Thursday, December 5, 2013
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
Gather's dining room (Press Herald file photo)
Now that Chad Conley — who helped open Gather in September 2012 — has decamped to launch his own restaurant at the old Palace Diner in Biddeford (read Meredith Goad's story here), the popular Yarmouth restaurant is seeking his replacement.
An ad on Craigslist says that the ideal candidate will "continue our concept and reputation of 'local food at reasonable prices', but bring his/her own style of creative cuisine and cool-headed kitchen management." In addition to a competitive salary, the job offers a paid vacation and health insurance.
“If you can’t get to paradise, I’ll bring it to you.” – Don the Beachcomber
Maine is usually at least a couple of years behind on food-and-drink trends (think cupcakes, which were over just about everywhere else before they exploded here), and the current revival of Polynesian pop is no exception.
The current tiki bar revival started in the 1990s, and spread by the early 2000s to places like New York, London and Moscow. In Denver and Dallas, apparently, it’s still going strong. Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco – which opened in 2009 with unapologetically tacky tiki décor but undeniably authentic tiki cocktails – was named one of the Best Bars in America by Esquire Magazine this year.
As part of its annual "best of" issue, Wine Enthusiast magazine identified the "best beers reviewed this year," 25 labels that "exhibit extraordinary craftsmanship, innovation and quality at prices that still represent affordable luxury."
Among them is a limited-edition beer from Maine's Allagash Brewing Co., FV 13, released in February 2013. According to the Allagash website, "FV 13 marks our first venture into the world of foudre beers. Foudres are giant oak tanks used for aging (this one holds 2700 gallons.) FV 13 is a blend of wild yeast and bacteria, a base beer with lots of malt character, and about four years of patience."
Wine Enthusiast describes the beer as "a masterpiece, complex and layered yet nuanced and balanced."
If you love trying different international cuisines, this is a good week for you.
First, on Thursday, University of Southern Maine tourism and hospitality students are hosting an international food festival called “Husky Harvest” that is free and open to the public.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Woodbury Campus Center on USM’s Portland campus. Students from professor Tracy Stutzman’s “Food and Culture” class and members of the Asian American Association, the Muslim Student Association and the Multicultural Student Association will be sharing their recipes potluck style. The dishes will include Asian, Mexican, Greek and Indian cuisine.
Here's some of the dishes that will be available for sampling.