Culinary expert and registered dietitian Amanda Archibald believes food, rather than laughter, is the best medicine.
By Kelly Brooks
Photos by Andrew Murdock
One by one, the women gather around the kitchen table. Ducking in from the cold, rainy evening, we eagerly munch on a veggie spread with homemade hummus and settle in to talk about that most delicious and difficult topic: food.
It’s our first class in the five-part “Hearth to Health” course that promises to explain basic nutrition science and give us hands-on cooking practice, too. Our host, New Market resident and registered dietitian Amanda Archibald, is there to help us bridge the “no-man’s land, the synaptic gap” that occurs when doctors or dietitians give us science-based diet advice, and then we go home, look in the fridge and have no idea what to cook.
Most of us are here for our health. Elena wants to kick her acid reflux prescription; Connie’s so sensitive to medications she can’t take most pills. Casey has had to eat gluten-free foods for more than 20 years, and I’ve recently gone vegan after watching the documentaryForks Over Knives. Judy, who owns a local organic farm, wants to be able to connect her customers to better nutrition information and resources, and Christine, who owns The Kitchen Studio where we are meeting, is “trying not to be my dad and take 1,000 pills every day.”
We all have questions: Is eating organic actually more nutritious than non-organic? What’s all the hype we hear about omega-3s? How do you eat healthy on a budget? How can I squeeze food prep into my crazy schedule?
For the next 90 minutes, surrounded by gleaming stainless steel appliances and stacks of muffin tins, serving trays and food processers, we listened while Archibald cut through the hype and focused on the food facts. By the end of the evening, we were able to piece together how all the different health tidbits we’d heard – such as the importance of leafy greens, probiotics and omega-3s – fit together to create a nutritious diet. And we were juiced up to come back for the next four classes, where we’ll get to prepare some of the foods we’d talked about that evening.
I called Archibald after class to get the skinny on Hearth to Health.
Q: What is “Hearth to Health” all about?
A: I will do anything to help people get back into the kitchen! Reclaiming the kitchen space is the only way you’ll truly own your health, your diet and your life.
You can be a gourmet chef, or you can have no culinary skills or nutrition knowledge and be scared to death. You’ll learn simple deeply nourishing meals that use one burner, one pot or pan, a knife and chopping board.
The goal is to take you through how food works in your body and look at what you need to eat regardless of whether you’re healthy or sick.
Q: How did you come up with this idea?
A: The day that I graduated with a degree in dietetics, I was an expert in the interpretation of clinical nutritional science, but I couldn’t talk to people about food.
I realized that nurses, doctors or dietitians will talk with the voice of science and explain to you, clinically, what’s wrong with you, but they won’t get you excited about food. I wanted to answer the question: What will help Americans make food make sense?
Q: What does that mean: “make food make sense”?
A: I grew up in the UK with a stepfather who is a French wine expert. We were exposed to an amazing table, and he was very influential in helping shine a different lens on food. He gave me a lecture one day and said, “Wine has its own vocabulary, arms, legs, a soul and a voice.”
I thought that was interesting, so when I started looking at food, I wanted to tell stories — beyond the simple science — to make food come alive for people. I want people to get it, embrace it and feel like it’s important in their lives.
Q: Why is food important?
A: Because food is nutrition. The Hearth to Health program is about deeply understanding your body’s system and how food fits into that. It goes way beyond giving you a list of foods to eat.
Meanwhile, the medical field is moving toward integrative medicine. Doctors aren’t just treating your symptoms anymore; they’re looking for the root of the problem, which i often nutrition, environmental exposure or both. I’m here to help you taste the science that your doctor keeps talking to you about.
Q: Where can I learn Hearth to Health cooking?
A: In Frederick, you can take the entire Hearth to Health series at The Kitchen Studio. I’ll also offer the course in a shorter format at The Common Market and other locations.
Plans for the future include teaching Hearth to Health online via live video chat. You can set your iPad or computer up in the kitchen. You can see me cooking, and you can cook right along. I’ll be able to see all the students and answer questions right from my kitchen. I also plan to bring in guest chefs and nutrition experts from around the country into these online forums.
I love to see folks sign up for my classes, but in the end, I don’t care what class they attend. Wherever they learn their skills, whatever gets them in the kitchen, I’m all about it.
Culinary expert Amanda Archibald of New Market is the founder and owner of Field to Plate, a visionary and nationally acclaimed food education company that marries the science of nutrition with the art of the kitchen to create a flavorful experience of food, nourishment, health and the environment. With her cooking skill and nutritional know-how, Archibald’s Hearth to Health classes teach you how to use food as medicine and create tasty meals in 30 minutes or less.
Hearth to Health Series
- Intro Class: $20
- Deep Clean, High Octane Cuisine: $70
- Omega-3 Cuisine: $70
- Slow Food Cuisine: $70
- Build Your Best Defense Cuisine: $70
- Or take all 5 classes: $260
To learn more, visit www.FieldToPlate.com.
Moroccan lamb tagine with Israeli couscous
You can enjoy heavenly gourmet fare at All Saints’ Episcopal Church suppers — no covered dish required!
By Christine Van Bloem
Photography by Casey Martin
Moroccan lamb tagine with Israeli couscous, perfectly poached red snapper flavored by an uber-tangy key lime sauce, handmade butternut squash ravioli served in a rich brown butter sauce….
Those exotic and mouthwatering delicacies may sound like menu items from one of Frederick’s fine dining establishments, but they’re just a few recent examples of the food that regularly graces the tables at All Saints’ Episcopal Church Community Dinner. Local gourmands in the know congregate at the downtown Frederick church the second Wednesday of each month, paying just $15 for a meal of divine delights that are a far cry from your typical covered dish supper.
Exuberant and talented amateur executive chef Harry Lawrence is the leader of this foodie flock. Harry, his wife Jeanne and a dedicated staff of volunteers have been treating parishioners and the public to gourmet dinners for nearly a decade. Don’t let the fact that Lawrence owns a construction crane business fool you. This is a man devoted to both creating and enjoying excellent food from around the world. His work travels span the continents and he dines faithfully at all the best restaurants that any corner of this planet has to offer. Lawrence savors each and every bite as he dissects dishes and ponders how to bring what he’s learned to his fans back home.
So while there’s no covered dish involved, there remains an element of potluck. Every month, the gourmet guru pushes his skills and those of his crew to prepare new and impressive food. “Think we can do squab?” Harry asks as he throws it out to his crew, knowing that no, it may not yet be time to offer pigeon to the masses.
Blessed with an ever-so-patient and gifted mate, Lawrence’s wife Jeanne scurries behind the scenes during prep, kneading handmade pasta for the ravioli (a dish that features squash right from a parishioner’s overflowing garden), helping with service or even cuddling and rocking the babies of guests.
Bob Fowle, Harry’s right-hand man and sous chef, holds a day job with Marriott, but is also a graduate of the Frederick Community College culinary program and a part-time intern at Volt, Frederick’s famed fine dining establishment. Fowle works to translate the high-end gourmet skills he’s acquired to Lawrence’s plots and plans to create gastronomic indulgences.
Desserts are deliciously prepared by sweets lover Dan Lajewski. From cheesecakes with lemon curd and fresh peach cobbler all the way to a croquembouche (an elaborate large pyramid of filled miniature cream puffs), Lajewski is the man when it comes to getting your sugar on. He’s ready to accept any sugary challenge and has a bevy of church youth available to lend a hand with the serving cart each month.
A prayer of thanksgiving is offered at every meal, which starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. — but that’s about as “churchy” as it gets. If there’s a spiritual message, it’s about sharing an evening of food, fun and fellowship. Service is informal buffet-style, with the kitchen staff manning the line. Wine is available for a small donation to the church, although guests often bring their own bottle. Working menu miracles on a low budget, Lawrence and crew have made these dinners into a profit center for All Saints’, contributing the proceeds from each dinner to the church fund.
So who the devil attends these stupendous suppers? Greg Feeser, a downtown Frederick resident, isn’t a member of All Saints’, but he’s been a regular attendee for more than a year. “A friend of mine told me about it. It’s a great way to get together,” he says. “I don’t even care what they’re serving. It’s fun to be surprised and the food is always good.”
Heavily involved in their church community, Mark and Sara Gibson have been in it for the long haul. “The lamb is always special,” she declares.
Her husband adds, “We’re grateful we have people with such wonderful skills and talent that support fellowship and goodwill. Everyone is treated with the same level of love and respect.”
Participant and non-parishioner Donna Jameison, no stranger to fine dining herself, couldn’t be more enthusiastic. “It’s an atmosphere of friendship and fellowship, and the food is freakin’ great! What really sticks out is what they do with vegetables. It’s astonishing! I am so enamored of this event every month. I don’t care what the menu is; I just want to come here.”
Be prepared, though. Since these dinners are meant to serve both the church and Frederick communities, church events obviously take precedence. With Valentine’s Day, February is usually a huge blowout month, but this year that month’s dinner just happens to fall on Ash Wednesday, so it will be a kickoff for the season. Lawrence has planned a menu with a variety of three gourmet soups — an attempt to keep it all veggie for Lent.
Prayer helps but reservations are better
With the number of people who flock to this monthly gourmet church supper, you may need divine intervention to get a seat if you didn’t buy tickets in advance. Register online (payments are processed through PayPal). You can view that month’s menu, register online and purchase tickets through PayPal at www.allsaintsmd.org/gourmet-night.php. All Saints’ Episcopal Church is located at 106 W. Church St. in Frederick.
By Christine Van Bloem
Photos by Erick Gibson
Whether you prefer your apple juice fresh or fermented, this cider house rules
As summer begins the gentle slide into fall, thoughts turn to the comfort foods of the season, including apple cider. Whether you’re hoping to find fresh cider or the alcoholic hard cider, Distillery Lane Ciderworks (DLC), located just outside of Burkittsville, has you covered.
For owners Rob Miller and Patty Power, it’s all about the apples. Miller and Power “found the house and property and fell in love,” according to the couple; the two relocated from Washington, D.C. in 2001. With more than 40 varieties of apples under cultivation on the farm, fruit that forms the base of their fresh and fermented hard cider, Power believes that by creating their varieties of hard ciders, “We’re making wine out of apples.” Although both Miller and Power hold full-time jobs away from the farm, DLC is no hobby. The family includes three children, two currently in college and one already a college graduate, all working tirelessly to build the business.
Hard cider was once the most popular beverage in America, although its popularity declined after Prohibition and once beer began gaining a foothold in the market. Today, everything old is new again, with popularity rising thanks to artisan cider makers like DLC popping up across the country. Owning the first licensed “cidery” in Maryland since 2010, Miller and Power wanted to grow something they liked.
As apples have been cultivated over time, there are some varieties that are best suited for cider making and those for cooking and fresh fruit uses. Cider makers look for apple varieties that are generally more bitter tasting, since these varieties of apples won’t taste great until pressed into fresh juice or fermented into hard cider. Good luck finding Brambley’s Seedling, Porter’s Perfection or Snowsweet at your local market! At DLC, approximately half of the apple varieties grown are meant for fresh fruit distribution and in pasteurized products, with the other half ripe for fermenting.
To make great cider, the apples are picked, sorted to remove leaves and stems, washed, then rolled via conveyor belt onto the rack-and-cloth press. Fruit is layered onto the press and covered with a cloth. Another layer of apples, another layer of cloth and so on are added until the stack is 14 layers deep. The apples are then squeezed, while the juice drips into a container held below the press. It takes just 6 ½ apples to make a 750-ml bottle of hard cider, according to DLC.
The farm currently produces nine varieties of hard cider. “Kingston Black” uses just one variety of apple and tastes truly like biting into an apple fresh from the tree, but with a little kick. Blends run the gamut from the sweeter Jefferson blend to American Extra Dry. Hard ciders at DLC average 7 ½ percent alcohol, with the ice wine-style Winterfest coming in at a hefty 10 ½ percent. Prices range from $12 to $25 per bottle, with most ciders offered in 500-ml or 750-ml bottles.
In 2012, you’ll be enjoying apples from the 2011 crop that were picked, pressed and fermented mostly in steel casks. Like fine wines, a few of the blends are “oaked” (stored in oak casks) for a short period of time.
Distillery Lane Ciderworks is located at 5533 Gapland Rd. in Jefferson. Fall hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays from noon-5 p.m. Contact them at 301-834-8920 or DistilleryLaneCiderworks.com for more information. Tastings are $5 for 1- to 4- ounce pours and include a stylish glass to take home.
Sipping Some Cider
If you’re looking to score some fresh cider of your own and don’t want to make the trip to DLC, South Mountain Creamery delivers fresh cider to their customers during the fall. In addition to purchasing and tasting hard ciders on the farm, you can also check out these locations:
Frederick Wine House
Clemson Corner Shopping Center
7820 Wormans Mill Rd., Suite L, Frederick
1299 Riverbend Way, Frederick
Locally, Dan’s Restaurant and Taphouse, 3 S. Main St. in Boonsboro, carries DLC hard cider on tap. If you want to get your fancy on, be sure to make a reservation and head to Baltimore favorite Woodberry Kitchen, where this wonderful elixir is made into chic cocktails. If you don’t have a designated driver to chauffeur you back afterward, try tippling this Whiskey Smash at home from the folks at Woodberry Kitchen:
3 ounces DLC sparkling hard cider (Celebration Cider is recommended)
1 ounce smooth Kentucky bourbon
Splash of fresh lemon juice
Pinch of fresh rosemary
Bitters (Woodberry Kitchen uses their own in-house bitters, but any brand will work)
Shake or stir all ingredients together and serve in a highball glass on the rocks.
By Christine Van Bloem
Photography By Erick Gibson
Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer! But maybe Leninade strawberry lemonade soda is more your idea of a party, comrade. Could be that you like to get fruity with it and enjoy a Peach Nehi instead. No matter what your soft drink craving is, the North Market Pop Shop in downtown Frederick can quench it.
This little snazzy, soda-lovin’ shop caters to the thirsty and sugar-deprived alike with a fantastic assortment of fizzy beverages served in old-fashioned glass bottles. The shop carries dozens of different brands and flavors, from colas and cream sodas to bubblegum and tangy fruit tastes.
We all know the supposed cachet of forgoing the can and going straight for the glass bottle: the heft in your hand, the colorful display of the contents, the eye-catching label art, the way it stays cool for just a bit longer …. Really, nothing beats those sassy, classy
bottles, and we all know it.
Pop Shop owner Jason Laird feels the same way. Making the drive to small bottling plants like Kutztown Soda Works and Reading Draft in Pennsylvania, Laird fills his van with clattering cases to sell, constantly searching and tasting, looking for just the right fit for Frederick’s taste buds.
Laird longed to be part of a Main Street-type community and opened the North Market Pop Shop in September 2010, hoping to build a business where the entire family could take part. With his wife Susanna, master pop researcher, and four kids ranging in ages from 3 to 13, it looks like Jason got his wish.
His son Ace is Laird’s handiest shop assistant and at 11 years old has already developed his own take on sodas and combos. Designing a float of epic proportions and decadence, I go straight for the Dang! Butterscotch Root Beer and vanilla ice cream from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Not Ace. His favorite combo? Mountain Dew and cookies and cream ice cream. It’s enough to make my
adult teeth ache.
Looking to create your own soda-jerk masterpiece and trump Ace? Choose a drink from the cooler and select your ice cream; the Pop Shop folks will be happy to make the float of your dreams come true. Floats run a flat $5 and can be mixed from any of nine flavors of ice cream and over 60 varieties of pop. After tasting 26 types personally — a task I take on solely in your best interests, my dear readers — I’m devoted to that darn Dang! Butterscotch Root Beer and the Sprecher Cherry Cola, made with real Wisconsin cherry juice.
Throwing a soiree this summer? Treat your guests and yourself to an assortment of bottles of carbonated deliciousness. Available in mixed cases, you can specify a particular type of soda, say root beer, cream soda, or ginger beer (a bit spicier than its sweeter cousin ginger ale), or let the master soda-ologists pull together a case with a true variety. A case of 24 runs $45, including tax. Grab a couple of inexpensive galvanized tubs from the local hardware store, load ’em up with ice and you’re set for a party full of sweetness, fizz and fun. Individual bottles run $2.25, or grab a six-pack for $12.
And here’s my tip for you more adventurous local flavor cravers: Try the vanilla gelato swirled with blueberries steeped in Market Street neighbor Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium’s Blueberry Balsamic vinegar. Put something that sounds like salad dressing on ice cream? Seriously? It’s astoundingly good and crazy delicious. Taste it for yourself.
North Market Pop Shop
The North Market Pop Shop is located at 237 N. Market St. in Frederick. It’s open during the summer (May-September) on Monday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1-6 p.m. For more information, call the shop at 240-575-9070 or visit NorthMarketPopShop.com.
For more information on Author and Chef Christine Van Bloem, visit the Frederick Foodie blog.
Bryan Voltaggio makes baby food at home
By Pattee Brown Photos by Bill Millios
I was shopping at the grocery store the other day and found myself wandering down the baby foods aisle. (Yes, clearly I was lost.) However, in my straying ways I noticed the wall of baby food that’s a fixture in most su- permarkets—and thought to myself: Really? Peas, carrots, apples, pears….pro- cessed and put into jars?
Then I remem- bered that my chef friend, Bryan Volt- aggio, just had a baby—and I found myself wonder- ing: WWBD? So, I asked him; and in true “Bryan-fash- ion,” he invited me to his house to show me how he and his wife do the baby food thing for their chil- dren.
An interview with three Top Chefs in Frederick
By Pattee Brown
Photos by Bill Millios
My curiosity tends to get the best of me, especially when it comes to not only food, but the restaurant industry in general. I heard recently that Bryan Voltaggio, aside from being an outstanding chef unto himself, is also quite the teacher. So good in fact that two of his protégé’s have already moved on to open their own kitchens right here in Frederick. That kind of a contribution—not only to the culinary experience in Frederick, but also to the economic development of Frederick—is why I asked Bryan and his two protégé’s to join me for a discussion.