John Myers, Bartender

Down East has published an extended profile of John Myers, the Dean of Portland bartenders and an acknowledged expert in classic cocktails.

Myers is large and a bit shambling, and has something almost architectural occurring as regards to facial hair. One would be forgiven for thinking him the offspring of Grendel’s mother and Wyatt Earp. (In describing his appearance on stage last year during a national cocktail competition against well-groomed twentysomething bartenders, the Wall Street Journal’s Eric Felten wrote that Myers cultivated “a dour glower in keeping with his Wild Bill Hickok whiskers and locks. His demeanor also appeared to reflect some culture-clash discomfort, the awkwardness Leon Redbone might feel sharing the stage with Moby.”)

Interview with Siam Grille Owner

The Munjoy Hill Observer has published an article about Thomas Yordprom. He explains his reasons for closing Siam Grille and his plans for the future.

The even better news is that Thomas, originally from Thailand, gives himself between 4 months to one year before he’ll start up another restaurant in the area. Not far from his lounge chair is his completed business plan. The menu is complete; it will be about 80% different from that of the Siam Grille.

Video Interview with Mike Mastronardi

Portland Food Heads has published an interesting video interview with Mike Mastronardi the new owner of Fit to Eat.

Mastronardi: When people say Fit to Eat I want them to immediately salivate…I want them to be sitting at their desk thinking about the sandwich they had a couple days ago and just dying and saying I need that again. I want them to crave it, I want them to be addicted to it.

Maine Fare, etc

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes a pair of articles about Maine Fare which is taking place in Camden next month. Meredith Goad authored an overview of the food festival

If you’d like to learn how to pair Maine-made spirits with smoked seafood, if you want to experience an old-fashioned beanhole supper – even if you’re curious about how to properly butcher a whole hog – Maine Fare is the place to be, whether you feel comfortable calling yourself a foodie or not.

“People need to know that it’s OK to care about what you eat, that it’s not being a snob to care about what you eat,” Jenkins said.

and Avery Yale Kamila tackles the topic of the keynote address “Can Maine Feed Itself?”

The panel brings together a number of movers and shakers from Maine’s food scene for a conversation centered on how the state can become more self-reliant when stocking our grocery stores and filling our dinner plates.

Also is today’s paper is an article about a Maine Cooperative Extension seminar designed to help farmers cope with this year’s poor growing season, and a short piece on Chef Hayward’s shaved head.

Sam Hayward: Haddock and Beans

Portland Psst! uncovered this interesting NPR interview with Chef Sam Hayward from Fore Street.

Because of the recession, top restaurants across the country are trying to cut costs without compromising quality…But in Portland, Maine, Chef Sam Hayward, a winner of the James Beard award in 2004, says one way he’s keeping business up is by offering lower-priced entrees that still feel special.

The piece includes Fore Street’s recipes for Haddock Cakes as well as their Beans with Caramelized Onions.

The Family that Lobsters Together . . .

The Press Herald has published an interview with Allison Romeo for today’s ShopTalk column. Romeo works with her father, Richard Merrill, to run The Lobsterman’s Catch on Widgery Wharf which is owned by her grandfather, Leland Merrill.

Q: How old are your dad and grandfather?

A: My dad is 54. My grandfather is 85. He finally stopped lobstering, which he’d been doing since he was a child, three years ago. My dad has owned his own traps since he was 13. His grandfather, Stanley Cushing, was a lobsterman as well, from Cliff Island.

Bartenders and more

The new issue of The Maine Switch includes a feature article on Portland’s favorite bartenders.

Here in booze-loving Portland, we’re lucky to have an abundance of excellent bartenders. Which explains why when Switch reached out to readers, friends, bar flies and the Twitterverse asking for the names of the city’s favorite drink mixers, we were flooded with responses. We took the top suggestions, stirred them with our own bar experiences and these nine individuals rose to the top. Here they share outlandish bar stories and hangover cures, plus pepper us with drinks both beloved and loathed.

As well as a restaurant review of The Frog and Turtle, a guide to Maine beer and an interesting piece on the Maine Local 20 Project. Maine Local 20 is an effort by MOFGA to determine how well matched Maine’s food production and consumption are.

In contrast, we don’t grow nearly enough carrots to supply our local needs, which explains why the vast majority of carrots on grocery store shelves are trucked in from California. Right now, carrots are grown on roughly 30 acres of Maine farmland, but this would need to jump to about 700 to 800 acres to support Maine’s carrot habit. Even though Maine has a short growing season, carrots are a root crop that stores well and could be stockpiled for the winter.

Martha and MF&L visit Duckfat

Martha Stewart was recently in Portland where she did some shopping and visited Duckfat.

Coincidentally, earlier this week Maine Food & Lifestyle‘s blog Plating Up published a review of Duckfat.

My friends admire the lengths I’ll go to for a good meal. But heading to Portland for French fries? Oh yes! No regrets. Truffled ketchup too, or a variety of interesting home made mayos, if that’s your pleasure.

Martha and MF&L visit Duckfat

Martha Stewart was recently in Portland where she did some shopping and visited Duckfat.
Coincidentally, earlier this week Maine Food & Lifestyle‘s blog Plating Up published a review of Duckfat.

My friends admire the lengths I’ll go to for a good meal. But heading to Portland for French fries? Oh yes! No regrets. Truffled ketchup too, or a variety of interesting home made mayos, if that’s your pleasure.