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


Jan 14, 2021
Ella Olsson via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Winter mornings are certainly a time for a hot cup of coffee or tea, and something nice and hot to put in our tummies. Pancakes and waffles drenched with butter and maple syrup come to mind, but if you would like something a little healthier, you can't beat oatmeal. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino knows, oatmeal is not only a wonderful breakfast food, it can be put to a lot of other uses.

Penn State via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In this season of New Year's resolutions, it might be wise to follow your mother's advice and "remember to eat your greens.” Now of course, finding fresh green vegetables in January isn't quite as easy as July, but if you are willing to keep an open mind about it, Maryland actually manages to produce an abundance of winter greens for us to enjoy. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino has prepared three delicious recipes that feature winter greens.

dotpolka via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Well, good Marylanders, this miserable year is slipping behind us, and a newer, more hopeful one is on the horizon. With just a couple days left before New Year's Eve, we have just enough time to whip up a few of our most traditional recipes to cheer up our small little get-togethers this year. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino would agree that for many of us, nothing can pick up our spirits during these pandemic times than the prospect of eating oysters plucked fresh from the Bay.

Three barbecue pulled pork sliders on a plate
Jane Charlesworth via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Without a doubt the season of entertaining has arrived, albeit in a much modified form. Since we will be gathering in very small groups this year, it makes sense to stack up a bunch of recipes for very small bites. And so Chef Jerry Pellegrino has these suggestions for tempting bite-size treats.

Plum Pudding

Dec 15, 2020
Simone Walsh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I've been reading some Charles Dickens lately, specifically "David Copperfield." With the holiday season upon us, I can't help but ponder that mainstay of the Dickensian Christmas table, the plum pudding. Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you this is the kind of evocative treat that most folks think must be extremely complicated to prepare. But in fact, if you can add a heaping spoonful of patience, it's amazingly easy.

Emily Orpin via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The opening whistle for the holiday shopping season sounded a few days ago, and I know a lot of us are feverishly flailing around for gift ideas. If your loved one does any cooking then your job just got a lot easier because we are going to give you a long list of ideas. Chef Jerry Pellegrino keeps up with culinary technology, and Al has a number of gadgets in his own kitchen that are tried and true.

Mish Mish via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The next few weeks are going to be filled with celebratory dinners, scaled back, of course, because of COVID. Even if it's just the two of you, or maybe one more trusted couple, there's no reason you can't pull out all the stops and serve up one of the most majestic meals of the season. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino, it's hard to top a standing rib roast for dining majesty.

Jason Jacobs via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Every couple years or so I have been making it a habit to pick up a few different varieties of apples and do a scientific test to see which make the best pie. The method is to make four identical small pies, each with just one variety, and then taste test them to see which is the winner. And since Chef Jerry Pellegrino owns an apple farm, I am certain he has some strong opinions on this subject.

Steven Brown via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

With Thanksgiving just ahead next week, it seems to be a great time to ponder one of the mainstays of the great feast. Whether you have a turkey or not, I'm willing to bet you will have some kind of potatoes on the table.

And as a public service Chef Jerry Pellegrino would like to do a potato round-up and pass on some good information.

The world of potatoes is divided into the waxy and floury. Let's look closer.

Ian Turk via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Even though I am not a vegetarian, I do appreciate the concept. Thus, nearly every week we try to have a vegetarian meal with no meat proteins. This time of the year, in mid-autumn, there are scores of vegetables available for us to work into our daily meals. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, the secret to enjoying vegetarian meals is to make them as tasty and satisfying as possible.


Nov 3, 2020
Marshall via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

We hear a lot about heirloom varieties and heritage breeds, but there is another category of food that harkens back to the good old days. Although we don't see ingredients such as buttermilk, apple butter and lard very often, they still are out there. And so is molasses, that historic concoction that helped create America. Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you even though we don't always have it on hand, it is still a very useful ingredient.


Pumpkin Pie

Oct 27, 2020
Mackenzie Mollo via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Every now and then an idea will pop into my head to try something I haven't done before. I know that my local farmers market has tons of pumpkins right now, so I thought I'd take a crack at making pumpkin pie from scratch. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino, I am proud to say I nailed it the first time out.


Oct 20, 2020
goblinbox via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The other evening as I came in from walking my dog I was eager to put the damp and chill behind me and tuck into something that would warm the old belly. As luck would have it, Vickie had just whipped up a big pot of turkey chili, so all was right with the world. Chef Jerry Pellegrino thinks we have reason to believe that every household across America has its own special recipe for this oh-so-satisfying dish.

Wurst And Sausage

Oct 13, 2020
Erik Forsberg via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

It's fall and the air is filled with footballs which means I am thinking about appropriate food for watching the Ravens play. This time of year I always end up talking to Shane Hughes of Liberty Delight Farm to see if he's got any bratwurst to sell. I'm glad to say he always does. But why stop at bratwurst? As Chef Jerry Pellegrino would say, let's talk sausage.

Isabelle Boucher via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Even though summer is officially gone, we still will have weeks of pleasant warm weather waiting just ahead. It certainly is way too early to pack up the barbecue grill, so to encourage you to keep it fired up, we have a dinner in mind that is easy and fun to make. It's one of Chef Jerry Pellegrino's favorites, that great grilled meat dish, churrasco.

Sweet Potatoes

Sep 29, 2020
Mike Mozart via Flickr

Although they're with us for most of the year, sweet potatoes seem especially in season these days. As the summer heat gives way to autumn coolness, the sweet potato seems to be at its best as the first frost draws near. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has pointed out, we Marylanders are fortunate that sweet potatoes do so well in our native soil.


jeffreyw via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

It's the middle of September and our Maryland pantry is overflowing with incredible locally produced food. And it's so enjoyable to run through the list of our favorite Maryland foods and dream up delicious dishes.

Thangaraj Kumaravel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

One of the great traditions of summer in Maryland is sweet corn. Although our legendary Silver Queen corn is more or less just a memory, there are a lot of other varieties to attract our attention. And luckily for us, Chef Jerry Pellegrino has made a bit of a study of this warm weather mainstay.


Jeanne via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

It's been a great growing season here on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Backyard gardeners are reporting bumper crops which in turn give rise to the question "what do I do with all this produce?" Chef Jerry Pellegrino has come up with a few very creative ideas about how to handle all that produce.


Think bread. Not your standard flour and yeast bread, but bread made with vegetables. Think pumpkin bread for instance. By grinding up things like squash, zucchini, or corn you can add it to your batter and come up with a very flavorful product. Here are some of Jerry's best ideas.


Via Tsuji via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This is that glorious time of the year when we are awash in tomatoes. They're piled high at the market and friends with carefully nourished backyard tomato plants are dropping off paper bags stuffed with their prized produce. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino agrees, our first inclination is to use tomatoes in a salad, but we can also whip up some very easy and tempting dishes using cooked tomatoes.

If you can't get to France this year, at least you can replicate the pleasure of sipping wine in a French café.


American Tobacco Campus via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0)

Last week we put on our baking hats and whipped up some summer fruit cobblers, short cakes and tartlets. Today we'll keep those baking hats on our heads and cross over to the savory side of the street. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino tells me there are a lot of things we can do with Maryland produce that work well with batter and dough.


Jerry is thinking about quiches, tarts, empanadas, and pot pies, all of which can benefit from using local protein and produce. Here are a few ideas.

Ed Castillo via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0)

Every week when I go shopping at the farmers market I pass by the fruit stands and start wondering how I can use all those beautiful peaches, pears and plums. Not only will I be eating them out of hand, but I will be doing a little baking that will put them to use. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has three ideas for baking a little fruit into our desserts: cobblers, shortcakes and tartlets.

Paulo O via Flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0)

Maryland is certainly known for its seafood, but I wonder if we get enough of it onto the summer grill. Grilling seafood does take a little finesse, but with a bit of instruction it's very doable. Chef Jerry Pellegrino who is a dab hand at all manner of grilling has some advice on how to handle seafood.

Danielle Scott via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0)

As we gradually and carefully expand our social circles during the pandemic, many of us are planning small dinner get-togethers with trusted, healthy friends. A barbecue party seems perfect as it will get us outdoors and allow for social distancing. Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I talked about barbecue techniques two weeks ago, so it makes sense to talk about some of the side dishes we can offer up.

Fatuma Mugoya / PerennialsPhotos via Flickr (CREATIVE COMMONS BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Very few things make me as happy as a fresh, chilled Maryland melon. To me it's the perfect way to start the day or to ward off the heat of mid-summer. Chef Jerry Pellegrino shares my enthusiasm, and is delighted by the sheer number of varieties of melons we have here.


samchills via flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0)

If you accept the idea that grilling and barbecue are not the same thing...grilling is fast cooking over high heat, while barbecue is a long, slow cooking process using indirect'll realize that some days you just want to go long and slow and let time be your featured ingredient. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, sometimes you just don't want to rush things.

DeusXFlordia via Flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0)

Stand on your back porch any evening these days, and that sound you hear is folks firing up their grills. Wait a little while and that aroma that comes wafting through the air is the succulent smell of food roasting over a hot fire. Chef Jerry Pellegrino is a master griller and before he slaps that steak down on the grill there are a few things he does in preparation.

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.