Award-winning chefs Ilma Lopez and Cara Stadler charmed a full house at One Longfellow Square on Tuesday night with a free-ranging conversation about the chutzpah required to be a great chef, the challenge of balancing the business of running a restaurant with the demands of life, how and when to respond to negative reviews and why it’s important to offer good wages and health insurance to restaurant employees.

Peggy Grodinsky, food editor of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, interviewed Lopez and Stadler as part of the newspaper’s MaineVoices Live series of conversations with notable Mainers.

They also talked about how the #MeToo movement has affected their industry, the value and importance of serving locally sourced food and the music level in restaurants.

Lopez is the pastry chef and co-owner of Piccolo and Chaval in Portland. Stadler operates Bao Bao Dumpling House and Lio in Portland and Tao Yuan in Brunswick.


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