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Talbot County Announces 7th Annual Restaurant Week, April 3-9

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 12.28.17 AMIts lucky number 7 for Talbot Restaurant Week.

The annual event, sponsored by the Talbot County Office of Tourism and the Talbot County Tourism Board, will be held April 3-9, 2016. Participating restaurants offer prix fix lunches and dinners, many with special menus designed to showcase their finest dishes.

“During Restaurant Week, we shine the spotlight on our many talented chefs and restaurateurs,” says Tourism Director Cassandra Vanhooser. “We’re blessed to have many of the region’s finest dining establishments located right here in Talbot County, and we think that’s something to celebrate.”

Talbot Restaurant Week begins with a fabulous launch party on April 3, this year at the Historic Tidewater Inn’s elegant Gold Ballroom in Easton. Local restaurants and food businesses offer generous tastings of their finest dishes, and guests also get two drink tickets they can use for the beverage of their choice. The price is $45 per person, with advance ticket purchase recommended.

Participating restaurants also feature special prices and menus throughout the week. Two-course lunches will be available for $20.16, while three-course dinners are priced at $35.16. Prices do not include tax, tip, or beverages.

“Restaurant Week is a wonderful opportunity for diners to try new restaurants or revisit favorites,” Vanhooser says. “We encourage people to make their reservations now and join us in supporting our local restaurants and food businesses.”

For more information about Restaurant Week, contact the Talbot County Tourism Office at 410-770-8000 or visit www.talbotrestaurantweek.com.

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Oils and Herbs at CBHS

William Acosta, the owner of Olivins in St. Michaels, will demonstrate how to use his herb products in making breakfast at the Oct. 8 meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Herb Society. The society will meet at 6 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 7215 Ocean Gateway, Easton.

Acosta is passionate about stimulating your taste buds to give you the best tasting experience you have ever had. As his company brochure says “Tasting Is Believing!” In addition to owning Olivins his interests range from flying to food and he is a personal trainer and life coach. His skills and interests combine to make him an enthusiastic explorer of the world of taste. And he invites us to share in exploring this world.

Olivins Aged & Infused Fine Olive Oil & Vinegars is located at 205 North Talbot Street.

The society usually meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Meetings include an herbal potluck dinner, a short business meeting and a presentation on an herb-related topic. The theme for October is “Breakfast for Dinner.”

CBHS was formed in 2002 to share knowledge of herbs with the local community. The group maintains the herb garden at Pickering Creek Audubon Center. For more information, call (410) 827-5434 or visit www.ChesapeakeBayHerbSociety.org.

“Tastes of Tilghman” to Benefit New Tilghman Watermen’s Museum

“Tastes of Tilghman” – the culture and foods of Tilghman Island – will be held under tent at Black Walnut Point Inn on Sunday, October 11, from 4 – 7 p.m. This event will benefit the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum which opened this summer. The Museum is dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the history, traditions, heritage and culture of Tilghman Island.

There will be informal discussions with Tilghman watermen, as they relive their careers on the Chesapeake. There will be tastes of Tilghman food from Two if by Sea Cafe, wine, and beer, and door prizes. Local songstress, Shelley Abbott, will perform.

Tickets are $45 per person/$80 per couple and are available in advance only. No tickets will be available at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Two if by Sea Cafe, Tilghman Island Country Store, and the Museum at the Lee House, payable by cash or check. For more information, contact the museum at 410-886-2930 or tilghmanheritage@msn.com

October 1 Brings 2nd Annual Oyster Crawl to St. Michaels

Fordham Brewing Company and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting the 2nd Annual St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, October 1 for a limited number of participants. The 4-7 pm. event features a “From Seed to Shuck: Exploring Chesapeake Oyster Farms” program at CBMM, followed by a walking tour of historic St. Michaels for stout and oyster pairings at four waterfront locations.

The two organizations have been partnering together since 2012, when Fordham launched its Rosie Parks Oyster Stout brand, made in honor of the museum’s recently restored 1955 oystering skipjack, Rosie Parks. The event is a fundraiser for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, with all proceeds supporting the non-profit museum’s education, restoration, and exhibition programs.

Fordham Brewing Company—the makers of Rosie Parks Oyster Stout, shown here—and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting the 2nd Annual St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, October 1.

Fordham Brewing Company—the makers of Rosie Parks Oyster Stout, shown here—and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting the 2nd Annual St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, October 1.

Rosie Parks Oyster Stout has a new twist this year as it is brewed with Avery’s Pearls oyster shells. Avery’s Pearls is the brainchild of Ryleigh’s Oyster Food & Spirits Owner Brian McComas. Ryleigh’s three locations in Baltimore, Md. will be serving Rosie Parks on draft, with the stout also available for a limited time in six-packs and draft in select Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia locations. The brewery release party for Rosie Parks is scheduled for Friday, September 4th from 5 to 8 p.m. at Fordham’s headquarters in Dover, De. A portion of the stout’s sales are being donated to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

The October 1 St. Michaels Oyster Crawl begins at 4 p.m., with participants joining CBMM’s Director of Education Kate Livie for a brief “From Seed to Shuck: Exploring Chesapeake Oyster Farms” presentation in the museum’s Van Lennep Auditorium. During the program, the museum will offer tastings of local, farm-raised Choptank Sweets, shucked and served by a Chesapeake waterman. The oysters are generously donated by the Choptank Oyster Company of Cambridge, Md. To kick off the event, each participant will receive a keepsake tasting glass to take along during the crawl and to commemorate the event.

From there, participants will break into four groups for a brief walking tour along the St. Michaels harbor to sample oyster and stout pairings at four locations. This year’s participating restaurants include the Crab Claw Restaurant, Town Dock Food & Spirits and Foxy’s Harbor Grille, all located on St. Michaels’ harbor front, along with Theo’s Steaks & Sides, serving from the museum’s Miles River waterfront Oystering on the Chesapeake exhibition building.

Oysters will be prepared a number of ways, including Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Casino, and raw on the half shell, and an award-winning oyster stew.

“Brewing an oyster stout is a rite of passage in the mid-Atlantic, especially when you look at the rich maritime culture and how oysters play a part in the ecosystem,” said Fordham VP of Sales Casey Hollingsworth. “We took it a step further this year by partnering with Avery’s Pearls oysters which are farm raised in Hog Island, Va. Rosie Parks is a dry stout with hints of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and chocolate. The beer finishes with a slight brininess which compliments the sweetness from the malts.”

The skipjack Rosie Parks was built in 1955 by legendary boat builder Bronza Parks for his brother, Captain Orville Parks, and was named for their mother. CBMM purchased the sailing workboat in 1975 from Captain Orville, after 20 years dredging oysters along the Chesapeake Bay. Rosie had a reputation as both the best maintained skipjack in the oyster dredging fleet and as a champion sailor at the annual skipjack races. She is now a floating exhibition and ambassador of the museum, participating in the annual skipjack races along the Bay.

The cost for the St. Michaels Oyster Crawl is $65 per person, or $55 for CBMM members, with limited participation and registration needed by Monday, September 22. To register, contact Allison Speight at aspeight@cbmm.org or 410-745-4941. The event is generously sponsored by the participating restaurants, as well as Kelly Distributors of Easton, Md. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or www.fordhambrewing.com.

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Eastern Shore’s Top Restaurants Come Together for Stronger, Healthier Babies

On Thursday, October 22 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, top chefs will offer Delmarva diners an opportunity to enjoy a great night out while raising funds, making friends and increasing awareness of the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies.

In addition to sampling signature dishes, guests will be able to bid on many unique auction items graciously donated by various businesses.

“What better way to enjoy a wonderful meal than by supporting the March of Dimes mission and working together for stronger, healthier babies, right here on the Eastern Shore,” said Dr. Betty Malkus, 2015 Event Chair.

Funds raised by Signature Chefs Auction support lifesaving research and educational programs on the Eastern Shore, such as the Storks Nest in Cambridge.

Premature birth is the most serious infant health problem in the United States today. It affects 450,000 babies nationwide each year, with over 400 in our community. Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have lifelong disabilities. The March of Dimes is committed to reversing this trend by funding research to find the causes of premature birth and developing strategies to prevent it. Guests will hear first-hand the impact the March of Dimes has had on the lives of the West family from Bishopville, MD.

Individual tickets and table sponsorships are available and include tastings from top chefs and an open bar. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.marchofdimes.org/ChefsES.

Thank you to our local sponsors: Peninsula Imaging, Black Anchor Tattoo, Craig’s Drug Store, Hebron Savings Bank, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, H&M Bay, Kool Ice, TGM Group, Sea Watch International, Craig’s Institutional Pharmacy, Avery Hall Insurance, Miles and Stockbridge and Congressional Seafood.

Flavors of St. Michaels Cookbook Provides Funding for St. Michaels Woman’s Club Scholarship

Create the distinctive taste of the Eastern Shore in your kitchen with The Woman’s Club of St. Michaels cookbook, Flavors of St Michaels, Volume II. Many of the club’s best cooks contributed favorite recipes in eight categories including appetizers, seafood, main dishes, breakfasts, and desserts. Using various locally available ingredients of bay, farm, and field, the over 350 recipes are perfect for family meals or entertaining. The cookbook makes an ideal holiday, hostess or housewarming gift. Each cookbook purchase includes a free, high-quality cloth gift bag, creating a unique presentation.

All proceeds from the $20 cookbook will be used to support the Scholarship Fund. Each year The Woman’s Club of St. Michaels awards $6,000 to a deserving senior from St. Michaels High School who is heading to higher education. This year’s recipient, Julia Jester, is able to begin her college career in the Fall thanks to this generous scholarship.

Flavors of St. Michaels, Volume II is available at local merchants. It will also be available at local events. For more information: http://wcstm.com/ or email: womansclub@wcstm.com .

Step Outside the Boxwood: “Eating the Landscape”

Add beauty to your gardens and food to your table by mixing ornamentals and edibles in your landscaping.

Elizabeth Beggins will inspire you to step outside the boxwood with vegetables, fruits and herbs sure to enliven your planting beds and supplement the foods you prepare. All you need is some sun and some creativity to become a successful edible gardener.

Beggins is a freelance writer, educator, vegetable garden consultant, and cook with over a decade of experience as a market gardener on the Eastern Shore. She believes that our health depends on a keen understanding of what we eat, and that our choices as consumers are vital to sustaining ourselves and our planet.

As director of the You Food Project (www.facebook.com/youfoodproject), Elizabeth facilitates increased awareness of the connection between personal and environmental health. She will be sharing her expertise with us on Thursday, May 21 at noon, at the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, along with a special sampling of food she has prepared.

Please join us for this fun and interesting program. Beverages and dessert will also be served by the Friends of the Talbot County Free Library. The program is free and open to the public.

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A Taste of Northern Italy Comes to Tilghman Island

Tilghman Island’s Two if by Sea Restaurant hosted what was the first in a series of wine dinners they will be offering throughout the year, beginning with a focus on Northern Italy this past February. Prepared by restaurant owner and Executive Chef Henry Miller, the dinner featured a five-course meal paired with select wines from the region.

Grilled Polenta with seared crimini mushrooms, smoked gouda and parmesan crispPartnering with the Tilghman Island Country Store and wine distributor Monsieur Touton Selections, Chef Henry and his team designed an elegant menu that would please many palates. Beginning with a Frico Caldo, (Italian potato pancake with prosciutto) accompanied by a sparkling Pinot Rose, the meal progressed beautifully with a second course of homemade pumpkin ricotta gnocchi paired with the perfect white wine, Terre del Barolo Roero Arneis. The reds were introduced in the third and fourth course. Grilled polenta with seared crimini mushrooms and smoked Gouda were enjoyed with a Sandrone Dolcetto d’Alba, and to stand up to the hearty Chianti Braised Osso Bucco, guests sipped on a Chianti Classico Reserva 2009. Last but not least, a Torta Meringata (orange sponge cake with orange curd and meringue) and a glass of Cantina Gabriele – Dolcemente Bianco provided the perfect finishing touch.

Known as the “go-to” spot on the Island to enjoy an award-winning breakfast, this neighborhood café has been offering its guests home-cooked meals since Miller established it in 2008. After many years in the catering business, and working in other well known establishments, it was time to make dreams come true. And Tilghman Island was the dream. “As the business has grown so did our clientele,” says Chef Henry. “The timing was right to think about expanding our horizons and offer something new while maintaining the comfortable feeling our diners have come to expect. A wine dinner series seemed like the perfect solution.”

“Henry and his staff outdid themselves tonight,” say frequent customers and Tilghman residents Amy and Walt Teesdale “The food was outstanding and the wines perfectly matched. We can’t wait for the next one!”

The sold out event attracted a number of out of town guests as well as local residents. “One couple from Montgomery County made the very first reservation after having breakfast with us while visiting the Island over the summer,” says partner Scott Spittler. “When they read about the wine dinner online, they signed up right away.”

Two if by Sea Logo ColorTwo if by Sea featured French cuisine and wines at a sold-out dinner in March, and will be highlighting the food and wines of Chile on April 25th, followed by the Pacific Northwest on May 23rd. “We could not be more pleased with the success of these first few wine dinners,” Miller says. “We will continue to provide our customers with award-winning meals and excellent service every day of the week, and every so often add a new twist”.

Two if by Sea Restaurant is located at 5776 Tilghman Island Road on Tilghman Island. Hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8am to 11am; Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 8am to 2pm for breakfast and lunch; Bistro Dinner Thursday and Sunday, 6pm to 9pm; Dinner Friday and Saturday, 6pm to 9pm. Catering, bakery and monthly cooking classes are also available.

To learn more about Two if by Sea or to make reservations for upcoming wine dinners, call 410-886-2447, or visit twoifbysearestaurant.com.

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Maryland Raw Milk Cheese Makers Get to Keep Their Cheesy Grins

Dairy cows, goats and sheep will stay cheesy in Maryland under a bill presented Thursday.

After a successful five-year pilot program that enabled five dairy farms in Maryland to produce raw milk cheese from cows, goats and sheep, legislators on the Senate Finance Committee were easily in support of changing the program to be a more long-term business opportunity.

The changes to the program include allowing farms to renew their license for cheese production every year, not limiting herd size to 120 animals or fewer and making more than five cheese producer permits available.

State Senator Adelaide C. Eckardt, R-Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot and Wicomico, sponsored the bill presented Thursday, wanting support in “passing this initiative so our dairies can keep selling cheese.”

Raw milk cheese, also known as farmstead cheese, means that the milk used has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Association.

Under proper precautions and frequent health inspector visits, “the farmstead cheese program has proven to be successful,” said Laurie Bucher, chief of the Center for Milk and Dairy Product Safety within the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Holly Foster, owner of the Chapel’s Country Creamery in Easton said her cow farm would lose a quarter of its profits if changes were not made to the farmstead cheese legislation.

“We’re known for our raw milk Bay Blue — we’ve been making it for over four years now,” said Foster. “Our livelihood is on the desk of legislation today.”

Foster said the herd size limit was originally installed to decrease the chances of disease and to keep production to family-owned businesses, but also limited sheep dairy farmers’ cheese production, as sheep produce less milk than cows and goats.

“(These alterations to the original bill) will support the needed diversity in the dairy industry as the dairy industry changes,” Bucher said, including the need to use milk from different animals.

By Katelyn Newman
Capital News Service

Eating the Right Way at Easton’s Amish Country Farmer’s Market

Keep your New Year’s resolutions at the Amish Country Farmer’s Market this January. Vendors there have healthy options to help you get and keep fit over the winter.

Salads are a natural fit for weight watching diets. Soup and Salad features a salad bar filled with fresh vegetables and fruits. Raw vegetables are the perfect sources for fiber and vitamins. The Sundried Tomato and Basil dressing is fat-free.

When the weather is cold, nothing warms you up like a bowl of soup. Many of the soups available at Soup and Salad are low fat and gluten-free. Every day there is a vegetarian soup option.Wholesome snacks, including nuts and fruits are among the offerings at Little Bulk Foods in the Market. The shop specializes in home-canned goods and sauces. Fresh ground peanut butter is made right there, so you know exactly what is in it.

Nature’s Nutrients offers a variety whole food vitamins, liquids, herbs, homeopathics, natural beauty products, and a healthy juice/smoothie bar. Consultations are offered to determine your health needs.

Make the Amish Country Farmer’s Market your destination for healthy eating in 2015. The Market is located at 101 Marlboro Rd., Easton. Hours are Thursdays 9-6, Fridays 9-7, and Saturdays 9-3. For more information go to www.amishcountryfarmersmarket.com