Little Bigs Baker Joins Monte’s Team

Former Little Bigs co-owner, Pamela Fitzpatrick Plunkett, will be joining the Monte’s Fine Foods to manage their bakery operations.

Pamela’s love of bread and the art of baking began in 1988 at Nancy Silverton’s famed La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles. In 2000 she was a founder of Fox & Obel in Chicago and served as its Executive Baker thru 2011. In 2013, Pamela and her husband James moved to Maine and operated the very popular Little BIGS in South Portland until early this year.

Scott Tyree, Master Sommelier

Freeport Maine resident, Scott Tyree, passed his final exam on Tuesday to become Maine’s first Master Sommelier, and only the 257th Master Sommelier worldwide.

It’s truly an amazing accomplishment. Only a small fraction of the people who progress through the lower certification levels to take the test complete all three sections successfully. The Master Sommelier exams are administered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. They are a rigorous and demanding challenge that requires expert knowledge of wine making practices and standards worldwide, a service exam and a blind tasting test.

Tyree is a 25-year veteran of the wine industry, and began his career in Chicago at Shaw’s Crab House. He was the Wine Director at Tru working alongside James Beard Award winning chefs Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand. In 2009, as the Wine Director of Michelin-starred Sepia Restaurant in Chicago, Tyree was once again chosen as Best Sommelier by the Jean Banchet Awards for an unprecedented third time. He has received numerous awards including a Wine Spectator’s Grand Award in 2004, he was a James Beard Semi-Finalist for Outstanding Wine Service in 2004, and a Food & Wine Best New Wine List honoree in 2001.

Photo Credit: Court of Master Sommeliers

Blue Spoon Cafe Opens Today

Blue Spoon Cafe & Catering (instagram) is scheduled to open Thursday morning at 7 am. The new cafe is located at 64 Pine Street in the former location of Aurora Provisions.

Liz Koenigsberg and her husband chef Will Lavey, the couple who bought Blue Spoon last year, have leased the space from Tom Landry who purchased the building at auction earlier this year.

Blue Spoon Cafe & Catering will be a casual breakfast and lunch cafe with coffee service (Speckled Ax) and foods to go. It will also be a home base to expand Blue Spoon’s catering service.

Boston Globe on Portland Wine Week

The Boston Globe has published an article about this year’s upcoming Portland Wine Week (June 17 – 23).

Restaurants, bars, and shops all over town will present a multitude of offerings, from the budget-friendly to the splurge-worthy. Sip a gently priced glass of bubbly alongside freshly shucked oysters at a shellfish market, or learn to craft your own spritzer at a stylish cocktail lounge. In the evening, drop by a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, and get acquainted with a winemaker over a prix fixe repast. The next morning, hop aboard a sailboat and enjoy a scenic brunch on Casco Bay. Tickets to events are sold a la carte, so it’s a snap to customize your own adventure.

Purple House Evolution

Chef/owner Krista Desjalais has announced that she’ll be going into Summer recess for The Purple House after May 12th in order to focus time on her Bresca and the Honey Bee location.

When The Purple House reopens in October, Desjarlais will be launching “with a new format which will include new pastries, bread, bagels, savory baked goods and pizza al taglio for the weekend….we will also offer a fancyish lunch served Thursday and possibly Friday… two seatings, 8-10 people per seating, multi course”.

Details on how to reserve seats for lunch will be shared later this year.

This Week’s Events: Seaweed Week, Haus Alpenz, Pasta with Paolo, Sparkling Pizza

MondaySeaweed Week continues with restaurants across the city participating by having seaweed based dishes and drinks on their menu. See the Seaweed Week website for a list of participating venues in Portland and across the state.

TuesdaySolo Italiano is holding a Pasta with Paolo pasta making class.

Wednesday – the 1st Monument Square Farmers’ Market of the year is taking place, there will be a Greek wine tasting at Old Port Wine Merchants, and Jake Parrot will be at Little Giant for a Haus Alpenz cocktail and wine dinner.

Thursday – Jake Parrot will be at Maine & Loire for a Haus Alpenz wine tasting, and the Great Lost Bear will be featuring beer from Banded Horn.

Friday – there will be a wine tasting at the West End Rosemont.

SaturdayDevenish Wines and Belleville are teaming up on a sparking wine pizza night, and the Deering Oaks Farmers’ Market is taking place.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Street Food Survey

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram takes a look at the diverse range of international street food now being served by Maine restaurants.

Street food taps into our culture’s growing preference for international flavors and casual restaurants, where curious diners can explore new dishes with friends and family. As with tapas-style dining, people can sample several dishes without blowing their budget, and can pass dishes around the table to share. A lower bill at the end of the night means diners can enjoy a restaurant meal more than one night a month, said Clay Norris, chef/owner of Baharat.

Reviews: Dizzy Bird, Bird & Co.

The Press Herald has reviewed Dizzy Bird, and

As I’ve already hinted, I discovered the meat was both tender and delicious. (It could have been just a touch more moist, but I feel like that’s nit-picking.) I remember thinking as I ate it, “I wonder how many modern kids raised on grocery store rotisserie birds even know what a chicken is supposed to taste like?”

the Press Herald has reviewed Bird & Co.

Unless you prefer to slog through life without even a glimmer of happiness, you should head straight to Bird & Co. Is it possible that soon the word tacocktail will be trending?