Touting Maryland's bestYou know the drill. Company...


Touting Maryland's best

You know the drill. Company comes to see the Inner Harbor. When you ask what they would like to eat, they say "s-e-a-f-o-o-d." Of course. You say under your breath, "Here we go again. Where do we take them this time?"

Now it's easier than ever to treat visitors as well as yourself to the best of our favorite home-grown foods as more than 30 restaurants statewide take part in "Maryland's In Season," a monthlong promotion to highlight our seafood, food and produce.

The Restaurant Association of Maryland, the Association of Maryland Wineries, the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Old Bay Co. have been encouraging restaurants to offer specials on everything from crab cakes to Chardonnays. The restaurants are featuring promotional posters, buttons and table tents. Look for special Maryland food inserts that will be clipped to the menus through Sept. 2.

"We need to crow a little bit about how great Maryland food is," says Marcia Harris, executive vice president of the Restaurant Association of Maryland. "That's why we are asking restaurants to identify Maryland items on their menus. . . . Go out to eat in Maryland and it's just identified as crab. If we don't identify the great foods as Maryland foods, how will we ever make people realize how great Maryland food is?"

This is the first year for the promotion. If it is a success, she says, it will be repeated next year.

Among the participating restaurants are: Carroll's Creek Cafe and the Corinthean Room in Loew's Annapolis Hotel in Annapolis; Admiral Fell Inn, Biddle Street Cafe, Francie's, Gampy's, Harbor Court Hotel, Harrison's Pier 5, Harvey House, Haussner's, Phillips Crab House and Webber's in Baltimore; Ikea in White Marsh; Ida's Restaurant in Belair. Crab Shanty and P.J.'s Pub in Ellicott City; Maria's of Westminster in Owings Mills; Friendly Farm and Westminster Inn in Westminster.

For a complete list of restaurants and more information, call the ,, Restaurant Association of Maryland at 298-0011 or (800) 874-1313.

Look what's brewing

The Baltimore Brewing Co. is now offering "Brew to Go" -- convenient 2-liter, flip-top bottles that can be purchased at the bar and taken home.

The new policy, which began July 29, was made possible when the Baltimore Brewing Co.'s lobbyist, Steven Lebowitz, appealed the Maryland General Assembly and got permission to allow the brew pub to conduct "off-premise" retail sales -- a business practice that was banned in the aftermath of Prohibition.

Here's how it works. The first time you buy the 2-liter draft beer the cost is $18.50 -- $12 deposit for the bottle and $6.50 for the brew. Refills are $6.50 each. You can get lager (smooth, lightly hopped beer with 4.7 percent alcohol), pils (highly hopped beer with a strong but well-rounded bitterness and 5.3 percent alcohol), dark (full-bodied beer with a slightly roasted flavor and full malt taste and 5.3 percent alcohol) and weizen (wheat beer with the complex fruitiness and 5.4 percent alcohol).

Cooking up a career

Go to work every day and wish you had an entirely different career? Laid off and having a difficult time finding a job in your field? Or out of high school and out of extra cash? If you have ever dreamed of a career in the culinary arts, now is your chance to go for it.

The Cooking Advancement Research and Education Foundation is accepting applications for the 1992 Culinary Scholarship and Research Grant Program, including a $2,000 grant toward a two-year Cooking Certificate Course at Baltimore's International Culinary College and a $4,500 tuition assistance grant for the one-year Culinary Career Training Program at L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda.

"All men and women interested in pursuing culinary careers and receiving the highest quality training are eligible," according to Nancy Kirby Harris, CAREF executive chairman.

This year's 47 scholarships are valued at more than $129,000. They will be offered to applicants, ages 18 to 45, who are seeking primary education, continuing professional advancement or a change in careers.

The list includes 33 schools -- ranging from Le Cordon Bleu in London to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. For more information, write: CAREF Scholarships, 304 West Liberty St., Suite 201, Louisville, Ky. 40202. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 15, 1992. Please allow two to three weeks receive information.

Too tied up to cook?

Many of us crave the flavors of exotic cuisines but don't have the time or the skills to whip up our favorite restaurant dishes at home.

In fact, one of the most time-consuming cuisines to duplicate is Thai, which often requires painstaking squeezing of tamarind pulp and careful mulling of hard-to-find ingredients in a mortar and pestle.

Now three new seasoning products have been added to the line of Tommy Tang's Thai Seasonings so anyone, even those with minimal cooking skills, can whip up a Thai meal in minutes.

Tommy Tang, a celebrity chef with restaurants in New York City and Los Angeles, is now offering peanut sauce, Thai sate marinade and honey ginger sauce. The suggested retail price is $5.25 each. They contain no monosodium glutamate or chemical additives. Tommy Tang seasonings are available locally at Cross Keys Market and Harvey's Greenspring Station.

The Tidbits column welcomes your organization's food-related event notices, contest announcements and news items. We regret that we are not equipped to respond to recipe requests. Please send press releases to Tidbits, Attn: Charlyne Varkonyi, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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