Sam Sifton: Maine Voices Live

Sam Sifton will be the featured guest in a Press Herald Maine Voices Live event taking place April 6th. Register online to attend.

Sam Sifton is the assistant managing editor of The New York Times, overseeing culture and lifestyle coverage. He is the founding editor of NYT Cooking, writes a food column for The New York Times Magazine. While based in New York City, Sifton has spent time in Maine every year of his life. His love of the state and its food heritage frequently shows up in his popular NYT Cooking email newsletter.

Sifton was originally scheduled to speak on March 16th, 2020, but the event was postponed due to the pandemic.

Kindfulness Service Challenge

Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, and in keeping with the spirit of that holiday, hospitality and marketing pro Jennifer Trebino Wyllie (instagram) is launching the Kindfulness Service Challenge.

Wyllie shared the definition of Kindfulness which is “the quality or state of being mindful of the people around you + bringing kindness to their day”.

For her program she’s challenging us all for the next 10 days to “consciously + purposely be kind to service workers. It costs nothing to be kind and I know that not only will service workers have better days, but everyone will feel happier + lighter and hopefully continue doing so. This is meant to be a habit breaking challenge that spreads kindness and love.”

For more information see the steps in the graphic shown here and view the program announcement on instagram.

Sea Urchin Aquaculture

The Press Herald has published a report on Maine’s sea urchin fishery, and efforts to develop an sea urchin aquaculture industry.

Though sea urchins may seem an unlikely focus for Maine’s burgeoning aquaculture industry, “uni,” also known as urchin roe or gonads, is considered a delicacy in many Asian and some European markets. Steve Eddy, director of the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, believes urchin could become a valuable economic driver for the Northeast region.

This Week’s Events: Mardi Gras, Norimoto

Monday – it’s President’s Day.

TuesdayEaux will be serving be serving a menu of po’boys, gumbo, cornbread and more at a Mardi Gras pop-up in Oxbow Alley. (Rescheduled to February 23rd)

Friday – Atsuko Fujimoto from Norimoto Bakery will be participating in the Small Axe guest chef series at East Ender (continues on Saturday)

Saturday – Chris Lynch from Commander’s Palace in New Orleans is participating in the Ramona’s guest chef series (continues on Sunday).

C. Love Baking Academy

The C. Love Cookie Project is launching a baking academy to “offering women the skills needed to thrive in a professional pastry kitchen and lift immigrant women to the level they deserve.”

Accepted applicants will be shown the world of pastry through an intensive series of recipes with opportunities to express themselves through weekly recipe assignments. In addition to time learning in the CLBA kitchen, students will learn from various professionals in Portland’s baking and cafe community and enjoy having one-on-one time with the instructors. Recipes learned in class will be sold in C. Love’s retail space with students working on-site at the cafe.

C. Love has started taking applications and expects to start instruction in May. They’re also accepting donations for a scholarship fund for the academy.

Public Market House

Mr. Tuna is again expanding their first floor space in the Public Market House. This time owner Jordan Rubin is building out the area adjacent to Big Sky as a prep kitchen. This will provide Mr. Tuna with the space needed to breakdown and prepare tuna for use at the Mr. Tuna mobile units and at the Public Market House itself.

Also in the Public Market House, Maine Squeeze has shut down their juice bar. The window front space is now available for lease. A sign indicates that interested parties should reach out to for more information.

Iron Clad Eats

A new food truck called Iron Clad Eats (instagram) is under development with plans to launch the spring. Iron Clad is focused on serving tacos that draw inspiration from street food and regional favorites. They plan to deliver “big loud flavors…to bring fun and unique food to go to the mouths of Maine”.

Chef Joe McCluskey is working to launch the truck along with family members Dan McCluskey and Stephanie McCort. Joe McCluskey has worked at several restaurants in the Brunswick area, and Dan McCluskey and Stephanie McCort have experience in the events and tourism industry in New York City.

Follow Iron Clad Eats on instagram to follow along with their progress to an opening day and watch for their kickstarter launch later this month.

Eater: Preble Street’s Food Program

Eater has published an in depth look at the Preble Street food program and the many challenges it’s navigated during the pandemic.

But on March 25 last year, for the first time in its history, Preble Street closed its dining room. Suddenly, the delicate web of social services that Portland’s unhoused community relied on to meet basic needs, a system largely concentrated in Preble’s Bayside neighborhood, began to unravel. This unravelling, which led to a forced dispersal of the city’s homeless population, brought into stark relief the conflicting imperatives of public health, public safety, and emergency services brought on by the pandemic. It became clear that if Preble Street was going to keep feeding people, the model — and maybe even the organization’s entire mission — would need to be rethought.

The article was written by Christian Letourneau with photography by Greta Rybus as part of a collaboration between Eater and the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

For more information on the Preble Street visit