|Taste of Southern Maryland
Taste your way through Southern Maryland. Its not as difficult as it might seem. You can do it in a day.
Maryland stuffed ham. Sauerkraut mit grilled wurst. Crabcakes. Barbecue. Cream of crab soup. Homemade tortellini. Maryland crab soup. Chicken picatta. Shrimp scampi. Mussels in butter and garlic. Chesapeake ravioli.
The specialties of 30 chefs, restaurants and caterers whose reach extends north into Edgewater, west to Clinton and south through Chesapeake Country to Solomons Island come together Sun. April 30 under the big top at Herrington Harbour South in Rosehaven.
If youre fast and hungry, in four hours you can eat it all.
The Taste moves across the harbor from Herrington on the Bay into the new Paradise Ballroom, an oversized tent chefs will fill with intoxicating smells and delectable delights.
Among the caterers, you will find Anna Chaney, Taste host and owner of Herrington on the Bay catering. At Herringtons three tables, youll sample whole pig and pulled pork, their most popular appetizer, crab dip, and finish off with homemade cookies.
We want to offer a broad variety so Southern Marylanders see we can do it all, says Chaney.
Restaurateur Bil Shockley, a partner in Vics Italia by the Bay in Chesapeake Beach, is bringing his homemade tortellini and ravioli.
This will be our fourth year in the Taste of Southern Maryland. Every time Ive been there its packed. Its good exposure and a good cause for raising money, Shockley says.
The Old Stein comes for the same advantages.
Its good exposure for so many of the Southern Anne Arundel County restaurants. People bring their specialties from Shady Side, Edgewater and even Annapolis and farther south, says Mike Selinger, owner of Mayos only bierstube and biergarten.
But what youll taste of his is hardly standard Chesapeake fare. His offerings are platters of German sausage, cheese and potato salad.
A long line means one thing: Great food is waiting for you when you finally arrive at the table.
It always seems like there is somebody who has a specialty that becomes the hottest item at the show. That one particular participant will have a line that extends in front of everyones booth, says Chaney. To cut the wait, she encourages chefs to bring items they can produce quickly.
Guests wont be the only ones in line. Local restaurateurs will be checking out their friendly competition.
We have a chance to get a look at what other people are doing in the industry and to do a little networking, getting some new ideas, Shockley says.
Among those eyeing the tastes of Southern Maryland are five judges. Chefs vie for three awards: Southern Maryland Favorite, for the best specialty of the region; Best Display; and Best Overall.
You can eat and judge, too. On entering the big top, youll get a ballot. By 3pm, you decide on your favorite and turn in the slip. Then stick around to find out if your favorite is the Peoples Choice.
Kids are invited to join in the festivities. Besides sampling good food, kids will find a comical clown, a face painter, moon bounce and a slide. And the young and old have a chance to cruise around the harbor, free, on Margaritaville.
When youve had your fill of eating, settle down to listen to music. This year, performers are the John Luskey Show and Satin Doll Trio.
All together, Taste of Southern Maryland is a memorable event.
People always remember us from the year before. Everyone is always raving about the fun of the event and how inexpensive it is, says Chaney. Its not like a normal festival where things are escalated. We try to keep it affordable. That adds to the appeal, Chaney says.
Food samples are included in the admission price of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Micro-brewed beer and wine costs $2, and sodas are $1.
Proceeds from the Taste of Southern Maryland benefit educational programs in the hospitality industry. This year, the culinary arts department at Anne Arundel Community College and the Maryland Hospitality Education Fund benefit.
Youll taste where your money goes in this benefit. College chefs are preparing dessert and a fruit and cheese crudité.
This event allows people in the area who appreciate hospitality services to see some of our students in action. In turn, our students look forward to this each year and are appreciative that we have friends like Anna Chaney and Herrington on the Bay, says Mary Ellen Mason, of the college.
Chaney offers one last piece of advice to Bay Weekly eaters.
If you havent been, definitely try to come out on Sunday and get acquainted with some of the restaurants and caterers in the area that you might not know about. And have fun.
Herrington Harbour South
Route 261 Rose Haven 410/741-5101
Proprietor and Host: Anna Chaney
Admission: $10 for adults (10 sample tickets) & $5 for children under 12 (5 sample tickets)
Reason to go: Food, fun and more food make a Sunday afternoon spent the right way.
Something to think about: All of your neighbors will be there, too. Come early to get a head start.