Hot Plate: Harvest Moon ShinDig, Baltimore Seafood Festival & Spike Gjerde at the Smithsonian

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Pizza with smoked sea scallops and bacon at Cosima
Pizza with smoked sea scallops and candied bacon at Cosima

Temperatures are dropping, the moon is full and food lovers have a lot to look forward to in Baltimore for the next few weeks, as local restaurants and organizations put on dinners and parties celebrating food both local and global.

Here’s what we have to look forward to in and around Baltimore this week:

Celebrating Farmers

On Saturday, September 17, support agricultural education and the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council at the Harvest Moon ShinDig in Cockeysville. Tons of fantastic farm-to-table restaurants and local beverage producers will be on hand with excellent food, wine, beer and spirits options. The event also features live music by Bosley and is sure to be a blast.

 On Monday, September 26, head into the city to get your farmer fix, at Farm to Chef Maryland at the B&O Museum. Farm to Chef Maryland is a culinary competition, featuring 30 chefs, paired with 30 farms. The chef-farm combos work together to create dishes for competition, and for the enjoyment of guests.

This year’s participating chef list is a who’s who of great local talent, including well-known names like Spike Gjerde and Donna Crivello.

Proceeds from the event benefit Days of Taste, a program designed to help elementary school students appreciate fresh food. 

All Things Local

With harvest season rising and summer seafood still abundant, it’s no surprise that right now, there are tons of events celebrating local foods.

Tomorrow, September 17, the third annual  Baltimore Seafood Festival will take place at the Canton Waterfront Park. The party includes live music, cooking demos, family-friendly games and, of course, lots of seafood, from shrimp salad to oysters to blue crabs. Plus, a portion of the day’s proceeds goes to Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.

Also tomorrow, get to know the pawpaw, a tropical-style fruit found growing wild – but rarely cultivated – in the Chesapeake region. Two Boots Farm in Hampstead is one of the few places where the pawpaw is farmed; starting at 12 p.m. tomorrow, the farm will host a Pawpaw Festival. 

On Monday, September 19, Woodberry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde will join Jeremiah Langhorne, of The Dabney in D.C. at the S. Dillon Ripley Center for a talk sponsored by Smithsonian Associates. The talk, dubbed “Mid-Atlantic Cuisine on the Rise,” will cover everything from the geography and history of the region to the current boom in popularity of our local culinary traditions.

Union Craft Gets Busy

Union Craft Brewing might be the busiest beer maker around.

On September 17, honeygrow, the farm-to-table fast casual spot slated to open in Baltimore early next year, will pop up in the Union Craft parking lot. The menu includes dishes like chicken skewers with tomato-cucumber salad and grilled marinated eggplant – all of which will pair nicely with Union’s brews.

And on Sunday, September 18, Union is partnering with the Mt. Washington Tavern to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (an excellent holiday). All day long, the Tavern will offer a special menu including gourmet burgers paired with Union Craft beers. 

Busy at Waverly

Speaking of local breweries, Waverly Brewing – right around the corner from Union Craft – is no slouch in the scheduling department, either. There’s always something interesting happening at Waverly and this week is an especially interesting one.

On Saturday, Waverly will collaborate with neighbor Woodberry Kitchen. Pair Waverly beers with Woodberry’s cuisine for a casual, but uber-local, dining experience.

And on September 22, Waverly is recognizing the official end of summer in the best, most appropriate way: with a crab feast. The crabs will be provided by Pappas restaurant and the beers, obviously, by Waverly. 

International Exploration

This week’s events cover a variety of different international cuisines, from Italy to Sri Lanka.

Tomorrow night, Chef Skiz Fernando is cooking and leading a discussion about Sri Lankan food. The evening is organized by the Creative Alliance and held in a private home in Bolton Hill. The chef will create, and walk guests through, an “extravagant Sri Lankan spread.”

On Tuesday, September 20, head to Cosima for Tapas in the City, a six-course Italian tapas meal with, if you’d like, wine pairings. The meal includes dishes like grilled octopus on potato salad and homemade ravioli with Maryland summer vegetables. 

Zack Mills, of Wit & Wisdom, heads to Annapolis on Tuesday to cook with the crew at Fox’s Den on Main Street. The collaborative dinner, focusing on Vietnamese foods, is sold out – but there is a waiting list! 

Wednesday, September 21, Gnocco’s Chef Brian Lavin will offer a six-course dinner paired with the wines from the Ribera Del Duero and Penedes regions of Spain. Representatives from the wineries will also be on hand to discuss the wines.

On September 22, Barcocina expands its south of the border reach with a wine dinner featuring Loveblock wines by New Zealand winemaker Kim Crawford. 

Fall Flavors Everywhere

It is the time for pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice Cheerios, pumpkin spice everything. At LB Bakery, in the Lord Baltimore Hotel, that means a variety of pumpkin-flecked dishes, from a pumpkin chai macaron to pumpkin croissants. And at the Polo Lounge & Bar in the Hunt Valley Inn, the pumpkin makes its way behind the bar; DuClaw Brewing will host a tap takeover on September 28, featuring brews like Imperial Pumpkin Lager.

On Monday, September 19, sweetgreen will launch its new fall menu, including a brand new offering: warm bowls. This is the first time sweetgreen has included warm bowls in its lineup; to start, the restaurant will offer Pasta Portobello and Shroomami options. 

New at R. House

R. House in Remington continues to announce new vendors. This week, the foodie hub announced that Chef Federico Tischler will open White Envelope, a Venezuelan concept featuring arepas, in the space, which is slated to open this fall. 

Outstanding

Have you heard about Outstanding in the Field? It’s an organization that puts on a series of pop-up dinners at farms all over the world, pairing farmers with chefs for really special evenings.

They have two dinners coming up within driving distance of Baltimore – one on September 27 at Longview Farm in Accokeek and another on September 29 at Even’ Star Organic Farm in Lexington Park.

The Longview Farm dinner features Chef James Wozniuk of Maketto in D.C. and the Even’ Star dinner features Robert Voss and Ben Frey, of Cockeysville’s John Brown General & Butchery. Speaking of John Brown, if you haven’t been there, you should check it out. It’s fantastic. 

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

September 26: Vega Sicilia Wine Dinner at Charleston

October 1: Seafood Cookout at Carriage House Farms

October 7: Seafood Social at the Aquarium

 



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