The Maine Course: Mike Wiley

The Portland Museum of Art is launching a chef speaker series called The Maine Course. Mike Wiley from Big Tree Hospitality—Eventide, Honey Paw, Hugo’s, XO—will kick-off the series this week on Tuesday at 6 pm.

The PMA is excited to announce our new series titled “The Maine Course.” Inspired by the exhibition “Stories of Maine: An Incomplete History,” we invite Maine-based chefs to cook a favorite dish and share the story behind it with our audiences. Join us Tuesday, April 6 at 6 p.m. for our exciting program with Mike Wiley from Eventide Oyster Co! Afterwards you will receive a recipe so you can try your hand at creating a special dish from home.

Register for the event on the PMA website.

Rosemont & Harbor Fish Team-Up

The Press Herald reports that Rosemont Market and Harbor Fish are collaborating on a new 4,800 sq ft market in Scarborough.

Alfiero said he’ll bring a lot of the same concepts from the Custom House Wharf market to Scarborough, but there will be some changes. The Scarborough Harbor Fish will sell a lot more prepared foods, such as lobster rolls, crab rolls and chowders, he said, and he plans to continue the line of foods the market has been selling during the pandemic, including calamari salads, pates, seafood salads and poke bowls.

The market will be located in a mixed use development at the site of the former Oak Hill police and fire department building.

Citrus in One City Center

Last month when owner Mark Ohlson announced he’d be closing MJ’s Wine Bar he ended his post with “And now, it is time to move on. Not because MJ’s wasn’t a success, but because I have a new idea in my head and it won’t leave me alone unless I bring it to life. See you in May, I hope you like to dance…”

Ohlson is now working on launching a cocktail bar and dance club in the MJ’s space called Citrus (instagram). In his liquor license application to the City Council Ohlson shared,

Citrus is a breath of fresh air away from the dive bars, brew pubs and dark prohibition cocktail bars. Citrus will serve fresh, familiar drinks, in fair portion sizes in an open air environment. Then, starting at 9pm we will offer DJ entertainment for dancing until 1am all the while offering the same menu and items.

American Fizz Crowdfunding

American Fizz (instagram) has launched a $20k crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe. Owner Margo Mazur plans to use the funds to pay “legal and licensing fees, insurance costs, my accountant fees, and start up costs, including paint, racks, storage, the point of sale system, etc. It will also help pay for my first big wine purchase from our local wine distributors, allowing me to get these wines on the shelves. ”

There are over 11 thousand wineries in the United States today, and my mission is to support those dedicated wine and cider makers and get the word out about the excellent products coming out of our local communities. American Fizz will be a two-year pop-up, stocking wines and ciders, made with minimal intervention in mind, from the United States, Canada, and South America. There will also be a small local foods producer section. Inventory will focus on range, representation, affordability, education, and joy—joy is an incredibly important piece of my puzzle. It will open this summer, 2021, in Portland, Maine and start with wine classes and a wine club I can’t wait to set up.

Jackrabbit Cafe

The highly anticipated opening of Jackrabbit Cafe (instagram) is slated to take place late next month—tentatively on April 21st. The bakery and cafe from Elda (instagram) chef/owner Bowman Brown will “focus on Scandinavian-inspired breads and pastries as well as seasonal vegetable dishes, sandwiches, and heartier small plates”.

Jackrabbit is located in the first floor of 14 Main Street in Biddeford. The second floor of the newly renovated building will be the future home of Elda when it re-opens.

Brown moved to Maine from Salt Lake City where he was the co-owner and chef of Forage. He was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2011. Additionally, Brown was six time Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef: Southwest from 2011 to 2016. Elda was named one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Bill Addison at Eater in 2018, and was the feature of a New York Times article in that same year.

Here’s a look at the draft menu for opening day at Jackrabbit:

8 am and on…

  • Triple cream yogurt, maple granola, grapefruit
  • Raw oatmeal, almond milk, chia, blueberry, lavender
  • Rolled omelet, on toasted spelt brioche, onion marmalade
  • Avocado hummus, grilled whole grain flatbread
  • Crispy potatoes, pork green chili, poached egg
  • Sourdough waffle, brown butter syrup, berries, vanilla crème fraiche

10:30 and on…

  • Smoked trout, on danish rye toast, crushed peas, radish
  • Potato soup, hake, celery, wild garlic
  • Warm asparagus salad, toasted seeds, whipped egg yolk
  • Green salad, young lettuce, almond ricotta, snow peas, herb dressing
  • Salmon tartare, sprouted grains, avocado, nori, jalepeno
  • Fried pork sandwich, milk bread, charred cabbage, onion mayo
  • Russian dumplings, beef and smoked beet, sour cream, dill

The Lost Llama Peruvian Pop-up

A new Peruvian pop-up series called The Lost Llama (instagram) got underway this past weekend when a dish by chef Rafael Zimmerman was featured on the Cong Tu Bot takeout menu. Zimmerman is a member of the CTB staff and is launching The Lost Llama as a solo side project from his work at the popular Vietnamese restaurant.

Zimmerman has worked in Portland for the past 7 years with Guy Frenette at Artemisia as well as at Nura and Cong Tu Bot. Zimmermann was born in Lima, Peru and grew up in Pennsylvania.

Zimmerman is planning a 8-10 dish pop-up at Cong Tu Bot in the coming months to share his “own versions of Peruvian food as well as paying homage to the original dishes” served along with Peruvian ceviche and beverages.

Follow The Lost Llama on instagram to get alerted about their next event.

A Conversation with Briana Holt

Tandem Coffee’s Briana Holt will be participating in the Maine Charitable Mechanics Association’s Makers in their Studio series. this Wednesday at 7 pm.

Holt was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard, a small island rich in east coast agriculture and food ways. Her first job at age 13 was making donuts and bread at a tiny bakery that has served her hometown since the early 30’s. After studying film and art in western Massachusetts, she moved back to her hometown where she met Will and Kathleen Pratt while baking at a coffee shop Kathleen was working at. The three friends eventually moved to New York where Kathleen opened the Blue Bottle affiliate in Brooklyn and where Will worked as a roaster. Meanwhile, Briana lucked out working under some of Brooklyn’s best cooks and bakers at Pies ‘n’ Thighs, as well as M.Wells Diner.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite, and the event is free for MCMA members.

Food Insecurity in Maine

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram reports on food insecurity and the work being done to better address the needs of immigrants and communities of Black, indigenous and people of color residents in Maine.

While the pandemic highlighted the disparity and inequity that already existed with food insecurity in Maine, it also made clear that smaller nonprofits led by people of color and tribal communities were not getting the funding support needed, Miale said.

“I think what COVID really highlighted is that while we have an amazing network of partners doing amazing work, we realized that we were not adequately reaching these communities,” she said. “If we were reaching them, we weren’t always providing them the support they needed and the food they needed, particularly our New Mainer communities.”

Interview with Josh Potocki

Food Coma has published a podcast interview with Josh Potocki.

In this episode, chef and entrepreneur Josh Potocki begins with describing his personal journey, before we start waxing nostalgic about the golden age of decadence. Well, for us anyway. It was our scene, different from now – not that there is anything wrong with the current state of affairs. I think it’s part of getting old when terms like “Pop-Up” can’t help but solicit a huge eye roll. Also if you can take away anything from this episode, it’s that your event will inevitably be a lot less cool once you lose control of the guest list. Plus the world started going downhill once “Everyone” was now considered a “Winner.” Lastly, we kill some deer. For a good cause.