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Food and Drink

From my vineyard, I can see the thriving growth of Maryland wine

Late this summer, my son and I finished the fifth harvest from our vineyards in Southern Maryland. At the same time, Slack Wine and Vineyards also finished our second showing at the Maryland Wine Festival in Westminster, along with 39 other licensed Maryland wineries.

Naptown barBAYq returns with good tastes for good works

Come May 4, the air will be heavy with the smell of charcoal, smoke and slow-cooked meats as dozens of hard-core barbecue aficionados fire up their grills at the second annual Naptown barBAYq contest and music festival.     Hosted by the Parole Rotary Foundation, this year’s event kicks off Friday afternoon at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds and continues all day Saturday, culminating in the crowning of the Kansas City Barbecue Society Grand Champion.

You may think of the snakehead as an invading monster, but Chef Chad Wells urges you to embrace it as a delicacy

The best prize you can win for catching a snakehead is the fish itself. That’s Chef Chad Wells’ take on Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ much-ballyhooed snakehead fishing competition, opening a second season as warmer waters bring the toothy invasive into catching range.     Wells, chef at Alewife in Baltimore, is an avid snakehead fisherman, which is how he came to be Maryland’s first chef to serve the fish commercially.

In Irish outposts, St. Patrick’s Day means more than green beer

Forty million Americans — about 13 percent of us — trace our roots to Ireland. But on St. Patrick’s Day, everybody’s Irish. We dress up like leprechauns, feast on corn beef and cabbage and drink beer green.     Green beer? How Irish is that?     “We don’t do green beer in Ireland,” says Dublin-born Colm Coyne, general manager of the Irish Channel in Crofton.

Napa, Sonoma ... and now North Beach

You don’t have to travel to California, nor even to Virginia, to get to Wine Country. Maryland is fast making up for lost time as a grape-growing, wine-making region.     “There are 50 wineries in the state, and their production is booming,” said Regina McCarthy, Maryland Wineries’ marketing coordinator.     In Calvert County, old tobacco soils are proving the Patuxent Wine Trail is ripe for the picking.

New logo directs you to what’s local on Annapolis menus

If you think you’re eating at a farmers market when enjoying a dish at an Annapolis restaurant like b.b. Bistro or Level because of the freshness of the food, you’d be close.     These restaurants and others are spearheading the city’s Green Plate Program, featuring ingredients grown within 300 miles. These 50 percent-plus delectables will be noted on the menu with a Green Plate icon plus the names of the farm of origin.

The Parole Rotary Foundation’s inaugural Naptown barBAYq contest and festival is sure to wet your appetite

Anticipation is such an alluring spice that I can smell it already.         By the very early hours of Saturday, May 14, you’ll smell it too. The smokey scent of the Parole Rotary Foundation’s inaugural Naptown barBAYq contest and festival will curl into Arnold, Edgewater, Crownsville, beckoning you to the grounds of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

South of the Mason-Dixon line, ham rules the Thanksgiving feast

Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of green eggs — or ham. In spite of Sam’s urgings, I say ham is a good chunk of pork wasted, no matter if it’s smoked, spiced, spiraled or, heaven forbid, stuffed. Stuffing belongs in turkeys. Maybe a pork chop. But never a ham. Try it? No way, I sniffed.  Even after more than two decades living in Calvert County, I still turned my nose at the locally celebrated gastronomical confusion known as Southern Maryland stuffed ham. I never got close to one, never even set eyes on one.

Chesapeake Country Chefs share their recipes for signature Thanksgiving side dishes — and more

There’s going to be turkey, you can bet on it, writes Richard Whelan, general manager at Pirates Cove. Whether you’re going to a friend’s or relative’s house, or, maybe they are all coming to your house, chances are there is going to be a big fat roasted turkey in your future come Thanksgiving. That’s why we call it Turkey Day. Maybe even a ham. A good, salty, country ham if you’re lucky.

Maryland chefs show you how to keep your cool when the mercury bubbles

It’s too hot to cook. Yet the heat that’s stewing us is sugaring the peach, sweetening the corn, swelling the crab.That’s summer’s dilemma. The heat that cooks fruits and vegetables — even Maryland seafood — to perfection is the same heat that’s stewing you.