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By Laura Vozzella, The Baltimore Sun | November 23, 2010
They can be home to the newest gee-whiz cooking gadgets or treasured hand-me-down copper pots. Impeccable order or funky clutter. Luxury and style in the form of reclaimed Roman floor tiles, or no-frills functionality like a roll of plastic wrap mounted above a doorway. Several Maryland chefs gave Sun Magazine peeks inside their home kitchens: Cindy Wolf of the Baltimore restaurant empire made up of Charleston, Cinghiale, Pazo and Petit Louis ; "Top Chef" runner-up Bryan Voltaggio of Volt in Frederick ; Gayle Brier-Billebault of Bonjour French Bakery & Cafe in Mount Washington ; and Thomas Rudis of Golden West Cafe in Hampden . As different as their owners' respective restaurants, two of these private kitchens have something in common: not a lot of cooking goes on there, at least not by the resident chefs, who dine at home as little as once a week.
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ENTERTAINMENT
Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | October 6, 2014
Let's see if the Oriole Park chef can sweep his competition right out of Ted Allen's TV kitchen. Oriole Park executive chef John Distenfeld is competing on Wednesday night's special ballpark edition of "Chopped. "  Distenfeld's competitors on the taped episode are executive chefs from three other major league stadiums -- Jessica Helms, executive chef at Busch Stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals; James Majors, executive chef at Great American Ball Park for the Cincinnati Reds; and Cristobal Vazquez, executive chef at Globe Life Park for the Texas Rangers.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2012
The old Kolper's Tavern on Clipper Road, more recently known as the Mill Steakhouse, will reopen this fall as Birroteca -- the name is a play on "enoteca," which today pretty much means a chic place that serves wine. The chef at Birroteca will be Robbin Haas, who was named one of the top 10 chefs in America by Food and Wine magazine back in 1994. Haas' resume is extensive, both as a chef and as the principal in Robinhaas Concepts, a restaurant consulting firm. His credits include the Montauk Yacht Club in Montauk, N.Y., Phillips Seafood restaurants (for whom he redesigned the Phillips restaurant in Atlantic City, N.J., Chispa in Coral Gables, Fla., and, more recently, Nokiate and Bistro Cinq in Antigua, Guatemala.
FEATURES
Julekha Dash and For The Baltimore Sun | October 6, 2014
Nicholas Cuttonaro relishes the chance to grab a spicy tuna roll at his favorite sushi restaurants, Sushi Ya in Owings Mills and Sushi Sono in Columbia. But a couple of months ago, he decided to make his sushi-eating experience more interactive by signing up for a class in which he honed his knife skills and learned how to make sticky rice to place inside a sushi roll. The instructor at Pikesville's For the Love of Food offered students the chance to experiment with tuna, salmon, lobster and shrimp.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | June 1, 2012
Four days after Tom Sietsema reported that Wit & Wisdom, A Michael Mina Tavern was looking for a new executive chef, representatives of the Mina Group could not confirm that executive chef Benjamin Lambert was being replaced. Sietsema's one-and-a-half star review of Wit & Wisdom in The Washington Post wasn't a pan exactly, but it probably wasn't the review that the San Francisco-based Mina Group wanted for their signature restaurant in the Four Seasons Baltimore Hotel, located in the Inner Harbor's Harbor East development.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | March 26, 2012
It looks like Brian Bruso has left Gitan Bistro Cru. You can follow the drama on Bruso's Twitter account, which is connected to his former restaruant, Birches. 1) Please acccept our sincerest apologies for your favorite Gitan Menu items slowly disappearing. :( 1:11 AM - 22 Mar 12 2) Ownership / Management @Gitan has reduced our ability to provide the level of food & excellence you would expect from us personally. 1:12 AM - 22 Mar 12 3) Feel free to lodge any complaints or concerns with Gitan's GM Jessica Nadeau!
ENTERTAINMENT
Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2014
The Charmery, Laura and David Alima's hand-crafted-ice cream shop on The Avenue in Hampden, is starting a Monday night guest-chef series. For each edition of "Sundaes on Monday," a visiting chef will collaborate with David Alima to create a one-of-a-kind ice cream sundae. The series begins May 28 with The Food Market's Chad Gauss, who will be whipping up an ice-cream interpretation of his restaurant's Heath toffee bar bread pudding. NOTE: The debut chef event with Gauss has been rescheduled from its original May 26 date and has been renamed "Sundaes on Wednesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun | October 18, 2011
The Wine Market has elevated sous chef Andrew Weinzirl to the position of executive chef, the restaurant's owner, Chris Spann, announced Oct. 14. Weinzirl takes over from Chris Becker, who left to join the Bagby Group. "I wanted to find a chef that understood my culinary philosophy but who also had his own approach to food," said Spann, who added that Weinzirl had been running the kitchen for a month before his promotion. After graduating from Baltimore International College, Weinzirl put in time at Linwoods , Dogwood and the Chameleon , with a sojourn in between at the James Beard Award-winning Highlands Grill in Birmingham, Ala. On Weinzirl's first menu: a house-made short rib hot dog with apple kimchi; a pine nut and pinot noir risotto with wild mushrooms and Parmesan sage broth; and a pan-roasted Creekstone Farms bistro steak with potato-kohlrabi gratin.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2012
So, the endless post-season scenarios have put your plans up in the air? Think about Josh Distenfeld, executive chef at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Distenfeld has to make ordering, prepping and staffing decisions for what could turn out to be anywhere from zero to four games in the next five days. On Wednesday afternoon, here's what Distenfeld knew -- exactly what everybody else knew. "We're just like everybody else," said Distenfeld, who oversees all of the food operations at Camden Yards.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2013
Bradley Willits is the new executive chef at B&O American Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco. Willits is the third executive chef at the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants property, which opened in 2009, following E. Michael Reidt and Thomas Dunklin. Willits, 31, has more than 20 years of kitchen experience and education, having started his restaurant career at his father's cafe in Sarasota, Fla. His formative kitchen experience was at Tango, a Vero Beach, Fla., restaurant, where he trained under Ben Tench.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan and The Baltimore Sun | October 5, 2014
When Maryland Transportation Authority police charged Olympian Michael Phelps with driving under the influence last week, they had two choices about what to do next: They could release him to a friend or family member, or take him to jail. In Phelps' case, they chose the first option. After the swimmer flunked roadside sobriety tests, according to court documents, officers took him back to a police station. After he took a Breathalyzer test that registered a 0.14 percent blood alcohol level, Phelps signed some paperwork and was released to a "responsible adult," police have said.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Some restaurants are hard to figure out. They present themselves as one thing and turn out to be another, or else they're in a continuing state of figuring themselves out. The cool thing about Guy Fieri's Baltimore Kitchen + Bar is how plainly it wears its big beefy heart on its distressed-denim sleeve. You'd have to go out of your way to not know what you're getting into at Guy Fieri's, one of three restaurants at the new Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. And you'd have to have a heart made of stone not to respond, on some level, to its basic good cheer and basic American enthusiasm.
NEWS
By Kit Waskom Pollard and For The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
Local chefs share cool, creative uses for the kitchen staple. By Kit Waskom Pollard Eggs can do it all. Equally at home as breakfast on the go or as the centerpiece of an elegant dinner, it's no wonder that the simple ingredient holds a special place in chefs' hearts. Here, four local chefs share their favorite egg preparations, ranging from a simple crab omelet to delicate, sophisticated croquettes. Egg Yolk Croquettes with Bacon, Comté & Truffle Yields 6 servings In the Lord Baltimore Hotel's restaurant, The French Kitchen, Chef Jordan Miller experiments with high-tech toys, turning out dishes that combine ambition with great flavor - such as these carefully constructed croquettes in heady cheese-truffle-bacon sauce.
ENTERTAINMENT
Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2014
Cyrus Keefer has left Fork & Wrench. The chef's last day at the Canton restaurant was Sunday. Keefer moved from Birroteca to Fork & Wrench last May, when he took over the kitchen from the restaurant's original chef, Sajin Renae.   Keefer said he will be re-teaming his former employers, Andrew Dunlap and Sean White, for whom he worked at 1542 Gastropub, their ambitious but short-lived successor to The Reserve in South Baltimore. "It broke our hearts to walk away from [1542 Gastropub]
ENTERTAINMENT
Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | September 17, 2014
Clementine is hosting a fall harvest festival dinner, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., on Sept. 23. The evening will feature a five-course dinner paired with ciders from Monkton's Millstone Cellars. On the menu are hearty game dishes like granola-crusted venison, bacon-wrapped rabbit loin and roast pheasant breast with cornbread dressing and cinnamon honey tomato jam. The menu is a collaboration between Clementine owner Winston Blick and the restaurant's new head chef, Bill Buszinski, formerly of Mr. Rain's Fun House.
ENTERTAINMENT
Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2014
Some of the Chesapeake region's culinary stars will have their own Inner Harbor showcase during Star-Spangled Spectacular, the free festival commemorating the bicentennial of the national anthem. Presented by Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen and the developer Scott Plank, the Chesapeake Bay Demo Kitchen & Brew Garden will offer a busy schedule of chefs, brew masters, wine makers and cider makers in the  The  Harry D. Kaufman Pavilion at Rash Field.  From Friday through Sunday, such notable chefs as Gjerde, Bryan Voltaggio (Aggio)
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen | May 22, 2009
James Michael Crooks, a chef and former co-owner of the Country Kettle Cafe in western Howard County, died Friday of heart failure at his New Windsor home. He was 44. Mr. Crooks was born in Wheaton and was raised there and in London, where he attended London Central High School. After graduating from Wheaton High School in 1982, he went to work in the restaurant business. "We met when we both were working at the Olney Ale House in 1983. Back then, we were young and crazy," said his wife of 17 years, the former Amy Regina Lauer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick | January 13, 2012
A Washington D.C. restaurant is getting by with a little help from the chef's friends. When R.J. Cooper, the chef/owner of Rogue 24, underwent planned open-heart surgery at Johns Hopkins earlier this week, the Washington D.C. restaurant didn't temporarily close. Instead, 12 of Cooper's friends are stepping in -- each for a week -- to lend a hand while Cooper recovers. The restaurant is calling the series of collaborations the Rogue Sessions. Each evening features a 24-course dinner consisting of 12 of the visiting chef's dishes and 12 Rogue 24 favorites.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun | September 3, 2014
You can thank Wolfgang Puck. The era of good casino dining is generally traced back to 1992, when the Los Angeles-based chef opened a version of his famed Hollywood restaurant, Spago, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. From then on, you didn't have to know a flush from a straight to have a good time in Sin City. Within a decade of Spago's opening, Vegas was a paradise for restaurant lovers. Michelin-star chefs like Thomas Keller and Joel Robuchon came to town. Nobu, Le Cirque and other famous New York restaurants opened on the strip.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun | August 26, 2014
Collaboration is the word of the year in the Baltimore restaurant scene. Every month delivers new announcements about good-natured cooking competitions or chefs "popping up" in one another's restaurants. Baltimore's chefs work hard in their own kitchens, but they also have a great time getting out and playing with the rest of the local culinary community. Over the past few years, chefs say, as the city's food scene has blossomed, so have their relationships. For a handful of Baltimore chefs, the root of those friendships is in volunteering.
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