Radio Cherry Bombe: Food For Thought
The Press Hotel
Monday, July 22nd
6 to 8 p.m.
On Monday, July 22nd, join the Bombesquad at The Press Hotel for the Portland, Maine stop on our "Food for Thought" Radio Cherry Bombe Tour. We'll be talking to Erin French of The Lost Kitchen, Leigh Kellis of Holy Donut, Briana Holt of Tandem Coffee Roasters, Jacqueline Dole of Parlor Ice Cream, Cara Stadler of BaoBao and Lio, Rebecca Charles of Pearl Kennebunk Beach and Spat Oyster Cellar, and Briana Warner of Atlantic Sea Farms about their journeys through food. This panel will be recorded for a future episode of Radio Cherry Bombe.
Erin French grew up in Freedom, Maine (population 719) helping her father at the griddle in his diner. Entirely self-taught, Erin read cookbooks to form her culinary education and now helms her acclaimed restaurant, The Lost Kitchen, in a historic 1834 grist mill in the same town. She strives to create great meals using locally sourced ingredients while providing an experience that draw locals and visitors from around the world to a dining room that feels like an extension of her home kitchen.
No one can bring small-town America to life better than a native, especially when it comes to Maine. As one of the country's most off-the-beaten-path states, Maine is abundant with a natural bounty that comes from its coastline, rivers, farms, fields, and woods—a cook’s dream. Inspired by her lush locale and classic American cooking, Erin makes food that has been called “brilliant in its simplicity and honesty” by Food & Wine, and it is exactly this pure approach that makes her style of cooking so appealing—and so easy to embrace at home, wherever you live.
Leigh Kellis founded the Holy Donut in Portland, Maine in 2011. It came as a result of an intense craving for old-world comfort food and more sweetness in life. The business started as a small wholesale operation making 4 handmade donuts at a time in a pot on the stove. The wholesale orders grew quickly as people were liking and buying the tasty cinnamon covered Maine potato donuts found at the local coffee shops. She opened a store in Portland with her dad’s help then opened two more stores with her brother in law (now business partner’s) help. They have 80 employees and still make everything from scratch and by hand, all 2 million donuts per year. The Holy Donut recently received an award, best ‘Business for Social Responsibility’ which Leigh considers to be the true mark of success. The company pays employees extra time off for helping others and raises money weekly to hand deliver flowers to the elderly and also contribute to important environmental and human causes. Donuts for the greater good!
Jacqueline Dole is the founder of The Parlor Ice Cream Co., an award winning ice cream company based in Maine. Jacqueline attended The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts before spending five years baking in some of Boston’s most beloved bakeries and restaurants. In 2014 she was named to Zagat’s 30 under 30 list.
The Parlor Ice Cream Co. began in 2016 as a pop up at bakeries, breweries and everything in between offering limited collaboration flavors. After over 200 pop up events, Parlor is now available in pints at grocery stores and by the scoop at restaurants from Boston to Brunswick, Maine. The Parlor was awarded Best of DownEast Magazine in 2018 and is one of the fastest growing ice cream companies in New England.
Cara Stadler is the chef/owner of Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Maine, and BaoBao Dumpling House and Lio in Portland, Maine. She began her career at age 16, training in the United States and Paris before moving to Asia in 2008 to cook in Singapore and China.
Cara’s core guiding concept is what she calls “the perfect bite:” how, in a single bite, flavors harmonize in a sequence of moments, supported by the cadence of texture. She is constantly striving to put both new “perfect bites” and some classics on the table.
Cara is a four-time James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee, was named a Food and Wine Best New Chef in 2014.
Briana Holt was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard, a small island rich in east coast agriculture and foodways. Her first job at age 13 was making donuts and bread at a tiny bakery that has served her hometown since the early 30s. After studying film and art, she moved back to her hometown, where she met Will and Kathleen Pratt, who later went on to open Tandem Coffee in Portland in 2012. Briana moved to Maine in 2013, and in 2014, helped Will and Kathleen open their second location, the now-acclaimed Tandem Coffee + Bakery. At the bakery, you’ll find the pastry counter full of familiar classics with a bold, whimsical edge. Briana, the head baker, and the rest of the baking team have a commitment to building strong relationships with Maine farms, featuring as many locally grown grains, fruits, produce, and meat as possible. In 2015, Tandem Bakery was among Bon Appetit magazine’s “50 Best New Restaurants in America” with Briana touted by the editors as a “pastry genius.”
Rebecca, a self-taught chef, began her career in 1970s New York City, working her way up the kitchen from dishwasher to executive chef. In the 1980s, she moved to Maine, working at White Barn Inn and later Café 74, a restaurant of her own design.
When she moved back to New York, she worked at Anne Rosenzweig’s Arcadia, then Cascabel. In July 1997, Rebecca opened Pearl Oyster Bar in Greenwich Village, and changed the restaurant industry forever when she popularized the now ubiquitous lobster roll, oyster bars, upscale clam shacks, and open kitchen-concept restaurants. Her cookbook/memoir, Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Stories and Recipes from Summers on the Coast of Maine, was published in 2003.
Rebecca, whose family had been summering in Maine since 1917, had always wanted to return and open a restaurant there. In 2016, she opened Spat Oyster Cellar in Kennebunk, and Pearl Kennebunk Beach in 2017.
Briana has dedicated her life to doing well by doing good. She is passionate about our incredible home state and working with our partner farmers to kelp the earth. After serving several tours in the U.S. Foreign Service, Bri opened and sold a wholesale bakery in Portland focused on pies with an international flair and employing recent refugees resettled in the Portland area. Before taking the helm at Atlantic Sea Farms in 2018, she worked to diversify coastal incomes as the Economic Development Director at the Island Institute, a non-profit focused on sustaining island communities both in Maine and elsewhere.