The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's A Book - YUM is here!

YUM! Tasty Recipes from Culinary Greats

Birth Date: Thursday, October 25th

Birth Weight: 2 lbs 10 1/4 ounces

Total Recipes: 100

Color Photographs: Yes

Gestation: 4 months conceiving
6 months to publish

Delivery: Aided with the help of many great culinary friends and experts it was easier than expected.

Compiled by: Dara Bunjon (aka Dining Dish)
Jeff Spear - Studio Spear

Four months was a tight time frame but Jeff and I were able to get this book together and off the the publisher. Craziness ensued, my house not central to the recipe testing was still home to the food items over Xmas break at Eastern Technical School. On the final day of photography we were testing recipes at my home late into the night. I'm outside in January working two charcoal grills in the dark. Thank goodness for Steven Raichlen's BBQ tongs with the built-in light, a miner's hat with a light would have been better.

The Offical Press Release:

YUM! Tasty Recipes from Culinary Greats (Cumberland House; October 25, 2007; $28.95) is ready to be eaten. A “giving” book from the onset, being underwritten by Microplane® with their profits on the sale of the book going to the National Kidney Foundation. The giving continued when Dara Bunjon of Dara Does It – Creative Solutions for the Food Industry and Jeff Spear, Studio Spear, co-authors reached out through the Maryland Hospitality Education Foundation to the high school ProStart culinary students to assist in the recipe testing. The students got to work with products they had never seen before, learned the ins-and-outs of a properly written recipe and see alternative career options with food styling and food photography.

Culinary Greats Give!

A collection of mouth-watering recipes from culinary greats renown for their prowess in and around the kitchen. Some of the stellar contributors are Sara Moulton, Nick Malgieri, José Andres, Charlie Trotter, Roy Yamaguchi, Rick Tramonto, Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, Elizabeth Falkner and Susanna Foo.

If those names are not impressive enough, the book also features recipes from Steven Raichlen, Rick Bayless, Nathalie Dupree, Dan Barber, Tom Douglas, Jodie Adams, Ana Sortun, Suvir Saran, Michel Richard, Gael Greene, Susan Hermann-Loomis, Jacques Torres, Joanne Weir, Norman Van Aken, Scott Peacock and many others.

Whether they excel as chefs, restaurateurs, writers and/or culinary educators, they have all worked their way to the top of their respective culinary fields. Each culinary great answers assorted questions with humor and passion on the pages of YUM! giving readers insight to what makes them tick.

You Can Donate

YUM! Tasty Recipes from Culinary Greats is being sold through the normal channels but if purchased at the Maryland Hospitality Education Foundation $15.00 is tax deductible and will benefit the MHEF ProStart program and scholarship fund or direct from Microplane® where all their profits go to the National Kidney Foundation.

Better yet, YUM! is an ideal holiday gift for either the hobby cook up to those avocational cooks who like a good challenge. There is diversity and great recipes for all.

About the Authors

Dara Bunjon, president of Dara Does It – Creative Solutions for the Food Industry, works within and with many aspects in the food industry from public relations, food styling, freelance writing, product development and much more. Also known in Baltimore as Dining Dish, she writes a food blog ( )as well as a foodie newsletter by the same name. Baltimore Style Magazine recently wrote about the blog, “If Lucy Riccardo wrote a blog this would be it.”

Jeffrey Spear is president of Studio Spear, a leading national marketing consultancy based in Baltimore Maryland. The company focuses its strategic and creative efforts on kitchen based “lifestyle” products and caters to both consumer and trade audiences.

Some of Studio Spear’s better known clients have included Anheuser Busch, Disney, BaskinRobbins and Hasbro. While these companies are some of the largest in the country, if not the world, Studio Spear maintains relationships with companies of all sizes and geographic influence.

In Conclusion

What I learned from this experience:

1. I can work closely with someone for 4 months and not put a contract out on their life.
2. The ProStart high school program needs additional help with educational information. A big thank you to Frieda's Produce company for donating their fabulous book The Purple Kiwi for the instructors.
3. Not all chefs can write a recipe well.
4. Most people don't read recipes through.
5. I'm blessed to have so many friends who helped pull off all the recipe testing.
6. I've learned the ins-and-outs of many ethnic groceries in the city.
7. There is a white soy sauce.
8. Geoduck clam is pronounced "Gooey Duck"
9. Jeff and I have different food profiles - his favorites were not mine and vice verse
10. My passion for food and bringing people to the table grows more each day.
11. Rachel Ray, Paula Dean and Giada have nothing to worry about, I'm no threat.

This is a cookbook that keeps giving. Do you need to raise funds for your charity...sell the book, cookbooks are hot for holiday giving. Contact Cumberland Publishing.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Mystery Hot Sandwich

Time to catch the bus back to Baltimore from New York. The bus leaves at 4 p.m. and they ask you to be there 30 minutes ahead. This was my first time on what are commonly called the Chinese buses that transport you to New York and back to Baltimore for $35.00 round trip. That is a whole other story.

The weather was on and off rain and I have learned from one previous trip to be prepared. I head off with a trash bag over my rolling luggage and umbrella in hand. I get off the subway and have a 6 block walk. I'm running late and the bus was waiting but it was still about 3:40 p.m. I stake my claim on two seats hoping that the bus doesn't get full. Even with the umbrella, my hair is dripping wet and my glasses steamed up. I scramble off the bus looking for food. My immediate options were a bakery or little stores where they sell beverages and snacks. I walked into one and asked for food. He said "I have hot sandwich" - I go okay and grabbed a bottle of water - $4.00.

The sandwich was on a crispy sub roll. It was colorful, I recognized carrots, mayonnaise, a pickle and some mystery meat. Not lunch meat, maybe a sausage of some kind. There was some cilantro. I was starving (I only ate breakfast), I was tired,
and I was I indulged in the mystery hot sandwich.

As the bus pulled out of E. Broadway I saw a PHO place and wished I had known it was there and had time to have grabbed that instead of the mystery hot sandwich. If you have a clue of what I ate, let me know. I tend to think it might be Vietnamese in origin.

Friday, October 19, 2007

At The Table with Women Chefs -New York City

A great evening was had by all at Women Chefs and Restaurateurs "At The Table" dinner. I got there a bit early and helped a small bit with setting up the silent auction. Boo hoo, someone out bid me for the 2 tickets to David Letterman and dinner at the Monkey Bar.

What's with the music, well it highlights the photos from the evening's festivities-check them out just below the menu.

It was a great evening and we raised money for culinary scholarships.

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Prince George Ballroom
New York

Honorary Chair: Sara Moulton

Chefs: Anne Burrell, Centro Vinoteca; Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, Lassi; Rebecca Charles, Pearl Oyster Bar; Mary Cleaver, The Cleaver Company; Alina Eisenhauer, Sturbridge Baking Company (Sturbridge, MA); Patti Jackson, Cento Vini; Nancy Olson, Gramercy Tavern; Amy Scherber, Amy’s Bread; Barbara Sibley & Margaritte Malfy, La Palapa; Ivy Stark, Dos Caminos;Patricia Williams, District

Sommeliers: Julee Resendez; Yukari Pratt


Hors d'oeuvres
Almond Shorba

Hudson Valley Lamb and Feta Burgers with Tzatziki on House Made Buns

Mini Roasted Chile Poblano Corn Muffins filled with Queso Cotija, Serrano Ham and Guacasalsa of fresh Tomatillo and Avocado

Ceviche of Fluke with Citrus Ginger Mignonette

L'Hemoniere Sauvignon Blanc, 2006
The Wines of the Alto Adige
Rogue Bower Beers


Hudson Valley Antipasto Carponata, Pumpkin, Pickles and House made Crackers

A Selection of Amy's Breads

Scallop Chowder with Pernod and Thyme
Buttonwood Sauvignon Blanc, 2006

Roasted Pumpkin Farrotto with Gorgonzola Dolce
Ryan Patrick Estate Chardonnay, 2005

Wild Salmon with Charmoula, Couscous and cucumber Lime organic Soy Sour Cream
Woodward Canyon Nelms Road Cabernet Sauvingnon, 2005

Beef Shortrib Brasato in Sforzato di Valtellina with Spaghetti Squash, caramelized Cauliflower and Pioppini Mushrooms
Trinchero Folie a Deux Cabernet Sauvingnon 2005


Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cacao Nib Whipped Cream

Petit Fours

It's Not Sara's Secret Anymore

Praise the lord!!! Hot off the press!!! Sara Moulton is coming back to TV. Sara has gotten her funding and has just started to shoot a PBS TV series. I loved her on the Food Network, I loved her live programming and I've missed her natural grace and sense of humor.

I spoke to Sara last night at a dinner event and we made arrangements to chat for greater details on this upcoming series. Keep you eyeballs glued to Dining Dish for updates and/or sign up for the Dining Dish E-Newsletter. Please know that if you sign up for the newsletter you can safely unsubscribe at anytime.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm So Far Behind

EEEgads, the November Baltimore Style Magazine is coming out and new people will be reading the Dining Dish. I'm not quite sure what Style meant saying my blog was if Lucy Ricardo wrote a blog but I will take it as a compliment.

Okay, so all you new readers here is the poop on Dining Dish. I have multiple post to make but I don't seem to be getting to it. Here is the synopsis.


Yes cheap, we got the AARP discount at the Fenwick Inn the week after Labor Day at $39.50 a night for the room. We ate dinner at happy hour at Jordon's restaurant rooftop at our hotel with 1/2 a pound of shrimp for $3.50. Found a great cyber cafe
Java Surf Cafe - 15 Village of Fenwick. They have wonderful ice cream from Woodside Farm Creamery that was written up in Gourmet or Bon Appetit's August edition. The proprietor is Jeff Goldberg. Do stop in and tell him Dining Dish sent you.


I finally met my client, Donna Shields,RD, MS,CPT - an amazing woman. I have been working as her publicist since July and we finally met. She lives in Key West. We had a great time walking the show and dinner later at Sotto Sopra Restaurant I spent
a couple hours at the Maryland booth promoting tsp spices,certified organic spices conveniently premeasured and sealed in individual teaspoon packets.


Last summer while having lunch with Hiroko Shimbo at 11 Madison in New York she asked who I suggested to be on stage with her during a cooking demonstrations. I told her to reach out to Sara Moulton who is also a member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and she did. Fast forward to October 1st when I day bus it to New York for the Japanese Food Show.

I was amazed when I walked into the lobby and an acquaintance I met a couple years ago with Wiley publishing said hello. She is now working for a very hip caterer. I start going to the booths, had some wonderful udon noodles, tasted the new soy paper and then scurried to get a seat for the cooking demonstrations. I squish by a couple of women and sit down only to realize it was Phoung Hoang and her daughter Lyly who used to own Hoang's restaurant in Baltimore. They now have a restaurant in Fairfax Virginia called Hoang's. I cried when they moved away from Baltimore, I just loved them and the education they gave me on Vietnamese Food. I had a great day with them, chatting with Hiroko and Sara Moulton. I even ran into three other people I knew, Lisa Ekus PR Maven,
Jamie Tiampo a fabulous food photographer and cookbook author, Julie Sahni.

Phoung Hoang, Sara Moulton, Hiroko Shimbo, LyLy Hoang


I wanted to give you a link to a story that Riccardo Bosio wrote about a dinner I fixed for him. Click here for the story This should keep you busy.


I still have the cookbook reviews to write..that will be sent with the Dining Dish E-newsletters, archives are at You can sign up here on the blog.


Hard to believe but the cookbook will be out October 25th. My co-compiler Jeff Spear and I will do big e-mail blast. We will be at the City Lit Project fundraiser Saturday, October 25th and the Maryland Hospitality Education Foundation will be selling the book to raise money as well. More to come.

WOMEN CHEFS DINNER - This Thursday in New York ...notes to come.


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