is his alone. He carmelizes sugar in a pot, adding star anise, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, galanga, fermented yellow bean paste and both dark and sweet soy sauces to give structure to the broth for the pork to simmer for hours on a back burner while the evening’s ingredients are prepped. It’s a dish he learned from his father, a building supplies salesman who loved to experiment in the kitchen.

an interview with Steve Corry on the new French bistro, Petite Jacqueline, he’s in the process of opening in Longfellow Square,

Corry plans to open Petite Jacqueline in the first or second week in March, he said. The concept of the new restaurant, Corry said, is “authentic French comfort food” with a “vivacious bistro atmosphere,” where customers can sit down for lunch or dinner.

and a piece on the potential changes to the law regarding tips before the Maine legislature,

Last week, this paper covered the issue before the legislature regarding changes to the “tipping” rules for restaurant employees in this state. I now know that at least one wary local was paying attention.