Cookin' With Soul'Baltimore chef Bennie Gordon, of...


November 08, 1992|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Cookin' With Soul'

Baltimore chef Bennie Gordon, of Restaurant 2110, was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago to prepare a dish at a dinner and art auction to benefit "Cookin' with Soul," a television project that former Fishmarket chef Joe Randall hopes will put the proper focus on African-American contributions to American cuisine.

The dinner, at Los Angeles' L'Ermitage Hotel, included dishes by four other prominent black chefs, including Mr. Randall.

Chef Gordon featured grilled lamb tenderloin in a mustard sauce with fresh raspberries and Smithfield ham, and candied sweet potatoes. It made a pretty presentation, though it was a little difficult to do. "I really went all out," he said with a laugh.

Mr. Randall expects the public-television series to begin airing next March. Each half-hour program will feature a 20-minute cooking demonstration, then a brief visit to a chef whose success he hopes will encourage young African-Americans to seek careers in the food industry. One episode will feature Mr. Gordon, who is chef-owner of 2110.

"Just on a whim," Ellicott City resident Lois Lowe entered her recipe for Bavarian custard in the Land O' Lakes No-Fat Sour Cream Family Recipe Contest. She laughs. "Not since my 4-H days have I ever done anything like that." The original recipe came from a friend "a long time ago," she said. "Everyone that's ever eaten it really seems to have loved it."

Land O' Lakes judges loved it, too, and Ms. Lowe, a sixth-grade math teacher at Patapsco Middle School, will receive a grand prize of $2,000.

Ms. Lowe says the recipe originally was high in fat and calories, but she gradually altered it. The current version has 150 calories per serving, with just 1 gram of fat and 5 milligrams of cholesterol.

Bavarian custard

Serves six.

1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla flavor pudding and pie filling (see note)

1 cup skim milk

1 cup no-fat sour cream

1 8-ounce carton (1 cup) low-fat vanilla-flavored yogurt

fresh (or thawed frozen) strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries

In a medium bowl place instant pudding. With wire whisk, stir in milk until mixture is smooth and slightly thickened. Add the sour cream and yogurt; whisk until smooth. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours. Spoon custard into 6 individual dessert dishes; top with assorted berries.

Note: 1 0.9-ounce package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding and pie filling can be substituted for the regular pudding and pie filling.

Fred Lahourcade had a pretty good idea of what he wanted in a small, coffee-shop-style restaurant when he opened Freddie's of Water Street a month ago: Snappy decor, good food, good people.

After 28 years with Procter & Gamble, 14 of them in thfood-service supply area, he had seen a lot of eating places, and privately he had done a lot of cooking. "I've liked to cook since I was a teen-ager," he says. When he was in college, sharing an apartment with a couple of buddies, he says, "I'd go home every weekend and ask my mom to show me how to cook pot roast" or some other dish. His culinary skills got some recognition in 1985 when he and a longtime friend from Texas, Tom Allen, captured first prize in the Chesapeake regional chili cook-off. "Flameout Gonzales Award-Winning Texas Red Chili" is on the menu at Freddie's, along with salads (tuna, chicken and shrimp, plus curried chicken, Caesar, and French beef), sandwiches (brisket, turkey, ham, tuna salad among them), pastries and desserts.

The cafe also serves a dozen coffee beverages, from espress )) to caffe latte to French press coffee, and offers for sale a wide variety of flavored coffees and specialty teas. Also for sale: an attractive array of beverage- and breakfast-related items, such as coffee pots and espresso cups, most in the cafe's signature colors: black, white, red and blue.

xTC There are two sitting areas, with room for 14 to 16 people upstairs and 30 to 40 downstairs; one way to reach the downstairs area is by a beautiful, brass-railed spiral staircase that was in the building when Mr. Lahourcade took it over. Mr. Lahourcade plans to stock plenty of newspapers, both out-of-town and local, along with books and magazines. There's a satellite dish on the roof that brings in CNN or the cable business-news channel, and future plans call for a stock-quotation and business-news system, plus telephones.

Freddie's is located at 106 Water St., just east of Light; hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Carryout and catering services are available. Call (410) 752-5757.

With the opening this week of Donna's Coffee Bar, Mount Vernon habitues will get a new coffee bar and Italian-style cafe.

The coffee bar will feature espresso, cappuccino, caffe royale (with Ben & Jerry's ice cream), sodas, mineral water and daily coffee specials. Those who want something to nibble on can have ice cream, biscotti, or brownies and other pastries made by Mary Sandor, assistant manager and pastry chef.

The cafe will feature salads, sandwiches, and daily soup and pasta specials -- warm baked pasta in winter, for instance, or pasta tossed with smoked trout in summer.

The restaurant, located in a former bank building, was designed by architect Patrick Sutton of Kaplan Sutton Associates. Initially it will be open from lunch time into the evening, but Donna Crivello and partner Alan Hirsch plan to expand hours next month to include breakfast.

The cafe is located at 2 W. Madison St. at Charles Street. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday; and 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday. Donna's will also be open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. For information, call (410) 385-0180.

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