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.