Once again, the 2016 Governor’s Cookout was the place to be for the finest interpretations of our amazing local ingredients. Even the July evening was temperate for the time of year.
There were opportunities to schmooze with interesting characters and eat really good food. This event is held annually to promote our terrific Chesapeake-area products. There are old friends, and surprises, every time.
Governor Hogan took the occasion to issue a Proclamation.
Afterwards, there were selfies.
I saw two Queens in the crowd – Miss Maryland Agriculture and the Mar-Del Watermelon Queen. The MDWQ had an appropriate fashion accessory.
I heard a rumor that the Maryland Dairy Princess was also there, but I didn’t see her. There were many other interesting folks, however. Foremost among them was the Bee Lady.
Sue Langley, a member of the Maryland State Beekeepers Association, cares for the hives sited on the Government House grounds. The honey produced was used in a dessert served at the tent hosted by none other than the Governor’s wife, Yumi. Also featured: her famous bulgogi.
Ms. Langley had a good view of the action.
For other local color, the Naval Academy was represented by Ensign Wiechec.
There was a guy with a tea towel on his back – and not one of Maryland, either!
Luckily, the other patrons and vendors had plenty of Maryland spirit to go around – for instance, Chad Sargent and his helper, of Chad’s BBQ in Edgewater. His motto: “Good barbecue comes from experience, and experience, well, that comes from poor barbecue.”
There were tables full of Maryland wine, and tables full of Maryland spirits (the alcoholic kind). In fact, there has been explosive growth in local distilleries lately (there’s a post coming about that – stay tuned).
Also, there was watermelon art.
As for the food on offer, it was the usual excellent use of local products. My favorites were the oysters and the soft-shell crabs, although everything else was so good, it was hard to choose.
Black Bottom Farms, of Galena (where is that? in Kent County, on the Eastern Shore), had a display of beautiful exotic mushrooms.
Each year, the Maryland Department of Agriculture produces a cookbook with the recipes featured at this event. You can find it here.