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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.

  • Growing up in Maryland back in the day, we were treated to the superb photography of A. Aubrey Bodine, who had a genius for depicting life on and around the Chesapeake Bay. Some of my favorite pictures of his depicted watermen hauling in their catches of fresh local oysters. Bodine always seemed to go out in the dead of winter, and as Chef Jerry Pellegrino says, we all owe a big debt of thanks to those intrepid watermen who manage to get the job done despite conditions that would terrify the rest of us.
  • It's easy to get stuck in a rut with potatoes. We all have our two or three favorite recipes... and then, that's it. So just to give your imagination a jolt, we've come up with a few potato ideas that will get you moving on. As Chef Jerry Pellegrino reminded me, there's more than baked potatoes and mash, right?
  • This is the season for the big roast, a time for festive dinners with close friends who enjoy a bit of hearty eating. And of all the big dishes you can have, the king of them all is the Standing Rib Roast. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino, this truly is an impressive dish to present to your guests, particularly since there are options on which meat to serve.
  • Because I've been feeling self-indulgent lately, I've been looking for excuses to have dumplings... and something. It started with sour beef and dumplings, and of course after Thanksgiving I had to have turkey and dumplings. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino, I started getting curious about dumplings and I did a little digging.
  • At this festive time of year I bet half the world is just itching to get into the kitchen and bake something really good. This is season when all manner of specialty desserts come into play, and we end up using equipment and ingredients we won't touch for another 50 weeks. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino has a long list (which he's checking twice) of great baking ideas for the holidays.
  • There's one quintessential Baltimore dish that gets my attention every time, and that's Sour Beef and Dumplings. This is one of the great comfort foods I know and just thinking about it literally makes my mouth water. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino agrees, it's no secret that our Sour Beef and Dumplings is identical to the German national dish Sauerbraten.
  • Cooking and eating are both constant and constantly changing. Whereas some of us can go for months on end without a shadow of variation and inspiration in our diet, others of us are instantly captivated by the latest new thing. Chef Jerry Pellegrino will suggest that some of these co-called "trends' may sound silly at first, but turn out to be pretty appealing.
  • As luck would have it, I've been doing a lot of braising and stewing lately, transforming tough old cuts of meat into something succulent and wonderful. As colder weather turned my thoughts to hearty soups, I fixed on split pea soup with ham. And it didn't take Chef Jerry Pellegrino much thinking to figure out exactly what kind of ham I'm talking about. Of course, it's HAM HOCKS.
  • One of the most humble ingredients in our larder is also one of the more useful. We're talking about corn meals, and anybody who has cooked up a last minute bowl of polenta can testify to that. But Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out there's a lot more to corn meal than just polenta. But first, some basics.Cornmeal is a meal or a cell membrane ground from dried corn. It is a common staple food, and is ground to coarse, medium, and fine consistencies, but not as fine as wheat flour can be. In Mexico, very finely ground cornmeal is referred to as corn flour.
  • The Big Feast will be upon us next week, and I can't wait. Every year I try to come up with something a little different for our dinner, and inevitably it's a side dish of some sort. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino reminds me, there's about a million clever ideas you can whip up, even at the last minute.