Al Spoler | WYPR

Al Spoler

Host, Cellar Notes and Radio Kitchen

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.

His most rewarding immersion in cooking came through his work as a television director at MPT.  Spoler served as off-line editor and assistant director on two series featuring the legendary French chef Pierre Franey.  He also worked with Mexican chef Patricia Quintana, and with Bed and Breakfast expert Gail Greco on her series "Country Inn Cooking". Al says traveling all over the US visiting country inns and taping recipes that they prepared in little makeshift television kitchens was an incredible education.

Spoler's tastes in cooking are influenced by regional tradition and contemporary casual French fare. Never slavish to recipes, he is never happier than improvising a Sunday dinner with whatever ingredients come to hand.

Albariño Wines

Jun 14, 2017
Evan Bench/flickr

Albariño is a white grape grown in Spain and Portugal. The grape produces varietal, light colored wines. Click on the picture for the wine list.

Aimee Plesa/flickr

I've been firing up my grill for a few weeks now, and ever since we did a show on smoking with wood chips, I've been cooking up some very tasty food. But if you want to increase the flavor of your steaks, ribs and roasts, you can't beat the direct approach:  going with marinades and rubs. And this is where Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School can get very creative. Click on the picture to the left for instructions and recipes.

Sweet Vermouth

Jun 7, 2017

Click on the picture for the wine list. Radio Kitchen food for thought: The Market Report.

Jamyla Krempel

It's been an odd spring to say the least. A lot of cool damp weather, punctuated with a few sunny days:  it makes me wonder how things are doing down on the farm. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino, one of Baltimore's leading chefs, knows to keep his eye on the Farmers Markets at this time of year.

Click on the picture to learn what local farms are unloading at Maryland markets!

Naotake Murayama/flickr

Click on the picture for the wine list.  

Radio Kitchen food for thought: Something smoked

Memorial Day is here, and summertime is officially underway. One of the first things I'm going to do is get my grill all cleaned up, replace a few old parts, and get it all fired up. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School often says, when it comes to grilling where there's fire... there isn't necessarily smoke. And that's a shame. Click on the picture for more info. 

Alsace Overview

May 24, 2017
http://www.zindhumbrecht.fr

Al and Hugh give their picks for wines from the Alsace region in France. If you want some dessert to pair with these wines, Radio Kitchen has a great recipe for Maryland strawberry shortcake. Click on the picture for the wine list. 

Baltimore Food Chronicle

One of the happiest times in the Maryland calendar is the month of May when our delicious strawberries are just pouring in. With all the pick your own farms out there, there are few things nicer than taking the kids out to pluck a few pecks of sweet red strawberries. Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School reminds us that there is a classic way for Marylanders to enjoy those berries.

Click on the picture for the recipe. 

Al and Hugh share their picks for chardonnay wines with affordable price points. Click on the photo for the list. 

Fancy some food with your wine? Check out the latest episode of Radio Kitchen

Cuba Chow

May 17, 2017
Lablascovegmenu/flickr

Although it's still a little tough to get there, Cuba has captured the imaginations of a lot of Americans who want to see what life is like after Castro.  A big part of Cuban life centers on food, and already, a lot of Cuban food has spilled over into the US.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has looked into this culinary exchange program and has developed some tasty Cuban recipes. 

Click on the image for recipes.

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