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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.

  • Natives to these parts are well aware of a member of the onion family that seems to be virtually unknown more than 100 miles from the Potomac. I’m talking about “ramps” and don’t feel bad if you know the name but have never tried them. Chef Jerry Pellegrino loves them and says that our ramps are something of a regional delicacy.
  • With the arrival of Spring, I have started to cast about for new ideas. For some reason, out of the blue, I wondered how Primavera is interpreted by Mexican cooking. In general, we grow a lot of what we need for Mexican cuisines here in Maryland, and as far as Chef Jerry Pellegrino is concerned, the ideas came hard and heavy.
  • I love watching a lot of the TV cooking shows, because not only are they educational, but they can also be very entertaining. One show in particular tickled me. The task at hand was to make home-made pretzels… and nobody could remember how to create the pretzel shape. As it happens, Chef Jerry Pellegrino is very conversant with pretzels and can offer us a few tips.
  • Spring has officially arrived and that triggers all sorts of events In the Maryland marketplace. This is of course the season of lamb and many of us are dusting off our cookbooks, looking for recipes. One of Chef Jerry Pellegrino’s favorite dishes is braised lamb shanks, which he used to cook to perfection at Corks.
  • My mother was quite adept at whipping up great family dinners in no time at all. One of her favorite dishes was that old stand-by, meatloaf. I’m not sure what her recipe was but I do know it involved a lot of bacon and catsup. Luckily for us, Chef Jerry Pellegrino knows quite a bit about meatloaf and is eager to share his ideas.
  • As winter grinds to a close we all look forward to St. Patrick’s Day, the annual celebration of all things Irish as well as the impending arrival of spring. Our Irish friends are nothing if not traditional, and their big day has a number of foods associated with it. Chef Jerry Pellegrino can give us some leads on eating Irish.
  • We’ve been eating big bowls of pasta all winter long, and although we vary the shapes, all that tomato sauce can get a little boring after a while. Well the good news is that our Italian friends have dozens of alternative sauces that don’t even have a trace of the “pomodoro” in them. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, it’s not a sacrilege to make a tomato-less pasta sauce.
  • There is one variety of soup that you could argue should only be eaten in winter, since it is the very picture of a hearty bowl of warm comfort. And that would be a chowder, a beloved staple of New England winter life that of course can be enjoyed anywhere… and possibly any time. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino knows this is a soup that’s good for the soul.
  • The middle of winter can be a tough time to get through, but it is an ideal time to sit back and go over the basics. When it comes to baking, there are several techniques that are indispensable, and Chef Jerry Pellegrino is here to take us back to culinary Boot Camp.
  • Nearly every day my wife and I ask each other, “got any ideas for dinner?” As all grown-ups know, you gotta’ eat, and you’re probably gonna fix it yourself. So here’s a suggestion. Open the fridge and pull out all the veggies you can find, and voila: you have the makings for a healthy vegetarian soup. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino, that collection of vegetables will vary from season to season.