A Conversation with Gertrude’s Owner John Shields

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Courtesy of Citybizlist – John Shields, recognized as “The Culinary Ambassador of the Chesapeake Bay,” has authored four cookbooks (and is currently working on his fifth) and hosts a show on public television entitled, “Chesapeake Bay Cooking.” Beginning in 1996 (and in his “spare” time), John is the owner and operator of Gertrude’s – John Shields’ restaurant at The Baltimore Museum of Art. We recently sat down (over lunch, of course) to discuss with John his different ventures, the challenges he has overcome to be successful and achieve longevity, as well as to learn more about his recent activities, his thoughts about the future and quality of food served by restaurants and national food processing companies.

PART I

Q. Describe your early career as a restaurant entrepreneur.
A. I had no formal training as a chef. While I was living in the Northern California region, I was afforded an opportunity to be involved with three different restaurant concepts in Berkeley. Gertie’s was decidedly a “Chesapeake Bay-themed” restaurant and gave me an opportunity to use many of the lessons I learned growing up here in Baltimore.

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