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August 17, 2017

Brunswick restaurant to raise its own fish

Photo / Tim Greenway
Photo / Tim Greenway
Cara Stadler, owner and chef of Tao Yuan in Brunswick and Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland, has received approvals needed to construct an aquaponic greenhouse and 18-seat retail cafe and bakery at her site in Brunswick.

Chef Cara Stadler, owner of Tao Yuan Restaurant in Brunswick and Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland, has received approvals needed to construct an aquaponic greenhouse and 18-seat retail cafe and bakery.

The Forecaster reported the greenhouse will change the way the restaurant sources and serves its seafood and produce.

Final approvals from the town came after minor tweaks to the plan.

Kate Holcomb, the restaurant's farm coordinator and future greenhouse manager, told the newspaper that the greenhouse will function like a miniature ecosystem. The restaurant will raise fish in a recirculating aquaculture system, which will create waste that naturally occurring bacteria will break down into nutrition to feed the adjacent produce garden. Construction will likely begin by the end of the year.

The facility will be located behind Stadler's Asian-fusion restaurant Tao Yuan in Brunswick.

Stadler is a nationally recognized restaurateur and chef, named one of 2014's "best new chefs" by Food & Wine magazine. Interviewed in 2014 by Mainebiz, when she was 26, she said one of the biggest challenges of running a restaurant in Brunswick, compared with larger cities, is finding some of the more unusual ingredients she uses, like young ginger — premature ginger that's more tender — and celtuce, a variety of lettuce.

"That's why we're building an aquaponic greenhouse, so we can grow our own things," she said.

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