CBMM’s “Foodways of the Chesapeake” lecture series begins January 12

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) begins a new lecture series entitled “An Abundant and Fruitful Land: Foodways of the Chesapeake, Now and Then,” on January 12, with the four-part series continuing through March 14. Held on the museum’s waterfront campus in St. Michaels, MD, the series welcomes CBMM members and the general public’s participation, with pre-registration required.

From 6 to 8pm on January 12, “Spirits of the Chesapeake: Taverns, Tankards, and True Stories from 18th Century Maryland” will take place in the museum’s Van Lennep Auditorium and features Rod Cofield, director of interpretation at Historic Londontown in Edgewater, MD. Cofield will share his research into the history of tippling in the Colonial Chesapeake, and how primary documents reflect the people, environment, and debauchery of 18th century life in the Tidewater. The lecture is followed by a presentation from Joe Dolce, manager of Chestertown’s Imperial Hotel, whose talk about the original colonial cocktail the “rum shrub,” will be highlighted with tastings and recipes. The cost is $15 for CBMM members and $18 for non-members.

From 6 to 8pm on February 16, “Farming for the Future––Diversity and Sustainability at Crow Farm” will take place in the museum’s Van Lennep Auditorium and features representatives from Crow Farm in Kent County, MD who will speak about their approach toward “staying original” in local agriculture. Their business model of embracing the Bay’s small, family-oriented farming past while innovating with natural, grass-fed beef and pork, farm-to-table events, and a new vineyard and winery will be discussed. The cost is $8 for CBMM members and $10 for non-members.

From 6 to 8pm on March 1, “Connecting People, Place, and Products: Eating Our Way to a Healthy Bay” will take place in the museum’s Van Lennep Auditorium and features features chef and author Barton Seaver, Steve Vilnit from Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Commercial Fisheries Outreach and Marketing division, and Carol Bean and Mark Connolly of Pot Pie Farm in Wittman, MD. Together, the panel will discuss the future of watermen, sustainable fishing in the Chesapeake, and how consumers can protect the environment and community. Participants will sample local seafood and share in a conversation about caring for the Bay through responsible consumption. Copies of Barton’s book For Cod and County: Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking will be available for sale and signing. The cost is $12 for CBMM members and $15 for non-members.

From 2:30 to 4pm on March 14, “We Are What We Eat: African American Discomfort Food” will take place at the museum’s historic Mitchell House and features African-American food scholar Michael Twitty. Well known in local communities for his lively presentations, Twitty traces the history of African-American Chesapeake cuisine through his experiences growing, preparing, and researching the recipes of enslaved Tidewater Africans. In this presentation, Twitty brings history to life through open-fire cooking demonstrations, and involves his audience in discussions about heirloom crops and seeds, wild food, foraging methods, and the cooking techniques that create a uniquely African-American cultural tradition. The cost is $10 for CBMM members and $12 for non-members.

Space is limited, with pre-registration available by contacting CBMM’s Helen Van Fleet at 410-745-4941.

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