The 207, on Discovery Investigation and Food Network; also Otto vs. Batali

First off, from the true crime, rather gruesome files comes news that Discovery Investigation — one of the bajillion Discovery spinoff channels somewhere in the 100s on your cable dial — will feature a Maine case on its show “Nightmare Next Door.” The episode is set for 9 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 12, on the Investigation Discovery channel, and features the story of the Portland homicide of Amy St. Laurent, just ten years after it happened. As the press release from Discovery states,

“When 25-year-old Amy St. Laurent disappears after a night out on the town, the people of Portland, Maine are terrified. Her body is discovered seven weeks later, and police begin to focus in on a local playboy as the culprit. But when the suspect skips town to Alabama, it’s a race down south to bring a killer to justice.”

Should be gripping. So now, let’s go for rather awkward segue. CUPCAKES! Portland’s East End Cupcakes, makers of adorable little baked confections, were featured on an episode of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” last week. The episode was a tribute to the show “I Love Lucy,” on its 60th anniversary, and East End Cupcake maven Alysia Zoidis created a “Vitameatavegamin” cupcake, in honor of the famed episode of the same name. While Zoidis didn’t win, she did make it to the final round, where she and her partner made 1,000 cupcakes in two hours. Wow! The episode will be rebroadcast at 11 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, and at 2 a.m. Feb. 10, early Friday morning.

And finally, in minor food scandal news, Mario Batali has called out Maine’s own Otto Pizza for supposedly ripping off his own pizza chain, Otto Enoteca in NYC and Las Vegas.  “These folks are d-bags and thieves… shame on them!” he tweeted. Oh my! As anyone who has grabbed a slice of Otto Pizza from it’s wildly popular Congress Street location in Portland, it’s damn good pizza (I love the butternut squash and ricotta). But is this true? Did New England Otto rip off New York Otto? Otto’s owners themselves addressed the controversy:

We have nothing but the utmost esteem for Chef Batali, his cuisine and the successful business that he has built from the ground up. We certainly meant no disrespect to him – or to the OTTO Pizza in Tempe, AZ, for that matter – when we chose the name of our little shop in Portland nearly three years ago. Given the nature of Chef Batali’s comments, though, we’re just glad we didn’t call our shop Ray’s, because if we had, we’d probably have 50 or 60 New York pizza shop owners hammering us on Twitter instead of just one. Nonetheless, we wish Chef Batali nothing but success in both his current and future endeavors.

Oh, snap. Well, Batali, looks like you got called out and smacked down. I still like you and your food, though. But not as much as I love Otto in Portland. Best late night snack in town.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, a University of Maine graduate, a proud Bangorian and an arts and lifestyle writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food, from media and the Internet to theater and dance. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, taken belly dancing classes, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra, to name just a few. She's interested in everything -- especially if it happens in Maine. She welcomes any and all feedback or suggestions for stories.