Tag: four seasons

Two High-End Magazines Tout Baltimore’s Luxury Appeal

The view from a room in the Four Seasons in Harbor East.

For all its low-key charm and rough edges, Baltimore also has some swanky attractions, and the folks over at two high-end publications want the world to know it.

Renowned Baker Chris Ford Says Bye-Bye to Baltimore

Chris Ford's French macarons.
Chris Ford’s French macarons
Photo courtesy Eater
Chris Ford. Photo courtesy Eater.

Bummer. Celebrated Baker Chris Ford, who has been heading up the delectable offerings at the Baltimore Four Seasons, has taken a new job!  Eater reports that he will relocate to Beverly Hills to act as pastry chef for Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro/Bakery. Ford won Food and Wine‘s “Best New Pastry Chef” in 2012.

Congrats Chris, we will miss you.  Your French macarons (not to be confused with macaroon!) were to die for!



Be Disloyal and Support Baltimore’s High Quality Coffee Scene



Loyalty cards and loyalty programs encourage customers to keep coming back to the same store in hopes of gaining perks or discounts or some other amorphous reward. But what do you do when you don’t want customers to return to the same places again and again — when, in contrast, you want them to find entirely new places to explore? Why, you give them a disloyalty card, of course!

Charm City Cook: Macarons vs. Macaroons


This Friday, May 31,  is National Macaroon Day. To honor the day, Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Pastry Chef of 2012” and the Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, Chris Ford is setting out to set the record straight and clarify the differences between the often confused confections: The macaroon and the French macaron.

While both are meringue-based confections, they hardly share any other similarities. A macaroon is Italian in origin, usually made of egg whites whipped to stuff peaks, sugar, almonds, coconut or nuts, and often dipped in chocolate. It’s much looser and does not take much discipline to make. To make the French macaron, on the other hand, is a much more intricate art, and it is a dessert that takes time and practice to perfect. A sandwich-like meringue-based confection, the French macaron is filled with a layer of buttercream, jam or ganache. It is often available in a variety of color and flavor combinations. My favorite ever is Chris’ PBJ macarons. They are perfection.

 Coconut macaroons. Photo credit: Pastry Studio

macarons PBJ
 French macaron. Photo credit: LAMILL Baltimore

After hearing about how hard macarons were to make, Chris Ford saw it as a challenge to begin not only making macarons, but perfecting them over the span of seven years. Today, Chris is held in high regard for pushing the envelope with his whimsical twists on classic French macarons like his Oreo macaron served at LAMILL Café Baltimore featured in The Wall Street Journal.

In honor of Macaroon Day, Chris will be offering a coconut macaroon-inspired French macaron at LAMILL Café, in the Four Seasons Baltimore.

And here is Chris Ford’s recipe for macarons:

The Fanciest Pool in Baltimore Invites You In. Evian Spritzes Included.



Just how fancy were you planning to get this summer? Evian-spritz fancy? Presidential-suite fancy? Four Seasons fancy? Because according to the Baltimore Business Journal, you can buy your way into the fanciest pool scene in Baltimore — the fourth floor pool deck at the Four Seasons Harbor East, natch — for a mere $3,150 seasonal membership.

Baltimore Four Seasons to Hire 200


We thought with the grim job report out, we should let you know about the Four Seasons Job Fair, September 7, 8 and 9 at the Legg Mason Tower in Harbor East.  The luxury hotel chain will be looking to hire 200 people from doormen to room attendants. The hotel will also look to fill spa and fitness positions as well as a few supervisory jobs. 

Doors open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.

The hotel plans to open in in late November, according to its website.

Good luck!

Restaurants on the Radar


I suffer from something I like to call season envy. All winter long, I fantasize about the scent of Coppertone, and just as summer arrives, the thought of a cozy fire becomes appealing. Some people might just call this “general discontent,” but that is for my therapist to work out.

Anyway, it’s hot and muggy here in Baltimore (surprise!), and while most of you are enjoying all that summer offers, I am daydreaming about cooler months ahead: a chill in the air, the smell of burning leaves; I’m wearing new boots, bundling up, and heading out for dinner. Where, you ask? Well, the following yet-to-open restaurants are potential candidates.

Up first: Earth Wood & Fire whose website reads “coal fired pizza and cuisine coming to Baltimore this fall.” Simple enough. Located at the corner of Falls and Clarkview Roads (next to Falls Road Animal Hospital), this new spot looks like it’s going to be much more than a pizza parlor. Its party-vibe Facebook page tells of a buddy-story-turned-business-venture adventure. “Meet the men behind Earth Wood & Fire, Carter Mason, Mark Hofmann, Greg Gunning and John Toomey. They met over a decade ago, on Water St. at happy hour… Over the years they’ve shared a love of food, fun, and good pizza. The opening of Earth Wood & Fire is a dream come true for each of them!” (Can’t you just see them, totally buzzed, drawing out the logo on the back of a napkin?) Their vision appears to be coming along nicely: Mega money likely spent on construction, the new space looks huge! I predict a big bar scene mixed with a fun and lively restaurant space. A younger, more casual Tark’s? If the food delivers, this could be a real winner. 

Next, a stab at the family-friendly market. The Baltimore restaurant powerhouse team Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf are at it again in Roland Park. They are opening their yet-to-be-named eatery in the space that was formerly the Roland Park Deli (around the corner and downstairs from their own Petit Louis). Here, Foreman and Wolf are getting back to their roots with an American menu and wine list. The press release describes the vision for the interior as “lively and bright with several windows and vaulted ceilings,” and “highlighting historic and architectural elements.” I picture a less beachy Coast at Shutter’s. As for “family restaurant” requirements, the layout certainly looks offspring-friendly, as does the promise of accessible pricing (lower than Petit Louis). There’s most certainly a gap in the local market for a well-done place that welcomes kids. Tony & Cindy seemed poised to capitalize on this. My daughter will have the penne pasta with butter, please! The owners expect the as-yet-unnamed restaurant won’t open until the end of the year.  

Does anyone know what is going on at the Valley Inn? We were all thrilled with the news that the venerable Teddy Bauer (of Oregon Grille and Mt. Washington Tavern fame and, oh yeah, he’s also famous for being an All-American lacrosse player) was taking over. Didn’t we all have visions of the faded lady rising like a phoenix from the ashes in his capable hands (or was that just me)? There was the much reported transfer and expansion of the liquor license to Mr. Bauer in December. Since then, witness a whole heap of…nothing. Just Ye Olde Valley Inn. No teams of drywall installers, no kitchen equipment deliveries, no patios being laid (a personal wish). Therefore, the rumors swirl. Are there zoning issues? Building issues? Problems negotiating final details with the original owners? We’ve heard all three. A call to the restaurant provided no answers just a nervous evasiveness. Despite all that, we heard today that the deal is set to close this week. But for now, we can still enjoy Veal Oscar under the glow of a five-watt bulb. Let’s pray that changes soon, although an expectation of a fall opening is really dreaming.

We would be remiss to leave out the three new restaurants slated for the Four Seasons Hotel. Michael Mina, a celebrity chef with restaurants in Las Vegas, L.A. and San Francisco, among other cities, will oversee the main restaurant, Wit and Wisdom, a contemporary tavern serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Another restaurant, La Mill, a coffee shop, will serve breakfast and lunch. And Pabu, a dinner-only restaurant, will feature fine Japanese cuisine. 

Doesn’t piping hot miso hit the spot when you’re chilled to the bone? And wearing adorable toffee-shade knee-high boots. Let a sweating reporter daydream.

Do you have the inside skinny on any new restaurants opening this fall? Let us know in the comments.