Boston Globe: The Purple House

The Boston Globe has published an article about The Purple House and its chef/owner Krista Kern Desjarlais.

That wood-fired oven is at the heart of Desjarlais’s multifarious approach to food — an intermingling of meticulous French pastry, rustic Maine farm cooking, and gutsy ingredients that to date has made her a James Beard Award semifinalist six times and a finalist once. But it’s also at the heart of another sort of transition she currently finds herself in. “Without getting too academic about what I’ve been thinking all this past summer, I’m really at a crossroads,” she says, leaning forward at the lone table in The Purple House and pushing back a blonde curl. “I’ve always cooked the things I love, but I’m rethinking the way to be in touch globally and also reflect right where you are. We here in the Great North know how much French-Canadian cuisine is a big part of Maine, whether it’s green herb sauces, sausage creton [a rustic Quebecois pork meatloaf], or pâtés and terrines. And how do I fit all of that into my background in French and Italian cooking, as both a cook and a baker?”

A ‘Cultural Home’ at Maiz

The Press Herald has published a Maine Voices letter from Brittany Cronin about her appreciation for Maiz, a Colombian restaurant in Woodfords Corner.

I know I’m not the only one who’s found a cultural home in Maiz. Every Portland Colombian I know, I’ve met at Maiz. I’ve even met Colombians who drive in from more than an hour outside of Portland just to go to a Friday night dance party at Maiz. We like to stay awhile, to talk with the owners and staff, to talk with each other. We’ll also drop in just to say hi, or leave a box of chocolates with Martha for her birthday. It’s our space: familiar, comfortable and Colombian.

Eventide Cookbook Due in June

As we reported back in February, owners Arlin Smith, Andrew Taylor, Mike Wiley are working  with Sam Hiersteineron on an Eventide cookbook.

The project is now well underway and is slated to publish under the full title, Eventide: Recipes for Clambakes, Oysters, Lobster Rolls, and More from a Modern Maine Seafood Shack by Ten Speed Press on June 2, 2020.

The book will contain 120 recipes including Eventide’s brown butter lobster roll, lobster stew, tempura smelts with spicy tzatziki, tuna crudo and cocktails as well as “recipes for easy entertaining, like the clambake and bo saam”.

David McMillan from Joe Beef has written an introduction for the book with Zack Bowen as the photographer and Catrine Kelty as the food stylist.

Kitchen to Cannabis

The Bangor Daily News reports that some Maine restaurant workers are making the transition to working in the new cannabis industry lured by better pay and hours.

As it turns out, he’s not. As restaurant owners in Portland and beyond struggle with a back-of-house labor shortage that they say threatens their business model, Bishop and a wave of other cooks responsible for elevating the Maine food scene over the last decade are finding better wages, less stressful work environments and greater opportunities for advancement in cannabis. Equipped with years of training, cooks are becoming caregivers, bartenders are now “budtenders” and pastry chefs make better livings as specialized cannabis chocolatiers and candymakers.

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).