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June 22, 2010

Getting the restaurant-kitchen gardening bug

Honey beesI wrote the other day about the tomato farmette sprouting atop Regi's American Bistro in Federal Hill and asked if anyone out there knew of other restaurants with rooftop gardens.

One of the more interesting tips I received (thanks, M&M!) led me to the Westin Annapolis, where chef James Barrett recently installed two beehives on the roof of the hotel.

Barrett inherited the hives from his father, a bee-keeping hobbyist who died in November. The project began as a way to honor him.  But now Barrett has become very interested in the role the bees can play in helping local farmers, especially in light of the mysterious colony collapse that has plagued bees around the world. 

Barrett plans to set up more hives at area farms. And he intends to use the honey in the restaurant. 

He's also thinking about expanding his rooftop venture.

"We're talking to two different people about a rooftop garden -- or we have a huge courtyard," Barrett said. "If we could put in a two-season garden in there, that would be outstanding for what I would have readily available for us to use here. Talk about using fresh, using local -- it doesn't get any fresher than that."

Getty Images

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 11:23 AM | | Comments (3)


After seeing several blossoms on some of my garden plants go unpollinated, I'm thinking of setting one up in my backyard.

My theory is that the bees are reacting negatively to being trucked around from place to place like migrant workers. (Remember, you read it here first!)

First, the bees disappeared. Then ... the humans?

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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