Interview with Rob Tod

For latest episode of the Food Coma Podcast host Joe Ricchio talked with Rob Tod, founder of Allagash Brewing Co.

He has been consistently one of the most prolific brewers in the country since he founded his business in 1995, and he received the 2019 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer, and Spirits Producer. Both Rob and I have fond memories of the ’90s, especially in regard to Portland, but quite varied experiences. 

This is the jumping-off point, and topics range from beer (obviously) to FroYo to my life as a teenager who looked like he was 35. Sometimes I get so damn excited to discuss the 90’s that I can barely complete a sentence. Sometimes we drink Allagash White. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much Rob has accomplished thus far in his impressive career. 

David Moran, 63

David Moran, founder of Sorella’s Bakehouse, has passed away at the age of 63.

Mr. Moran owned a string of businesses and restaurants dating back to the 1980’s. Some of those include PA’s Luncheonette and PA’s Restaurant in Portland, and M. J. Richio’s and the Raymond General Store in Raymond. He purchased the former Nappi’s Bakery and opened Sorella’s Bakehouse 17 years ago.

Home Kitchen

Maine Women Magazine has published an article on the home kitchen life of chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti.

The room is painted a warm brown called Nutmeg. “I loved the color,” Lopez said, “but the name did it.” Throughout the kitchen are figurines of lizards and dinosaurs, courtesy of their daughter, as well as pigs, courtesy of the chefs in the family, who have a fondness for all things pig-related (their cast iron Griswold bacon press is often on display and in use for much more than just pressing bacon). There is a selection of Venezuelan rums on a side table—“My family brings a different bottle of Venezuelan rum every time they visit,” she says—as well as a spice collection in a wooden box, given to them by a regular customer on Piccolo’s fifth anniversary (the “wood” anniversary).

City Deli Changes Hands

The Forecaster has published a report on the change of ownership of City Deli.

After 38 years in business, the family-owned City Deli on the first floor of One City Center has a new owner.

The new owner, Dalia Esposito, said she has known the former owners, the DeSalle family, for many years and has worked on and off at the business since childhood, making the transition a natural one.

Scott Tyree, MS

The Press Herald published a profile earlier this week on Scott Tyree, the Freeport resident who recently became the 256th Master Sommelier in the world.

At 8:30 a.m. on April 29, Scott Tyree, wearing a dark navy suit with a lucky stone from a friend tucked into a pocket, entered a suite at the Four Seasons in St. Louis, the city’s acclaimed arch visible in a window behind him. Waiting for Tyree was a panel of four proctors, all master sommeliers, and six glasses of classic wines – three white, three red. He was there to take, for the 10th time in 16 years, the famously rigorous master sommelier exam.

Rob Tod has published an article about Rob Tod.

For 23 years, Tod says his “go-to” beer has been his Portland, Maine-based brewery’s iconic Belgian ale, Allagash White. Even when asked about what he likes to drink other than beers from his own brewery, the answer doesn’t change.

“I honestly love Allagash White more and more as time goes by,” Tod said.

Mark’s Hot Dogs: 36 Years

The Forecaster has published an article on Mark Gatti, the longtime owner of Mark’s Hot Dogs, which as of next month will have  been in business for 36 years.

His menu has been constant, including the red hot dogs Maine is known for, topped with chili, cheese or sauerkraut. As business picks up in the spring, he adds Italian sausage and kielbasa.

Gatti tried serving lobster rolls; that lasted one season. Thai spring rolls did a little better – he sold them for about three years.

Chefs de Cuisine

The Maine Sunday Telegram has publisned an article about the less well known chefs de cuisine that lead daily operations in Portland’s kitchens.

Kristen Cote’s job begins at 11:30 a.m. each day, when she arrives to help with lunch service. Cote, the chef de cuisine at the Grill Room and Bar in Portland, makes all the restaurant’s sauces, from the chimichurri to the bacon-peppercorn-cream, and butchers ducks at her station in the open kitchen. She writes menus, changing them with the seasons. She sets the specials and makes staff meals, and she orders all the food. She hires and fires. She sauces and she salts. She’s the last person to eyeball your plate before it arrives at your table.

Have you ever heard of her?

Rob Tod Wins Beard Award

Congratulations to Rob Tod, founder of Allagash Brewing, for being the recipient of the 2019 James Beard Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer award.