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.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Chef Patrick Fanning’s culinary exploits: Tales of Dorchester County

If you were to scratch the surface of the culinary revolution in downtown Cambridge, Maryland you would find Chef Patrick Fanning. The former military skydiver isn't scared of risks, isn't scared of hard work and isn't hesitant to support others in the community. He is the executive chef/partner at Cambridge Eateries LLC with Brett and Jamie Summers. As top toque, it is his culinary visions translated to the plates at their three restaurants: The High Spot, Stoked and Squoze.  The High Spot is a gastropub featuring all that is local and fresh; Stoked is a wood fire eatery featuring contemporary Italian cuisine and Squoze a healthy eatery and carry-out focused on fresh squeezed juices and smoothies.

Chef Patrick Fanning isn’t a secret anymore; Celebrate Dorchester named him Business Person of the Year and he was one of five chefs statewide nominated by the Restaurant Association of Maryland as Chef of the Year.  I first met Fanning last year when Patron Tequila chose him and his Cambridge Catering to create and prepare their Secret Society al fresco dinner held outside Baltimore’s Sports Legend Museum.

Chef Fanning partners with Crabi Gras’s Keith Gravis,  a hot sauce and T-shirt empresario on a selection of Cambridge Food Festivals; Crawfish Boil and Muskrat Stew Festival,  Crabi Gras Frog Leg, Key Lime & Conch Fritter Fest, Chicken Wing & Bloody Mary Festival, Crabi Gras Orange Crush and Buffalo Brisket Groove Fest and still to come this year October 18-19 the Hot Sauce and Oyster Festival

When Bernadine “Bernie” Elliott decided to take a new career path in baking, she took her cheesecake to Chef Fanning and a relationship grew from there.  Bernie recently opened Elliott’s Baking Company in downtown Cambridge, right next to Fanning’s highly anticipated Nose 2 Tail smokehouse and butcher shop.

When asked, why downtown Cambridge, Fanning responded “I like the village feel.” He continued, “Cambridge has the deepest waterways offering the best crabbing you can find and excellent local chickens.”  Part of Cambridge Eateries LLC mantra is supporting local: growers, fisherman and livestock – all which can be found center of their plates. 

On my recent tour of Fanning’s Cambridge Eateries LLC, Chef Fanning treated me to newly created dishes on the High Spots menu:

·         Almond Crusted Goat Cheese with grilled peaches
·         Double Duck Southwest A L’Orange with a duck confit risotto cake and sliced duck breast
·         Chicken & Belgian Waffle with buttermilk fried legs, thighs and wings, Bird Dog hot sauce, butter and honey
·         RAR Chipotle Lime Shrimp & Sausage with house made Kielbasa, jumbo shrimp, chipotle lime mango salsa and local RAR breweries Nanticoke nectar

What’s next for Chef Fanning, I do know, but I have been sworn to secrecy on penalty of having my knife and fork permanently removed. 

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