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The lessons at Anne Arundel Community ­College’s Culinary Institute will last well after the new yearBob Melamud

Food eaten between November 1 and New Year’s Day contains no calories. I suspect I’m not alone in honoring this conviction. Yet a lifetime of stepping on the scale January 2 has convinced me that our cherished belief is a cruel urban legend.     This year I faced an additional challenge. Our editor assigned me to take and report on an Anne Arundel Community College Culinary Institute holiday class. Biscotti, cookies, Scandinavian baking and truffles tempted me — and promised an overabundance of extra calories.

Calvert takes to the kitchen to End Hunger

Van Trammell is about to walk into the best job in his life, the first job in his new career in the food service industry. For 14 years, he served in the Army as a radio technician. Once inactive, he worked dead-end, entry-level food service jobs for near the Maryland minimum wage, $7.25 an hour.     In December, after Van Trammell finishes class, he’ll be working in the kitchens of St. Mary’s College as an international chef, with a chance at career advancement. This step spans the difference between being stuck and moving forward.

Chef Zachary Pope of Roundz ­Gourmet Market and Catering
 

What inspires you?   I was inspired by working with great chefs in Washington, D.C.’s, fine-dining restaurants. They taught me to seek out unique ingredients and be fearless when it comes to creating. I’m also inspired by the wonderful fresh, local ingredients we have in this area.

Try roasting it on a Caja China

We’d had a great day on the water. The bite was good, and we had boated a gorgeous pair of fat stripers, one 27 inches and the other just over 30. It seemed a shame to reduce them to fillets, so I didn’t. Scaling the hefty fish, then eviscerating them and removing the gills, I laid their graceful forms aside and reached for my phone to borrow a friend’s Caja China (pronounced: ka-ha cheena).

Four ways to cook the Bay’s favorite fish

What a year we’ve had for rockfish! In our fifth month of abundance, big fish are still just about everywhere in the mid-Bay, with anglers catching them using just about every method.     Eating fresh Chesapeake rockfish is one of the perks of living in the Tidewater. One of the many attributes of the fish is that its flavor can be influenced by the addition of easy-to-make sauces, which can give a fresh rockfish dinner a completely different taste each time you serve it.

A sweet ending to Maryland Buy Local

You ate all your locally raised vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat every day during Maryland Buy Local Week.     Now you can have dessert.     Naturally, it’s Maryland made, from the farmer to the chef to you.     At Governor Martin O’Malley’s sixth annual Buy Local Cookout, the sweetest thing on the menu was Chef Douglas Wetzel’s Gertrude’s Charolettetown Farm Ricotta Doughnuts with Peach Caramel Sauce.

Five ways to make sure the season’s favored fowl is full of flavor

Most of us will probably cook turkey for Thanksgiving; America’s national feast day is no time to scoff at custom. Some among us have tried; but we’re back among the faithful.     That’s because the season’s favored fowl need not be dull. We have plenty of choices, both in buying and cooking our bird.

Against Thanksgiving’s traditional main course, it’s the sides that add variety to the table

Your Thanksgiving feast is planned to perfection.         Well, almost.         If you’re still looking for last-minute inspiration, we offer three dishes that capitalize on the season’s local bounty to crown your Thanksgiving menu and give all at your table reason for thanks.

This month’s recipe from the 2011 Maryland Buy Local Cookbook

September 12’s full moon, a week after Labor Day, will bring another harvest of soft-shelled crabs. Likely you won’t have to wait that long, for some shedding occurs under all the phases of the moon.     For summer’s swansong recipe, we’ve chosen the Lily Pad Café’s Soft-Shell Crab Salad with Summer Squash, Heirloom Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic Tarragon Dressing from the 2011 Maryland Buy Local Cookbook.

Follow these local chefs out of the kitchen

Wilting weather is not dampening the prodigal enthusiasm of vine, branch and stalk.     Bursting into ripeness are apples, beans, cukes, eggplants, figs, grapes, honeydews, interesting squash, jalapenos, kohlrabi, limas, melons, nectarines, onions, peaches, root vegetables, sweet corn, tomato, varieties of hot and sweet peppers, watermelons, yams and sweet potatoes, zucchini.