Happy New Year! It is our tradition to transition to the new year by reflecting on revolutions rather than resolutions. The word revolution itself presents the nuance of language and perspective: repeating motions and bold experimental change, the cycle of the seasons, the repetition of recipes honed, and the return of events. The continued reintroduction of time-tested preservation processes into our meals and stressing utilizing the season’s best in our daily food prep, but revolution also checks the status quo and encourages us to welcome change and explore ways to improve our lives and the lives of others.
Our post pandemic year has kept us busy with new challenges and opportunities. We continue to have deep gratitude for our stalwart team, our gracious clients and community, and supportive vendor partners. Thank you again and again.
With the new year, we are introducing a new look and a peek at some of the internal and external activities of our Classic team and the near and far communities in which we live. We would love to hear from you as well. Wishing you a healthy, peaceful and delicious new year.
Toasting to an anniversary celebration of team members who have been with us for more than 20 years.
Composting: We composted 19.17 tons over the past year.
Recycling: We diverted another 75 tons of waste product into recycling.
With every kilowatt of power we used, we invested back into renewable energy sources.
We cooked for, contributed to and supported over 75 non-profit organizations within our community and beyond, supporting children, wellness, the environment and education among other things.
Worked with multiple organizations to send over 1000 pounds of unconsumed food throughout our community to mitigate food waste.
In our backyard:
Mundea is a Baltimore-based food waste initiative program developed in 2018 designed to lower C02 input levels into the atmosphere by tackling food waste with large-scale composting and food recovery. They started in Fells Point before going global with their mission. According to founder, Mark Hollack: the company’s ultimate mission is “to help combat climate change by offsetting the world’s current CO2 production” by composting, and using the compost to build healthy soils to help revitalize lands lost to desertification and restore soils lost to erosion, as well as improve groundwater levels, air quality, and agricultural production.” By creating strong, local and global business connections that are environmentally conscious, Hollack hopes to prove that climate change is an approachable issue, not a dark, undefeatable cloud that looms over our heads, but in order to properly tackle it, we must act now.
Urban Agriculture Water and Power Infrastructure Grant Program and Fund shows effort and care for the environment that other states should follow. It helps non-profits and urban agriculture producers purchase and install water meters, water pipes, irrigation hoses, electric meters, and any other equipment associated with water supply and irrigation or electric power access. “There is a desire to engage urban farmers and help meet the food and resource needs of the community,” Maryland State Senator Melony Griffith, a co-sponsor of the Grant Program and Fund. She believes it’s important to equip small-scale farmers with the infrastructure of larger scale farms. A 2021 Hopkins study shows that rainwater is underused in irrigation systems, and by purchasing and installing systems that will both collect and purify rainwater from potential metal contamination, urban farmers will have the infrastructural support they need to preserve their land, do their jobs, and protect the environment.
One Acre Fund isan agricultural service provider that supports Africa’s smallholder farmers to build resilient communities. They provide training and financing to Sub-Saharan community farmers so that they can feed themselves and their families and transform their farming into a lucrative opportunity. As the farmers are more productive it also puts less strain on the environment because they are learning to do more with less. Co-founders, Andrew Youn, Eric Pohlman, and John Gachunga, strive to solve the three main barriers that divide a successful farm from one that is not as productive: differences in planting technique and the quality of seeds and supplies.
In and Around ClassicAlways learning
We are happy to announce the winner of the 2023 Michael and Ansela Dopkin Scholarship Fund, Spencer McKinnon of the Chef’s Table, Marshfield, MA. The award is given out by the International Caterers Association Educational Foundation (ICAEF), the philanthropic arm of the International Caterers Association. The foundation is “dedicated to providing educational opportunities for catering professionals and those desiring to become catering professionals”. Michael and Ansela Dopkin were two of the founders of The Classic Catering People and loved travel and attending catering conferences, valued making life long relationships with industry peers and always returned to Baltimore brimming with cutting edge ideas. Honoring their memory with the gift of learning and adventure is a wonderful way to start the new year.
Like many fine chefs, Joe Burton’s culinary training began early. Every day after school, he worked alongside his great aunt, Marylee, in her home and Druid Park community garden. He assisted her with transforming produce into apple sauce, soups, and other pantry staples as well as cookies, cakes and much more and appreciated the delicious family meals prepared by his mom utilizing the garden bounty.
Recognizing his calling, Joe enrolled in the culinary program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and credits Chef Ralston Whittingham for sharing a wealth of knowledge, mentoring him, challenging him, and arranging his first professional stint at the Green Hill Yacht and Country Club. In addition to his many years at The Classic Catering People, Joe worked in several restaurants, most recently with Giada De Laurentis at the Horseshoe casino, where he intensively trained with Lish Steiling and Brian Drosenos in Italian cuisine.
The pandemic took Joe out of the professional kitchen for almost a year. During this time, Joe realized that he was ready to open his own restaurant. Rooted Rotisserie will focus on pleasing and stimulating the community through love of food and fellowship. Chef Burton will combine simplicity and high-end elegance by highlighting seasonal faire. The main attraction will be the French-style rotisserie oven, and the responsibly sourced roasted chickens and accoutrements that pair well with the dish. Knowing the care with which Chef Joe Burton prepares food, we cannot wait for the upcoming opening. Bon Appétit et bonne chance!Chef Joe preparing pork tenderloin in the kitchen.
Luke Gonzales is a second-generation Classic Catering People team member and was born into a family lineage of culinary talent. He is also an avid outdoorsman and loves to hike and camp. One day, while hiking with his dog, Luke spotted a mushroom that he recognized from Super Mario. Intrigued, he researched it and learned that the mushroom’s name is Amanita Muscaria, the fly agaric. Luke was hooked and became curious about what other mushrooms he might encounter on his hikes. He joined mycology groups and learned how to pay deeper attention to what he was seeing and studied field guides to help him identify his discoveries the last 2 years. The learning and enjoyment continue as Luke whips up a variety of dishes with his foraged treasures. He also loves the idea of potentially living off the land one day as his foraging knowledge deepens and, in the meantime, he’s found a way to continue learning while spending cherished time outside with his dog. Another discovery of Luke’s: Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus) mushroom found after bouts of rain that is edible until it produces ink you can use in pens.
Exercise? No sweat.
Mindful eating is a century old method that can be practiced anytime, anywhere with countless benefits. Most of all, it invites appreciation and gratitude into an act we often take for granted. It reminds us of where our food comes from, increases our enjoyment of food, and brings a heightened awareness. You can choose any food to practice with, common choices are raisins, apples, chocolate, or oranges. A great way to start the new year. If you’re interested in this simple practice,
learn more about mindful eating here.
From Our (Video) Library, Harriet’s Pick: Julia, an HBO Max originalHBO Max launched the drama series Julia about Julia Child, legendary TV cooking teacher and cookbook author last year. Child was a culinary champion of mine and a kitchen rock star long before the Food Channel and Instagram. Having relished watching the bulk of Child’s cooking series and devouring most of her books and books about her, I approached the HBO show with some trepidation. But not only did I find it delightful, at times it was laugh out loud funny and I may have binged a bit. The producers focused on creating “the most loving fable”, inspired by the remarkable life of Julia Child. The result is an entertaining blend of factual depiction of public moments and imagined private periods. The creation of the French Chef, the fame that came with it, an impactful marriage, strong friendships, family relationships and women’s changing roles are all addressed with sharp dialogue and rich content. HBO has promised a second season.
From our Kitchen: Chicken Pot Pie Stew
Chef Therese HardingCozy up around the table this winter with a recipe to enjoy with your family best served with Buttermilk Biscuits.Ingredients:
3 pounds boneless chicken breast, cooked and diced
5 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) butter
1 cup celery, diced
2 cups onion, diced
¾ cup flour
¼ cup cream
2 cups carrots, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Method:In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat chicken stock with salt and garlic powder.
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions & celery and sauté until translucent. Reduce heat to low and add flour. Stirring constantly, heat for 2 minutes then add chicken stock. Continue to stir until liquid starts to thicken. Add cooked chicken, heavy cream, carrots, peas and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 30 minutes on low heat. Simmer until ready to serve. Serve stew with buttermilk biscuits.
Click here to print the recipe.
January 6, 2023
January 2023: New Perspectives