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

Jessica Lucia via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Last week we made a report on what was available at our area farmers markets, and on top of the list were salad greens. It may seem hard to believe but you can still stroll past the stands and see things you've never seen before. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will point out, you can still get your old reliables but there are an amazing number of choices out there. 

Jo Zimny Photos via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The farm fields of Maryland are in full production now and so far 2020 has been a near exemplary growing season. Sunny days mixed in with occasional rain have been a blessing, at a time when we really need it. Chef Jerry Pellegrino can't wait to pay a visit to the farmers market, which is a real pleasure this time of the year. I've been going fairly regularly, and I was there last weekend to check it out.

The Farmers Market Welcome You

Jun 23, 2020
Rootytootoot via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0)

A lot of people in the Baltimore area are confronting the corona virus pandemic with trepidation. There's a lot of conflicting opinions swirling around, complicated by inconsistent facts. When it comes to shopping for food we seem to be in a true quandary. While many people are going to grocery stores armed with face masks and hand sanitizers, many are also reluctant to chance it. I would like to talk about one method of food shopping that I think is quite safe, and that would be going to our farmers markets. And I know Chef Jerry Pellegrino is a big fan.

 

stu_spivack via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0)

We often talk about the wisdom of playing to our strengths, and in Maryland that means eating pork chops. Although poultry and beef are our leading proteins, pork comes in at an important third place. And with the rediscovery of heritage breeds, we are living high on the hog. Chef Jerry Pellegrino is very well informed on this subject and knows there is some delicious pork out there.

Root Vegetables Of Spring

Jun 10, 2020
Open Grid Scheduler via Flickr (Public Domain)

When you talk about root vegetables, you might be thinking about autumn and early winter. But springtime has its own crop of veggies that come to us from under the soil, and no kitchen should be without them. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has  a lot of ideas on what to do with these familiar treats.

 

Foremost in his mind are carrots, turnips and radishes.  As the salad season starts up in earnest, Jerry points out that all three of these can be used creatively in salads... raw! What you want to do is either use a very sharp knife to cut them super thin, or get out your trusty mandolin, which will give you a uniform thinness.

 

Annie Mole via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

One thing about the quarantine. I've heard that a lot of us are indulging our sweet tooth more than usual. Personally, I can tell you I do get a bit peckish around about 4 in the afternoon, which happens to be is what the English call tea time.

 

Here in the States we certainly can brew up a pot of coffee and grab a cookie or brownie and "do tea", sorta-kinda. But doing something that resembles a real English Afternoon Tea thing isn't hard at all, if you can master two or three simple recipes. And by the way, you'll probably want the kids to help.

Mike McCune via Flickr (used under CC BY 2.0 license)

I think a lot of us are not dealing with food supply and menu planning quite the same way we did a few short months ago. We're making fewer trips to the grocery store and spending lots of time surfing the web for new recipe ideas. We're also casting a speculative eye at pots and bowls and containers of leftovers. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, when it comes to re-purposing food our refrigerators are actually little gold mines.

The Pulled Pork Variations

May 20, 2020
jeffreyw via Flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

While we've been in hunker down mode, I've been spending a lot of time with our slow cooker. There is something very appropriate about sitting around the house while the kitchen throws off mouth-watering aromas hour after hour. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, one of the most tempting things you can prepare is good old pulled pork. But of course you don't have to use a slow-cooker.

Colorado State University Extension via Flickr

All of us who are staying at home on a full-time basis are finding that we have a lot of time on our hands. I'm constantly keeping my eyes open for little projects that will eat up some of my spare time. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, a kitchen can be a place for creativity and enterprise.

Jo Zimny via Flickr

It seems that an enormous number of Americans have hit on the same idea for coping with the Big Lockdown: they're learning how to bake bread. Chef Jerry Pellegrino, an experienced baker, knows this is a very worthwhile activity in so many ways.

 

Baking bread is a fundamental part of being human; we started doing it literally thousands of years ago. The basic concept hasn't changed much. All you need is flour, yeast, salt and water...and a hot oven. But like so many things that seem to be simple, there's a lot of technique involved that takes a while to master.

 

Nick Olejniczak

During this period of lockdown and social distancing, a lot of us are starting to feel like pioneers living on the prairie. Since we are making fewer visits to the grocery store, we are doing more planning for stocking up on the essentials we need to keep going. Chef Jerry Pellegrino, has given this some thought and has put together a good list.

We've been on hiatus for a few weeks while news has been flooding in about the pandemic. We're glad to be back, and yes, Jerry and I are phoning it in from home. As we all work to get through this period of social isolation, we can still count on a few things to buck up our morale. And what could be more comforting than a big bowl of home made soup in the evening?

 

 

 

We want to wish everybody a happy Saint Patrick's Day, in some respects the last hurrah of winter and the first salute to the coming Spring.  Here in the States we have a few traditional accompaniments, such as corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and lots and lots of Guiness.   Chef Jerry Pellegrino has collected a number of recipes straight for the Auld Sod itself.

 

 

 

 

 

We want to wish everybody a happy Saint Patrick's Day, in some respects the last hurrah of winter and the first salute to the coming spring. Here in the states we have a few traditional accompaniments, such as corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and lots and lots of Guiness. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has collected a number of recipes straight for the Auld Sod itself.

With spring just days away, it's not to early to start thinking about renewing one of the season's most succulent dishes, roast leg of lamb.  You can go two ways with this roast, either bone-in or boneless.  As it turns out, both Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I prefer the flexability of the boneless cut, although there is a time and place for a big old bone-in leg of lamb.

Last year when I went to northern Italy, I took a cooking class that taught us how to make fresh pasta by hand. The process is simple to learn, but mastering it is another question. As it happens Chef Jerry Pellegrino received wonderful book  from our friend Cynthia Clover that shines a light on the complexities of a simple dish.

James/flickr

With Valentine's Day right around the corner a lot of us start thinking about  shopping for some kind of sweet treats for our sweethearts.  So if a box of candy says something, imagine what a box of homemade sweets would say. Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, this can be a very rewarding project to take on.

I'm a little puzzled why folks don't eat duck more often. It's not hard to find. It's affordable. It tastes great. But it is a tad tricky to cook, but only a tad. Winter is a great time of year to dig out a recipe for duck and give it a try.

Just because Maryland's farm fields aren't green this time of the year doesn't mean you have to stop eating locally.  In fact it's high season for some of our most delicious vegetables.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I are big fans of root vegetables, which happen to be packed with flavor and nutrition.

I'm friends with quite a few young folks in their 20's who are just starting out, and for many, cooking is a mystery. To them, my first piece of advice is, don't worry, that's how we all started. My second piece of advice might be to start with something pretty basic and useful: classic winter stews. Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you there are a few basic tips that will come in handy not just for this winter, but for the rest of their lives.

Here in Maryland it seems completely appropriate that our greatest natural resource, the Chesapeake Bay, is the home to one of the greatest fish in the whole world:  the celebrated rockfish. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, the rockfish is hands-down one of the best tasting fish you'll ever come across.

Caviar Rundown

Dec 31, 2019
Annie Roi/flickr creative commons

Tonight's the big night and there's still time to go out and do something crazy to help ring in the new year.  For that portion of the population with refined and cultivated taste, nothing quite beats caviar for putting a big exclamation point on evening's festivities.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino believes, it pays to know what you're talking about when it comes to caviar.

Michael Savino/flickr creative commons

As our collective holiday season reaches its climax, it's a great time to consider a few of the traditions that make it so enjoyable. In our Jewish community, this is the time of year when a tasty annual practice comes to the fore: the baking of Jewish holiday cookies. 

Pizza Guy

Dec 3, 2019
Brittany Krempel

With the holidays coming the opportunities for family fun are abundant. With the kids hanging out getting underfoot, it's a good idea for parents to have some kind of group activity to keep the young people occupied and happy. Chef Jerry Pellegrino can tell you from experience, home-made pizza night is a great idea. And who better to talk about the intricacies of pizza than Will Fagg of Tiny Brick Oven in Federal Hill.

Winter Legumes

Nov 13, 2019

One of the benefits of living in an agriculturally enlightened state is that all our farmers practice crop rotation of one kind or another. Crop rotation means that we plant a variety of things that alternately deplete and then replenish the soil. And one of the best ways of building the soil back up is to plant legumes. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, the good news is, we can eat a lot of these winter legumes, particularly the beans.

These beans of winter almost always come to us in a dried form, which means we have to re-hydrate them.  Jerry outlines the process.

So the days have gotten really short, and the night has gotten so much longer, and I for one am standing in the need of a little comfort. When Chef Jerry Pellegrino told me he wanted to talk about bread pudding, I was all ears. In my book, bread pudding is pure comfort.

Last week I started talking about my excellent Italian adventure in Piedmont, in the foothills of the Alps.  One of the most exciting parts of the trip was a visit to the Il Melograno Cooking School in Turin where Chef Giadda Bosco presides. And I don't have to tell you, Chef JP, that taking a cooking lesson is a thoroughly enjoyable thing to do.

I was in Piedmont, Italy last month on a tour featuring food and wine. As you might expect, it was nothing less than inspirational. At one restaurant in Turin we had an opening course of three fabulous appetizers: Caponata, Vitello tonnato, and Crespille ricotta e basilico. And, not only are these wonderful starters, they're easy to make.

A few weeks ago we were looking for something different in the protein department for dinner, and my girlfriend Vickie suggested we make some meatballs. So I bought the fixings and made them up, and they were pretty good, but Chef Jerry Pellegrino tells me could have done better.

 

Watching a Ravens game is very much a sacred ritual for me. I have to have my man cave set up just right.  I have to have the right beverage and of course, I have to have the right food. So of course several times a season I fix up some hamburgers for the crowd. They're usually pretty good, and nobody complains. I told Chef Jerry Pellegrino that I could be doing better. So he came up with just a few simple hints that should really help.

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