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Resurrecting The Chesapeake's Culinary History

The Chesapeake region has a strong culinary reputation, and one of its most celebrated chefs says this part of the country has cuisine every bit as vibrant as the Carolinas or Cajun country. Spike Gjerde says some of that personality has become lost in recent centuries as people in the Chesapeake watershed become more disconnected from local food sources. Now he's on a mission to reconnect eaters with local foods and a cooking style that some thought was a thing of the past.

Related Video

Gjerde shares his philosophy of farm-to-table cooking at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore. All the ingredients for his food and beverages are sourced from local growers.

Video courtesy of Visit My Balitmore.

Chef Spike Gjerde's Recipes

  1. Tilghman Island Crab Cake
    Courtesy of Chef Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 lb jumbo lump crab, carefully picked over for shell
1 egg
3 T mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh soft, coarse, bread crumbs
1/4 t aleppo pepper
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dry mustard
1 t lemon juice

Preparation:
Break an egg into a bowl and whisk in everything but the crab. Add the crab and gently fold with a rubber spatula to combine. Form into 4 balls, place on a plate, and flatten slightly. Refrigerate for an hour or until ready to eat.

Preheat broiler. Carefully transfer cakes to oiled baking sheet and cook beneath broiler for 10-12 minutes. Serve hot with tartar sauce.

  1. Five Seeds Fingerling Potatoes and Sorrel
    Courtesy of Chef Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 ½ lb tiny first-of-the-season potatoes
6 young leaves sorrel
4 tblsp butter, softened
1 pinch fish pepper powder
1 tblsp pickle brine
½ tsp sea salt
several turns black pepper
3 young leeks, sliced
1 handful pea shoots

Preparation:
Bring potatoes to a boil in heavily salted water to cover. Cook until not quite tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. Mince sorrel and stir into butter with fish pepper, brine, salt, and pepper.

Warm half of sorrel butter in pan. Add leeks, toss, then add potatoes. Cook over low heat, stirring to coat. Add pea shoots and heat until wilted. Add remaining butter, stirring to coat, and taste, adding more salt if needed.

See more Food Wednesday crab recipes.

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