Table Talk: Duff's new adventures are coated in sugar

Duff Goldman had a "blast" making his new Food Network series — "I got to check out the country. They let me off the leash."

His new project is "Sugar High," a six-episode series debuting Aug. 8. The show sends Goldman and his motorcycle on a "cross-country trek to capture sweet secrets and tasty techniques … in the top dessert destinations around the country."


Sweets along the way include chilled bread pudding on the Venice Boardwalk in Los Angeles, tableside s'mores in Dallas, apple strudel in Chicago, lemon ginger mousse in Boston and traditional rice pudding in Philadelphia and Sno Ballz from the first-ever, shaved-ice machine in New Orleans.

"It's about the desserts. It's about the process. It's about the food," said Goldman, describing his new TV series. "But beyond that it's about the chefs and their stories. Pastry chefs are some of the most interesting people. Some of them are lawyers, and some of them are on work release."

Most of all, Goldman wanted "Sugar High" to be fun.

"The show is really funny," he said. "People are so afraid to not take themselves seriously. There's too much competition. Instead of chefs competing with each other, let's have fun."

Goldman thinks viewers will enjoy watching him hang out with his fellow pastry chefs and bakers.

"I'm surprised they let us keep in some of the jokes," Goldman said. "The crew has three Triple A hockey players on it, and we kept cracking them up."

"I don't have a host-y personality. I just go in and talk and react. I try to be as goofy and funny as possible."

For Goldman, "Sugar High" returns him to his passion. "I never lost my passion for pastries, but I think it definitely dimmed because I was concentrating on one thing.

"I rediscovered my love for pastries. This is the best job."

Bagby expansion

The Bagby Restaurant Group has released details about their two new restaurant concepts in the Bagby Building, along with the news that Christopher "Squints" Becker will be leaving the

Wine Market

to join its company as co-executive chef with Mark Davis.

The first, a contemporary bistro named



, and located adjacent to Bagby Pizza Company, is tentatively scheduled to open in late August.

TEN TEN, Bagby representative Jayson Fricke says, will offer "a warm urban setting with a contemporary American menu at affordable prices. It's a neighborhood café, elegant bistro and eclectic tavern all balanced into one beautiful and inviting space. The varied menu is crafted to fit any mood from casual bites to special occasion, making it the perfect place for a quick bite, intimate meal for fun gathering place with friends."

The opening date for the second restaurant, Fleet Street Kitchen, an open-kitchen, farm-to-table style will be announced later this summer.

When Becker leaves the Wine Market, he will be joining Davis, formerly of

The Woodfire

in Severna Park and

Baltimore Country Club

, who arrived at Bagby Restaurant Group last month. They will jointly direct the culinary elements of

Bagby Pizza Co.,


Fleet Street Kitchen

, according to a represenative for the company.

Reading the crab shells

There's still not any public hand-holding, but the attraction between Cordish Cos. and

Phillips Seafood

is obvious. Still, both sides have kept resolutely mum. Now, a city agency may have spilled the beans about their courtship. Proposed plans to renovate the Power Plant exterior for a new Phillips Seafood restaurant are on Thursday's agenda of the city's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel.

The agenda item, which was first reported by The Daily Record, lists the developer as "Phillips" and the architect as the Baltimore-based "Design Collective."

Phillips announced it was ending its 31-year relationship with Harborplace last month, and since then, representatives of the seafood restaurant and the Cordish-operated Power Plant have steadfastly brushed aside talk of Phillips moving across the harbor into the old ESPN space in the Power Plant.

The panel's meeting, which members of the public are invited to observe, will be held at 12:30 p.m. on the eighth floor of the Benton Municipal building.

Vincent Rallo,

the endlessly ebullient owner of Rallo's Restaurant in Locust Point, died on July 7 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson.

Rallo's stands at the gateway to Locust Point, which was unknown territory in the 1980s, when the settlement of Federal Hill began to spread to the south and west. Rallo's was the introduction to the area for many of newcomers, and Vincent Rallo was the first friendly face they saw.