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.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wishes do come true - Down on the Farm Summer Celebration

Don’t save the date, buy your tickets now to an evening that will help make local children with life-threatening medical conditions wishes come true.  The Franzoni Family present’s their 5th Annual Summer Celebration on Saturday, September 9th – Down on their Verdant Valley Farm, under the stars, stars we’ve all been told by Disney to wish upon and isn’t that apropos for this evening’s festivities. The goal this year, $1,000,000 – and you can help make that wish come true by attending.  If your social calendar is already full and you can’t make this summer celebration, you can still donate cash and/or sponsor. Don’t be hesitant to share this story or event with your friends and family. One hundred of the net proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic. 

Watch the video and read the full story at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stanford Kitchen Restaurant to open in Owings Mills

Press Release: Stanford Kitchen, part of the Blueridge Restaurant Group that operates sit-down restaurant locations in Columbia and Rockville, Maryland, as well as Orlando, Florida is entering the Baltimore County marketplace with its 4200 square foot lease in the former Stone’s Cove Kitbar free-standing building within Boulevard College Center. Located directly off Owings Mills Boulevard and Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Boulevard College Center is a 55-acre business community managed by David S. Brown Enterprises, LTD.

            Stanford Kitchen, which was designed to ensure that patrons enjoy a memorable dining experience, will bring an intimate feel to a relaxed atmosphere, serving recognizable American food from a scratch kitchen. The made to order, open-air kitchen will provide an upscale, yet inviting dining experience featuring 130 seats, and a large outdoor patio area. The restaurant bar will feature a wide array of specialty cocktails, beers on tap, and a large selection of wines.

Blueridge Restaurant Group expects to open Stanford Kitchen in Owings Mills by first quarter 2018.

“We are thrilled to bring our newest restaurant concept, Stanford Kitchen, to the Owings Mills community,” said David Jones, Managing Member of Blueridge Restaurant Group.  “We spent a considerable amount of time on this decision and ultimately came to the conclusion that this was an ideal location.  This concept will be familiar, but slightly smaller in size, for guests that have previously dined at the Stanford Grill, in Columbia.  As typical with all Blueridge Restaurant concepts, guests should expect a restaurant with a polished casual ambiance, top notch service, and understandable American cuisine that simply tastes great. We cannot wait to bring this signature concept to the Owings Mills community.”

“The owners and operators of Stanford Kitchen have established an extremely popular restaurant brand in Howard and Montgomery Counties, and we are bringing a well-known local operator to Baltimore County with this inaugural concept,” stated Ken Bernstein of David S. Brown Enterprises. “We are extremely confident in their ability to create a restaurant in which local consumers will embrace the atmosphere, menu and drink specialties. This concept is the perfect addition to Boulevard College Center. We believe Stanford Kitchen will immediately become a high traffic generator to the benefit of the existing merchant base because they run a first-class operation”

            Headquartered in Howard County, Maryland, Blueridge Restaurant group owns six restaurants throughout Florida and Maryland. In addition to four Copper Canyon Grill, and two Stanford Grill restaurants, this will be Blueridge Restaurant Group’s first Stanford Kitchen opening. The Stanford Kitchen brand features distinct, chef-inspired American cuisine in an upscale casual atmosphere that is conducive for power meetings, intimate diners or general gatherings with friends and families. For additional information visit

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Historic landmark to be made into a bakery

Single mom, hard working, award winning pastry chef Brandi Edinger reached out to me back in November asking my help should she go forward on a Kickstarter program, a dream to own her own bakery.  I first met Brandi when she was working at Baltimore’s Maryland Club and we have remained friends since.  She is a fighter, tenacious and let me add, talented. I’m asking for your generosity to help her achieve the long standing dream of owning her own bakery.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Finalists of Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament Set to Compete

PRESS RELEASE:  The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, is a  multi-week event is a single-elimination tournament designed to showcase some of the area's finest executive chefs and restaurants. Guests attending this exciting event will be more than just spectators, as they enjoy the unique experience of witnessing two spectacular area chefs battle it out in the prep kitchen right on the main floor. Each evening two chef teams go head-to-head to prepare an appetizer, entrée and dessert for each of three expert judges, as well as amuse bouche portions of their entrees for up to 30 audience member judges. Their creations are scored on creativity, presentation and taste, and only one chef advances to the next round. At the end of this tournament only one of the 16 competing chefs will emerge as THE Mason Dixon Master Chef! 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland. More information available at ,

Final Two Restaurants to Compete on August 13, 2017

The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, the mid-Atlantic’s largest, live, interactive culinary competition, is coming to a close this Sunday, August 13, 2017. The summer-long competition began in early June with a field of 16 hopefuls, but is now down to the final two chef teams, who will go head-to-head for cash and prizes and the title of The 2017 Mason Dixon Master Chef Champions!

Below are the details for the final match Battle Royale, tickets are on sale now and are expected to sell-out.

Battle Royale

August 13 – Chef Fabio Mura of Grille 620 and River Hill Grill vs. Chef Damon Hersh of The Inn at Brookville Farms

Chef Fabio Mura, Grille 620 / River Hill Grill
Chef Fabio grew up in Sardinia, Italy where he obtained his culinary Degree in Culinary Arts and Management. He moved to the U.S. 19 years ago, where he made a home in Baltimore, and has since worked at some of the best restaurants in Baltimore, including: Sotto Sopra, Boccaccio, Blue Sea Grill, and Chazz: a Bronx Original. He is currently the executive chef at Grille 620 located at the Turf Valley Town Square and at River Hill Grill.

Chef Fabio won "Favorite New Restaurant" from the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 2014. He was also nominated for "Best Chef" from the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 2015.

Chef Damon Hersh, The Inn at Brookeville Farms
Chef Damon Hersh has been cooking for over 20 years, and in the restaurant business for over 25 years. He has experience and skill in a wide variety of culinary environments, including high-end fine dining, casual eating, family style, and ethnic influences. Chef Damon is currently the executive chef at The Inn at Brookville Farms located in Montgomery County in Brookeville, MD.

The Championship match will be held Sunday, August 13th. Bios of all competing chefs are available at The competitions will be held at Points South Latin Kitchen, 1640 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD (

Tournament Ticket Details

Tickets for the Final match are available for purchase at: Tickets are $65 and include all taxes, a wine tasting by Boordy Vineyards, passed hors d’oeurves, the competition, dessert and coffee.  New this year, ALL Tickets for the competition are ‘Judging Experience’ tickets, which allow all guests to taste each of the six courses the chef teams produce (family-style) and be part of the voting to decide the winner!

In addition, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament donates 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to their charity partner Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland (

Event Timeline:

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)– Happy Hour with Complementary passed Hors d’oeurves and Wine Tasting by Boordy Vineyards, plus Drink and Food Specials
6:15 p.m. – Cold Prep Begins for the Competition
7:00 p.m. – Chef Competition
8:00 p.m. – Judging Begins, Complementary Dessert and Coffee Served

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Where is Giada de Laurentiis opening her Baltimore restaurant?

Revealed during a live Facebook interview, the Italian chef and television personality Giada de Laurentiis let it be known she is opening a restaurant in Baltimore in 2018 but not the specific location.  My best guess, and guess it will be, is Baltimore Horseshoe Casino.

1.       Horseshoe Baltimore Casino has 3 banners showing the chefs/restaurateurs (see photograph) on the front of the casino: Guy Fieri with his Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar, Gordon Ramsay taking over the Jack Binion’s Steak House location with his  eponymous steak house and the 3rd, a silhouette of what looks like a woman --- could it be Giada? My guess is yes!   

2.       Giada has a relationship with Caesars Entertainment Corporation with her Las Vegas restaurant in the Cromwell Hotel and Caesars is affiliated with the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino

So a second question arises, why there is no banner for the celebrated chef duo of Aaron Sanchez and John Besh for their Johnny Sanchez Restaurant – is that the space Giada will be taking over?  This is all speculation on my part; I have no confirmation on any of this. If Johnny Sanchez Restaurant remains, then where does Giada’s restaurant go? Not the tiny Asian Fύ Noodle House – so again, my guess, Johnny Sanchez’s location. The Baltimore Horseshoe Casino opened in August, 2014 – so are we looking at 4 year contracts on the restaurants?  Again, this just conjecture, no real facts to support any of what I have posted here. Let me know if you think she is opening elsewhere in Baltimore.


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