Tyler Florence at Camden Yards
Last night the Oriole’s welcomed celebrity chef Tyler Florence to throw the first pitch of their nail-biting win at Camden Yards as part of his nationwide promotion of California grapes.
After the throw, Tyler came up to one of the suites to enjoy some air conditioning and talk about the healthy eating initiative at ballparks and chat. Apparently, Baltimore, along with L.A., St. Louis, Toronto, and San Francisco, will be offering fresh California grapes at games as a healthy snack option.
Now, I love grapes and the idea, but I’m going to have a hard time replacing my popcorn and hot dog with fruit come next O’s game. They did serve hot dogs with grape relish (see below for the recipe) in the box, so maybe that can be a good compromise.
Tyler was only able to stay for a little bit but he gave us some pretty big insight on some non-health food: pie is the new cupcake! He’s been seeing the trend up and down the West Coast expects to see it here soon.
He also mentioned what he thought to be the coming of a “gilded age of artisanal craft food” and credited a collapsed economy for that. Tyler said to expect things like honey makers and jam specialists, people doing what they love to do and what they can do best.
Tyler spoke about his new book as well, “Family Meal: bringing people together never tasted better,” which will feature 250 new recipes that are aimed to be enjoyed as a family. He mentioned the name of the book came from the “family meal” at restaurants, a tradition I, as a waitress, have yet to enjoy. At the beginning of a shift, some restaurants have their staff all sit together and eat a meal and discuss what went well, what didn’t and how they were going to improve, much like your family dinner at home.
Some good words were put in for Baltimore’s food scene as well. After a lunch at Chap’s (a personal favorite of mine) and day of food sampling and touring the city, Tyler called the food in Charm City “really authentic.”
There was an Anthony
Bourdaine Bourdain dig as well, but who could say they weren’t expecting that?
“Nice guy, bad food,” he said with a shrug.
Ballpark Dogs with Tangy Grape Relish
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: about 5 to 7 minutes
Tangy Grape Relish
1/2 cup each: diced red California seedless grapes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 clove garlic, minced
8 turkey franks
Whole wheat hot dog buns
Tangy Grape Relish: Stir together first 6 ingredients (through garlic); set aside.
Ballpark Dogs: Grill sausages over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally, or until nicely charred and heated through. Place buns on grill, cut side down, and cook for a minute or so to toast. Place sausage in buns and drizzle with honey mustard. Using a slotted spoon, top with grape relish.
Recipe courtesy of California Table Grape Commission
Tyler Florence, pushing grapes at Dodger Stadium. AP photo