For fans of good food, copious drink and Portland nightlife in general, there’s no greater or more entertaining authority than Joe Ricchio, writer for Maine Magazine and former host of the Maine web series “Food Coma TV” (, which ended its two-year gastronomical tour this past summer.

But from the crumbs of that endeavor, Ricchio is back with a new web series, “The Food Coma Show,” which is having its premiere on Sunday at Space Gallery.

Ricchio will be in attendance to introduce his new endeavor, a sit-down dinner conversational blowout where he and his guests (first-time companions include rapper Spose and Olympic skier Julie Parisien, among others) sample the best that Portland restaurant Bresca’s chef Krista Desjarlais has to offer.

The all-ages Space Gallery screening of “The Food Coma Show” series premiere begins at 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5. Go to for more information. 

What prompted the change from “Food Coma TV” to “The Food Coma Show”?

I just wanted to try something a little more dialogue driven. For “Food Coma,” we’d go to a town and go to six places in a 12- to 14-minute episode. We just lost some of the experience. So this is the other end of the spectrum. Definitely a template is (Jon Favreau’s TV show on IFC) “Dinner for Five”– a random assortment of people from different walks of life who may not know each other that well.


But unlike “Dinner for Five,” we really want to focus on the restaurant and make people want to go there. They were always eating and drinking, but never discussed what they were eating. We intend 70 percent food talk, 30 percent other topics. And Bresca is one of my favorite places around town. 

What makes a good “Food Coma” guest?

Someone who has stories, appreciates food and loves to get drunk. Someone who you’d like to have dinner with in real life. For the first episode, we’ve got Spose, whom I’ve hung out with a few times. Julie I met just once and I heard she was a fan of the old show. Entertainment, athletics, the wine biz the unifying factor is food and drink. That’s where everyone comes together. 

Why Space Gallery?

I like Space as a venue. It’s easy to set up and do it a little more off the cuff. Plus, there are art installations in case people get tired of watching me get drunk. 

What food option does Portland really lack?


Chinese food. The American version or the Chinese version — there’s a big gap there. And a really good taqueria that’s doing more of a Mexican style instead of Tex-Mex. 

Dennis Perkins is a Portland freelance writer.




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