Friday, March 29, 2013

DRINK PINK! to benefit the Claudia Meyer Cancer Resource Center at Baldwin’s Station

Beginning on April 1st and continuing throughout the month, Baldwin’s Station in historic Sykesville is proud to support the Blossoms of Hope annual pink season by participating in their Pink Plate Specials program. During the blossoming season of Howard County’s cherry trees (each April) local restaurateurs think pink by adding “Pink” Plate Specials to their menus to help raise cancer awareness and support the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at Howard County General Hospital. 

 Baldwin’s Station, named Maryland’s favorite restaurant by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, will be adding their own spin to the pink plate promotion by offering a specially designed PINK DRINK MENU – A portion of the proceeds from every drink sold will be donated to the charity. 

Baldwin’s Station owner Stewart Dearie said,
“We’re excited to be able to support our community by doing what we do best—serving great food and drinks! We’re the only restaurant that designed a drink menu because we wanted to do something a little different. And--my staff and I want to be the top fund raising restaurant for the event so we’re encouraging everyone to DRINK PINK! We’re also selling raffle tickets--the first prize is a wine dinner for 4, 2 cases of wine, a case of beer and a fabulous basket of cheer—valued at over $1000.”

Baldwin’s Station offers fine dining in Sykesville’s historic 1883 train station, overlooking the scenic Patapsco River. Located at 7618 Main Street in Sykesville, the station sits on the border of Howard and Carroll Counties. For reservations, call 410-795-1041 or go to www.BaldwinsStation.com.
Blossoms of Hope’s annual pink season brings a month-long celebration of activities that honor the beauty of the trees and help raise cancer awareness.

DRINK PINK! PINK DRINKS!

• Hope’s Pink Martini
Vodka, Triple Sec, Chambord, and Grapefruit Juice

• Pink Blossom Punch
Light Rum, Amaretto, Banana Liquor, Orange, Cranberry, and Pineapple Juice

• Raspberry Champagne Cocktail
Champagne, Black Raspberry Liquor, and Blackberries
  
• Nuts & Berries
Frangelica, Chambord, and Cream

 • Pomegranate Martini
Vodka, Triple Sec, and Pomegranate Liquor

 •Wine
 “Sorelle per Sempre” (Italian for “Sisters Forever”) Donati Family Vineyards, CA. This un-oaked Chardonnay left sur lie has a full mouthfeel and is creamy throughout – receiving 91 points from Wine Enthusiast. A rare find on the East Coast, they also chose this Chardonnay because the Donati Family are huge supporters of cancer research.


7618 Main Street  Sykesville, MD 21784  BaldwinsStation.com  410.795.1041


Monday, March 25, 2013

The Fresh Market Offers Devilishly Delicious Ideas for Easter Eggs Post-Holiday

Every Easter, a serious dilemma exists – what to do with all of those beautifully colored hard-boiled eggs?  The Fresh Market has it covered with a number of scrumptious solutions for any leftover eggs in the fridge.

One easy way to dress up hard-boiled eggs is to use a favorite recipe for basic Deviled Eggs, then top them with a variety of gourmet options. For a variety of regional and culinary tastes, try topping Deviled Eggs with any one of these dozen tasty ideas:
  • Chopped country ham 
  •  Thinly sliced prosciutto and finely grated parmesan
  • Chopped Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese
  •  Thinly sliced truffles or a drizzle of truffle-infused oil
  •  Sliced cherry or grape tomato with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Finely chopped walnut pieces and a sprig of fresh parsley
  • Small slice of avocado and a little finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Small slice of cured Chorizo sausage and a thin piece of Manchego cheese
  • A dollop of your favorite relish or savory jam
  • A touch of salsa and shredded cheddar
  • A small spoonful of caviar
  • Smoked salmon and a few capers


For a completely different twist on the Deviled Egg, try this recipe for Deviled Eggs with Horseradish from Cooking in Season with The Fresh Market.

Credit: The Fresh Market
Deviled Eggs with Horseradish

What you will need:
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives, for garnish (optional)

Preparation:
Put eggs in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring just to a boil over high heat. Remove saucepan from heat and cover tightly. Let stand for 12 minutes. Pour out hot water from saucepan and replace it with ice water. Let eggs stand until chilled, about 10 minutes. Crack eggs. Starting at larger end of each egg, and working under a thin stream of cold running water, remove shells.

Cut each egg in half lengthwise and remove yolk. Using a rubber spatula, rub yolks through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons horseradish, and cream and season with salt and pepper. Use a small spoon to stuff egg whites with filling. (For a professional look, transfer yolk mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe yolk mixture into whites.) Place on a serving platter, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until serving, up to 8 hours.

To serve, grate a little more horseradish on top of each egg and sprinkle with parsley, if using. Serve chilled.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Local restaurants participate in Empty Bowls to help the disadvantaged

Photo:  SVDP
Each year St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore (SVDP) hosts Empty Bowls, to raise funds, friends and awareness of their work to serve those who are hungry and homeless in the Baltimore community.

Empty Bowls takes place Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, 4-H Building.  Choose from two Seatings: lunch 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. or dinner 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

With your ticket, come and enjoy the following:
  • Taste a variety of delicious soups, including cream of crab, cream of sweet potato, tomato bisque, and chicken and shrimp gumbo, from some of Baltimore’s finest restaurants
  • Select from hundreds of hand-crafted, hand-designed ceramic bowls\
  • Peruse an array of silent auction items including: jewelry, pottery, sports and theatre tickets, getaways, and more!
  • Participate in raffles including the chance to win an IPad2 and Beer for a Year! (tickets starting at $5)
  • Participate in our “Wine and Dine” – pick a restaurant certificate valued at $20 or more and a bottle of wine (tickets starting at $25)
  • Enjoy entertainment and activities for the entire family (crafts, face painting, soup competitions, and more)
  • Take a family picture to share with your social network
Tickets are $20 per person (children 5 and under are free).  Reserve a table of 10 for $250. 5 tickets for $85, 10 tickets for $160.

Taste a variety of delicious soups, including cream of crab, cream of sweet potato, tomato bisque, and chicken and shrimp gumbo, from some of Baltimore’s finest restaurants including the following:
  • Atlantic Catering – Maryland Crab
  • Atwater’s – Vegetarian Soup
  • Banksy’s Café – Chilled Beet Soup with Greek Yogurt
  • Bill’s Seafood – Maryland Crab
  • Boheme Cafe – Potato Leek
  • Café Troia – Zucchini Curry
  • Gertrude’s – Caribbean-style Curried Carrot soup w/ toasted almond green rice
  • KidzTable – Minestrone and Tomato Basil
  • Linwoods – Wild Mushroom Bisque
  • Mama’s on the Half Shell /Nacho Mama’s – Jalapeno Corn Chowder
  • Main Street Tower – Chicken Noodle
  • Miss Shirley’s – Potato Leek
  • Patrick’s of Cockeysville – Loaded Baked Potato
  • Pazo – Black Bean Soup and Celery Root Soup
  • Pickles Pub – Mexican Tortilla Soup
  • Red Brick Station – Maryland Crab
  • Roy’s Restaurant – Crab and Corn Chowder
  • Salt Tavern – Beef Vegetable Barley
  • ShopRite – Barley and Vegetable
  • Squire’s Restaurant and Catering – Cream of Crab
  • Whiskey Island Pirate Shop - Chunky Cajun Tomato Bisque


To get your tickets visit www.emptybowlsbaltimore.org

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Thai reopens and is sure to please

A view of the Street Kitchen bar
After being closed due to a fire in 2010 in Mt. Vernon, My Thai has opened it doors again in Little Italy. Hoping to be a hot spot for Thai once again in Baltimore, My Thai is sure to impress not only with the tastes but prices.

One great item to try to start off the night would be the Crispy Green Beans ($6), which are lightly battered and fried, serves with a sweat black pepper sauce and Thai chilies. They are not overly oily or greasy and the beans still have a nice snap to them as you bite in. Also the Crispy Wontons ($6) with chicken and shrimp with a sweet and sour sauce are sure to be appealing for a hungry diner.

As you move into a main curse the Green Curry ($12) packs a perfectly amount of heat along with the protein, peas, bamboo, eggplant and Thai Basil and you mix it with the Jasmine rice. Full of flavor and just the right amount of heat.

After a few bites of the Pad See Iew ($12), I have been craving it ever since. Wild rice noodles with chicken, egg, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and sweet Thai sauce make the Pad See Iew a new comfort food for me.

Besides some samplings from the main menu, they do offer a special Street Kitchen bar that offers street style food from Thailand. I was daring and tried the silk worms. I must say I was impressed they weren’t chewy but had a crunch to them along side the nutty and salty flavors.

Chef Jirat and the staff are all warm and welcoming. I am looking to going back and trying some more of the Thai specialties and of course another order of the Pad See Iew.

My Thai
1300 Bank St
Baltimore, Maryland 21231


*Note that this tasting was a complementary media tasting to share the menu items, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Thai on Urbanspoon

TheBesty

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nando's Peri-Peri sizzles at new Baltimore Street restaurant

Nando’s Peri-Peri, the fast growing international chicken restaurant, will open its first Baltimore location at 421 West Baltimore Street on March 20th, 2013. The Afro-Portuguese restaurant announced its expansion to Baltimore last December, when Nando’s Peri-Peri opened in Gambrills, MD and signed two additional leases in the Greater Baltimore Area. Along with new locations hatching in Baltimore, MD, Nando’s Peri-Peri plans to keep its Washington, DC flame burning with a new restaurant opening this summer at The Yards.

Mock services will take place two days prior to the Baltimore grand opening, during which, complimentary meals will be offered to select Baltimore residents and office workers, who received an invitation and a confirmed reservation time. Nando’s Peri-Peri USA will post the mock service invitation on its Facebook Page in the coming week. Fans are encouraged to check Facebook daily in order to secure their advance reservations.

Conveniently located near University of Maryland, Baltimore, and just around the corner from the historic Hippodrome Theatre, this new location will attract a diverse range of customers. The quality of food, service, and price will appeal to students and office workers, as well as groups of friends and families looking for new happy hour drink specials or pre-theatre dining options.

CEO of Nando’s Peri-Peri USA, Burton Heiss credits loyal customers as the reason for selecting Baltimore as the next market in the United States. 

“We’ve been receiving high volumes of requests from our customers to open a Baltimore location, and downtown Baltimore is a young, fun market that we believe will quickly embrace the Nando’s brand and food.”

The first Nando’s restaurant opened its doors in 1987 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then, the Nando’s flame has spread to 27 countries and five continents. Nando’s is known worldwide for its succulent Peri-Peri chicken, marinated for 24 hours, flame-grilled to perfection, and basted to the customer’s preferred flavor and spice. Nando’s Peri-Peri made its USA debut in 2008 with the opening of its first location on 7th Street in Washington, DC’s Chinatown. Nando’s Peri-Peri has since opened nine additional restaurants in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including DuPont Circle, Silver Spring, Annapolis, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, National Harbor, Pentagon Row, Waugh Chapel, and Old Town, Alexandria. For more information, please visit www.Nandosperiperi.com or follow @Nandos_USA on Twitter and Like Nando’s Peri-Peri USA on Facebook.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

RA Sushi to host sushi showdown sushi eating contest

Calling all sushi lovers and competitive eaters! RA Sushi Bar Restaurant invites everyone from novice to professional food eaters to enter its Sushi Showdown sushi eating contest on Sunday, April 7 from 3-6 p.m. This college basketball championship-inspired competition is the ultimate contest between man and sushi.

In true college basketball championship fashion, the sushi face-off will be organized like a bracket system. Sushi Showdown competitors will race against the clock and one another to the final round. The first round will include two heats of 12 competitors. Contestants will compete against the others in their heat to try and consume the most uncut RA Sushi signature Tootsy Makis (kani kama crab mix, shrimp and cucumber rolled and topped with crunchy tempura bits) rolls in three minutes. The top three competitors from each heat advance to the Championship Round.

From the March 22, 2009 contest
Six competitors will compete in the Championship Sushi Showdown, during which they will eat as many Tootsy Makis as they can in five minutes.

The grand prize eater will win “RA Sushi for a year” (in the form of 12 $50 RA Sushi Gift Certificates - $600 value) as well as bragging rights as the Sushi Showdown champion.  Second place will win a $100 RA Gift Certificate, third place will receive a $50 RA Gift Certificate and fourth, a $25 RA Gift Certificate.  Fifth and sixth place will walk out with their heads down knowing they need to train harder for next year’s competition. All participants will receive a complimentary appetizer or lunch card for use at another time and a RA Sushi sweatband.

Sushi Showdown is limited to the first 24 entries. Applications are available at RA Sushi in Harbor East (1390 Lancaster Street). Deadline to register is April 4. All eaters must be at least 18 years old to participate.

All ages are welcome to attend the event to enjoy the competition and entertainment as well as food and drink specials including the Tokyo Tussle Roll, cucumber and shrimp wrapped in rice and seaweed, topped with spicy shrimp ($7); the Throwdown Roll, cucumber and spicy tuna wrapped in rice and seaweed, topped with red tempura bits ($6); Free Throw Bombs, Kirin and Kirin Light ($5) plus sake ($1); Half Court Bombs, Red Bull with a shot of cherry, grape or mango vodka or Jägermeister ($6); the Rim “RA”cker, a Skyy Vodka Red Bull cocktail ($7).

RA Sushi Baltimore is located at 1390 Lancaster Street in Harbor East’s The Eden. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner is served until 11 p.m. daily. The bar is open until 1 a.m. or later. Happy Hour food and beverage specials are offered Monday through Saturday, 3 to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fogo de Chão Dinner Fundraiser for Junior Achievement


In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, Fogo de Chão (www.fogodechao.com) will feature its second annual special dinner event to support Junior Achievement of Central Maryland (JA).

The Brazilian steakhouse’s Inner Harbor locale (600 E. Pratt St.) will offer a discounted “JA Dinner Package,” Wednesday, Apr. 10, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“Fogo de Chão is excited to support Junior Achievement of Central Maryland and contribute to their programs to prepare children for their future” said Jair Cavagnolli, general manager of Fogo de Chão in Baltimore. “Many of our Fogo de Chão restaurants across the country proudly participate in this event and we look forward to making a difference in Baltimore.”

Guests can enjoy 15 cuts of fire-roasted meats prepared by gaucho chefs, as well as a gourmet salad and sides bar, glass of wine or a cocktail, non-alcoholic beverages and dessert for $50 per person (reduced from the regular $75 price). Children ages, 6-10, can dine for $25.

JA will receive 100 percent of the dinner package proceeds from guests who make reservations by calling 410.753.3286 or censor@jamaryland.org. (Guests should not call the restaurant directly; only reservations made through JA are eligible for this package.)

“We are thrilled that Fogo de Chao once again will host this delicious event which will allow hundreds of youth in Baltimore to receive financial literacy education” said Kim Denis, vice president, operations & special events for Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. “We hope people will take advantage of this unique opportunity to plan the perfect date, family night out or business dinner for up to 12, and help support our community.”

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for kindergarten through 12th grade students which focus on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Founded in 1957, the non-profit organization annually serves more than 33,000 students throughout Central Maryland. For more information, visit www.jamaryland.org.

Monday, March 11, 2013

St. Patrick's Day specials and new weekly specials at Mt. Washington Tavern


The Mt. Washington Tavern (MWT) will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with dining and bar specials throughout the day, along with basketball on the big screens.
  
The Tavern will feature corned beef and cabbage menu specials, along with $2.50 Jameson shots and ½
price Guinness pints.   All TV’s in the Tavern will also feature college hoops including the ACC and Big 
12 final games. 


The Mt. Washington Tavern (MWT) also introduces new weekly dining and bar specials because no two days are alike.  Diners will be able to enjoy daily menu specials throughout the restaurant, while bar patrons can feast on complimentary food, all while enjoying several drink specials.

Weekly specials at the Mt. Washington Tavern include:

·      Monday Pasta Night, $15
Featuring a choice of fettuccini, penne or linguine pasta with choice of: Pesto, Carbonara, House made Marinara or Alfredo Sauce.
Add shrimp $5, grilled filet $7, jumbo lump crab $mkt, grilled salmon $5, served with a Tavern House Salad. 
Sangria pitchers $16 with pasta special
·      Tuesday T-Bone Night, $16
16 oz. aged T-bone with Caesar salad and roasted fingerling potatoes
·      Wednesday Prime Rib Night, $16
12 oz. slow roasted prime rib with tavern salad and roasted fingerling potatoes
·      Sunday Brunch,
Enjoy a complimentary drink with purchase of a brunch entrée.

Bar Specials include:
Monday – Friday, 4-7pm
$3.30 drafts (In honor of our 33rd year in biz!)
$4 glasses of select wine
$5 16oz. margaritas (Mondays and Wednesdays only) and 1/2 price burgers and 50 cent wings at any of our three bars.

Complimentary bar food includes:
·      Mondays, Build Your Own Tacos
·      Tuesdays, Buffalo Wings

·      Wednesdays, Made To Order Quesadillas

·      Thursdays, Fresh Shuck Oyster Bar Featuring Diggs “The Shucker”

·      Fridays, Steamed Shrimp
And don’t forget about the SkyBar!  Thursday nights, 9pm – close
Enjoy $2 Natural Light Grenades and $4 Rail Drink Pints


Mt. Washington Tavern
5700 Newbury Street
Baltimore, MD

 

Friday, March 08, 2013

Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood dinner with The Oregon Grille's Chef

National Aquarium, Baltimore, will welcome chefs from some of the area’s best restaurants for the 2013 Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood Dining Series. This is the fifth year the Aquarium has hosted the series celebrating one of the National Restaurant Association’s Top 10 Trends for 2013, sustainable seafood.

Chefs from Laurrapin Grille, The Oregon Grille and Bagby’s Fleet Street Kitchen will headline the 2013 series themed around sustainable seafood choices that are available in the Mid-Atlantic region. Each dinner features a cocktail reception of regional wines and cooking demonstration led by the guest chef, followed by a fine dining experience that includes a four-course menu created solely for the event, all while overlooking the Baltimore Harbor. The event concludes with a stroll through the Aquarium.

“National Restaurant Association’s Top 10 Menu Trends for 2013 highlights how important sustainable seafood is these days,” said Steven Schindler, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for National Aquarium. “This is a trend we’ve been celebrating and promoting for years. The Fresh Thoughts dining series is a great way for people to learn about the importance of sustainability while enjoying an incredibly prepared meal. Just because it is good for you, doesn’t mean it can’t taste good!”

Laurrapin Grille, located in historic downtown Havre de Grace in Harford County, serves seasonally inspired American cuisine with a commitment to using local and sustainable food. Dishes prepared by Chef Bruce Clarke reflect the true flavor of the food and honor the bounty of Maryland the Chesapeake Bay region. Chef Clarke will host a dinner on February 5, 2013.

The Oregon Grille is the area’s premiere steak house serving the finest prime dry-aged steaks, large lobsters and seafood. The restaurant has been recognized by Baltimore magazine as one of the area’s “Best Restaurants” and has received accolades from Zagat, Wine Spectator, and OpenTable.  The Oregon Grille will host a dinner on March 19, 2013.

Chef Chris Becker of Fleet Street Kitchen returns to the Fresh Thoughts series after a great showing in 2012. Locally owned and operated, Fleet Street Kitchen features contemporary American cuisine and has received praises from critics at The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore magazine. The menu is an ever-changing collection of seasonally inspired selections with a strong emphasis on locally sourced, ethically raised, sustainable ingredients. Chef Becker will host a dinner on May 21, 2013.

Previous guests chefs have included some of the area’s most celebrated chefs, James Beard Award nominee Bryan Voltaggio (VOLT), Jason Ambrose (Salt), Top Chef Timothy Dean, Thomas Dunklin (B&O American Brasserie), Chad Wells (Alewife), Top Chef Jessie Sandlin (Vino Rosino), Top Chef Jill Snyder, John Shields (Gertrude’s), Antonio Baines (Tapas Teatro), Chris Becker (Fleet Street Kitchen), Top Chef Tamesha Warren (The Oval Room), Galen Sampson (The Dogwood) and Mark Miranda (Rusty Scupper).

Tickets for each dinner are priced at $79 for National Aquarium members and $99 for non-members, or all three dinners can be purchased as a package with a discount of $10 per dinner. Tickets can be purchased at www.aqua.org or by calling 410-576-3869.  

Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood Dining Series dinners take place at 6:30 p.m. at National Aquarium, Baltimore located at 501 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. The dates of the dinners are February 5, March 19 and May 21, 2013. 

National Aquarium is proud to partner with Classic Catering for the Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Seafood Dining Series.


His menu:
First Course:
Cornflake Crusted Rainbow Trout
Served over wilted baby arugula with oven roasted tomatoes and finished with a bacon cream sauce

Second Course:
Baked Choptank Sweet Oysters in the Half Shell
Wrapped with baby spinach with pancetta-brandy butter

Third Course:
Cinnamon-Butter Poached Rockfish
Roasted acorn squash and vanilla oil

Dessert Course:
Gianduja Chocolate Mousse
Fine Swiss hazelnut chocolate, vanilla-espresso dust, raspberry coulli


Executive Chef Matthew Siegmund has been a part of the Oregon Grille since the restaurant opened in 1997. He started as a line cook, working his way up to the top spot and maintaining the original vision for the restaurant. He has been featured recently on local TV and in Style and Baltimore magazine. Early culinary experience helped develop his unique palette, and as a Maryland native he has always had access to both local farms and fresh seafood. A graduate of Baltimore Culinary College, his skills were refined with training and experience.  Turning his passion into his career, he gained leadership experience in fine dining at restaurants such as the Hillendale Country Club and currently The Oregon Grille. Chef Matthew's style of cooking is French - American.  By using ingredients from local vendors his goal is to create a memorable dining experience.  Matthew believes food is the best way to express passion for life.

About the Oregon Grill
The Oregon Grille is the area's premiere steak house serving the finest prime dry-aged steaks, large lobsters and seafood. The restaurant has been recognized by Baltimore magazine as one of the area's "Best Restaurants" and has received accolades from Zagat, Wine Spectator, and OpenTable.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Hundreds of restaurant and hospitality students make their way to Charm City

High school students are no stranger to the culinary scene. The restaurant and hospitality industry continues to be a growing career and education opportunity for today’s youth. ProStart® is a nationwide, two-year high school program that unites the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders.
In the state of Maryland, 5,000 students participate in the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation’s (RAMEF) ProStart® Program. Each year students compete on a state level hoping to make it to the National competition. The Maryland ProStart® Student Invitational (MPSI) will take place on March 7, 2013 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Teams compete in either a management or culinary competition which they spend countless hours preparing for leading up to the competition.
Through out the nation 90,000 students participate in the ProStart® program. Winners from 43 state competitions will compete in the National ProStart® Invitational (NPI) at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront on April 19-21, 2013. Over 1.4 million dollars will be awarded in scholarships at the competition.
Both competitions are open to the general public. The public can experience first hand the intense yet wonderful world of the culinary industry where every moment is critical.
“As a former competitor at the state and national level, I gained important life lessons that I carry with me.  There are no excuses, you get one chance to execute and you want to do the best you can to represent yourself and your team,” said Maryland ProStart coordinator, Crystal Rivera. 

Culinary Teams
  • Anne Arundel County: Meade High School, Northeast High School
  • Baltimore City: Carver Vocational Technical High School, Edmondson-Westside High School, National Academy Foundation High School
  • Baltimore County: Sollers Point Technical High School
  • Howard County: Glenelg High School, Howard High School, Reservoir High School
  • Kent County: Kent County High School
  • Prince George's County: Bowie High School, DuVal High School, Fairmont Heights High School, High Point High School

Management Teams
  • Baltimore City: Carver Vocational Technical High School, National Academy Foundation High School
  • Baltimore County:  Carver Center for the Arts & Technology
  • Howard County:  Howard High School
  • Prince George's County: DuVal High School, Fairmont Heights High School

Culinary & Management Judges from:
Aero Service Group, Anne Arundel Community College, Aramark, Atwater’s, Chesapeake Food Safety, Compass Group - Towson University, Culinary Institute of America, Culinary Institute of Virginia, Diamond Ridge & The Woodlands Golf, Ecolab, Fresh Pizzeria, Genesis, Golden Corrall, Harrison Marketing, Lincoln Culinary Institute, Maryland Club, McCormick & Co., Inc., Micros, New England Culinary Institute, Popeye's, Restaurant Brokers and Developers, Riderwood Retirement, Ritz Carlton, Saval Foodservice, Share our Strength, Skipper's Pier Restaurant & Dock Bar, Stratford University, The Rumor Mill, Thompson Hospitality, West Kitchen & Tavern, Zauner & Mtimet, P.A., 920 Services

The first place teams in both culinary and management will represent Maryland at the National ProStart Invitational (NPI) on April 19-21, 2013. This year, NPI will be held again in Baltimore, MD! Maryland's first place culinary and management teams will be competing against 44 other state teams for the top prizes at the National ProStart Student Invitational at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

Baltimore Convention Center
1 W Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Thursday, March 7, 2013
7:00 AM – 4:00 PM (EDT)

National Aquarium and Harbor Market Kitchen name new Executive Chef


National Aquarium announces the addition of Joe Cotton as the new Executive Chef for their main on-site café, Harbor Market Kitchen.

Harbor Market Kitchen, which was completely renovated in 2011, offers fresh, local and delicious fare that is in line with the Aquarium's conservation mission and green business practices. Using sustainable and local products whenever possible including seasonal produce, artisanal cheeses, grass-fed beef, humanely raised chicken, sustainably-harvested seafood and shade-grown coffee, Harbor Market Kitchen is an extension of a visit to National Aquarium’s Baltimore venue.

Chef Cotton will continue to increase the use of products from local purveyors and producers and ensure that we are utilizing sustainable ingredients and supporting the local economy. As often as possible, locally grown Maryland produce will be featured in menu specials, and sustainably sourced seafood will be available as well. Hormone- and nitrite-free hotdogs as well as cage-free, hormone-free chicken and grass-fed beef are also available at Harbor Market Kitchen. Healthier alternatives such as sweet potato fries and all-natural hotdogs are also available for those who prefer traditional favorites. 

Prior to joining National Aquarium, Chef Cotton and his wife owned a restaurant and grill in northern New Jersey, which they opened in 2007. During that time, he simultaneously operated as a caterer for a nearby golf course. Chef Cotton has been working in restaurants and hotels since he graduated from the prestigious Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI in 1990.

Harbor Market Kitchen includes composting stations that return valuable nutrients back to the soil and reduce our impact on the earth. The cafe also utilizes recycled, compostable materials and offers alternatives to non biodegradable waste whenever possible such as sustainably harvested bamboo plates and bowls along with compostable starch-based forks, knives and spoons.
This spring, Harbor Market Kitchen is participating in a pilot program with the Marine Stewardship Council. It is a critical step towards a Certification for Sustainable Seafood. Additional information will be available as the program unfolds.

Harbor Market Kitchen is operated by Sodexo Leisure, a premier food provider for cultural destinations around the world, for dining, catering and special events.

For more information on National Aquarium’s dining options, visit http://www.aqua.org/visit/baltimore/dining. And to learn more about National Aquarium’s conservation initiatives, visit http://www.aqua.org/care/conservation-initiatives.



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