Whip Up Some New Food Knowledge In The New Year

Jennifer Waldera

Whip Up Some New Food Knowledge In The New Year


It’s that time of year again when New Year’s Resolutions abound. Your local gym is packed with newcomers and the produce section seems a little busier than usual as people try to adhere to their personal vow to take better care of their bodies. But amidst all of the hustle and bustle of trying to create a better physical lifestyle, what about resolving to help build your brain (and palate) too?


In the ongoing food revolution in Baltimore, from inventive cocktail programs to new ways of preparing and serving a multitude of foods, a new trend has emerged: learning about all of these delicious offerings from trusted professionals. Helping eager learners to discover how to create some of the same types of dishes or drinks that are enjoyed at their establishments, chefs and mixologists have begun offering ongoing classes that allow home cooks (or those who aspire to be!) to hone or build their skills and knowledge.


Here are just a few local restaurants and bars offering the opportunity to whip up some tasty food and top notch beverages to make you look like a star in the kitchen (or home bar) in 2014:


Waterfront Kitchen


Situated on the edge of Fell’s Point, with arguably the best and widest water view in the quaint neighborhood, Waterfront Kitchen’s Chef Jerry Pellegrino offers classes on many Mondays from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.. Be prepared to learn about some of the most interesting and trendy techniques like in the Molecular Gastronomy class, where chemistry and physics meet in the kitchen, or new techniques you may not have previously felt comfortable trying at home for the first time, such as in the Sushi class. In February, presumably as a shout out to the pervasive red and pink holiday normally marked by chocolates and chalky candies with funny messages, there is an intriguing Aphrodisiacs course. There are other more basic classes like Sauce Making, Baking Bread, and Pies and Tarts available as well.


Classes were also offered in 2013 so as a testimony to their popularity, they sell out quickly. At $59, they are a steal. Check out their calendar and sign up quickly at: http://www.waterfrontkitchen.com/dining_and_cooking_events_baltimore_maryland.shtml.


Pierpoint Restaurant


Also located in Fell’s Point, on Aliceanna Street, Pierpoint is operated by Chef Nancy Longo who is not only a chef in her own restaurant kitchen, but has experience as a chef instructor for a number of years as well. Can you imagine a better instructor to teach anything from Knife Skills to International Sauces?


Chef Longo’s classes are typically on weekends from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Topics range from various world cuisines (Southwestern, Indian, Modern Italian, Thai, Asian, and others) to lifestyle

based cooking (vegetarian, low fat) to skills such as the aforementioned Knife Skills class. Longo says of her classes, “I am happy Baltimore has a growing population to want to learn new techniques, and that I find to be just as fulfilling as cooking a great meal in the restaurant.”


In addition to the many classes offered for adults, Chef Longo also teaches children’s cooking classes and private group classes as well!


Classes are $75 and include a group meal. To see all of the options, visit the site at: http://www.pierpointrestaurant.com/home.html



Heavy Seas Alehouse


Many food lovers have educated themselves about pairing wine and food. However, a newer trend has emerged in recent years in the pairing of fine cuisine and beer. What better local watering hole to do the job of educating about food and beer than Heavy Seas Alehouse, a creator and purveyor of high quality local craft beer with one of the city’s top chef’s, Matt Seeber, at the helm?


Previous classes have included a grilling series that taught attendees how to grill various types of food (seafood, various meat products) and paired these savory grilled proteins with some of their seasonal beers. Other events have offered several course pairings of food and beer with information about each course and pairing shared as diners were served. Typically, Chef Seeber will make an appearance at the end of the service to thank diners and take questions at individual tables. What could be more educational than the opportunity to chat up the chef himself?


Their upcoming event, on January 8th, is an exploration of five different styles of beer with an offering of light appetizers included for the very reasonable cost of $25. In attendance will be Chris Anderson of Maryland Homebrew to discuss the various styles.


Heavy Seas Alehouse “takes education seriously” and has frequent events throughout the year. Service Director Rebecca Steen-Smith says, “We have beer tastings once a month to educate guests about beer styles, beer history and the beer making process,” and “as of next month we will be rolling out our quarterly beer bus tours where our guest will tour and taste three different local breweries.” Keep posted by joining their mailing list or regularly checking their up to date calendar at: http://heavyseasalehouse.com/


Of Love And Regret


A warm and inviting corner bar in Brewer’s Hill, Of Love And Regret is known for their wide beer selection, largely composed of Stillwater Artisanal Ales. However, make no mistake, this bar and restaurant also contributes a great deal of dedication to crafting inventive cocktails and some of

the best local and sustainable food in the area, as well.


Of Love And Regret (often seen in print as its acronym OLAR), offers what they have titled “Libation Education” once per month. Their classes are largely focused on beer and the processes used to create various styles, but often with an interesting overlying theme. For instance, February 25th’s class is entitled Monastic Tradition and “examine[s] the traditions and products created by monasteries across the globe.” Another class on March 25th appears to focus on barrel aging including exploration of beer, wine and spirits. If you’re looking for education about beer, wine or liquor that is probably outside of what you will find anywhere else, it is worthwhile to check out a class (or two or three…) at OLAR.


For information on these classes, contact them at: 410-327-0760.


These are just a few ideas to inspire a new year of learning about food and drink around Baltimore. Please comment with other suggestions!


May your new year be happy, healthy, and full of new food, drinks, and knowledge!

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