view counter

Features (News)

Wild Orchid chef takes over Sam’s kitchen

It’s a new year. With the flip of a calendar comes a chance to renew, refresh and remodel.
    In Annapolis, the new year offers opportunity for two local restaurateurs to help each other.
    Andrew Parks, owner of Sam’s on the Waterfront, has announced his new executive chef, Jim Wilder. Chef Wilder recently closed his Westgate Circle restaurant Wild Orchid after a difficult three-year tenure.
    Timing is everything, so hopes Parks, who has struggled to consistently employ an executive chef in the eight years he has owned the waterfront restaurant built in 1986 by his grandfather, the original Sam.
    Each man endeavors to bring the best of his farm-to-table vision in this new marriage of culinary talents. Each restaurant has — or has had — the green restaurant certification.
    At Sam’s, Parks takes the front-of-house role with Wilder running the kitchen.
    In the past, Wilder has worked both ends of the operation, with 13 years at the helm of his highly regarded Eastport Wild Orchid his pinnacle, to the head-scratching move to the behemoth at the Severn Bank Building — a move that would be his undoing.
    Few understood Wilder’s decision to sell the warm and comfortable 40-seat Eastport café in 2010 and move to the 250-seat former Greystone Grill on the other side of town.
    That decision “was not based on sound business models. I had to keep my mind occupied,” Wilder said, after the untimely death of his and wife Karen’s son, Andrew Wall, from brain cancer in 2009. “It was the bottom. And I deal with depression by keeping busy. Depression drove me.”
    Building a dream kitchen provided a needed distraction from grief. It also afforded access and opportunity to expand Wilder’s Company’s Coming catering business, along with a large floor plan that offered him ideal accessibility for his wheelchair.
    The dream was not meant to be. The restaurant closed in July 2013.
    Parks has his own challenges keeping Sam’s profitable and relevant. Hidden within the gated Chesapeake Harbour Marina community, the restaurant is difficult to find. Warm weather brings boaters out and swells the population of Chesapeake Harbour, where many residents are summer only. Still, Parks estimates that 80 percent of his business comes from outside the community. Getting diners in the door is an ongoing pursuit. Parks hopes hiring a well-known chef will do the trick.
    Chef Wilder brings his most popular dishes to the menu. Butternut squash soup with crab, scallops Napoleon and pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon join Sam’s favorites: lobster mac ’n’ cheese, rockfish and Kobe burgers (half-price on Tuesday).
    The transition has been subtle thus far, though Parks is enthusiastic about a new winter menu and many collaborative surprises to come.

Got a tasty tip for a future’s Dish? Email Lisa Knoll at thedish@bayweekly.com.

Beekeepers know it takes a healthy Earth to build a healthy hive

Spending your free time with thousands of stinging insects may seem odd. But love is a funny thing, and passion arises unbidden from unlikely sources.
    Across Bay Country, devotees of the humble honeybee lovingly tend their hives and work to help them thrive. At the same time, beekeepers are caught up in an impassioned fight to protect bees.
...

He and Tom Sawyer invite you on five weeks of adventures

The rumor of Mark Twain’s death has apparently been very greatly exaggerated. For the legendary American storyteller, born as Samuel Clemens in 1835 in Florida, Mo., is paying Annapolis a second visit — 109 years after his first and 106 years after his death on April 21, 1910.
...

The Road to Recovery

Will you drive cancer patients to treatment?

If you, a friend or a loved one has battled cancer, you know that getting to and from treatment adds one more challenge. The American Cancer Society program Road to Recovery helps overcome that one. Last year, across the nation volunteer drivers used their cars to give 341,000 free rides to patients.
...

One More Eye in the Sky

Demystifying that red helicopter

You don’t have to have been sobered by the movie Eye in the Sky to know that the airspace between us and the constellations is getting more traffic.
    What’s up there, you wonder?
    For that red-and-white helicopter you’ll see hovering above utility lines this spring, here’s the answer.
...

Rivers and creeks need floodplains to absorb and trap runoff

If you’ve ever biked or driven down Muddy Creek Road in Edgewater, you may have caught a glimpse of its namesake: a small stream called Muddy Creek, roughly half a mile south of Mill Swamp Road.
...

STEM program combines ­engineering and fun

Hallie Zlokovitz dips her fingers into a tub of sticky, greasy toilet ring wax and stuffs it into what looks like a film container. At the next table, Emily Ernst has pushed her sleeves up above her colorful bracelets so that she doesn’t get the wax on them. Kathryn Willhite takes sandpaper to the motors that power her Sea-3P0 model.
...

Consignment auction raises funds for Anne Arundel County Young Farmers

Farming for Our Heritage is printed on T-shirts proudly worn by young farmers of Anne Arundel County. Their love of the soil and its bounty is inherited from parents and grandparents.
...

School-age artists wanted to paint, draw and win prizes

Horses hold a special place in both the American heart and American art.
    Though not native to our continent, horses resonated with the great painters of the early American West — George Catlin, Karl Wimer and Frederick Remington — as symbols of primal power. Look in many middle schoolers’ notebooks or any art gallery, and you’ll see the tradition continues.
...

Churches on a mission to save the Bay

Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.
–Hymn by Robert Lowry

 

...