F&W: Entertaining Tips from Hunt & Alpine

Food & Wine has published a set of Fall entertaining tips from Hunt & Alpine owners Andrew and Briana Volk.

Because if anyone knows how to make cold weather living look good, it’s the husband-and-wife team behind Portland, Maine hotspots Portland Hunt + Alpine Club and newer sister restaurant Little Giant.Through their inspiring book, the Volks share secrets to getting hygge-with-it (sorry) Northern-style, blending inspiration from their Maine lifestyle and Briana’s Scandinavian heritage.

Fyood Founder SCOREs

Congratulations to Fyood Kitchen founder Maddie Purcell for winning the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur award from SCORE.

Portland entrepreneur Maddie Purcell, founder of Fyood Kitchen, was named winner of the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Small Business award at the SCORE Foundation’s annual national award ceremony.

Purcell will receive her award Thursday at a Washington, D.C., ceremony along with 12 other small business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as two members of Congress.

Interview with Restaurant Critic Andrew Ross

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an extended interview with their restaurant critic, Andrew Ross.

Q: Can you truly tell if a restaurant is any good based on just one meal?
A: Oh, absolutely. First of all, I’m not only eating one dish. I’m eating a bare minimum of four dishes. It’s usually more like six or seven dishes. At the same time, I really think I should be going to places more than once if I can. If the budget allowed for it, I’d love to do that. That expands the range of experiences you have. The cruelest irony of this job is that when I have a terrible meal at a restaurant, I have to go back just to confirm it was as bad as I thought it was. But if I have a fantastic meal, I don’t get to go back to confirm that it was as great as I thought it was.

Northern Hospitality

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on the newly released book Northern Hospitality by Hunt and Alpine/Little Giant owners Andrew and Briana Volk.

It’s a cookbook and cocktail guide that blends Maine life with Scandinavian sensibilities, and honors and updates the traditions of both. It will entice you to find comfort in a bowl of salmon chowder, or courage in an Old Fashioned sipped by a crackling fire. (The Volks met and fell in love over a few rounds of Old Fashioneds.) And you’ll wish for a dusting of that children’s book magic that allows ordinary humans to step right into the cozy, stylish photos – in this case, photos by Peter Frank Edwards, who also photographed celebrated Charleston chef (Husk) Sean Brock’s “Heritage” cookbook.

Chef Paolo Laboa & Restaurant City of the Year

Today’s Press Herald includes a feature on Paolo Laboa, the chef at Solo Italiano,

Spend a little time with Paolo Laboa, the executive chef at Solo Italiano in Portland, and you’ll probably discover you’ve been doing pesto all wrong. You’ve been using the wrong basil, or too much basil. You’ve been heavy-handed with the garlic. Or you’re serving the pesto in the wrong way.

But that’s OK. Laboa, 55, considers himself a teacher and is happy to share his family’s pesto recipe and explain the right technique so your summer pesto doesn’t turn out too garlicky or bitter, or with a coarse texture. Since at this time of year, the basil is practically bursting out of the garden, we asked him for a lesson.

and a follow-up on yesterday’s news that BA has named Portland the 2018 Restaurant City of the Year.

Certainly, the number of restaurants in Portland has grown significantly over the past 20 years. In 1998, just 27 Class 1 restaurants were licensed in the city, defined in part as those that sell at least $50,000 worth of food annually – places such as Back Bay Grill, Fore Street, David’s, Sapporo and DiMillo’s. By July 2018, that number had grown to 113, with another seven licenses pending. The number of restaurants with Class XI licenses, the other major restaurant category for the city, also grew dramatically, from 14 in 1998 to 53 in July 2018.

“I’ve heard Portland people say there are too many restaurants, there are not enough people to go around,” Knowlton said. “Sometimes I think Portland people don’t realize how good they have it.”

Server Stress

The Press Herald checked in with several current and former servers about the job-related stress dreams their job triggers.

Yes, talk to most any server, and they will tell you that their nights are punctuated by stress dreams filled with the weirdest details from their most recent shift. We asked servers at local restaurants, from a tiny bistro to a tourist favorite that seats hundreds, to reveal the job-related dreams that come to them after they’ve spent a long day running from table to table. Even people who no longer work as servers still have the dreams years later. We’ve gathered anxiety dreams from eight of them here.

Parlor Ice Cream

Cherry Bombe has published a Q&A with Parlor Ice Cream founder Jacqueline Dole.

Any industry mentor or person who inspires you?
Jeni Britton Bauer. At Cherry Bombe’s Jubilee in 2014, she said four words that I reflect on almost every day: “I just did it.” Life is too short to continuously ask permission from others—it’s up to you to learn what you need to do and how you need to make it happen. No one will do the work for you, so it’s up to you to learn how to overcome all the obstacles that a path to your passion will hold. Everything from day-to-day to damage control, Jeni handles with grace and gusto.

Claire Z. Cramer, 64

Claire Z. Cramer passed away unexpectedly earlier this month.

Claire was well known in the restaurant industry for the years she served (2001 – 2004) as the restaurant critic for the Maine Sunday Telegram, and, more recently, for her work over the last several years while she’s been an editor at Portland Magazine writing numerous articles about the Portland food scene.

Her loss will be deeply heartfelt by her many friends.

Woodfords Corner

Sunday’s Boston Globe Travel section included an article on the developments taking place along Forest Ave and in Woodfords Corner and the impact Woodford F&B had on accelerating the process.

“Having a spot this great for residents to spend time together changed everything,” says Andrew Zarro, who moved to the neighborhood three years ago from Boston. “It was a huge leap for Fayth and Birch, but what they did with that place was a tipping point.” In fact, seeing their success convinced Zarro to open Little Woodfords, the postage stamp-sized coffee shop, with his partner, T.J. Zarro. There, on the same block as the old clock tower, they dole out espressos and breakfast all day, and peddle one-of-a-kind local wares like hand-thrown ceramics.