Chef Wilfred Beriau Retires

Today’s Press Herald recognizes the impact of Chef Beriau has had on the SMCC culinary school and its students as his 26-year career at the college draws to a close.

That story, one of Beriau’s fondest memories of his time at SMCC, perfectly illustrates the way his former students and colleagues will remember him when he steps down as chair of the departments of Culinary Arts and Lodging & Restaurant Management on June 30: Intimidating, but caring and compassionate. A drill sergeant who pushes his students to their limits, but whose heart expands, Grinch-like, when he talks about them.

Did you study under Chef Beriau? Post a comment and share you favorite memories of being in his class.

Maine: Wine Distributors and Taste of the Nation Benefit

The June issue of Maine magazine (not yet available online) includes a Joe Ricchio article on Maine’s small independent wine distributors,

With small distributors, someone is doing the dirty work for you. They are your advocates and personal tasters. They are willing to take chances on wineries that might not have the best packaging, but deliver a product they truly believe in. And since they’re are fewer people involved in the buying decisions, the portfolios have more character and focus.

and an article about Taste of the Nation, an annual benefit that raises money to address hunger in Maine,

Rob Evans agrees. “The issue hits everyone,” says the renowned chef. “We can all empathize . . . people are going hungry, and we’re surrounded by so much.” Once Evans got involved, he saw how much more could be done. As a board member of Share Our Strength in Maine, he teaches cooking classes for another one of the non-profit’s programs—Cooking Matters—and he is in the process of developing a restaurant dining series that will raise even more funding to support the cause.

This year’s Taste of the Nation dinner is taking place June 26 on the SMCC campus. Tickets are available online.

Reviews of Duckfat and Tony’s

Free Food Boston recently was in town and has published reviews of Tony’s,

The blueberry and the cruller were both fun and intensely sweet from the glaze. The nice thing about the molasses donut is that the more robust flavor from the molasses provides a solid base and contrast for the sweet glaze. It is less of a sugar bomb than some of the other varieties. Tony’s Donuts has firmly earned itself a spot amongst my Portland favorites. I fully intend to get a molasses donut, or six, on my future trips to Portland.

and of Duckfat,

The fries were golden yellow, some a crispier golden brown, piping hot and salty. The crunchy fried outside gives way to a sliver of warm potato inside. There’s no distinct taste from the duck, at least not that I could detect. The truffle ketchup was sweet and tangy, with a rich and earthy truffle flavor. As a big fan of ketchup, I worried that the small jar would not be sufficient for the cone, but the fries were so good, I ended up eating many of them on their own. But the ketchup was certainly a welcome addition.

Another food site from away, Tasting Table, highlighted Miyake, Browne Trading, Glidden Point Oyster Company and Chebeague Island Inn in one of their daily travel destination emails.

Maine Ahead: Oakhurst & Gelato Fiasco

The new issue of Maine Ahead magazine includes a profile of Oakhurst Dairy,

“It’s a competitive market, and we’re very fortunate to be in our 90th year and still own the business,” he says. “My grandfather started it back in 1921, with the help of the Cushman family, who ran Cushman’s Bakery.  They helped put up the money so that he could buy a small dairy down the street. Back then there were probably 50 dairies in Portland. If you had a farm, you had a dairy.”

and a profile of Gelato Fiasco,

Top-quality gelato, the Italian cousin of ice cream made with milk rather than cream, was, of course, the first step. Some gelaterias simply use powdered flavors and bases, add milk, and freeze. At The Gelato Fiasco, Tropeano, a 28-year-old raised in Brookfield, Connecticut, oversees a truly-from-scratch process in the tiny kitchen, cooking the base ingredients in a “hot” process that makes a smoother, more stable base than powdered mixes. The crew then adds flavor—nearly 700 since 2007, with 30 available every day—using real fruits, nuts, liquor, candy, and so on.

This Week’s Events: Girl Gone Raw, Tequila Tasting, RealFood Project

Monday — Elizabeth Fraser from Girl Gone Raw will be teaching a raw cooking class.

TuesdayBlue is holding their monthly wine and cheese event.

Wednesday — Rosemont is hosting winemaker Lilly LoCascio and cheese expert Alberto Aurill for a wine and cheese tasting, the Urban Farm Fermentory is teaching saurkraut workshop, The Salt Exchange is holding a tequila tasting, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

Thursday — Chef Frank Giglio will be teaching the next class of the Maine RealFood Project. Otter Creek will be featured at The Great Lost Bear for the bar’s weekly brewery showcase.

Friday — Sebago Brewing is opening their new brew pub on Fore Street.

SaturdayWine Wise is teaching a class at The Wine Bar, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

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.

Sebago’s Big Move

Both the Munjoy Hill News and Press Herald have reported on this Sunday’s close of Sebago Brewing’s location at 164 Middle Street and the reopening of the brew pub in the new hotel on Fore Street. Sebago expects to open its doors on Fore street on May 27.

Elise Loschiavo, marketing manager for Sebago Brewing Co. answered one of the more pressing questions posed by during the evening: What about the Jordan’s sign community activist Markos Miller saved from the demolition of the former meat packing facility?  “It will be hung in a place of honor,” she said, grinning.  That is on a large wall opposite the bar.  For many years, the meat packing facility was a major business on the Hill – until Tyson’s foods bought it and then closed it shortly thereafter.

Reviews of Fit to Eat & Nosh

From Away has published a review of Fit to Eat.

We’ll definitely be visiting “Fit to Eat” again to sample some of their other offerings, particularly their homemade soups and their breakfast sandwiches, available until 11:00 AM. We like the space, we like the reasonably-priced local art on the walls, and, to use a term that makes me gag, we liked the “vibe.” Owner Mike Mastronardi is a soft-spoken guy who bakes his own bread, mixes his own sauces, uses local ingredients, and spends more time thinking about sandwiches than we do, and there’s a lot to respect in that.

Vin et Grub has published a review of Nosh.

Nosh proves not to be my cup of tea, but for the foodies out there who love truffle oil, pork belly, pate, and the sort, Nosh should be on your list of places to go upon your arrival in Portland.  Jason Lorring, the owner of Nosh, is rumored to be opening up a taqueria across the street! I hope he gets over his affair with the ostentatious ingredients and instead opt for a more traditional route with his taqueria! If he goes down that path, I know that I will certainly enjoy the tacos he puts on his menu!!