Two years ago, Dana Slater had an idea to create a speaker series that addressed food sourcing in the Chesapeake Bay region. At the time, her son Jake was the general manager at Woodberry Kitchen, which is run by one of the area’s most forward-thinking chefs of our time, Spike Gjerde. Spike and his team at Woodberry work very closely with local farmers — as do many Baltimore area restaurants — and Jake and the staff at Woodberry were constantly singing the praises of these local food and beverage producers to their guests table side. But there is so much more to say.

So, here we are…Origins is launched.

Origins will be a four-part speaker series focusing on local food producers. First up, on January 22, is a discussion about oysters and aquaculture featuring The Great Wicomico Oyster Company‘s Matt McShane and Monica Fahey, Rona Kobell of the Chesapeake Bay Journal and Dewey Ward of Chesapeake Green Technologies. The event is being hosted by Gjerde and will be moderated by Jim Poris, former senior editor of Food Arts Magazine. The evening will consist of cocktails, conversation, and supper by Artifact, featuring oysters from The Great Wicomico Oyster Co.

Slater’s aim with the series is to create an intimate setting for an interactive and informative discussion about how to create a truly sustainable local food network between producers and restaurants and consumers. Expand the discussion. When I asked about the first panel, Slater told me a little about Matt & Monica (siblings) and Great Wicomico, and the business model sounds pretty cool. First, they recycle oil from Woodberry Kitchen as biofuel to run much of the farm. Matt told me, “We are a family owned and operated oyster farm focused on sustainability and Chesapeake Bay oyster replenishment, which we accomplish by our use of biodiesel and electric equipment (non fossil fuels) as well as our focus on both breeding (for “R”-month harvest) and non-breeding oysters (for summer harvest). We truly focus on farm-to-table since we raise oysters from larvae to full size.”

Thursday, January 22
Artifact Coffee
1500 Union Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21211

Tickets are $80 per person and include the panel discussion, your first cocktail and supper. Space is limited.

For tickets or more information call Woodberry Kitchen at 410-464-8000.

Origins Speaker Series 1