Food (39)

Slow-food aficionados: Vignola Cinque Terre taps traditions of Italy

At Vignola Cinque Terre, the delightful, ivy-covered restaurant at 10 Dana St., diners get the best of two great places: Maine and Italy. While it might seem a strange combination, the restaurant’s commitment to farm-to-table cooking and its goal of producing authentic Italian cuisine mesh extremely well. It’s Italian food made with fresh Maine ingredients. The restaurant’s owners, Dan and Michelle Kary, live on and operate Grand View Farm in Greene. The farm’s gardens and…

The purpose of consumption: Roustabout needs no reason to be good

  _by Brian Duff   The greatest American novel was about the original roustabouts – young men prowling the docks of New England, looking for work in a gig economy. Today Ishmael and Queequeg would fit right in, with their tattoos, multiculturalism and bi-curiosity. I think Queequeg had a man-bun. Melville’s roustabouts sought work as oarsmen or harpooners. Today’s version seek gigs as prep cooks, or perhaps mixing drinks. Of course, the whaler sought sperm-oil…

After 200 years, a famous recipe revealed: Grandma Gregory’s Lobster Stew takes Great Chili Chowder Award

Just after the James Beard Foundation winners were announced last week, a different kind of food contest was underway, Altrusa’s Great Chili Chowder contest. The big chowder winner this year was Free Range Fish & Lobster whose entry “Grandma Gregory’s Lobster Stew” took home both Judges’ and the People’s Choice awards for the first time. “We took it all,” said Joe Ray, president of the fish wholesaler, who along with his partner, Bill Denley, worked…

Last chance to see ‘Dining’

It’s the last chance to see paintings of  Portland food workers on the job in some of the city’s best known restaurants. Dan Graziano’s solo exhibit, “Dining” at Roux & Cyr, ends this Sunday, Feb. 28. Graziano and gallery owner’s husband, Mike McCallister, went on a two-day photo spree through area restaurants including David’s restaurant, the Grill Room, Corner Room, Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room, Harbor Fish Market and Bull Feeney’s. Then Graziani holed…

Immigrant Kitchens: Armenian cooking secrets: Arabic music and a tablespoon of rose water

When my physical therapist, Amin Saab, in Brunswick heard about my quest to learn a dish from every country in the world, he connected me with his Armenian mother in Cape Cod. In August, she and I sat together on her back porch, overlooking a beach packed with orange parasols. Over the sounds of distant waves crashing and kids playing, Maggie Saab told me the story of the foods she was about to teach me…

Immigrant Kitchens: From the mountains of Colombia, a revelatory soup

Leonor Londono McGinn, the Colombian-American grandmother of my daughter’s schoolmate, taught me how to make her favorite food from her childhood. It’s a popular soup called sancocho, made with chicken broth, carrots, celery, whole sections of corn on the cob, whole pieces of bone-in chicken, and big chunks of potatoes, yuca root, and green plantains. My favorite part was the slices of avocado and fresh cilantro on top. After forty years of serving avocado room…

Shoulder surgery leads to food discovery

You never know who might have a delicious immigrant recipe from around the world in their back pocket. Two weeks after shoulder surgery (rotator cuff), I was headed into my physical therapy appointment when I noticed my physical therapist’s name under his picture on the wall. It wasn’t a name I’d ever seen before. As he guided me in stretches and exercises that ranged from mildly to severely uncomfortable, we chatted to take my mind…

Sour, potent and tender: Stories, taste of Serbian stuffed cabbage

I never know how I’m going to find my next immigrant-cooking teacher. This month I was getting my teeth cleaned when my dental hygienist told me about a Serbian friend who owns a bakery. Soon I was heading to a different kind of tooth appointment, turning left off Riverside Street onto 302, looking for building number 800. There was a sign for “World Cake Bakery” in front of a two-story cape. Next to the garage…
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