Hot Plate: Farm to Chef Maryland, b Bistro Closes Temporarily, Pig Butchery Demo at Parts & Labor

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At last year’s Farm to Chef Maryland, Conrad’s apple-topped oyster was a highlight.

From crabs and beer to Korean street food and local produce, this week is shaping up to be a good one. Here’s a look at what local food lovers have to look forward to over the next few days:

Openings & Announcements

Charm Kitty Café, Baltimore’s first cat café, opens its doors tomorrow. Located in Whitehall Mill, the café will serve coffee and cookies – and it will be a spot where prospective cat owners can get to know cats they might adopt from the Baltimore Humane Society.

Earlier this week, the owners of b Bistro announced that the Bolton Hill restaurant would close temporarily while they develop “a new concept” – no word, though, on what that concept will be.

Next month, a new pizza spot, Charm City Pizza, will open in the Power Plant LIVE! space that formerly housed Joe Squared. The new restaurant is slated to open on October 24.

Saturday Festivals

Tomorrow’s weather looks gorgeous, which means it’ll be a great day to head out for food-related festivities.

Starting at noon, the Howard County Hops & Harvest Festival will take over the shores of Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia. The festival will include over 25 local breweries, wineries and distilleries, plus other artisans, food vendors and live music.

Saturday is also the Heavy Seas Sausage Fest – always a highly anticipated event. The party takes place at Heavy Seas in Halethorpe and features the brewery’s great beer, plus German food from local restaurants, over 10 types of local sausages and live music.

In Locust Point, O’Flynn’s will host a Crab & Cask Fest with live Irish music, pit beef, ham and turkey, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash and – of course – steamed crabs. The event benefits The Baltimore City Fire Foundation and starts at 6 p.m.

Happy Birthday to Culinary Architecture

Culinary Architecture, the grocery and kitchen in Pigtown, celebrates its first birthday this weekend with an Italian feast accompanied by a “surprise musical guest.”

Go Whole Hog

On Sunday, October 1, Parts & Labor’s George Marsh – one of the most well-regarded butchers in the city – will teach a pig butchery workshop and demonstration, including a discussion of techniques, recipes and sourcing.

In addition to learning about butchery from Marsh, guests will enjoy P&L’s house-cured meats and local beers and wines.

Southside Stakes at R. House

On Sunday, October 1, The Southside Stakes returns for its second year. The event, which raises money for House of Ruth Maryland and takes place this year at R. House, pits local bartenders against one another, as each vies to make the best version of the local classic cocktail, the Southside.

Farm-Friendly

This week brings a pair of events that put the focus on how food is grown and how it ends up on our plates.

Monday evening, Farm to Chef Maryland, the annual fundraiser for educational non-profit TasteWise Kids, takes place at the B&O Railroad Museum. Farm to Chef features 30 teams of farmers + chefs, working together on dishes showcasing local ingredients and flavors. The partnerships result in some fantastic bites – and some healthy competition between the teams, who are judged by a panel of local food lovers (including me) and by the crowd.

On Tuesday, October 3, Waterfront Kitchen will host a greenhouse dinner, featuring ingredients grown in the restaurant’s greenhouse, which also functions as an educational venue to teach Baltimore City children, through the B.U.G.S. program.

The dinner will include a cocktail tasting and four-course dinner, set in the greenhouse itself, with the restaurant’s gardener in attendance, to answer questions and discuss the produce and growing system.

Haenyo at PekoPeko

Korean street food pop-up haenyo will take over PekoPeko Ramen each Monday in October – starting this coming Monday, October 2. The group will turn the Charles Village ramen spot into a BYOB Korean stewhouse each week, featuring dishes like seolleontang (white beef stew) and beoseot-tang (local mushroom stew) along with a handful of non-stew dishes.

All Month Long

The Mt. Washington Tavern will start a month-long OktoberFEAST promotion on Sunday, October 1, with a craft beer-inspired menu, including dishes featuring local beers from Heavy Seas, Flying Dog and Brewer’s Art. New menu items include dishes like beer cheese soup with roasted garlic and aged rib-eye steak with a Dijon-beer pan reduction.

October isn’t just about Octoberfest, either – it’s also National Pizza Month. Grotto Pizza is celebrating all month with promotions, specials and prizes, both in local restaurants and on social media.

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

October 8: The Smoke Show from The Food Market & Smoke

October 12: Moet Oyster Ball at Ryleigh’s 

October 17: Minnow and Ekiben “Gettin’ Fresh” collaboration

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