Chewing the Fat

Q&A with Patrick Hudson of True Chesapeake Oyster Co., opening Oct. 9

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The True Chesapeake team: Chelsea Gregoire, Nick Schauman, Zack Mills, Patrick Hudson, Katie Giese and Patrick’s dog, Honey.

The Charm City Cook Amy Langrehr sits down with one of the partners of True Chesapeake Oyster Co., the much-anticipated new restaurant scheduled to open next week.

I’ve known Patrick Hudson of True Chesapeake Oyster Company for a while now. When we sat down for this interview, Patrick reminded me that I was the first person to write about True Chesapeake six years ago when he launched the oyster business. I vividly remember the first time I tasted True Chesapeake’s Skinny Dipper oysters, Patrick suggested that I try them on their own without mignonette or cocktail sauce. They were plump and had a subtle saltiness and tasted very crisp and clean – they really didn’t need a thing. Not more salt, not sauce, nothing. I loved them right away. 

Fast forward to now, I’m living at historic Whitehall Mill, the same place where Patrick and partners Nick Schaumann, Zack Mills (former executive chef at Wit & Wisdom) and Chelsea Gregoire (who will serve as general manager and lead the bar program) are about to open the first True Chesapeake Oyster Company restaurant. They’ve kept the historic space true to its roots – with the tall windows and exposed old brick and plaster. And, the old industrial smokestack – which you can see from the JFX – is right in the oyster bar. It’s a beautiful space with tons of natural light.

I sat down with Patrick to learn more about opening a new restaurant, what we can expect once it opens next week and how he became an oyster farmer in the first place.

Chef Carlos Raba on Good Energy, Mexican Spaghetti and the Road to Clavel

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Carlos Raba, Chef and Co-Owner of Clavel, has quite an interesting story. And it’s one I wasn’t expecting at all.

Chewing the Fat: Michael Mina of Wit & Wisdom

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Michael Mina’s story is one of two decades of influence, passion and achievement. He has enjoyed accolades including James Beard Foundation “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” inductee in 2013, Bon Appétit Chef of the Year 2005, San Francisco Magazine Chef of the Year 2005, as well as the International Food and Beverage Forum’s Restaurateur of the Year 2005. Chef Mina continues to dazzle the food world with bold dining concepts that have contributed to San Francisco’s reputation as a world-class epicurean destination and made him an integral part of the dining scene across the country.

Chewing The Fat With Ben Lefenfeld of La Cuchara

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Chef Ben Lefenfeld of La Cuchara is a really low-key guy. When you first meet him, he seems quiet, somewhat serious, his mind is always working. You can see it – he’s thinking about how he can be better, be more creative and make the La Cuchara experience even better. 

Chewing The Fat With Chef Ted Allen: Dining Out For Life, Zuni Café Roast Chicken and His Birthday Meal

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One of my favorite Julia Child quotes: “Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” That’s me and cooking. (I also consider tinkering with cocktails to be cooking…) People who are passionate about what they do really excite me. They inspire me. One such person? Ted Allen. And, recently, I had the chance to talk with him about something he is extremely passionate about – the fight against hunger.

Chewing The Fat With Hugh Acheson on Instagram, Top Chef and Life In The South

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Hugh Acheson is my favorite Instagrammer. Okay, I love @f*ckjerry (a lot) but Hugh is my favorite food person. See, I didn’t call him “famous person” or “foodie” (I still can’t handle that word…) Certainly, in the food world, he’s pretty well known. As many Top Chef fans know, he has often been a judge on the show and his comments are the best comments. They’re usually entertaining, super dry and best of all, on point. And even when he’s giving a critique, he’s not a jerk.

Chewing The Fat With Winston Blick of Clementine

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Winston Blick taught me how to make bacon. Well, okay, Michael Ruhlman did in the New York Times, but whatever. Even though at the time we had never met, Winston sold me the pork, spent a few minutes with me giving me tips and made me feel like I was ready to tackle yet another home cooking project. And I was so thankful for it. I had heard about Winston, eaten at his restaurants, but it wasn’t until the day I bought pork belly at the Green Onion on Harford Road did I actually meet the guy. What a nice guy.

Chewing The Fat with Chris Scanga of Petit Louis Bistro

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Every once in a while, I meet a Baltimore chef who’s actually from Baltimore. That’s nice. They already know the city, understand the vibe. It has to be hard to come into a city you’re not from and really understand your audience…that takes some time. Chris Scanga of Petit Louis had a leg up. He grew up here and went to Calvert Hall College (you know, that “Where’d you go to school question…) and then onto CIA. He knew he wanted to be a chef.

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