Plein Air Easton Minute: A Kick Off on Tilghman Island

Plein Art Easton was kicked off beautifully with the 7th Annual Tilghman Island Pre-Competition Paint Out Exhibit and Sale on Thursday night. With music provided by local singer-songwriter and guitarist Kentavius Jones, artists spend the day painting the picturesque watermen’s village of Tilghman and competing for the $1,000 Tilghman Island Waterman’s Museum Artists’ Choice Prize at the Wyler Hotel that evening.

A Spy was there for a reconnaissance report.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For more information about Plein Art Easton please go here.

Spy Moment: YMCA’s Take the Helm Teens Launches the Endeavor

Take the Helm launched its 3rd boat on Saturday afternoon on the Tred Avon. The sailboat, the Endeavor, was built by Talbot County teenagers under the leadership of Alex Greenlee, the YMCA’s project director for Take the Helm with area volunteers helping mentor the high school students in this creative program that teaches the technical aspects of construction along with essential life skills.

A trusted Spy was able to capture the Endeavor’s first sail under strong winds as part of the fun this weekend.

For more information regarding Take the Helm, call 410-822-0566.

Mid-Shore Food: Nighttime Surveillance on Sprout HQ’s Open House

It was hard for our Spy to enter the new Sprout HQ on North Aurora a few nights ago. As might have been expected, grateful customers and public officials crowded into the organically pre-prepared and locally sourced meals new business location to the point where our agent couldn’t immediately enter its new hub. Relying on the art of outdoor surveillance techniques after years of specialized training, our Spy captured the festive scene through several windows.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For more information about Sprout. please go here

Spy Wine Notes: Piazza Trifecta

Our story begins in the Swiss Alps, specifically on Alp Trosen, where 35 cows, a heard of goats and pigs and a cheesemaker spend several weeks in an aging hut built into the side of the mountain.

(Great way to start a Spy story, don’t you think?)

This first report involves an unbroken tradition from the Swiss Alps known as transhumance involves cheesemaker Jakob Knaus moving from his home in the Toggenburg valley up to the 6,000-foot level of Alp Trosen. This is all part of a cheesemaking practice that can be traced back over 2,000 years.

With his cows eating only wild grasses, herbs and flowers, the milk produced makes a cheese full of flavor. All this is done by Jakob Knaus and an assistant using a copper kettle over a wood fire where their alpkase cheese is made by hand.

As Piazza’s Emily Chandler describes it, “…this is beyond organic and the resulting flavor of the cheese is a pure expression of the alp and its microclimate. It is a beautiful cheese from a beautiful place.”

And, yes, it is now available at the Piazza Italian Market because they have again participated in an annual event where stores around the country adopt an alp! Fortunately for us, Piazza’s Alp is Trosen.

As part of the introduction to their adopted alp, the cheese from Alp Trosen was “part one” of this past weekend’s wine dinner at Piazza.

The second part of this very successful event was the wine.

With cheese from the Alps, Emily selected a perfect wine from the Italian Alps. Where better to go than to Lombardia where the Perego family have been tending vines set on sheer granite terraces in the mountainous Valtellina since 1860. The vines are so far north into the alps they are practically in Switzerland.

The family works only with Nebbiolo, or Chiavennasca as it is called locally, growing the grapes up to nearly 2,300 feet above sea level on sheer, south-facing, sunlit vines that dig straight into rock. The resulting fruit is intensely mineral.

Their Rocce Rosso wine is named for red rocks, because the winemaker feels that the flavor of iron and earth are most prominent in this wine. And, this vintage won the Tre Bicchieri (Three Glasses) award from Gambero Rosso, the Wine Spectator of Italy.

Finally, for the third important element of our story, the cheese and wine became vital elements in a series of food courses prepared by chef Rosario del Nero. He prepared extraordinary offerings traditional to the Italian Alps featuring alpage cheeses. Starting with a cured beef dish, the second course was Pizzoccheri, a specialty of the valley known as Valtellina from where Chef Rosario comes. Chef Rosario’s main course was a roast pork loin with porcini sauce.

Once again, the Piazza Italian Market delivered an extraordinary evening, this one rich in traditions of the Swiss and Italian Alps.
Now, everyone can be touched by the history and incredible craft achieved over generations producing the exceptional cheese and wine that have traveled here to Easton

For more information: Adopt an Alp  and ARPEPE Wines

Spy Minute: Academy Art Museum Craft Show Reconnaissance Report

There was quite a buildup for the Academy Art Museum’s 2018 Craft Show over the last month, and so it was exciting to have this top-rated event finally take place this weekend. And, of course, we had a special agent cover a few special moments on Saturday to give our readers a feel for the dozens and dozens of artists and craftspeople who showed their work over the three-day celebration.

This video is approximately two minutes in length.

Easton Sidewalks: A Simple Trip Around the Block in a T50B

While one can never be truly indifferent to the sight of a vintage car on a Talbot County country road, it is statistically true that there are a lot more antique automobiles and trucks here than most places. From Saturday coffee car gatherings in Oxford and St. Michaels every month, and a host of shops and storage facilities focused on these 500 plus cars, the frequent contact with these beautiful examples of design makes it extremely hard for local car watchers to have a real “peak experience” in seeing a special one on the road.

The Spy had one of those moments in Easton last weekend. Just a few blocks from its international headquarters. One of Spy’s newest recruits, Agent 8–00 Section, filed their first report of a 1930s Bugatti T50B spotted near Hanson Street.

Bringing back memories of Monopoly’s iconic race car for many, or a salute to one of the Bugatti family’s most successful designs, the watching of a restored T50B peel down North Street was a sight indeed to behold.

This video is approximately is 45 seconds in length


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