Jerry Pellegrino | WYPR

Jerry Pellegrino

Host, Radio Kitchen

Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate.  His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology.  His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.

His restaurant is set in a quaint 1849 rowhouse in Baltimore's Historic Federal Hill and he has transformed it into what Baltimore Magazine called "a miniature utopia for wine lovers".  But wine is just half of the equation. Corks is a restaurant where diners can be swept up in Chef Pellegrino's passion for food and wine and discover the distinctiveness of ingredients and the way they work together.

Chef Pellegrino is a member of the local board for the American Institute of Wine and Food, Vice Chancellor Culinare of the Baltimore Bailliage of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and often featured in cooking segments on local television.  Under his guidance, Corks has been named one of Baltimore's top 65 restaurants every year since opening in 1997 and has been given "The Wine Spectator" award of excellence.

Ways to Connect

Mindaugas Danys/flickr

Last week we talked about the 'King of the Chesapeake Bay,' the mighty rockfish. But lest we think it all begins and ends with the good ole' striped bass, let's remember there are quite a few other fish in the sea.  And Chef Jerry Pellegrino, one of Baltimore's most creative chefs, has made it a point to work with these forgotten fish. Here are some of his ideas.

Isaac Wedin/flickr

In Al's mind there is no doubt about it: the king of the Chesapeake Bay is the rockfish. Considered by many to be one of the best fish in all the world, the rockfish, or striped bass, belongs in Maryland dining rooms for occasions big or small. With Thanksgiving coming up, Al and Jerry thought it would appropriate to suggest rockfish as an alternative to turkey.

Click on the image for the audio. 

Anne Arundel Community College/flickr

The Maryland pantry supports so many culinary traditions. While Al was in Spain this past spring, he had more than one plate of their famous national dish, paella. And it so happens that one of our creative local chefs has adapted paella to work with Maryland seafood. Chef David Ludwig, from Anne Arundel Community College, teaches cooking in their Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department and shares his recipe for a Chesapeake Bay paella. 

Dustin Aksland

Like any region with a distinguished seafood heritage, our Chesapeake Bay has attracted national, even international attention. Chefs around the country have taken notice of our traditions and have found inspiration on the shores of the bay.

Here in Baltimore, an accomplished New York City chef has come to town to open a pair of restaurants. Rye Street Tavern and Rec Pier Chop House are under his supervision.

In order to incorporate local flavor into his menus, Chef Carmellini spent time on the Easter Shore absorbing ideas for his kitchen. He came away impressed with how versatile the blue crab can be, and how superb the Chesapeake Bay rockfish is. He intends to rotate new ideas into his menus on a regular basis to present Maryland seafood at its best. Here is one of Chef Carmellini's best crab recipes.

Damien Walmsley/flickr

They do fast food a little differently in England;  I learned that my first trip over.  Scattered around every English town of any size are little food trucks selling fish and chips.  And even though we can't quite match the original, we can give fish and chips the old college try. And Chef JP, fish and chips are a tasty treat...and perfect for watching football.

Fish and chips certainly is not a hard dish to make, and given our great choices of firm white fish here in Maryland, we can easily whip up a convincing batch. Did someone say rockfish?

Brittany Lindsey

Soup - a liquid dish, typically made by boiling meat, fish, or vegetables, etc., in stock or water  

That cool snap in the air is so welcome after a particularly hot summer.  And it may be my imagination but I think that cool air carries the aroma of cooking food in a way that puts a smile on my face.  This is the time for soup making, ideally a day-long process that puts a keen edge on your appetite. Here are some of Jerry and Chef Amy von Lange's ideas for simple soups.

Bryan Maleszyk/flickr

We're in the middle of our harvest season, when farmers all over Maryland are bringing in the food they've worked so hard to produce.  In Italy this season is celebrated with the Feast of San Martino, who quite logically is the patron saint of grape pickers, winemakers and sommeliers. So to fill us in on this festival, we've invited a friend whose knowledge and understanding of this Feast is first rate, Chef Sergio Vitale of Aldo's Restaurant in  Little Italy. Chef Sergio gave us a few ideas for celebrating San Martino. Here they are.

DIY Pizza

Sep 27, 2017
Brittany Lindsey

I wonder if anyone else out there has had the frustrating experience of bringing home pizza that just didn't hit the spot.  I hate to admit it, but buying pizza has become a hit or miss prospect. So Chef Jerry Pellegrino has a proposal for us: learn to make your own pizza according to your own specifications.

-Al Spoler

Chuck Falzone/flickr

Most of us have been grilling for several months now, and although we've loved our burgers, steaks and ribs, we might be looking for something new, something a little exotic to toss on the grill.  So Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I look to Latin American and the Caribbean for a lot of inspiration, because the folks down there really know how to grill.

Colin Houston/flickr

The more time I spend in the kitchen the more I become enamored with trying different seasonings.  All that talk about spicing up one's life can be taken literally.  A deft command of the spice rack can give you unbelievable culinary powers.  But as Chef Jerry Pellegrino tells us, there are some handy shortcuts spice lovers can take advantage of.

Click on the image for the recommendations. 

Personal Creations/flickr www.personalcreations.com

There's an enormous variety of veggies out there in our Maryland markets and grocery stores.  And as students at La Schola cooking school can tell you, one of life's treats is to go shopping with Chef Jerry Pellegrino and fill your basket with whatever captures your fancy at the farmers market.

One thing you can do is whip up a vegetable-heavy summer casserole. 

Click on the image for recipes. 

L.C. Nøttaasen/flickr

As the grilling season reaches its climax with Labor Day next week, we thought it might be fun to take an in-depth look atone of our favorite cook-out foods. We think the humble hamburger is just about a perfect... and perfectly satisfying food.  Jerry has thought a lot about the perfect hamburger.  Here are his thoughts.

Click on the image for more. 

Mark Bonica/flickr

For Maryland white corn lovers, this is high season, a treasured slice of time when life is as good as a buttery, salty ear of fresh corn on the cob.  Although corn on the cob is arguably the best way to enjoy it, there are a lot of other iterations of corn that are pretty wonderful too. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, one thing that always makes our eyes brighten is the mention of corn pudding on the menu.

Click on the image for instructions. 


grassrootsgroundswell/flickr

There's a very laudable organization here in town called the Baltimore Orchard Project whose goal is to remind us that we are surrounded by an urban forest. And like any good forest, a lot of those trees are bearing fruit, which is there for the taking. And there are some very interesting things out there including the mythical pawpaw.

Click on the image for some apple recipes. 

J B/flickr

I think that one of the most closely guarded secrets of so-called foodies is that we harbor a yearning for some of the classic meals we enjoyed as kids. For folks of a certain age, it might be called the best of "The Mad Men Cookbook," and for younger folks it's a matter or retro cooking. But as Chef Jerry Pellegrino will agree, some of our mom's favorites are still ours. The trick however is to approach these dishes from scratch, and not rely on cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup.

-Al

Click on the picture for recipes. 

Public Design Workshop/flickr

As one who is always keeping an eye on his waistline, I find myself eating more salads than usual this summer. I can do something as simple as iceberg lettuce with a dollop of 1000 Island Dressing, or something as complex as a Salad Nicoise. And the one undeniable thing about salads is the near infinite number of permutations that we can choose from.

-Al

Click on the image for recipes. 

Fruit Tarts

Jul 18, 2017
torbakhopper/flickr

You don't have to be a genius to figure out that we here in Maryland are swimming in fruit.  From here on out, each week's harvest is going to include all manner of locally grown fruit in a bewildering variety.  And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School can verify,  aside from munching on a peach, there's a lot of ways of making use of this wonderful bonanza, especially if you're inclined to make a fresh fruit tart.

Click on the image for the instructions. 

Boris Mann/flickr

Happy 4th of July. And I'm willing to bet that more than a few of you are planning crab feasts to go along with the fireworks. Some purists may insist that you only need two things for a proper crab feast: crabs and beef.  But to make it a true feast, I think you've got to offer more than that. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has set his focus on the sides. Here are a bunch of ideas to round out your crab feast.

Click on the image for the list of recipes. 

Krista/flickr

Last week I shared my culinary memories of my trip to Spain, and the week before that Jerry was talking about the grill. So this week we've decided to blend the two concepts and talk about something rather novel. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has figured out how to throw a Spanish classic on the barbie.

Click on the photo for recipe and instructions. 

Timothy Vollmer/flickr

I just got back from my trip to Spain, and boy did I eat well. We did a fair amount of tapas and a fair amount of sit-down dinners, and since I had my notebook with me, I brought back some ideas. And I'm sure that Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Coking School would have been going nuts sampling all that good food.

Click on the picture for recipes.

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.

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!

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. 

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. 

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.

Spring Pickling

May 9, 2017
mellow-stuff mie/flickr

As so often happens we go to the market and we feel swamped with all the produce available.  You take home a groaning market basked filled with fresh Maryland produce, and you quickly realize you can't eat it all, all at once.  But Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has some ideas about keeping that good spring produce.

Pickling is most often associated with the late summer or early fall, when we want to preserve the abundance of the harvest.  But there's no reason pickling can't go on all year long.  Jerry distinguishes between a fast pickle, accomplished in 30 minutes or less, and a slow pickle, which involves simmering your produce in the pickling liquid, and then canning it.

Click on the picture for some classic slow pickle recipes that Jerry has tried and likes.

Roberta Sorge

If I need inspiration for an upcoming meal, I simple go shopping and let the ingredients stimulate my creativity.  Nowhere is this more true than when I go to a shop like EN Olivier where there are dozens of amazing olive oils and vinegars available for sampling and sale. And we've invited one of our best friends to talk about culinary inspiration, the owner of EN Olivier, Liz Nuttle.

Petra Cigale/unsplash

Let's have three cheers for springtime and the re-opening of the farmers markets.  This is a time for early abundance with all those delights of what the Italians call, the Primavera.   For Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School, one of the first indulgences are salad greens, in bewildering profusion.

Interestingly enough there is actually a vegetable named ‘Spring Greens’. It is a member of the cabbage family and related to kale. It is cold tolerant, like the first cabbages of the year and has fresh, loose heads without the hard heart of other cabbages. It is great sautéed or boiled with garlic and olive oil. But we really wanted to talk about are the fun things we see in the springtime that are green!

Mike Licht/flickr

A couple weeks ago I was shopping in the Waverly Farmers Market and I bought a nice head of cabbage from my friends at Eden Farm. I took it home, and over the course of the next week I got three meals out of it. So as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School would suggest, once again we have proof of cabbage's incredible versatility.

Click here for recipes. 

jessica mullen/flickr

April is, among other things, National Noodle Month, which gives us a chance to think outside the noodle box for a moment.  Whereas most pasta and noodles are made with the simplest ingredients, there are no rules saying you can't get a little more inventive.  Thanks to a nifty piece of hardware, we can easily turn vegetables like carrots and squash into something very closely resembling noodles.

The tool in question is a spiral vegetable slicer.  You pop a roughly cylindical vegetable into the mouth of the tool, twist and turn according to instructions, and a pile of tidy noodle shaped vegetables emerges.  The slices can be thin spaghetti style or broader fettuccine or anything in between. 

Some of these gadgets look like tiny kitchen lathes, and others are something like a tube with a cutting blade inside.  Regardless, they are inexpensive, ranging from as little as $10 up to about $40.

With your vegetable noodle maker in hand what can you do with it?  Well Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School has an armful of ideas.

Click here for recipes. 

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