Which isn't to say Walsh thinks everyone is ready for rose, particularly in savory dishes. When he made a batch of the lamb stew last week for the Walters Art Museum's cafe, which Chef's Expressions runs, he went lighter than usual on the rose water.

"If I'm controlling the clientele, like at a wine dinner, they'll go for it," he said. "Our clients are very, very cool. When they want something from us, they're pretty into food. … When you're doing it for the [general] public, you have to go a little delicate on it."


Quick & easy rose buttercream icing

Makes: enough to frost a dozen cupcakes or an 8-inch cake

1 pound unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup rose syrup or 1/4 up crushed dried Heirloom roses (untreated with pesticides)

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

In a mixing bowl, whip softened butter until fluffy, about 10 minutes. On low speed, slowly add rose flavoring (or petals) and sugar. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl to whip evenly. Once the mixture is light and fluffy, gently stream in whole milk in small increments until completely incorporated.

Give the buttercream one last even mix and you're done. Pipe or spread on cakes or cupcakes.

Recipe courtesy of chef Anisha Jagtap of Puffs & Pastries bakery

Lamb tagine

Makes: 6 servings

2 1/2 pound boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces or lamb shanks

1 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, divided

3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger