A deli of delights
If heaven were a delicatessen, it would surely look - and smell - like Mary Giolitti and partner Kathy Briscuso-O'Brien's new food shop in Parole. Arrayed around the warm, mostly-wood interior is a broad range of foods, most, but not all, Italian. There are prepared foods - pasta and tomato paste, roasted peppers, candy, cookies and biscuits, and many kinds of olive oil. Then there are the deli items - prosciutto and mortadella, homemade salami, more than 70 kinds of cheese (including homemade mozzarella), 12 types of olives, homemade pasta and fresh-baked breads.
And then there are the items that will be prepared daily: roast chicken and roast potatoes (just like those served at Trattoria La Piccolo Roma, the restaurant Mary Giolitti and her husband Gino own in downtown Annapolis); pasta and sandwiches and salads (including one made of tiny mozzarella balls, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion and pine nuts that is to die for); breads and Mary Giolitti's special desserts (including the popular Giolitti torte, a cross between cheesecake, ice cream and Key lime pie).
"We really feel good about the products we're putting in here," Ms. Briscuso-O'Brien says. She and Mrs. Giolitti went through more than a hundred markets and factories and stores from New York to Virginia Beach, Va., to select their merchandise.
The store also has beer and more than 200 wines - all reasonably priced, Gino Giolitti says, "so people really have an option of using them as meal wines."
The store has some non-food items - cookbooks and aprons and wicker ham carriers; eventually there will be fresh herbs that people can pick to season their pasta or soups. The wide aisles are designed for browsing, and, mostly for the lunch crowd, there are about a dozen tables in a separate dining area. The inventory will be expanding as the partners discover more items and as customers make requests. They will even do special orders for people who hanker for a particular food that's not easily available.
Giolitti Delicatessen is located at 2068 Somerville Road, just off state Route 450. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call (410) 266-8600.
Answer: A chain saw and a blowtorch. Question: What are the tools of Bob Roberts' trade? And can you guess what the trade is? How about freelance ice sculptor - for that is what Mr. Roberts, who trained as a chef at the Culinary Institute of America, has been doing for the past four years.
Among recent items Mr. Roberts has rendered in ice: a fire truck, Cinderella's slippers, a life-size harem girl and a 7,000-pound cityscape of Baltimore.
Mr. Roberts will be demonstrating his unusual craft in Baltimore from noon to 3 p.m. May 30 in front of the Maryland Science Center at the Inner Harbor. His subject will be a life-size penguin, part of the science center's daylong "Penguin Party" celebrating the museum's latest IMAX movie, "Antarctica."
Event takes a cake
Think of it as an audition with prizes: Wedding cake bakers are invited to show off their wares at a wedding cake competition at 7 p.m. June 10 at Davids Bridal Warehouse, 6320 Ritchie Highway. Judges will include local media personalities and "hundreds" of brides-to-be. The winner will receive a $250 cash prize.
For every cake that is entered, Davids Bridal Warehouse will donate $50 to the North County Emergency Outreach Network (NEON), of Anne Arundel County, which provides food and money to people in need.
Cakes will be judged on the basis of taste, texture and appearance and must serve at least 50 people. Participants must register in advance. Those who'd like to participate should call the store to register, at (410) 789-7309. The Peabody Court hotel's Conservatory restaurant has won a certificate of merit from the Wine and Food Society of Baltimore, the local chapter of the International Wine and Food Society. It was only the latest in a string of recent awards for Peabody Court. Others include top ranking for the hotel from the Mobil Oil Travel Guide, AAA Four Diamond awards for both hotel and restaurant, and the 1992 Zagat Restaurant Guide's Dining Award of Perfection.
Conservatory executive chef Michael Gettier also has been chosen by the James Beard Foundation to present a dinner at the James Beard House May 27. The dinner, part of the Best Hotel Chefs in America series, is about half sold-out already, Mr. Gettier reports. The event costs $60 for Beard Foundation members, $80 for non-members. Reservations may be made by calling (212) 627-2308 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Paul Newman, actor and philanthropist-entrepreneur, has decided to make the Newman's Own recipe contest, first held last year, an annual event. This year the contest, held in conjunction with Good Housekeeping magazine, has been expanded to include several Newman's Own products: salsa, diavolo sauce, olive oil and vinegar dressing, light Italian salad dressing, ranch dressing, or any of the pasta sauces (marinara, marinara with mushrooms or Sockarooni).
Prizes are gifts to the charity of the winner's choice: $50,000 for grand prize, $10,000 for runners-up. In addition, $10,000 will be donated in the name of the store listed on the grand prize entry, and $6,000 on behalf of the stores designated by runners-up. Winners will also receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to New York, where Mr. Newman will preside over final judging at the renowned Rainbow Room.
Complete rules and contest entry forms will appear in the June issue of Good Housekeeping, on newsstands this month. Just to give you an idea of what Mr. Newman likes, here's an example Newman's Own Inc. called one of Mr. Newman's favorites.
Sundance shrimp salad
1 pound cooked large shrimp, peeled and halved crosswise
1 firm ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1/4 pound jicama, peeled, cut into julienne strips
1 carrot, peeled and cut into julienne strips
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup Newman's Own All-Natural Salsa, medium
1/4 cup non- or low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 small head of Bibb lettuce
Combine all ingredients but lettuce in a large bowl, tossing gently to blend well. Spoon into lettuce leaves, dividing evenly.