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Tasting Notes

News from TasteWise Kids & Days of Taste Maryland
Issue 4, November/December 2016

A Note from Wendy

Fall is always a season of change. Often a time of reflection with a new school year and the wrapping up a year, these past few weeks have certainly lived up to that. It’s important to remember that our kids need our on-going support and assistance. Our young people need to see that adults in their community care and are dedicated to their future. Food is a great way to bring folks to together so I encourage each of you to find ways to help support our kids, whether it’s starting a discussion around your dining room table this evening or getting involved with a local organization that puts young people first.

All the best,

Wendy Jeffries
Executive Director, TasteWise Kids

Today's Special : What's New

We launched our Facebook page! We plan to use our FB page to share with you all that we are up to, including some great photos of our students digging in the dirt, cooking with their chefs, and sharing opportunities with you to get involved. Please take a moment to Like Us and share with your friends so you stay updated between Tasting Notes editions.

Our annual fundraiser, Farm to Chef Maryland raised over $35,000 for TasteWise Kids! We promise to put this money to good use as we continue to expand to serve more kids and teach them about food, from source to plate. We again thank all of you who attended and/or contributed as the evening was an amazing showcase of all that the Maryland region has to offer.

Main Courses: Days of Taste® Program Update

Days of Taste® this fall was a great success – with over 1,500 fourth graders in 18 elementary schools in Baltimore City and Howard, Harford and Baltimore Counties participating in the program. Many thanks to the chefs, farmers, teachers and FANTASTIC volunteers who made Days of Taste possible.  A list of all Days of Taste® schools, chefs and farmers in 2016 are posted on our website,

Barclay Days of Taste students visiting The Johns Hopkins Food System Lab @ Cylburn, learning about aquaponics, a system of agriculture that combines fish farming with hydroponic plant farming, from Farm Manager Jesse Blom.In addition to many “familiar” schools, chefs and farmers who have been a part of Days of Taste for many years, we welcomed several new additions this semester.  New schools included Kipp Harmony Academy in Baltimore City, Hampton elementary in Baltimore County and Churchville Elementary in Harford County.  First-time Days of Taste Chefs Neill Howell (The Corner Pantry), Susan Muldoon (The Vandiver Inn) and Jim DiChiara (Centre Park Grille) were all amazing, as they introduced students to new kitchen tools and techniques: using a microplane to zest lemons and limes, pounding pomegranates to release the seeds, and other hands-on, fun culinary experiences.  Most exciting this fall, students at Barclay elementary visited Johns Hopkins Food Systems Lab at Cylburn Arboretum (see photo above).  Feeding the tilapia, tasting the fresh-picked lettuce and potting seedlings gave students a chance to learn first-hand about aquaponics, a system of agriculture that combines fish farming with hydroponic plant farming.

We have already received many requests for Days of Taste next spring – from schools that have been part of Days of Taste in the past and from parents and teachers at new schools, who have heard about Days of Taste from colleagues and friends.  Stay tuned, as we continue to make Days of Taste better and more impactful for our kids, as well as expand the program to reach more kids and their families in 2017.

If you are interested in participating in Days of Taste this spring, or would like more information, please e-mail Riva Eichner Kahn at 


Dining Out : Upcoming Events

Giving Tuesday – Support TasteWise Kids during the annual #GivingTuesday movement. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a global movement dedicated to giving around the world. Help kids become empowered around healthy food choices by making a donation to TasteWise Kids on Tuesday, November 29th to kick of your holiday season. Don’t want to wait until after Thanksgiving? Feel free to cross something off your To Do list and donate today! Embrace the Giving Spirt with your kids by checking out The Family Dinner Project for ideas for talking with about the giving back around the dinner or Thanksgiving table.

Use Your Noodle: TasteWise Kids and Ejji Ramen have teamed up to bring you a fun month-long event that will include a kids' Build Your Own Ramen cooking demonstration and the chance to support TasteWise through an innovative fundraising platform, Pixanthropy. Stay tuned for more information!

Jerry Edwards, TasteWise Kids board member and Days of Taste chef, will be presenting at the Future Harvest Conference on January 13th. Come learn about our Days of Taste® program and stay for the day of informative workshops about cultivating the Chesaspeake foodshed.

In the kitchen with...

This month we are highlighting Jerry Edwards, President and Corporate Chef of Chef's Expressions and an invaluable friend and supporter of TasteWise Kids and Days of Taste.

How are you involved with TasteWise Kids?
I’ve been a Days of Taste Chef since the beginning (in 1998) and am currently also a TasteWise Kids board member.

What is your job/how are you involved in the food scene in Baltimore?
President and Corporate Chef of Chef’s Expressions.

In your opinion, what makes our Days of Taste program so special?
The reaction of the children and how much fun they have learning. The students genuinely appreciate learning about how to balance flavors and where their food comes from as it’s not a subject that is taught. Their positivity and energy is amazing and makes it so fun.

What is your favorite vegetable?
I have two - Onions because they are best base for most cooking and then asparagus.

If you could travel to any city in the world for a "food trip", where would you go?
Florence, Italy – it’s one of my favorite cities in the world both for the amazing, fresh food as well as the artwork and the atmosphere, which is fantastic.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home? 
My favorite meal to impress guests is grilled lobster with my chili-lime avocado butter.

What is a favorite food related memory from your childhood? 
Grinding meat for my grandmother when she would make our traditional, family pierogis with smoked ham and onions.

What are 2 or 3 things that are always in your refrigerator? 
Eggs and cheese (plus, onions are always on the counter).

Chew on This

Many of us are currently enjoying our weekly trips to get our local produce at nearby farmer’s markets. If you're not - take a moment right now and learn what markets are near you! While you are there, do you ever wonder what happens to the produce that isn’t sold? These items become part of a larger “problem”, surplus produce. Surplus produce is the fruits and vegetables that would normally go to waste on farms and at wholesalers due to inefficiencies in the supply chain and aesthetic imperfections. Yet, all of this produce is still fresh and nutritious.

We are lucky enough to have a local business that has found an inventive and socially responsible way to tackle this surplus produce. Hungry Harvest is a Baltimore-based service that delivers surplus produce from local farms and wholesalers directly to their customers year-round. Their mission is to reduce food waste, fight hunger, and support local producers. Over the last two years they have recovered over 1,000,000 pounds of produce and donated over 400,000 pounds to the local community!

Want to support this effort? Learn more about Hungry Harvest and consider getting your own weekly produce delivery. Enter our exclusive discount code, FARM2CHEF upon checkout to receive 50% off your first box!

Food for Thought

Think you know your way around a carbon footprint and a local ecosystem? How food literate are you? Answer these 15 questions to find out!
Nourish Food Literacy Quiz 

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