I see Doug Wetzel at the Waverly Farmers Market pretty much every Saturday. He’s the Executive Pastry Chef at Gertrude’s at the BMA, one of Baltimore’s longest running (and really delicious) restaurants. There he is with his Radio Flyer wagon filled with fruits and vegetables, alongside him Gertie’s owner and Executive Chef John Shields, who is quite possibly the nicest man alive. They stop at all of their regular weekly vendors, visiting, buying. They do farm-to-table but in such a quiet way, it’s just the way they’ve always done it.

In his spare time (spare time as a chef?) Doug is a pretty active guy. On Saturday May 30, he was participating in a triathlon on the Eastern Shore. On the running leg, he began to realize he was in trouble and veered off course in Chestertown to find help. He was taken to a local hospital and then flown to Shock Trauma at the University of Maryland Hospital, where a few days later he had a liver transplant. Since then, he has been slowly, steadily improving…and his colleagues at Gertrude’s have been rallying and putting together a huge event to raise funds in support of their beloved friend.

When I was first contacted by DougStrong organizers Peter Jackson and John Shields, I said of course I’d help. Doug’s a wonderful guy and the Baltimore community – especially the restaurant community – is a particularly supportive “whatever we can do” group of people. So, I’m encouraging everyone I know to attend this fun event, bid on auction items, donate, etc. There are several levels of support which you can check out on their event page: DougStrong. If you can’t make it on July 1, please consider making a donation online. But if you can get there…the list of local restaurants, farms, brewers, etc, giving their support is quite amazing – and a huge testament to Doug. Chefs who will be there cooking include:

Woodberry Kitchen
Family Meal
Wit & Wisdom
13.5% Wine Bar
Alma Cocina Latina
Shake Shack
Jokers & Thieves
Copper Kitchen
The Charmery
Charlottetown Farm
Taharka Brothers
Harmony Bakery
Dimitri Olive Oil
True Chesapeake Oysters
The Local Oyster
Union Craft Brewing
Evolution Craft Brewing Company
True Oceans True Foods
Baltimore Coffee & Tea

…and more added everyday.

See you there and Doug, keep getting better!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Gertrude’s Restaurant
Baltimore Museum of Art


Amy Langrehr is the blogger and Instagrammer behind Charm City Cook. She writes about food, drink, cooking and more in her hometown of Baltimore.