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 31, 2011

Chef Picks by - App for your IPhone International Congress: Judging panel - Chefs Pierre Herme, Elizabeth Falkner
Eat like an insider with Chef Picks by, Off the Beaten Path Edition. Want to find the ultimate noodle bowl, best slice in the borough, or a late-night haunt to satisfy you cravings? Some of the most influential chefs in the country have weighed in with their favorite hidden gems—from mom and pops to strip mall eateries and side street dives—along with the dishes they crave. Eat like a chef in your own city or wherever you travel with recommendations from some of the best palates and finest talents in the business.

Get the full story and link to the application HERE

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shut Up and Get Out – Which Seinfeld star was spotted at a Baltimore restaurant

If you were close by, I would push you and say “shut up”.  A typical character move for Elaine Benes  played by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the television series Seinfeld.  The perky actress, who happened to play a Baltimorean in Seinfeld has been filming the HBO comedy VEEP. Bmore Media reported, “Dreyfus stars as a former senator and newly elected Vice President who finds that the job isn't quite what she thought it would be when she first joined the campaign ticket."

A good source revealed to this writer that Dreyfus was spotted dining at Salt.  Have you seen JLD, let us know and we will report.  Tweet @daracooks and give it a hashtag #VeepJLD. Welcome to Baltimore JLD! This gal won’t say shut up or get out but welcome to Bawlmer Hon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nothing says Halloween like Edgar Allan Poe – Let the pendulum swing

Edgar Allan Poe might be “nevermore” but his legacy lives on here in Baltimore and internationally. The writer of The Tell Tale Heart, The Raven , The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Purloined Letter and more was our first real fright night master.  People travel the world to visit Baltimore’s Poe House and Museum.

Halloween party for Poe - come join the costume party - more details HERE

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cookbook Corner: Lisa Yockelson’s Baking Style – Art.Craft.Recipes

Baking Style – Art.Craft.Recipes reconfirms the passion and dedication of its author Lisa Yockelson’s to baking. This was not an overnight or one year project; this was many years in the making. The attention to detail will make it a “go-to” book for baking.  I lent my copy of Baking Style to my chef friend and colleague; a passionate baker who loved the book, the in-depth attention to detail.

Baking Style is Lisa Yockelson’s most personal baking cookbook, combining the genre of the culinary essay with recipes and their corresponding methods - read the full story

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Baltimore based pizza company uses eco friendly, innovative delivery box

Baltimore based Pizza Boli has stepped up their eco friendly game with the help of local supplier, Acme Paper and Supply Company.  Pizza Boli is using Green Box products, the Green Boxes’ innovative design allows customers to dissemble the box and use the parts as plates, cutting down on waste.In addition, the boxes can be dissembled and used as storage containers for leftovers and are made from 100 percent recycled cardboard. Last year, Business Insider magazine called Green Box “One of the 15 most brilliant ideas we’ve seen.”

It’s a pizza delivery morning

Just posted on my National Food column a story of yet another Papa John’s delivery person calling the police on one of their customers – read that story here.  Who will be the first pizza delivery company to offer gluten-free pizza for delivery…there is money to be made my friend.

Pizza delivery person turns in customers for counterfeiting - Papa's in the house

It wasn’t but a week ago that this writer posted a story about a Colorado Papa John’s delivery man who smelled pot at his pizza delivery and called the police on the customer.  Watch out, another Papa John’s delivery person who thought the five ten dollar bills she received for payment for two pizzas and 20 wings were hinky, counterfeit, and called in the law. Papa's in the house.

In the reports, the counterfeiters were using a simple copier printer that we all use with our computers and what might be regular copier paper. Get the full story HERE

Charm City Pedal Mill – the eat, drink*, and pedal pub crawl

Been doing your own pub crawl down in Baltimore’s historic Fells Point and all of a sudden your see 16 people cycling a 17 foot long canopied bar type contraction. You say to yourself, “Self, am I really seeing this or have I been to one too many bars tonight?”  No, you aren’t seeing things, it is a fietscafe,  Baltimore’s Charm City Pedal Mill. In essence, the fiestcafe was invented in the Netherlands as a traveling beer garden, with its own tap allowing passengers to drink, pedal and tour at the same time – a beer bike.

Read the full story HERE and watch the video.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Applefest for the family - A gala of galas

Whole Foods Market in Mt. Washington is kicking off their Applefest on Saturday, October 22 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.  They will selling made to order caramel apples, featuring and tasting apple cider, apple salmon, grilled apple cheddar sandwiches, apple pie, apple dumplings, apple nut butter sandwiches, apple bars, pumpkin ravioli with apples and lots more.

There will be contests, games, kids activities on the patio, Granny Smith storytelling and samples, crafts, tastings, coupons, music and puppets.

Whole Foods Market – Mt. Washington -1330 Smith Avenue – Baltimore MD  21209

PBS unites the best recipes, video and chefs from Public Television at one site

Hot off the stove and right on to your plate is the launch of public broadcasting’s “under one roof” website for recipes, video and chefs we’ve grown to love from Julia to José. Users have the ability to easily search for the best of public television’s local and national food content in one place. From national programs like EVERYDAY FOOD and MADE IN SPAIN featuring James Beard Award winner José Andrés, to a selection of the best local food shows, recipes and blogs from across the country, PBS FOOD ( now offers users a comprehensive directory of more than 150 food and cooking programs from the PBS airwaves.

Read the full story HERE

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meet Master Chef Jacques Pépin up close and personal

If all had gone well I would be on the bus on my way to New York City for the launch at the French Culinary Institute tonight for Jacques Pépin’s new compendium cookbook, Essential Pepin.  Illness had me cancel the trip but it doesn’t mean you can’t meet the iconic chef instructor who broke ground for all the “celebrity chefs” we see today.  Read more on Jacques Pépin’s 700 recipe cookbook,  Essential Pepin.

My first choice

Probably the best opportunity, well the best choice is a luncheon on Friday, November 18th - Get all the details HERE

Cookbook Corner: Essential Pepin – 700 recipes

Master Chef Jacques Pépin has taken the best recipes from his six decade culinary career and updated and simplified techniques and methods, guiding you to use the best ingredients in his latest cookbook ESSENTIAL PEPIN: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food.  Chef Pépin has always been about taste and technique rather than fussy presentation.

More about Essential Pepin HERE

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Strawberry Ghosts, Milano Tombstones, and Chocolate Graveyard – Halloween Cake

Are you the type who likes to create that centerpiece cake for special occasions?  If you are, I think this recipe is ideal for you for Halloween. Off course, my decorating skills put my cakes in the category of “cake wrecks” doesn’t mean this will apply to you.

When its chocolate cake and chocolate ganache whipped frosting you have my attention. Add fresh strawberries, blueberries, Milano cookies and Oreo’s – WOW.

Get the full recipe HERE

Katy Perry's Candy Button Dress and more

Thinking Halloween costume for you and the kids?  Check out Sweets From Heaven in Arundel Mills. This little slice of sugar heaven offers over 500 varieties of candy including bulk candies, chocolates, confections, toy novelties, old fashioned candies, European Candies, color M&Ms, Jelly Belly Beans, rock candies, lollipops and gumballs making it the perfect go-to place for Halloween both for treats, the complete post HERE

Four minute recipes? Really?

I received an e-mail from the sister linking to a story 4-Minute Recipes from NYC’s Most Famous 4-Star Chefs. My curiosity abounding, I clicked through to Refinery 29 to check out recipes from chefs Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert and Jean-George Vongerichten.  As an avid collector of cookbooks, an enthusiastic cook, I’ve been around a kitchen or two and there are few four minute recipes.

Was this a sucker lead in? Yes!

Batali’s recipe kicks off the suggested quartet of four minute recipes with Spring Onion Frittelle, an antipasto.  Assuming you already have ½ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano in the fridge and four bunches of spring onions or scallions sliced to make three cups there goes the four minutes.

Read the full story and link to recipes HERE.

Ravioli makers needed – get your hands into it

St Leo’s needs volunteers to make raviolis Saturday October 15th and Saturday October 22nd for their spaghetti and ravioli dinner held November 6th.   No experience or sign up needed, just bring yourself and some friends and get into it.  Do a good job and I bet they let you come back November 5th for meatball making.  Consider it a free Italian cooking class.

Here are the details
RAVIOLI MAKING  - Volunteers needed  
October 15 & 22 – St. Leo’s
9 a.m., School Hall, 914 Stiles Street - Baltimore
If there are any questions please call the rectory @ 410-675-7275

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Pizza delivery man turns in customer for pot use

Tapenade Pizza from Maisy's - photo by Dara Bunjon

A Papa John’s pizza delivery man called the police after smelling marijuana in a home.  The homeowner was a medical pot user.  That puts a new meaning to the pizza company’s ad campaign, Papa’s in the house.

The full story can be read here. Remember it used to be Big Brother was watching, now when you open that door for food delivery it could be Big Papa. So keep this tale in mind – you never know who is in the food delivery outfit and who they might call.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Cookbook Corner: Chef Anne Burrell - Cook Like a Rock Star

We first saw Chef Anne Burrell as the spikey haired blonde backing up Iron Chef Mario Batali back in the early days of Iron Chef.  What you might not know is she isn’ t just a pretty face, she has her degree from the Culinary Institute of America and if that wasn’t enough and she did a stint at a culinary school in Italy.  Food is her passion and being a celebrity chef was not her initail dream, it was about the food.  Her commitment to work harder than any guy, stay later and be better than anyone has taken her far.

Her  book Cook Like a Rock Star takes her vibrant energy you see on her Food Network shows  Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and as co-host of the primetime hit Worst Cooks in America and puts that in your own private tome.  Chef Burrell emphasizes the need to read your recipes thoroughly before starting and I always say read it three times.

Read the full story, enter contest to win a copy,  and  check out Chef Burrell's live appearances nationwide.HERE.


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