B'Eat More Pie Fest: Celebrating Baltimore's Pie Culture

Ann Marie Brokmeier

Everywhere you look, Baltimore is going through a food revolution. We leave no dish unturned. This month, celebrate both sweet and savory pies with B’Eat More Pie, a Baltimore-based pie festival and competition.

 

Founded in 2011 by Elena Rosemond-Horr (of the lovely Biscuits and Such), B’Eat More Pie spread both the word and love of pie throughout Charm City. Last year, Elena moved to beautiful North Carolina, but not before naming Rachel Kassman her pie-successor. I got the opportunity to interview Rachel, right before the 2013 festival.

 

What is the inspiration behind B’Eat More Pie? Was it that obvious that Baltimore needed pie more now than ever before?

The inspiration for B'Eat More Pie is actually tied to another pie fest in Charlottesville, Virginia, the C-ville Pie Fest. Elena had been kind enough to take me on a long weekend to her home state of North Carolina for a much needed mini-vacation, when she was invited to compete in the C-ville Pie Fest. The timing worked out - we'd be driving back north the day of the festival and figured, why not? So in her mother's kitchen we put together a caramel green tomato pie (and when I say, I was mostly team moral support!) and headed off to the fest. It was definitely an interesting experience and on the long drive home we started talking - wouldn't it be great if Baltimore had [its] own pie fest? What would we do differently? Where would we have it? And lo and behold, by the time we pulled back into the city we'd written up the entire plan for the very first B'Eat More Pie Fest! And Baltimore was definitely ready for it - the growing trends towards getting back to our roots, of learning and using the skills of our grandparents, coupled with the Baltimore love of food - from crab shacks to food trucks, made a pie fest the perfect fit!

 

Now that Elena has moved onto the gorgeous state on North Carolina, how has B’Eat More Pie changed? What is that you want to carry on in relation to Elena’s legacy of the pie movement in Baltimore?

Well, I can certainly say that Elena is missed! I've been lucky enough to have some amazing B'Eat More Pie fans step up and help with the planning for this year's Fest. I definitely want to keep the atmosphere of fun and the feeling that ANYONE can make a pie and join in the Fest - Elena's blog, Biscuits & Such, is really great about making new cooks feel welcome, and demystifying food, and I really want to keep that for the Fest. 

This year's Fest does have a few changes, but mostly cosmetic. We've changed locations, moving across town to the fabulous Mobtown Ballroom! Don't worry; it's not a Ravens home game day, so parking should be just fine. We're also going to be supporting the Maryland Food Bank with the Fest's proceeds this year. Their mission of feeding people fits in perfectly with the Fest.

 

What is your favorite store-bought pie to purchase in Baltimore?

Hmm, this is tough! I'm definitely a big fan of Dangerously Delicious' Baltimore Bomb, because I've got a sweet tooth like none other!

 

What is each of your signature pie recipes?

So I'm actually pretty obsessed with this 1970s copy of the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook I inherited from my mother. Something about that red and white checked cover and the signs of use and age make it a staple in my cooking and their banana cream pie recipe is easy as, well, pie! It's the pie I make whenever I end up with an extra crust, [which] happens more often than you think. I've made it with everything from skim milk to heavy cream; I think the whole thing has maybe 4 ingredients in it and it's delicious. Sometimes the classics really are the best.

 

Finally, what can spectators expect from B’Eat More Pie’s 2013 competition?

Just as much fun as ever! I expect the competition to be tough - there's always a nice mix of classics and really creative entries. And we'll have plenty for everyone to do - we'll be holding the pie raffle (where we raffle off the competition pies), offering tasting bites of the competition pies, and even a pie walk! There will be a few craft vendors, and the official B'Eat More Pie Fest t-shirt will be available for purchase. Also, we'll be entertained by the amazing Eric Voboril and his accordion - you've never really heard pop music until you've heard it on one of these. 

 

B’Eat More Pie Fest will be held at Mobtown Ballroom (861 Washington Blvd., Baltimore) on Sunday, September 8th at 1pm. Check out their website, Twitter, and Facebook page for more information.


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