Interview with Scott DeSimon

The Press Herald has published an interview with former Bon Appétit managing editor, Scott DeSimon about growing up in Cumberland and about the Portland food scene.

Q: Here’s the inevitable question: Where do you eat when you are in Maine?
The Portland restaurant scene continues to baffle and amaze me. How is that possible? How are there enough people in Portland to eat and keep these places going? Generally, I used to go directly from the airport to J’s Oyster and get a fish sandwich, a bucket of oysters and a beer. Less so now that I have kids. I really love Hunt and Alpine Club. I love Central Provisions. Everyone loves Eventide. I love Eventide. But it’s (expletive) annoying. It’s always too packed. There’s a late flight, a jet that gets in at 11. What makes me happy is that you arrive and Miyake noodles is open. And it’s crowded. It’s a signal that Portland has come a long way from when I was a kid. There are so many great places. It is hard to keep up. I try to go to a new place every time I’m in town, but I still try to go to J’s.

Seaweed and Maine Seaweed Festival

Today’s Press Herald includes an article about the Maine Seaweed Festival and the rising interest of seaweed as a cooking ingredient.

But the story is a good metaphor for what’s going on in the world of seaweed right now. Consumers are discovering a local food source that has been around for millennia, but has rarely been used in American cooking and is little known except when ordered in a dish at a Japanese restaurant. Now Americans and western Europeans are beginning to embrace it, and at the same time realizing here in Maine that we’ve got our own handy local supply right on the coast.

Visit for more information on the Maine Seaweed Festival.

This Week’s Events: Swashbuckling Scallywags, Picnic in the Square, Seed, Twilight Dinner

swashbucklingTuesday — Local Sprouts is hosting the monthly local foods networking breakfast.

WednesdayBissell and Oxbow are collaborating on the Swashbuckling Scallywags beer sail in Casco Bay, and the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — The Great Lost Bear is showcasing beer from Barreled Souls, and the Amarantos Quartet will be performing during Picnic in the Square at Congress Square Park.

FridayBissell Brothers is releasing Seed, a Pilsner that’s been brewed with strawberries and raspberries.

Saturday — the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayCentral Provisions is preparing a Outstanding in the Field dinner at North Star Sheep Farm, and chefs Helrich, Nappi and Craigue from Sonny’s/Local 188/Salvage are cooking a Cultivating Community Twilight Dinner at The Well.

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.

Review of Distilled in Maine

If My Coaster Could Talk has posted a book review of Distilled in Maine.

My latest book purchase was Distilled in Maine, written by Author and food blogger Kate McCarty, I enjoy Kate’s writing and was excited to pick up my copy, I didn’t expect to finish it over the course of a weekend but it was tough to put down. Having read Maine Beer: Brewing in Vacationland by Josh Christie, and doing a bit of my own research on Maine’s history with alcohol I knew what to expect and Kate still surpassed my expectations.

McCarty will be at New England Distilling today 2-5 pm for a book signing.

New Geary’s Brewer

The Press Herald reports on Geary’s new brewer Ben Rossignol.

When I visit the brewery to talk with Geary and Rossignol there’s a session IPA brewed with Jarrylo hops and American ale yeast on draft at the tasting room. It’s the first beer brewed with American ale yeast since Geary’s opened in 1986. This single-hop IPA has a fruity aroma of pears, bananas and oranges. The flavor is a fruit cocktail mixture that Rossignol says tastes like a “Dole fruit cup.” I agree. And it’s good.

The next experimental beer that will be on tap at the tasting room is a saison brewed with seventy pounds of strawberries from a farm in Limington. A saison? From Geary’s? With strawberries? Yes, yes and yes.