GQ Magazine Names Maine French Restaurant Dish to Top Ten Ethical Dining List Experience
Mitra’s Clabber-Fed Poularde and Poached Maine Lobster Tail from Evangeline Highlighted
PORTLAND, Maine — July 13, 2010 — GQ magazine food correspondent, Alan Richman, recently traveled the country talking with chefs and farmers about the meaning of ethical eating for his July feature article, “Eat no Evil.” As a follow up to the feature article, Richman, in his GQ blog, Forked & Corked, lists the top ten ethical dishes he had on his journey. Mitra’s Clabber-fed poularde and poached Maine lobster tail prepared by Chef Erik Desjarlais of Evangeline, a Maine French restaurant, made the top-ten list.
“The lobster merely perfect, the chicken astonishing…The meat is so profoundly rich I had problems resisting seconds,” said Richman.
For this particular menu item, Chef Erik Desjarlais obtains the chickens from a local farmer named Mitra Luick in New Sharon, Maine. Her first name honors the dish. Described by Desjarlais as “beautiful, little, fat chickens,” these birds are organically raised and fed on clabber or thickened, soured, unpasteurized milk from the family cow. The result is a chicken with stronger bones due to the extra calcium allowing it to support more weight, meaning more flesh, fat and flavor. Desjarlais discussed why he prefers these special chickens to feed his guests in an article for Find. Eat. Drink., an online food and drink guide featuring recommendations from culinary industry insiders, including a twice-weekly newsletter.
In the feature, “Eat no Evil,” Richman explores what it means to eat ethically while still being able to savor the pleasures of eating. His journey takes him to a variety of sustainable farms and top restaurants. He visits “fabled” farmer Eliot Coleman and wife Barbara Damrosch of Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, and Eberhard Müller and wife Paulette Satur of Satur Farms near West Palm Beach, Florida. Additionally, he speaks with such famed chefs as Eric Ripert, Dan Barber and Alice Waters. All had different definitions of what ethical eating is.
On his 30-day pilgrimage, Richman stopped by Evangeline, a small Maine French restaurant, for a meal and a conversation with Chef Desjarlais who notes ethical eating can be about buying local in order to help support small and family-owned businesses, and therefore Maine families in the community. In the past, Chef Desjarlais has also commented on the importance of using all parts of the animal when preparing delicious food, a sentiment described by other chefs in the article when discussing ethical eating. Many chefs, like Desjarlais, adopted this philosophy years ago, although it has become a more recent trend in the food world called nose-to-tail cooking and dining.
Evangeline is located at 190 State Street in Portland, Maine’s Arts District and has earned distinction as one of the country’s best small French restaurants. The restaurant is known for its quintessential French dining experience and modern bistro atmosphere. Chef Erik Desjarlais and his team are inspired by the regions of France and local and seasonal ingredients. Meals are prepared using the highest quality ingredients with an abundance of naturally grown items from local Maine farmers, suppliers and producers. The newly conceived wine and cocktail lists will include old world French wines, new world American wines, and refreshing early summer inspired drinks. Since opening in 2008, the restaurant has received an impressive amount of press in national and regional outlets including, The New York Times, World Traveler, Sherman’s Traveler, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Portland Press Herald. In 2009, USA Today named Evangeline one of the 10 greatest places in the country to master the art of French eating, alongside nine masters of French food.