Jacques de Villier, Farms and Lobster

There’s a really nice profile in today’s Press Herald on Jacques de Villier the owner of Old Port Wine Merchants.

Tell Jacques de Villier what kind of wine you like, what you’re going to drink it with and how much you want to pay, and he’ll give you what you really want.

He’ll probably throw in a good yarn, too, because a love of stories is the other thing de Villier is known for among his regular customers. Some of his ostensibly true tales are a bit hard to believe – was this unpretentious, garrulous wine merchant really in military intelligence? – and he seems to get that. When he senses skepticism about the claim that he graduated from The Citadel, the famous military school in South Carolina, for example, de Villier pulls up a photo of himself in uniform on the computer.

Also in today’s paper is a timely reminder that this Sunday is Maine’s Open Farm Day–think Maple Sugar Sunday but with animals and orchards instead of syrup. There are 100+ participating farms across the state and 11 are here in Cumberland County.
There is also a Bill Nemitz column on the proposed lobster boat tie-up and the price of lobster, as well as a front page story on the recent shooting incident involving a pair of lobstermen.

The shooting appears to be the most extreme example of growing tensions all along the coast as Maine lobstermen and their families face historic financial pressures related to the global recession and a drop in demand. Some lobstermen are trying to organize a mass work stoppage to force prices higher.

Steve Harris

The Bollard has published an article on the passing and contributions of Steve Harris, the proprietor of both Ruski’s and Rosie’s:

Steve and his wonderful wife, Rose — who survives him, as do a son, a daughter, and a large extended family — owned and operated Ruski’s in the West End from 1985 until 2005, when they passed it on to Josh Whaley, a regular who they knew would keep its spirit alive (he has). Rosie’s recently celebrated its 20th anniversary as the only neighborhood pub in the Old Port, and it continues under Rose’s guidance with the help of a staff who, for all intents and purposes, are part of the Harris family.

Interview with Caiola's

The Portland Phoenix has published an interview with Abby Harmon and Lisa Vaccaro, the owners of Caiola’s.

And as the owners of Caiola’s continue to expand their menu, they also plan to expand their space. Vaccaro said in October they will begin construction on a private dining room, which will partially expand into the outdoor patio area and will seat about 30 people, more than doubling the capacity of their current private dining room. The expansion, they hope, will provide space for more neighbors to join.

Interview with Caiola’s

The Portland Phoenix has published an interview with Abby Harmon and Lisa Vaccaro, the owners of Caiola’s.

And as the owners of Caiola’s continue to expand their menu, they also plan to expand their space. Vaccaro said in October they will begin construction on a private dining room, which will partially expand into the outdoor patio area and will seat about 30 people, more than doubling the capacity of their current private dining room. The expansion, they hope, will provide space for more neighbors to join.

Steven Lovenguth

Today’s Portland Daily Sun includes an article about Steven Lovenguth, the bartender/mixologist at Walter’s Cafe.

Sangria is the project of the moment; it’s summer after all, but what’s next? Lovenguth loves Bloody Marys and his special spice mix is the centerpiece of the one served at Walter’s. But lately he’s been trying to shake Mary out of her rut, so he’s been taking her around the world. Japanese Mary has wasabi and soy, Mariner’s Mary has Clamato and a little clam garnish, Greek Mary has a little Ouzo, Danish Mary has Aquavit flavored with Caraway.

The Food Switch

The latest edition of The Maine Switch includes articles about Cultivating Community “a Portland-based nonprofit that connects people to the earth, their food and one another through agriculture” and about Grown@Home which provides “weekly maintenance and new plantings throughout the growing season” for your home garden. There’s also an article by Harding Smith about barbecuing and additional piece about local barbecue sauce manufacturers. Especially interesting in this edition is a piece by Avery Yale Kamila as she tries to establish which watering hole is truly Portland’s oldest bar.

Evans & Hasty

Rob Evans and Ben Hasty’s cooking class earlier this week at Stonewall Kitchen was written up in both the Portsmouth Herald

Evans explained just how much American cuisine has changed since his days at the legendary French Laundry Restaurant in Napa Valley. “Everyone’s awareness of food is elevated. We have local farmers and artisan food producers bringing us ingredients. The American chefs coming up, they don’t want to wear a suit or tie. And even American service has changed, it’s casual, fun.”

and by the blog Soooo.. You Really Like Cats, Don’t You

When asked his favorite late-night snack, Evans explained, “By the time I remember to eat after service, the kitchen’s already been cleaned up and it’s 2AM. And I keep in mind that I don’t like cooking at home. So, sometimes I’ll just head down to Cumberland Farms, get a Red Baron Pizza to pop into the microwave – sprinkle some Malden salt and give me a glass of wine and I’d be set.”

Evans & Hasty

Rob Evans and Ben Hasty’s cooking class earlier this week at Stonewall Kitchen was written up in both the Portsmouth Herald

Evans explained just how much American cuisine has changed since his days at the legendary French Laundry Restaurant in Napa Valley. “Everyone’s awareness of food is elevated. We have local farmers and artisan food producers bringing us ingredients. The American chefs coming up, they don’t want to wear a suit or tie. And even American service has changed, it’s casual, fun.”

and by the blog Soooo.. You Really Like Cats, Don’t You

When asked his favorite late-night snack, Evans explained, “By the time I remember to eat after service, the kitchen’s already been cleaned up and it’s 2AM. And I keep in mind that I don’t like cooking at home. So, sometimes I’ll just head down to Cumberland Farms, get a Red Baron Pizza to pop into the microwave – sprinkle some Malden salt and give me a glass of wine and I’d be set.”

CUE Culture Interview

Wayne Tuohey from CUE Culture was interviewed for the ShopTalk column in today’s Press Herald.

The initial stuff I made at home, since the early ’90s, was the Apricot Habenero Rum barbecue sauce. I used to make it for the family. For Christmas every year they’d get a Tupperware full of frozen pulled pork and a Mason jar of sauce. So when I thought about doing Cue Culture, I thought, ‘My family likes it, but I don’t really know if it’s any good.’ I took some to a restaurant in Portland, and some people I knew, and my parents knew. They’d moved to Florida, and my father took some barbecuing classes at the local community college.