Flavors of Maryland: Governor Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan Host 9th Annual Buy Local Cookout
For nine years, the sitting Governors of Maryland have hosted a cookout on the mansion lawn, featuring recipe winners using Maryland grown, Maryland produced food. The 17 winners were chosen by Governor Larry and First Lady Yumi Hogan, including one of Mrs. Hogan's luscious recipes! I was happy to be invited to experience it.
Maryland has been known for its choice produce, seafood and other meats for over 350 years. In Colonial times, its bounty was dried, salted and otherwise preserved and then shipped to groaning sideboards all over the world. In the last century, first ladies and royalty including Mrs. Governor Tawes and the Duchess of Windsor wrote cookbooks to explain how to best prepare the tasty treasures of our state. Here's a modern cookbook from the event that you can download. The cookbook not only details the farms and producers that make up the fine flavors contributing to the total package, but also suggests beers, wines and cocktails to pair with the recipes.
Because the event always seems to fall on the hottest week of the year here, dress is preppy casual. The Governor and First Lady circulate among the crowds after a brief welcome speech. The First Lady, of Korean heritage, offered Beef Bulgogi with Romaine Lettuce and Napa Cabbage Mixed Salad: restaurant quality lusciousness! We knew the First Lady is an artist, but the gourmet aspect was a terrific surprise. Replicate her creation with Roseda Black Angus Farm in Baltimore County for beef coulotte; Baywater Greens in Wicomico County for Romaine lettuce and Garrett Growers Cooperative in Garrett County for Napa cabbage.
A delicious and cute fruit tart was made by the incredible Chef Bryce Taylor, only 13 years old! This wunderkind held his own among the state's most acclaimed chefs and restauranteurs.
Waredaca Brewing Company had a special release beer that truly hits the spot when it's sweltering out: White Flag (Belgian Wit) with Black Raspberry from Butlers Orchard. It's refreshing, creamy, fruity with a touch of sweetness.
One of the special watermelon recipes -- Maryland is known for a number of different varieties of melons -- utilized the deep blue-red Sweet-Heart brand of fruit. The intense flavor and gorgeous color would elevate any dish you add it to.
Miss Shirley's Chesapeake Cheeseburger Slider with Mini Jumbo Lump Crab Cake follows in their Mae West-style approach to cuisine, too much of a good thing is wonderful . . . and it is. It appears to be a wee bit complicated of a recipe, so let them do all the heavy lifting!
For a taste of old-school Maryland -- the stuff that put us on the map to begin with -- I highly recommend Crispy Pork & Pickles with Maryland Corn Spoonbread, submitted by Michael Cleary of Bon Appétit at St. John’s College in Anne Arundel County, with producers David Smith of Springfield Farm in Baltimore County for pork belly, John Maniscalco of Chesapeake Greenhouse in Queen Anne’s County for lettuce greens and Jennifer Sturmer of Hummingbird Farms in Caroline County for cherry tomatoes.These are some of the most historically beloved flavors, with a classic format. It's rich and comforting and . . . you simply must try it!