Ecoball 2012: Gourmet Cuisine Meets Green Sustainability

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Get ready Top Chef fans and Food Network fanatics. On March 16th Baltimore Green Works will be hosting its fourth annual EcoBall, a culinary competition between the Stratford University Culinary students (formerly Baltimore International College). As we speak — or read — students are perfecting their cuisine to present at the Frederick Douglas-Isaac Meyers Maritime Park & Museum. At $75 for admission, you are pretty much guaranteed delicious and highly creative plates of food, plus a chance to vote for your favorite team of cooks. It’s all very Top Chef-esque. If you haven’t seen the television show, I highly recommend it. EcoBall sounds like the next best thing for us “regular” folks.

Each team usually consists of an upperclassman paired with a freshman. Each team is then assigned a category: soups and appetizers, salads, entrees, or desserts. The competing students will use locally grown ingredients and seasonal spices to construct their unique dishes. It’s Green Works’ way of trying to get more people interested in sustainability and supporting our local farms.

Does the rule of waiting 30 minutes after eating before swimming apply to waiting before dancing, too? Because there will be live music at the event. Donations go to the “Sustainability Speaker Series,” which helps Baltimore Green Works fund more eco-friendly events. I hope to finagle a ticket to EcoBall from a family member, with the excuse that “It’s my birthday,” as my post-college finances are not at all “sustainable.”

Last year’s EcoBall judges included Hugh Sisson from the Clipper City Brewing Company, Michael Fiore of Fiore Winery, Sascha Wolhandler of Sascha’s Restaurant, former BIC student Kevin Miller, and Mix 106.5’s Reagan. No word yet on this year’s judges. According to a CityPaper reporter last year, the sample dish presented to him in practice before the actual event was negatively critiqued by an attending professor for using powdered rather than fresh ginger and having too-plump phyllo dough. The taste was amazing, though. Another bonus — reserve tickets before Valentine’s Day, it’s two for the price of one.



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