Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blue Moon Cafe is looking for Line Cooks

Calling all Line Cooks

The Blue Moon Cafe in Fells Point (and soon to open location in Federal Hill) is looking for Line Cooks.  

credit: Blue Moon Cafe
Sarah Simington's restaurant Blue Moon Cafe is well know in the Baltimore area for its menu items especially the Captain Crunch French Toast, Cinnamon Rolls and specials!

Chef and owner Sarah Simington says she will teach you all she knows!!!
Owner of The Blue Moon Cafe, Sarah Simington is a true force to be recognized both in the kitchen, and in every day life. Sarah's efforts to give back is evident, and she's determined to connect to others while sharing her true passion for life, love and comfort food. Even more so after she had been selected in April of 2011 to represent the America's Chefs program.

With Food Network Chefs like Guy Fieri, Tyler Florence, Hodad, & Stretch, supporting the program, Sarah just had to give this tour a healthy dose of Baltimore, along with her Blue Moon Cafe spirit.  

Blue Moon Cafe has been featured on Food Network shows and you can see Sarah compete on the new Food Fighters on NBC on August 19th.

Interested? Call Sarah at 443-939-0811

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

B&O American Brasserie celebrates their fifth anniversary with throwback menus

B&O is celebrating their fifth anniversary this month with throwback menus that started them off. The menu consists of $5 cocktails as well as $10 small plates from the initial menu that started it all off and will be available now until the end of August. 



$5 Cocktail Tastes

Horsecar
Dorothy Parker Gin, Simple Syrup, Thyme, Bluberries

Coal Train
Compass Box Peat Monster Scotch, Maurin Quina, Carpano Antica, Bitters

Camden Crusta
Leblon Cachaca, Velvet Falernum, Ginger Syrup, Lime, Bitters

Flight of all 3 $14

$10 Small Plates

Cornmeal Crusted Oysters
Fennel & Spicy Summer Melon Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad
Bing Cherries, Chipotle Goat Cheese & Saba

Steak Tartar
Pickled Carrots & Dressed Arugula

Rice Crusted Diver Scallop
Summer Succotash, Bing Cherries, & Smoked Balsamic


I had the opportunity to try some of these dishes out when B & O first opened!  Check out the review and see some pictures below!


Rice Crusted Diver Scallop

Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad

Monday, July 28, 2014

Charm City Cakes August cake decorating classes

School is still in session for the rest of the summer at Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, MD. Students ages 14 and up can learn a variety of cake decorating techniques and hone their skills in classes led by the bakery’s veteran decorators. August kicks off with Charm City Cakes’ popular wedding cake workshop, followed by classes with summer-inspired beach and BBQ cake themes, and more. About one third of the proceeds from a special rainbow animal print cupcake class will benefit the Shirts For A Cure project, which donates 100% of their funds to the Syrentha J. Savio Endowment, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to underprivileged women who cannot afford expensive breast cancer medicine and therapy. 

Vegan and gluten-free cake options are also available, as well as private lessons, small group classes, bachelorette parties, team building, and gift certificates.

SCHEDULE:

credit: Charm City Cakes
Saturday, August 2 at 10:00am

This popular wedding workshop series continues with this ruffle flowered beauty. Students will learn how to stack, fondant, create ruffle flowers, pipe, and add sparkle to this gorgeous, signature Charm City Cakes confection! Each participant will be provided with a 6” and 10” dummy mold and an iced 8” cake. $350 per participant, with an additional $75 for cake substitutions for the dummy molds. 




Saturday, August 9 at 11:00am

In this special fundraising class for Shirts For A Cure, students will decorate four cupcakes with Charm City Cakes’ popular rainbow animal print design. Participants will learn how to airbrush a rainbow ombré and hand paint animal prints. For the remaining two cupcakes, students will get to pick from a range of beginner to advanced level templates, inspired by the charitable project’s favorite t-shirt designs.  $100 per participant.



credit: Charm City Cakes
Saturday, August 16 at 11:00am

Can’t get to the beach this summer? In this class, participants will get their hands dirty with frosting instead of sand by learning how to mask off areas of their cake to create a serene airbrushed beach scene with painted clouds and a gentle tide coming in. $100 per participant.






credit: Charm City Cakes
Sunday, August 23 at 11:00am

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and our overuse of emoji definitely proves it! Charm City Cakes is embracing our new language for the digital age with this hip class. Students can choose from five different emoji designs to recreate in edible form. $100 per participant. 






credit: Charm City Cakes
Saturday, August 30 at 11:00am

To recognize all of the hard workers that have supported this country and made it what it is today, Charm City Cakes is celebrating Labor Day with a special holiday BBQ-themed class. Show your colleagues, laborers, and hardworking friends and family in your life how much you appreciate them by making this adorable and delicious grill cake. Veteran decorator Mary Smith will teach students how to cover their 6” iced cake in rolled fondant, how to airbrush and hand brush, and top their cake with a fondant hotdog and hamburger. $150 per participant.



WHERE:     
Charm City Cake
2936 Remington Avenue
Baltimore, MD
410-235-9229

RSVP:         
Reservations are required and space is limited, so please visit the site, call 410-235-9229, or email marysmith@charmcitycakes.com to reserve a spot. For those looking for a more personalized decorating experience, private classes are also available. Children under the age of 14 may be admitted with a guardian, please call for more details.

ABOUT CHARM CITY CAKES:
Charm City Cakes was founded in 2002 by Chef Duff Goldman, an innovative and boundary-pushing baker. The Baltimore based establishment’s popularity grew and Duff and staff were approached by the Food Network to star in Ace of Cakes. The show ran for ten seasons in six years and is still wildly popular not only in reruns, but in over 40 countries worldwide. The twice-nominated James Beard Foundation baker expanded the business in 2011 to Los Angeles, CA with Charm City Cakes West, as well as a DIY cake studio, Duff’s Cakemix.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Interview with Mason Dixon Master Chef competitor Keit Philavanh

The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament is in full swing with the tournament in round 2 right now.  The round 2 Chefs won their match in Round 1 and are competing to take home the grand prize.  

Some of the competing Chefs you may have heard of or have dined at their restaurant, while others you have never heard of or have had the chance to try their restaurant.


Let me introduce you to Chef Keit Philavanh of Basta Pasta.  Chef Keit was born in Thailand from Loa parents, and grew up in Ocean City, MD. He studied at The Baltimore International College (BIC), but is mostly a self-taught chef, having learned from close friends and traveling. Chef Keit says he continues to learn today from the people he meets and experiences he has.


Chef Kiet describes his style as Spanish, Italian, and Mediterranean, with a flair of South East Asian. He is proud of all of his creations, but most proud of the fact that he makes his own mozzarella cheese!  Chef Kiet will be competing in Round 2 on Tuesday, July 29th against Chef Gerardo Gonzales of Tapas Adela and Anastasia.




The Interview
Jessica Lemmo:  Did you cook growing up?
Keit Philavanh: “For as long as I can remember I made attempts as a child.  When I was 4 I tried to heat a pot of pho myself and dowsed my self with hot broth. Ouch!  That didn't stop me from trying again.  We had a house full, both parents and four kids latter 5 when my baby brother was born 8 years latter.  So yes we did a lot of cooking.  Family BBQ’s in the summer were the best.  We would spend the whole day at the bay fishing and grilling.  Then there was the massive garden with every vegetable known to man.  I still have nightmares about tending the garden as a child.  Then cooking for friends and introducing people to new and strange thing.” 
 JL:  What made you decide you would become a professional cook?
KP:  “It was something I just kind of fell into honestly.  Put it this way I’m a jack-of-all-trades.  Well, everyone has to eat; I just like to eat better than the average bear.  I always went out of way to eat good food.  I spent a bit of time introducing new food to people and it made sense to start a carrier out of my hidden skill.”
 JL:  Where you were trained and how difficult was your training?
KP:  “I learned quite a bit from family and friends from different parts of the world.  My mother was an exceptional cook.  I was lucky to be a first generation American.  Having my south Asian heritage and still appreciate crab cakes and hot dog as well. I studied at the Baltimore International College.  It was frustrating times at BIC for a 25 year old next to 18 year old that couldn’t even cook an egg.  I would argue with my Chef instructors about Asian.  It felt like I new more about Asian food than they did at time.  I was a stubborn and told I was too ambitious…whatever the hell that meant! Tough I am great full of all the education.”
  JL:  Would you do it again?
KP:  “Learning is a building block so yes in a heartbeat!”
  JL:  What is the best part about the job?
KP:  “The best part of my job is being able to create.”
  JL:  Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?
KP:  “First of all cook what you like.  You have to try new things.  Keep it simple!”
  JL:  Best cooking tip for a novice?
KP:  “Build your database of flavor, the world is a culinary fusion.  More result equal’s success.  History of culture and cuisine was a favorite of mine.”
  JL:  Favorite kitchen gadget?
KP:  “I’m pretty third word when it comes to gadgets.  Don’t really have a favorite.”
  JL:  Funniest kitchen incident?
KP:  “A cook sleeping standing up during service with thongs and a spatula in his hand.” 
  JL:  Favorite food to cook with?
KP:  “Fish and shellfish!”
  JL  Favorite dish to make at work/signature dish?
KP:  “Fresh mozzarella!”
 JL:  Your favorite cookbook?
KP:  :Antony Bourdain!”
 JL:  If you were to write & publish a cookbook what types of things would you include?
credit:  MDMC
KP:  History of cuisine and culture’s - Flavor, texture, and fusion.”
  JL:  When at home, what do you like to eat?
KP:  “I eat simple food.  Korean, random of Chinese take out.”
  JL:  Which item in your home refrigerator would you least like to cop to?
KP:  “Milk”
  JL:  In your opinion, what are the most important elements when creating a recipe from scratch?
KP:  “Preparation is the key to success. Ingredients!”
  JL:  What’s your favorite music to play in the kitchen?
KP:   “Bob Marley James Brown, Lynyrd Skinner”
  JL:  Best meal you have ever eaten at a restaurant? 
KP:  “I have eaten some phenomenal food. There’s so many too choose from.”
 JL:  What’s your favorite meal?
 KP:  “I love sushi.”

About Basta Pasta:

Basta Pasta's journey started in 2004, with a philosophy of becoming the ultimate expression of what an Italian casual dining experience should be. It features a blend of exquisite Italian food and seafood in casual elegance with expert, attentive, and cordial service. At Basta Pasta one should expect incredibly fresh and flavorful choices with masterful preparation and presentation. It spares no effort in sourcing the finest available ingredients in the market and emphasize the simplicity of Italian cuisine. Offering endless salad and breadstick with your entrée, you can enjoy your choice of hearty homemade pasta dishes or our fresh selection of seafood and pair it with the finest of wines representing the world’s most notable regions.


About The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament:
The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, a live, local, interactive culinary competition, completed Round 1 competition this week. The original field of 16 top area chefs is now down to just eight, as the competition enters Round 2 and the final weeks of competition. Each week the competition is getting more intense and the scores tighter, as chef teams vie for the over $10,000 in prizes and the title of Mason Dixon Master Chef Champions!  Matches are being held throughout the summer on most Mondays and Tuesdays at the Inn at the Colonnade in Baltimore. Round 2 matches are listed below. 10% of each ticket sold goes directly to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, the competition’s charity partner.  The $25 ticket price includes admission to that night’s competition, wine/spirit tasting, passed hors d’oeuvres during happy hour, dessert and coffee bar, all taxes and a 10% donation to charity. Tickets are on sale now, and are expected to sell out quickly.

Tickets*: $25 for general admission (includes tax)
$45 for judging experience (includes tax)
Available for purchase at: www.masondixonmasterchef.com



Monday, July 21, 2014

Wine dinner at Fazzini's Taverna

Fazzini’s Taverna will be holding another wine dinner on July 31st, 2014.  The focus will be on unusual Italian wines.  Join Fazzini's Taverna for a 5 – course prix fixes menu with special wines paired perfectly to refresh the palate.

Call 410-667-6104 or email Mike Crivello at mikethewino18@gmail.com to book your reservation. 

*If you haven’t been to Fazzini’s new location on York Rd it is very welcoming and warm inside with a modern feel to it.  It also has a nice bar and wine store.


Fazzini's Taverna
9811 York Road

Cockeysville, MD 21030



Fazzini’s Wine Dinner
July 31st 6PM-8PM
$50 per person

Menu

1st Plate:
Chilled Honey-roasted Peach Soup
w/ Prosciutto crumbles & goat cheese foam
Wine: Cantine Polvanera Fiano di Minutolo

2nd Plate:
Olive oil-poached Sweet Prawn Salad
w/baby argula, fennel, grilled plum tomatoes,
avocado & gorgonzola croutons
Wine: Cantine Menhir Verdeca

3rd Plate:
Vanilla-cured Duck Carapaccio on flatbread
w/ tomato-plum Gastrique
Wine: Cantine Menhir Malvasia nera

4th Plate:
House-made Gnocchi,
Bison Bolognese & grilled asparagus tips
Wine: Cantine Menhir 'Pietra'

5th Plate:
Salumeria
Wine: Villa Castgliola Nero d' Troia

The Oceanaire offers scallops lovers straight from the catch, rare Alaska Weathervane Scallops

The Oceanaire Seafood Room invites scallop connoisseurs to try the world-renowned, freshest Alaska Weathervane Scallops off its Alaska Seafood & Wine Weekend five course menu available only July 25 - 27. These very limited, high quality, frozen-at-sea scallops are the freshest seasonal delicacy straight from the fishing boats of Alaska Weathervane Seafoods.

Caught from the Bering Sea on the Arctic Hunter, the fishermen catch, shuck, clean, size-sort, box and rapid-deep-freeze the Alaska Weathervane within four short hours of capture. This process locks in the Weathervane’s natural sweet flavor and delicate texture for scallop aficionados to enjoy around the world, from the remote pristine icy waters of Alaska. These scallops are not soaked in water nor combined with any chemicals in processing.

The Oceanaire’s Alaska Seafood & Wine Weekend is a five-course menu that is sure to satisfy the whole family. In addition to Alaska Weathervane Scallops, guests can indulge in exceptional seafood offerings like Alaska King Crab, Wild Alaska Halibut and Wild Alaska Salmon. Each course is perfectly paired with wine selections of JCB No. 21, Cremant de Bourgogne, NV; Domaine de la Perrière Sancerre; La Crema Monterey Chardonnay; and CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Guests can only order the Alaska Weathervane Scallops as part of the pre-fixed menu selections. The five-course dinner costs $85 per guest. 

“We are looking forward to sharing this ultra-fresh seasonal indulgence with our loyal patrons,” said Wade Wiestling, Corporate Executive Chef of The Oceanaire Seafood Room. “It is a short fishery with very limited catch so we encourage area-residents to come try these legendary scallops while we have them!” 

Alaska Weathervane Seafoods is a marketing group formed by three of the Alaska Weathervane Scallop fishing boats and their crews to sell the sweetest, all-natural scallops in the world. These three fishing boats are the only vessels to hold license to catch and freeze onboard the legendary Alaska Weathervane Scallops. The scallops are fished sustainably in a manner respectful to the environment and other fisheries. For more information regarding the Alaska Weathervane Seafoods, visit www.alaskascallop.net

The Oceanaire is located at 801 Aliceanna Street Baltimore, MD 21202. For more information about The Oceanaire or to make reservations, please contact (443) 872-0000.

credit:  Oceanaire

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Eight chefs remain in Baltimore culinary competition


The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, a live, local, interactive culinary competition, completed Round 1 competition this week. The original field of 16 top area chefs is now down to just eight, as the competition enters Round 2 and the final weeks of competition. Each week the competition is getting more intense and the scores tighter, as chef teams vie for the over $10,000 in prizes and the title of Mason Dixon Master Chef Champions!

Matches are being held throughout the summer on most Mondays and Tuesdays at the Inn at the Colonnade in Baltimore. Round 2 matches are listed below. 10% of each ticket sold goes directly to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, the competition’s charity partner.

Tickets*: $25 for general admission (includes tax)
$45 for judging experience (includes tax)
Available for purchase at: www.masondixonmasterchef.com
*Tickets must be purchased in advance for the above pricing. $35/ $55 day of and at the door (if available).

The $25 ticket price includes admission to that night’s competition, wine/spirit tasting, passed hors d’oeuvres during happy hour, dessert and coffee bar, all taxes and a 10% donation to charity. Tickets are on sale now, and are expected to sell out quickly.

Round 2 Matches:
The line-up for July 21 and 22 matches in “Battle International Street Food” include:

Match 9: Monday, July 21 - Chef Jeff Keeney of The Point in Fells versus Chef Adam Snyder of Chef’s Expressions

Match 10: Tuesday, July 22 - Chef Nina Swartz of Aida Bistro & Wine Bar versus Chef Jake Hack of Conrad’s Seafood

The line-up for July 28 and 29 matches in “Battle Parisian” include:

Match 11: Monday, July 28 –Chef Chad Medina of Kelsey’s Irish Pub versus Chef Janny Kim of Bistro Blanc

Match 12: Tuesday, July 29 – Chef Gerardo Gonzales of Tapas Adela and Anastasia versus Chef Kiet Philavanh of Basta Pasta

Happy Hour each evening will feature a complementary wine or spirit tasting, hors d’oeuvres, as well as special pricing on drinks and food for purchase from Alizee American Bistro both days. Guests will also enjoy a complementary dessert bar and coffee to top off their evening. Event details available here.

When & Where:  
Round 2: July 21, 22, 28, 29
Semi-Finals: August 11, 12
Championship Match: Sunday, August 24

5:30 -7:00p.m. – Happy Hour (free appetizers and wine/spirit tasting)
6:25 p.m. – Cold Prep Begins
7:00 p.m. – Chef Competition
8:00pm – Judging Begins (complementary dessert and coffee bar for all guests)

Inn at the Colonnade

4 West University Parkway, Baltimore, MD 21218

Video from past competition nights:


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