Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Chef Carmen Gonzalez continues her guest chef series Oct. 25, when renowned Boston chef Barbara Lynch joins her at Carmen at the Danforth.
The menu hasn’t been written yet, but Gonzalez says she plans to serve Spanish wines at the dinner. Food writer Joe Ricchio, a representative of South Portland Wine Company, will be pouring.
The evening will be similar to the first guest chef night July 25, when Chicago chef Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia came to Portland to cook Italian. A reception will start at 6:30, followed by dinner at 7:30.The chef said seats will be priced at $95, all inclusive, “so its a bargain, baby.”
Gonzalez has tried hard to keep her menus affordable, not wanting to look like the New York City chef who sweeps into town bringing New York prices with her. The strategy has worked.
“Even in the summer, 80 percent of my clientele are locals, which I love,” she said. “Last Saturday, I had one table that was not local.”
Gonzalez does not know Lynch as well as she knows Mantuano, but chose her for the second guest chef dinner because she appreciates Lynch’s food and style.
“I have been to quite a few of her restaurants, and I have always admired what she does,” Gonzalez said.
Lynch, best known for No. 9 Park, was named “Best Chef Northeast” by the James Beard Foundation in 2003. Both the chef and No. 9 Park have received numerous accolades over the years. This year, her fine dining restaurant Menton, located in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, became the first Relais & Châteaux property in Boston, and received AAA’s Five Diamond Award and Forbes Travel Guide’s Five-Star Award as well.
As CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, the chef oversees the operation of eight “concepts” and employs more than 200 people in her businesses. She is the only female chef to hold the title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.
The Lynch dinner will be held during the same week as the city’s Harvest on the Harbor food and wine festival, giving Portlanders another reason to dine out.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod