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.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sip, Savor...and All That Jazz

A password or special knock, eyes peering through a slot in the door, you had to know someone. Someone with an “in”. You had on your best suit. Hair slicked back and the lovely lady on your arm had rouged her knees, feathers in her hair and ruby lips. She might have been his wife, his special lady or even his mother. They were the best of society. Back in the day that was how you got into the local Speakeasy. But we have the inside scoop for you. Join us for a night of fine food paired with wines, cool jazz and so much more.

Consider this for a Mother’s Day gift – an evening of food, libations and music at Cured /18th & 21st in Columbia on Monday, May 13th from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. 

Artisanal Cheeses and Charcuterie
Lemongrass-Infused Chicken Skewers with a Thai Chili Glaze
Tuna Tartar with Micro Greens

Signature Cocktails
Smoked Old Fashioned - Rowan’s Creek Bourbon, Brown Sugar Simple Syrup, Smoked House Bitters
Giggle Juice - Prosecco, Orange Liqueur Soaked Sugar Cube

Prosciutto Di Parma, Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Fig Jam, Crostini

1st Course (wine pairing)
Grilled Watermelon Salad - Lavender Infused Watermelon, Frisee, Mache, Spiced Walnuts, Apple Cider Vinaigrette

2nd Course (wine pairing)
Scallop & Pork Belly - House Smoked Pork Belly, Charred Corn Puree, Pickled Shallots, Grilled Pineapple

3rd Course (wine pairing)
Sliced Filet Mignon - Wild Mushroom Ragout, Poached Teardrop Tomatoes

4th Course/ Dessert
White Chocolate Mousse - Dark Chocolate Cup, Strawberries

The perfect composition of fine dining, speakeasy-inspired cocktails & live music

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Taste of Pikesville & Owings Mills is back

You know spring has sprung when you see this great food and beverage event put on showcasing Pikesville and Owings Mills’ eateries. Enjoy food, festivity and fun at The Taste signature event taking place Tuesday, Apr. 9, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at The Suburban Club (7600 Park Heights Ave., Pikesville, Md. 21208).  

Highlighting Pikesville, Owings Mills and surrounding areas, this 8th annual fundraiser will feature signature dishes from 45+ restaurants and caterers, along with complimentary beer, wine and cocktails. Adding to the fun will be music, the People’s Choice and celebrity judge competitions and other surprises.

It has always been a sellout crowd, at least the past four years when I have attended.  I’m excited to taste offerings from new businesses to the area like Il Palio, Stanford Kitchen, Costco and Brendali as well as neighborhood staples like La Food Marketa and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

To date, participating vendors are as follows:

Atrium Village
Bonefish Grill/Outback Steakhouse
Clean Cuisine
Double Tree
Edible Arrangements
Gourmet Again
Gourmet Girls
Il Palio
Island Quizine
Knish Shop
La Food Marketa
North Oaks
Outlaw BBQ
Pariser’s Bakery
Pearlstone Center
Rincon Italiano
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Saval Food
Simply Elegant @ Grey Rock Mansion
Stanford Kitchen
Stone Mill Bakery
Zeffert & Gold

BC Brewery
Belle Isle Moonshine
Boordy Wines
Foundry Row Wine & Spirits
Great Shoals
Hidden Hills
Old Line Spirits
Lyon Distilling Co
Sandy Bottom Cocktails
Wild Kombucha

Admission at $48/person in advance and $55/person at the door – includes all you can eat and drink, goodie bag and complimentary valet parking. To purchase tickets or learn about vendor or sponsorship opportunities, visit or call the Chamber at 410.484.2337.

Event proceeds will support the Baltimore Hunger Project a 501(c) 3 non-profit charity that feeds hungry children on weekends during the school year. The remainder will support the Pikesville Owings Mills Regional Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to improve Pikesville and Owings Mills in order to attract more people and businesses.

About the Pikesville Owings Mills Regional Chamber
The Pikesville Owings Mills Regional Chamber of Commerce (POM Chamber) is dedicated to promoting and improving the business community in Pikesville, Owings Mills and the surrounding areas.  The POM Chamber works in partnership with the residential communities and local government to create an environment that is a great place to live, work and shop. For more information, visit

Monday, March 25, 2019

An irreverent and funny look at food: The Robicelli Argument Clinic Podcast

The real tagline for this podcast is “a food podcast for schmucks,” that alone gives you the first hint of what is to come from chefs Allison and Matt Robicelli, their teenaged sidekick  Noah Parker, and  producer Evan Siple, recognized for his work on the award-winning podcast, The City that Breeds.

Food will always be central in the bantering by this motley crew, although you can be assured of off-the-wall discussions (arguments). Beneath all the bickering is humor, off-color comments and occasional truths to be learned. Nothing, I mean nothing, is sacred, no holds barred with this group.  Read the full story at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Successful home delivery meal kits spur manufacturers to new innovations

For those of you who don’t know what a home delivery meal kit is, let me enlighten you. A meal kit contains pre-portioned food ingredients along with recipes so the home cook, either those in a time crunch or those lacking the skill set to cook, can create a wholesome home cooked meal.  It is a subscription service, where customers pick the meals they want to prepare and they are delivered to their door. This concept started in Europe just over 12 years ago and quickly surfaced in the United States. Estimates say that this segment of the food business will garnish 1.3% of the food and beverage business by next year.  More popular subscription services are: Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and Freshly, though there are well over 100 services now available.

Food manufacturers have taken this concept and created main course kits for the grocery store; usually with three separate envelopes in one package: whole spices, marinades or seasoning paste, and sauces. The consumer just adds the protein or vegetables. Read the full story at Dara Cooks - Baltimore Post Examiner

Friday, March 22, 2019

Pleasures or Poisons: The Science and Culture of Food

This is year two of Great Talk Inc lecture series, which covers many diverse subjects.  The second in their series is Pleasures or Poisons: The Science and Culture of Food will be held Wednesday, April 17th at 7 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Baltimore North located at 695 and Reisterstown Road.  Tickets are $15

The panel for this evening’s discussion has a PhD in microbiology from MIT (Michael Jacobson), Chef Malcolm Mitchell, restaurateur Alan Hirsh, and a James Beard Award winning writer from the Washington Post (Maura Judkis) . WBAL-TV weeknight co-anchor Deborah Weiner will be the moderator. 

The Great Talk Maryland Series fosters Conversation With A Purpose, enriching and providing interdisciplinary learning and intellectual engagement for the Greater Baltimore and Maryland communities by bringing people together to share live, accessible and interactive conversations featuring distinguished speakers that address relevant issues, including the arts, culture, the humanities, science, social concern and other areas at a wide range of venues in Maryland.

There are five Great Talks a year:  the remaining three after Pleasure or Poisons are Is it Time for Psychedelics in Mainstream Medicine and Street & Conventional Art: the Relevance of Museums Today, and Baltimore: Not Just an American City – For further details

Monday, March 18, 2019

Cooking and baking classes with Chef Liz Sitaras Wilcox

Wow, I thought I knew all the cooking classes in the area, but this my friend is the real deal with Chef Wilcox.  When her initial dreams of being an architect/interior designer were dashed because of her dyslexia, she moved on to her passion; cooking and baking.  With the help of a math teacher, who suffered from dyslexia as well, taught her how to adapt and navigate her disability into a viable way of learning.

She enrolled in the top culinary school in the country, the prodigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where she matriculated through two programs earning two degrees; Culinary Arts and Pastry.  While at the CIA she was an intern at The TV Food Network on their shows during their early days featuring chefs  Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, David Rosengarten, Michael Lomonaco, Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Sara Moulton and more.   

Learn more about Chef Wilcox's classes at Dara Cooks at Batlimore Post Examiner

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

St. Patrick's Day celebration at Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House

There is no other place to celebrate the “wearing of the green” than Baltimore’s Guinness Brewery. Newly opened, this is the first year Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House will be open for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, and what a party it will be with live music, brewery tours, a pint or two, and a menu of Irish favorites.

The celebration for the public begins Saturday, March 16th with two session, 10 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 10 pm and then Sunday, March 17th with two sessions, 10 am to 3pm and 5 pm to 10 pm.  Tickets are $15 and include your first can of beer (choice of Draught or Blonde), a donation to charity, and a commemorative button. Festivities include an Irish beer tap take over, limited edition merchandise, a holiday-themed food menu, and the debut of the new Guinness Food Truck.  Limited edition brews have been created just for this celebration and only available for two to three weeks:  rye stout and a new IPA.   

Friday, March 08, 2019

Dine and Drink Around the World: When caterers throw their own party

photo by Michael Temchine
Each  year, the Baltimore Chapter of NACE (National Association for Catering and Events) throws their annual fundraiser – a party with a purpose*.  The bonus is Baltimore’s top caterers, party planners put on an evening of eye catching décor, exceptional culinary treats, and beverages for everyone’s taste, in fact it is a contest and they are all in it to win it. They are showing off what they do for their clients, how to throw the perfect party.   Guess what, you are invited, it is Wednesday, March 13th 5pm to 10pm at the Radisson Inner Harbor  – tickets for this outstanding event are a mere $99 per person (all inclusive)

Over 300 guests  are anticipated for this international-themed fundraiser, which invites the public to “experience how the event industry throws a party.”  The cocktail celebration kicks off with hors d’oeuvres and tasting stations from Fogo de Ciao and the Radisson Inner Harbor, beverages from Founders Brewing Co. and Tito’s Vodka, and live entertainment.

Next, guests will “travel” to a number of countries. Each destination will have a customized vignette featuring signature delicacies, specialty cocktails and décor. Voting will take place for the Best International Experience Award among the following teams:

Caterer: Eleven Courses
Designer: Innovative Party Planners
Beverage Pairing: Lyon Distilling Company

Caterer: La Tavola
Designer: Nick Codd
Beverage Pairing: Baltimore Spirits Company

Caterer: Chef’s Expressions
Designer: Eric Henning Magic
Beverage Pairing: Lanterna Wines

Caterer: The Pantry Catering
Designer: To Be Announced
Beverage Pairing: Aaron Joseph of R Bar

Caterer: Camden Yards
Designer: Tira Lynn Events
Beverage Pairing: Espolon Tequila

Adding to the fun will be gaming tables, a photo and video booth by Maryland Mojo, silent auctions including a trip to Florida, raffle and additional beverages from Breakthru, Full Tilt Brewing Co., J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Fiji Water and Tito’s Vodka. The evening will conclude with an After Party featuring desserts, a coffee bar from Zeke’s Coffee and additional entertainment by Sly 45.
Tickets to Dine and Drink Around the World are $99 per person. For more information – including a full list of sponsors – or to purchase tickets, visit For additional details on social media, visit #nacedineanddrink on Twitter or
 *A “party with a purpose,” Dine and Drink Around the World is intended to raise over $30,000 to support the following nonprofits: St. Francis Neighborhood Center, The National Association for Caterering and Events, and The Foundation of NACE.


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