Credit: Matty Tae.

Baltimost is a new Baltimore Fishbowl feature that asks locals what they love about their city. The idea is to celebrate Baltimore and the people who make it so unique.

So what makes Baltimore the Baltimost to you? It could be a favorite place, a great meal, a memorable interaction or something else entirely. Email suggestions to Karen at

Catina Smith, 33, is a line cook at Alexander Brown. In her words:

“I was born and raised in Baltimore. I always loved to cook, and by the time I was in high school I knew it would be my thing. I went to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and then the culinary school at Baltimore International College.

Baltimore just buzzes. We’re all supporting one another. For example, Amanda Mack, who sells little hand pies at Ground and Griddled in R. House. She followed me on Instagram and eventually started working alongside me when I was at Dovecote Café. We became great friends.

I’m working on a project now called Just Call Me Chef, which highlights black female chefs. We just released a calendar of local chefs. I’m January. I got the idea a couple of years ago. I just kind of felt like we needed some shine on us. We were underrepresented in the industry.

Photographer Daniel McGarrity said he’d do it pro bono and I knew I had to take advantage of the chance. I called on friends and said, ‘Who wants to be in the calendar?’

There are 14 of us, all from Baltimore. Some people I already knew and some I just found. It’s created a sisterhood among us.

One thing I love about Baltimore? The crab dip with homemade chips at Topside. Being on the rooftop gives you a whole new perspective of the city, and the garden room is a sweet bonus, almost a secret place to chill with friends.

The bartenders are always so fun. I ask for a custom cocktail I invented, which I call The Cat’s Meow. It has coconut rum, Prosecco, spiced pear liqueur, orange juice and cranberry juice.”