2017 Beard Award Semifinalists

The semi-final list of nominees for the 2017 James Beard Foundation awards were released today. There are 12 semifinalist nominees from Maine:

  • Best New Restaurant – Drifters Wife
  • Best Chef: Northeast – Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley, Eventide; Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki’s Sushi Bar; Ravin Nakjaroen, Long Grain; and Brian Hill, Francine Bistro
  • Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional – Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.
  • Outstanding Restaurant – Fore Street, and Chase’s Daily in Belfast
  • Outstanding Bar Program – Portland Hunt and Alpine Club
  • Outstanding Baker – Alison Pray, Standard Baking
  • Outstanding Pastry Chef – Ilma Lopez, Piccolo
  • Rising Star of the Year – Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan

The final list of nominees will be released on March 15th, and the awards ceremony will take place on May 1st in Chicago.

Related information:

Writing a Wine List & Local Market Resurgence

Today’s Press Herald includes the second installment in a series by Stella Hernandez on managing a wine list at Lolita,

Putting together our wine list for Lolita was the closest I’ve come to understanding what writers do. It’s less mechanical than you’d think. You have to choose your story line, craft that story, and then there’s the continual editing process. When I gave my first draft to a friend to review, I felt as if I were handing off my first novel. I had handed over something very personal.

and an article about the resurgence of local markets in Portland.

Now the Portland area is experiencing another little growth spurt. In December, Andrew and Briana Volk, owners of the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, opened Little Giant, an upscale market in Portland’s West End that will complement the restaurant they plan to open next door. Just a couple of weeks ago, Pete Sueltenfuss opened a second Otherside location in the West End. And Joe Fournier, who worked at Rosemont for six years before becoming a partner in The Farm Stand, plans to open his own neighborhood grocery, A&C, on Washington Avenue sometime next week.

This Week’s Events: Beard Semifinalists, Valentine’s Day, Edible Landscapes, Hardshore Distilling

Tuesday – It’s Valentine’s Day, and there will be a lecture on Edible Landscapes at the Maine Historical Society.

Wednesday – the James Beard Foundation is scheduled to release this year’s awards semifinalists, we’ll be posting the full list of nominees as soon as they’re announced; Drifters Wife is celebrating their 1-year anniversary.

Thursday – the Portland Spirits Society is holding a women’s only tasting event at Hardshore Distilling.

FridayRosemont is holding a wine tasting at their Munjoy Hill location, and it’s the first day of Flavors of Freeport.

Saturday – the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday – there will be a Haley Henry pop-up at Little Giant.

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.

Reviews: Schulte & Herr, Izakaya Minato, Bearded Lady, Salty Sally’s, Elsemere

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed Schulte & Herr,

Schulte & Herr, a cozy German restaurant in Portland’s West Bayside neighborhood, knows a thing or two about defying expectations. Since opening in 2011, it remains steadfastly without a liquor license. Co-owners Steffi Davin and her husband, chef Brian Davin, instead seem (for the moment, at least) content to pin their success on homey atmosphere and the remarkable quality of their food. Everything pivots around traditional German favorites, from unexpectedly crisp and light pork schnitzel to hearty sauerbraten…

the Press Herald has reviewed Izakaya Minato and The Bearded Lady,

Not Izakaya Minato. And it’s no surprise. You couldn’t come up with a concept that would appeal more to Portlanders right now. Izakaya is a Japanese portmanteau that translates to “stay sake shop,” meaning a place you can buy sake and also drink it. It’s evolved into the Japanese version of a gastropub and, yes, it’s mostly about the food – shareable smallish plates, including salads, soup, sashimi and some hot stuff.

and Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Salty Sally’s and Elsemere.

The food was good – not fine dining, but high quality, well executed, and mildly inventive. The casual, relaxed atmosphere seemed amply suited for drinks, a meal, or both.

Stella Hernandez on Wine Hospitality

Lolita co-owner Stella Hernandez has written the first of a 2-part series for the Press Herald about her approach to hospitality and wine.

As I head into the 11th year of owning my own restaurant (and more before that as a server), creating wine lists and serving wine to countless people, I’m starting to get more comfortable with the idea of being a sommelier. But on my own terms.