Galen Sampson, formerly executive chef/owner of The Dogwood restaurant and Director of Food and Beverage at Harbor Court Hotel, plans to open a restaurant and a carry-out kiosk in The Shops at Canton Crossing, scheduled to open next spring.
The restaurants, the Farmstead Grill and its companion the Farmstead Shack, will be designed to bring to the table locally sourced food at an affordable price.
Sampson just spent a year working as an apprentice team leader on an 800-acre farm in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the process he learned how to work more closely with farmers to lower costs while increasing quality in the restaurant kitchen.
“We don’t think diners should have to pay a premium for locally sourced food,” says Sampson who will serve as the Farmstead Grill COO and executive chef. “At the same time, we believe that farmers who work so hard on our behalf should get their due.” His goal at the two Farmstead restaurants is to lower check averages at the table while keeping center-of-the-plate and featured ingredients strictly local.
The 200-seat Farmstead Grill will be located across a leafy green park from Farmstead Shack, a carry-out with 30 outdoor seats. Menus and beverage programs for both restaurants are in development.
Farmstead Grill and Farmstead Shack are owned by Charles Nabit and Michael Klein of Mission-Driven Dining II. The pair opened the restaurant Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point in 2011. “We’re excited about the prospect of expanding the marketplace for locally sourced dining,” says Nabit. “And we’re looking to create a concept that can be replicated in other places.”
Mission-Driven Dining is a Baltimore-based restaurant developer that gives back to the community through partnerships with such organizations as Living Classrooms Foundation while providing exceptional dining experiences for guests. In particular, it supports Living Classrooms’ Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS) program and Project Serve, which offers real-world hospitality jobs to Baltimore residents in transition. The Farmstead restaurants will also provide apprenticeships for Stratford University’s culinary program.
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