Scene & Heard: National Aquarium Crab Bash
( Photo by Colby Ware, Special to The Baltimore Sun / July 26, 2011 )
One of the great things about taking a trip is all the great food you get to experience. For the couple hundred folks who went on the B&O American Brasserie's second annual Crab Bash, they didn't even have to leave Baltimore to enjoy a great gustatory jaunt. Guests at the National Aquarium of Baltimore benefit traveled the restaurant and lobby spaces of Hotel Monaco next door. They visited 10 different stations, where their ticket would be punched as they sampled a crab-based dish created by that station's chef. After completing the trip, they voted on their favorite stop.
And just like in any other tour, these travelers each had their favorite locale.
"This is excellent," said Deni Tabor, Ashley Custom Homes chief operating officer, as she and her husband Neil Tabor, Ashley Custom Homes CEO/president, finished off their cups of crab and corn chowder from Philadelphia's Square 1682 chef Guillermo Tellez.
That was also the favorite of Amy DeGeorge, Howard Community College nursing student.
"I liked the pretzel bun with the sausage and crab chili on top," said her friend, Liz Hipp, Howard County Elementary teacher. But, then Hipp's opinion might have been a tad biased, considering that Dave Newman The Brewer's Art chef who created the dish was her husband.
"The ravioli with crabmeat; it's just fantastic," said Jon Chapin, T. Rowe Price business analyst, as he and Will Wharton, Human Resources Research Organization IT programmer, finished off their samples of blue crab and white corn ravioli created by Chef Cyrus Keefer of Maisy's.
"I was very impressed with Riptide [by the Bay]," said Kristina Bachman, there with her husband and V-NO Wine Bar co-owner Mark Bachman. That restaurant's Meredith and Roger Rippel had whipped up a mango crab summer roll.
"We have two favorites; the ravioli and the Brewer's Art chili dog," said Patti Spero, Holabird Sports buyer, speaking for herself and daughter Lizzy Spero, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine medical student.
The Speros would prove to be right on the money. Later that evening, ravioli creator Keefer won the People's Choice award, while crab chili dog maker Newman received top honors from a celebrity judge panel.
However, the tour was proving quite a trek for some. Denise William, freelance patient accounting technician, and Moonyeene Bell, Baltimore pharmacy technician, were sitting on a couch, taking a break from their gustatory excursion.
"I can't believe I ate lunch today. But I pride myself that I made it halfway through," said Williams.
"I'm sleepy. But I'm trying to get through the rest. I've got three more to go," said Bell.
Nearby Leigh Rogers, Revelytix ontologist, Chuck Rogers, Rogers, Moore & Rogers attorney, and Scott Sanders, Long & Foster Realtor, were congratulating themselves on completing the tour.
"It's interesting to see how creative a chef can be. But I'm very full," said Sanders.