Food Summit in Kent County February 22nd

On Friday, February 22nd, the University of Maryland Extension Office in Kent County is holding a Food Summit from 8am until 12:15pm at the Emmanuel Church in Chestertown. The summit will bring together growers/producers, recipients of food donations as well as various community organizations that could help in identifying people or places in need of extra food. The goal of the summit is to find answers to questions such as:

• Do we have excess produce/food in Kent County?
• What, if anything, happens to this produce?
• Who can use extra produce and what kind is most desirable?
• Where can people get excess produce?
• How can your organization help?
• Can we come up with a plan to get food to where it is needed most?

Three separate panels will try to address these questions. By the end of the summit, we should have the beginnings of a plan on how to distribute excess produce this upcoming growing season.

Growers Panel: Bob Arnold, Jen Baker, Barbara Ellis, Theresa Mycek, Wayne Gilchrest.

Recipients: Dave Menzie (Community Food Pantry), Cheryl Hoopes (Community Table, First United Methodist Church), representative from Mt. Olive AME, John Queen (Reconnect for Life).

Other agencies: Amy Cawley (MD Food Bank), Rosey Ramsey Granillo (LMB), Emily Vooris or Lynn Rubin (FSNE), Elizabeth Massey (WAC, Food Recovery Network).

The event is supported by the following local entities: Chester River Wine and Cheese Co., the Emmanuel Church, Evergrain Bread Company, Figg’s Ordinaty and Play it Again Sam.

The event is free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to register by calling 410-778-1661, emailing sharvey1@umd.edu or by registering online at Eventbrite (Food Summit).

“The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Equal Access Programs”

Piazza Italian Market Kicked Off its Monthly Food and Wine Pairings

Piazza Italian Market kicked off its 2019 season of monthly Food and Wine Pairings featuring the island of Sardinia which is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The Tyrrhanean Sea separates Sardinia from the west coast of Italy. The geography of Sardinia ranges from sandy beaches to the mountainous interior with hiking trails through the ubiquitous macchia shrubbery. The rugged landscape is dotted with thousands of “nuraghi”-curious bee-shaped ruins dating from the Bronze Age, remnant of the Nuragic civilization that lasted nearly twenty centuries until the Roman conquest.

The Argiolas Winery is the largest and foremost wine estate on Sardinia. It produces archetypal wines from native varietals and was the first on the island to convert to modern viticulture in the pursuit of quality over quantity. Its vineyards are located in Serdiana in the Trexenta hills just north of the capital of Cagliari. Argiolas farms 600 acres of native Sardinian grapes including Nuragus, Monica, and Cannonau.

As guests were seated, plates of Caciocavallo cheese with Pane Carasau (Sardinian thin cracker bread) awaited them. For the first pairing, the Argiolas S’elegas Nuragus di Cagliari DOC was paired with grilled octopus over roasted potatoes with preserved lemon and capers. The grape is 100% Nuragus, a white grape that is thought to have been brought to Sardinia by the ancient Phoenicians. The distinctive wine label features one of the Nuraghi bee hive forms. Flavors of lemons and peaches, undertones of nuts and herbs, bright acidity, light body, and a slightly bitter finish made a perfect pairing with the octopus. The pairing was a hit with the guests and one of my friends asked if Piazza would add the octopus salad to its menu.

For the second pairing, the Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna DOC was paired with “fregolotto”;very small, round pasta with grape tomatoes (the toasted Sardinian pasta is cooked as a risotto with a saffron broth).The grape is 100% Cannonau, which is the local name of the granache grape. Since Sardinia was on the Mediterranean ancient trade route, this grape was likely brought to Sardinia from the Iberian peninsula where is has become the principal red grape of Sardinia.Costera, a name referring to hills, is the workhorse red grape of Sardinia that produces a deeply-colored, full-bodied red wine. Flavors of very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and spices and aging in French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavors of vanilla.

For the third pairing, the Vigne Surrau Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 2015, was paired with Panadas (savory pastry) filled with braised lamb and potatoes. Vigne Surrau is a newer winery founded by a former industrialist family.The vineyards are located in the sunny valleys of Gallura, a region in the northeast part of Sardinia. The grape is 100% Syrah, and Surrau has won five awards to date, including Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso,  for its vintage 2009—the equivalent of 95+ points from Wine Spectator.

Emily has set the bar high for our 2019 food and wine pairings so mark your calendars for Piazza’s  winter offerings:

February 9Abruzzo

Buy tickets now https://bit.ly/2G9SEXq deadline Feb 8 at 5 PM

February 26: Wine Dinner A five-course wine dinner with special guest Catarina Sartarelli of the Sartarelli family winery.  Piazza will be Ms. Sartarelli’s only wine event in the area. Chef Chris and Emily will create a very special menu to accompany the all-Verdicchio line up from Sartarelli.

Buy tickets now https://bit.ly/2CTdAPf

March 9:Alto Adige

Spy Wine Notes: The Sardinia Food-Wine Report

Piazza Italian Market kicked off its 2019 season of monthly Food and Wine Pairings featuring the island of Sardinia which is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The Tyrrhanean Sea separates Sardinia from the west coast of Italy. The geography of Sardinia ranges from sandy beaches to the mountainous interior with hiking trails through the ubiquitous macchia shrubbery. The rugged landscape is dotted with thousands of “nuraghi”-curious bee-shaped ruins dating from the Bronze Age, remnants of the Nuragic civilization that lasted nearly twenty centuries until the Roman conquest.

The Argiolas Winery is the largest and foremost wine estate on Sardinia. It produces archetypal wines from native varietals and was the first on the island to convert to modern viticulture in the pursuit of quality over quantity. Its vineyards are located in Serdiana in the Trexenta hills just north of the capital of Cagliari. Argiolas farms 600 acres of native Sardinian grapes including Nuragus, Monica, and Cannonau.

As guests were seated, plates of Caciocavallo cheese with Pane Carasau (Sardinian thin cracker bread) awaited them. For the first pairing, the Argiolas S’elegas Nuragus di Cagliari DOC was paired with grilled octopus over roasted potatoes with preserved lemon and capers. The grape is 100% Nuragus, a white grape that is thought to have been brought to Sardinia by the ancient Phoenicians. The distinctive wine label features one of the Nuraghi bee hive forms. Flavors of lemons and peaches, undertones of nuts and herbs, bright acidity, light body, and a slightly bitter finish made a perfect pairing with the octopus. The guests agreed and one of them asked me if Piazza would add the octopus salad to the menu.

For the second pairing, the Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna DOC was paired with “fregolotto”; very small, round pasta with grape tomatoes (the toasted Sardinian pasta is cooked as a risotto with a saffron broth). The grape is 100% Cannonau, which is the local name of the granache grape. Since Sardinia was on the Mediterranean ancient trade route, this grape was likely brought to Sardinia from the Iberian peninsula where is has become the principal red grape of Sardinia. Costera, a name referring to hills, is the workhorse red grape of Sardinia that produces a deeply-colored, full-bodied red wine. Flavors of very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and spices and aging in French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavors of vanilla.

For the third pairing, the Vigne Surrau Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 2015, was paired with Panadas (savory pastry) filled with braised lamb and potatoes. Vigne Surrau is a newer winery founded by a former industrialist family. The vineyards are located in the sunny valleys of Gallura, a region in the northeast part of Sardinia. The grape is 100% Syrah, and Surrau has won five awards to date, including Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso,  for its vintage 2009—the equivalent of 95+ points from Wine Spectator.

Emily has set the bar high for Piazza’s 2019 food and wine pairings so mark your calendars for next month’s offerings:

February 9:  Abruzzo

Buy tickets now, deadline Feb 8 at 5 PM

February 26: Wine Dinner  A five-course wine dinner with special guest Catarina Sartarelli of the Sartarelli family winery. Piazza will be Ms. Sartarelli’s only wine event in the area. Chef Chris and Emily will create a very special menu to accompany the all-Verdicchio line up from Sartarelli.  Tickets here.

 

 

Chef John Nocita at the Eastern Shore Food Lab Nov. 20

John Nocita, master chef and president of the Italian Culinary Institute, will visit Chestertown on Nov. 20 to lead two presentations at the new Eastern Shore Food Lab about how to make the most of every bit of your food by not wasting any of it.

Nocita, who is among Europe’s leading consultants for menu development and is a certification specialist for the European Community’s Product Authenticity Program, will demonstrate advanced and conventional cooking techniques to transform refuse into luxury. While necessity ignited the creativity in peasant communities, and what they created from all parts of their meals became the basis for most traditional cuisine, fully 40% of food in the United States goes to waste. Nocita’s presentation, “The Day After: How to Make the Most of Your Food Waste,” will teach a zero-waste approach as you plan the big meal.

These are free events but registration is required. One event has already sold out, but some space remains on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reserve your spot here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-day-after-how-to-make-the-most-of-your-food-waste-tickets-51975915362

Nocita is an award-winning chef, a member of the Italian Olive Oil Masters, and a sommelier. He founded the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts to constantly update cooking techniques and menu development for chefs and pâtissier in the world’s increasingly competitive environment.In 2001, he was awarded for Outstanding Contributions to Promote Fine Dining from the Distinguished Restaurants of North America, whom Wine Spectator describes as “the authority on fine dining.”

The Eastern Shore Food Lab is a one-of-a-kind teaching, learning, and production space, led by Bill Schindler, associate professor of anthropology and a world expert on primitive technologies and ancient foodways. Drawing international chefs and food innovators to rethink our food systems by using ancestral food knowledge and technologies, the ESFL aims to create food for today’s palate that is more nutritious, meaningful, and sustainable. Schindler calls this “learning to eat like humans again.”

While working for global food system change, the ESFL will be grounded in the local, propelled by the notion that environmental and cultural sustainability should be at the forefront in our approach to food. By researching the resources unique to the region based on weather, climate, soil chemistry, and microbial biology, and fusing ancient and historic foodways with modern technologies and methods, faculty, students, community members, and collaborative researchers will re-envision our food system, from how we define food to how we grow it and prepare it.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Bistro St. Michaels Wins Oyster Stew Competition

Bistro St. Michaels chef Doug Stewart has been named the first place winner in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s 2018 oyster stew competition, held Oct. 27 during OysterFest.

Bistro St. Michaels and Stewart earn bragging rights with the People’s Choice award. Votes were taken during blind tastings of the different stews, with Bistro St. Michaels served as stew ‘F’. The oyster stew is currently being served at the restaurant in historic St. Michaels, Md.

Six restaurants competed, with 500 festival-goers taking part in tastings before voting by ballot for their favorite stew. Second-place winner Sunflowers & Greens of Easton, Md. was served as stew ‘D’, with third place going to stew ‘A’ from “t” at the General Store of Royal Oak, Md. Other participants included Crab N Que (stew ‘B’) and Theo’s Steaks, Sides & Spirits (stew ‘D’), both of St. Michaels, Md.; and Milestone Catering (stew ‘E’) of Easton, Md.  More information about the event is at cbmm.org/oysterfest.

Spy Wine Notes: Virginia Wine on the Eastern Shore

It is reported that nearly 400 years ago the first colonial legislative assembly in Virginia passed an act requiring all Virginia households to plant 10 vines for grapes. Undoubtedly, since then the quality of wine from Virginia has been subject to debate.

Well, this past weekend at the Talbot Country Club Wine Dinner, there was no debate about the quality of very enjoyable wine from the Boxwood Winery in Middleburg, Virginia. Four exceptional wines from Boxwood were tasted, paired with exquisite offerings from the Club’s Sous Chef.

The evening was made all the more remarkable with a lively discourse on the wines, the winery, Middleburg and even a new California wine project, all from Rachel Martin. Boxwood, a family owned winery, is run by Rachel and her brother, Sean Martin.

In addition to the winery in Middleburg, Rachel launched her own wine project along the California coastline in San Luis Obispo. From this winery, the assembled wine tasters enjoyed a 2016 Chardonnay that was exceptional.

The Boxwood Vineyard wines demonstrated just how high the bar is now placed when in comes to Virginia wines. And the offering from Oceano suggests we will hear a lot more from this new winery.

The evening was the final one of the wine tasting series for the season offered by the Talbot Country Club and it was an exciting way to conclude the successful wine tasting dinners offered to members.

 

Foxy and Friends: Second Annual “Caribbean Nights Celebration” for Jost Van Dyke Island

Foxy’s, the popular outdoor bar in St. Michaels, was named for Foxy’s Tamarind Bar on the island of Jost Van Dyke (JVD) in the British Virgin Islands. Its owner, the legendary Sir Philicianno “Foxy” Callwood ,aka “”Foxy”, is also a troubadour whose philanthropy has significantly improved the lives of his island’s residents by making JVD a top destination for boaters from around the world, including Will Workman of St. Michaels.

Will, who is the owner of the George Brooks House in St. Michaels, is also a lunch patron at Foxy’s St Michaels. Will suggested that Foxy’s St. Michaels invite Callwood for a visit and an opportunity for area music fans to hear Callwood entertain with his guitar and unique Caribbean style of song and storytelling. The invitation was extended, accepted and a date in September last year was set. The sold-out shows with Foxy Callwood and a back-up band over two consecutive days were eagerly anticipated. Profits from ticket sales would be donated to Callwood’s Foundation, the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society, whose mission is to “… promote the conservation of Jost Van Dyke, its adjacent smaller cays and marine systems through education, research, restoration and, monitoring.”

Then Mother Nature intervened in the form of Hurricane Irma, the strongest Atlantic forming hurricane ever recorded, who passed directly over JVD. In her wake, aerial views showed the almost complete devastation of the buildings and infrastructure, including Foxy’s. Communications were primarily limited to social media but the event organizers were greatly relieved to learn Foxy and his wife were OK. Now the celebration became a relief effort to start rebuilding JVD Island.

This year the second “Caribbean Nights “ celebration continues on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 11th and 12th at Foxy’s Harbor Grille with two shows both days at 3:00-5:45 pm and 6:00-8:45 pm. Listen to live Caribbean Island music by the Trinidelphia Band while you feast on a special Caribbean inspired food and beverage menu. Foxy Callwood will join the festivities direct from JVD Island.

To purchase tickets, go to www.caribbeannightsshows.com. For more information, call Will Workman at 410-829-0510.

To continue JVD Island’s recovery , please donate online to Foxy Callwood’s foundation at www.JVDPS.org. If you wish to donate by check, make it out to “JVD Preservation Society” and mail to Will Workman, Caribbean Nights Productions, 24500 Rolles Range Road, St. Michaels, MD 21663. The charity is an approved IRS 501 (c)(3) foundation and they will mail you a receipt for your tax records.

St. Michaels Farmer’s Market Announces 2018 Season & Accepts SNAP

The St. Michaels Market is thrilled to announce the opening day of the 2018 farmers market on Saturday, April 14 and its new collaboration with the Maryland Farmers’ Market Association (MDFMA). One of the most exciting aspects of this partnership is that, for the first time ever, the St. Michaels Market farmers and vendors will accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars.

“One of the new goals for our local market is to expand opportunities for more people in the community to be able to purchase and enjoy the wonderful, fresh, farmer-grown fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, flowers or locally-produced items our farmers and vendors offer,” says Board member, Niamh Shortt. “Partnering with MDFMA has made this possible in a new, unexpected way.”

MDFMA is a statewide non-profit that helps to connect people with farmers markets and that provides resources, technical assistance and services to market managers, farmers and consumers.

In more news, the St. Michaels Market’s is also excited to introduce Amanda Rzepkowski as its 2018 Market Manager. Amanda comes to the Market with a background in farming, nutrition education and event management.  “Like any good event, there is an incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly,” says Board President Randy Royer.  “We feel fortunate to have found Amanda and are looking forward to a great season under her care.”

St. Michaels Farmers Market is a producer-only market and community gathering place for residents and visitors, that also provides economic opportunities for farmers and food producers, offers local food education and gives everyone access to healthy, fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and other products.

The Spy’s Monthly Sprout: Matt Herron

Over the next several months, the Spy will be doing short interviews with residents that have using the Trappe-based Eat Sprout prepared meal company. In a joint effort with Eat Sprout owners Ryan and Emily Groll, we wanted to hear first hand why both individuals and families decided to order using this new food option.

We continue this month with Matt Herron, owner of Mid-Shore Martial Arts in Easton.  Matt was motivated to use Sprout when it first started not only because his business encourages healthy eating, but he also must watch his diet due to a preexisting autoimmune deficiency that he has had for years.

By switching to Sprout, Matt found himself losing almost sixty pounds, but more importantly, found himself having more considerable energy and the ability to start limiting the use of drugs required to manage his rheumatoid condition. He also found himself going back to very bad habits when he temporarily suspended his orders, by rushing out for Dunkin Donuts or Hardee’s and spending more money on junk food than his monthly costs with Sprout. He came back in a hurry.

The Spy spoke to Matt at Mid-Shore Martial Arts on Information Lane space in Easton, which also serves as a Sprout distribution location) affectionately known as a Sproutlet, a few weeks ago.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. Full disclosure, Sprout donates food to the Spy from time to time. For more information about Sprout please go here

Buy a Big Veggie, Show Your Love for Farm Fresh!

Eagle Scout Beckett Mesko. Photo credit: Elizabeth Shaw Beggins.

The St. Michaels Farmers Market’s 2nd annual “Buy a Big Veggie” campaign is underway to help fund and launch another fabulous season of providing fresh, farmer-grown fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, flowers or locally-produced items to the people of Bay Hundred and beyond.

With the opening of the Farmer’s Market just a month away on April 14, the new Market Board invites people to celebrate the coming of the 2018 farm season by contributing to and personalizing their own “Big Veggie” sign for posting in St. Michaels during April. The campaign goal is to raise $7500 by ‘selling’ 100 of the signs, made by Beckett Mesko for his Eagle Scout project in 2017.

“We love seeing the four-foot veggies posted along Talbot Street. After the grey winter, the colorful four-foot radishes, peapods, corn ears and carrots are so fun,” says Board Secretary Rosemary Fasolo. “And I love the supportive, positive messages that people write on them, too. They’re so happy and just remind all of us that warm weather and local produce are coming!”

The St. Michaels Farmers Market’s success over the years is largely due to its ‘producer-only’ focus (meaning everything sold at the market is grown or produced by the person selling it), high-quality products, volunteer commitment, and its history as a place for people to come together. Financial support is also critical—especially now since the Market’s former parent organization is no longer involved.

“All really good farmers’ markets require people, financial resources and effort to look effortless and run smoothly. Community support is especially important for us this season since we are, in essence, starting from ground zero this year as our own entity, with new volunteer leadership and without the support of our former parent organization,” says Board Treasurer Bob Benson. “If we can reach our $10000 goal in sign sales and other donations, we’ll be able to purchase some sorely needed new set up items and also cover behind-the-scenes costs that keep everything working.”

To support the Market and get your “Big Veggie” sign, email stmichaelsmarket@gmail.com.

St. Michaels Farmers Market is a producer-only market and community gathering place for residents and visitors, that also provides economic opportunities for farmers and food producers, offers local food education and gives everyone access to healthy, fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and other products.

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