Published: September 19, 2012
“Foodie” doesn’t do Pellegrino justice. How about “urban foodscape advocate”? That’s kind of annoying too, but at least it’s more descriptive. Pellegrino—acclaimed restaurateur, noted wine expert, co-host of WYPR’s Radio Kitchen—has some serious culinary chops, but he’s gone way beyond that. Last year, via his involvement with Waterfront Kitchen, he teamed up with the Living Classrooms Foundation, whose long-reaching arms provide potential for real impact in this, his adopted hometown. Farm-to-table? Been there, done that. How about seed-to-table, as in actually growing the food—and not at some rent-an-acre farm out in the boonies, but a couple blocks up the street in East Baltimore? 410, represent! And in a garden designed as a teaching platform for inner-city kids who start the plants from seed and see the process all the way to harvest and delivery to restaurant? And then are taught how to cook these fresh vegetables, every Monday during the school year, by Pellegrino himself? Yeah, that really happens, and it’s fucking awesome. Not to mention the coalition of urban farmers he organizes, which is aimed at making widespread small-scale food production a reality right here in Baltimore.