Chef’s Moms Share Stories

The Press Herald sat down with chef’s moms hearing stories about how their interest in restaurants and love for food played out at an early age.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Chefs have moms, too, obviously. So we wondered: Back when the rest of us were handing our moms lame homemade cards and flowers we picked from her own garden, were chefs-to-be dazzling their mothers with gourmet dinners? Did their moms see any signs that their little one would overtake their parents in the kitchen one day?

This Week’s Events: Beard Awards, Salu-Salo, Eight Great Plates

Monday – The James Beard Awards Gala is taking place in Chicago tonight. Portland Food Map is onsite to cheer on Maine Outstanding Baker nominee Alison Pray from Standard Baking. Arcadia is hosting the Salu-Salo Filipina dinner.

Wednesday – the Monument Square Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SaturdayAllagash is holding their Eight Great Plates event with Big Tree Hospitality, Noble BBQ, Little Bee Ice Cream, Sur Lie, Fore Street, The Clam Shack, Woodhull Public House, and Chaval as a benefit for Cultivating Community, there will be a wine tasting at LeRoux Kitchen, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

SundayFoley’s is teaching a baking class.

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: The Shop, Elda, Bolster Snow, BRGR Bar, One Six Green

The Maine Sunday Telegram has reviewed the Island Creek Oyster Shop,

you will find a host of briny treats, like Eider Coves and sweet bay scallops from Stonington, along with rare and memorably strange Maine Belon oysters from Harpswell. For those averse to raw shellfish, The Shop also provides a half-dozen tinned seafood options, like Galician octopus in a tomato-and-paprika sauce, or squid in olive oil and its own ink. Visit on a Sunday, and you’ll even find caviar served three ways (on a non-reactive spoon, an oyster and a blini) for $18.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Elda,

Elda has a truly inviting, comfortable atmosphere. The food and drink is crafted in a way that makes it more exciting than even most of what I’ve seen a few exits north on I-95 recently. And there’s certainly a touch – maybe more – of genius in the way its presented too. From the little wooden utensils and metal straw, to their incredible bread, they make an impression with every detail. Elda gave us a stunning meal that will bring me back, even if it’s out of the way. And I’ll be sending people to Biddeford now when they need a “good place to go eat”.

The Bollard has reviewed BRGR Bar,

Our meal had some redeeming elements: we thoroughly enjoyed the cool, retro-industrial decor and ’80s tunes. But while I’d consider dropping in for a milkshake sometime, I probably wouldn’t go back for brunch unless I had a serious hangover to cure.

the Press Herald has reviewed One Six Green, and

I haven’t tried all the falafel in Portland, but I have to admit that this was a step above what I’ve had at many other lunch spots in the city. It was more strongly seasoned (lots more cumin), and chunks of chickpeas gave the falafel balls added texture and visual appeal, but were still cooked and soft enough to eat without feeling like you were biting into an undercooked chickpea.

the Portsmouth Herald has reviewed Bolster Snow.

He brings a refreshing playfulness to his dishes, including snacks like a Jenga-like stack of crisp carrot fries made from baked carrot sticks dusted with cornstarch and flash-fried. They come out sweet, tender and hot inside and very crisp outside for dipping into a curry mayo.

BA Best New Breweries: Battery Steele

Beer Advocate has named Battery Steele to their list of the 50 Best New Breweries of the past year.

On Portland, Maine’s Industrial Way, the avenue that birthed titans like Maine Beer Co. and Bissell Brothers, 2017 saw the beginnings of Battery Steele Brewing. The industrial setting, with shining tanks directly in front of consumers, harkens back to the craft breweries in years past. Co-founder Jacob Condon says Battery Steele is a product of exploration and “pushing the limits of ourselves and the beers we produce.” The well-received Flume is an 8 percent Double IPA brewed with English malts and Citra and Mosaic hops. Battery Steele also brews an IPA as part of its OnSight Experimental Series. In 2018, Condon says, the brewery will expand its physical space and “add some variety” to the hop-heavy lineup, which already includes Knox Bière de Garde and Telos Stout.

Under Construction: Sagamore Hill

Here’s a look inside the construction site of Sagamore Hill (website, instagram), the new cocktail bar going in to the former lobby of the Lafayette Hotel at the corner of Park and Congress. Owner Ryan Deskins is planning to open the 58-seat lounge in late May. An additional 30+ seats are planned for the sidewalk. Sagamore references Teddy Roosevelt, the nation’s 26th president, as a touchstone for the bar’s name, interior design and cocktail menu.

Under Construction: Shipyard Brewtel

The Press Herald reports that Shipyard is planning to completely renovate its facility on Hancock Street, retaining the brewery and tasting room but replacing the rest of the building. The new structures will include a 105-room brewery/hotel aka ‘brewtel’.

According to planning documents given to the city last month, the existing brick brewery building and tasting room would be renovated. But the rest of the buildings on the 2-acre site – including the bottling plant – would be demolished to make way for the 105-room hotel, a three-story residential building with nine units at Hancock and Newbury streets, a large office building and a four-story garage for 360 vehicles.

10 Years Ago in May

Here’s a look at the top stories from May 2008:

  • John and Brendan Ready won the National Young Entrepreneurs of the Year award from the Small Business Administration.
  • Local 188 bartender John Myers won the B&B 70th Anniversary Master Mixologist Showcase for his cocktail The Touchable.
  • Caiola’s started serving brunch.
  • Captain Mowatt’s won the People’s Choice award at the Cajun Hot Sauce Festival.
  • The Merry Table opened on Wharf Street.
  • The Phoenix reviewed Gaucho’s Churrascaria “What would you pay to have a handsome young man wearing a sash around his hips anticipate your every need for about an hour? At Gauchos Churrascaria it goes for $30, and it comes with meat. Drinks are extra. A lot extra, actually. And drinks help.”
  • Novare Res opened.
  • Nabisco ceased production of the Crown Pilot crackers.
  • The Grill Room opened in the space formerly occupied by Natasha’s.