Monday, November 22, 2010

Luncheon at Woodberry

Nancy Iverson, the Catering Director at Woodberry Kitchen, gave me a tour through the recently renovated back-of-the-house in Clipper Mill. We started in the walk-in. Can you see her breath? Me neither, but we could in the walk-in. Chilly-cakes. 

The new space is vast. Every restaurant kitchen I've ever worked in would be SUPER jealous of this new space. Isaiah is the pastry chef. He is the master behind the CMP and a love. 

Vogue. He's used to my paparazzi camera.

Thumbs up to you too buddy!!! 

Especially because of these little babies. I kept saying Whoopee Pie, Whoopee Pie...Whoopee Pie.

Until he gave me one. Really I wasn't trying to get one, I just like the sound of Whoopee Pie. They were pumpkin whoopee pies with a cream cheese filling. To DIE for good. and I was happy to taste test them. The cookie part was so soft and moist it was almost cake. The flavors of the pumpkin were spiced with ginger. Tasted the best way.

They have a walk-in just for their house cured meats. Can you say Charcuterie?

I could live off dried meats and cheese.

And check out their new digs!

They have a new office space with stations for about six people. Small but efficient.

There were vats of sauerkraut fermenting in the upper decks of their office. Poor kids. It smelled like @$$ and an old man's wet sweater. Saurekraut is a big deal for Thanksgiving dinner in Baltimore. 

They have tons of dry storage now.

And Marco has his own wine closet.

This is the original space where EVERYTHING used to take place.

The dish station is in the same place. Such a huge staple for any restaurant.

And this is the view into the restaurant line.

This is the view from the line area into the restaurant. The glass lamps were blown by Coradetti.

It was fun seeing the space from the back-of-the-house. 

We've spent a lot of time at this bar.

The powder rooms were also given an overhaul. They papered the walls with Spike's mother's Gourmet Magazine pages. My favorite is the fact that The Ballymaloe Cookery School is a spot where my childhood neighbor worked in Ireland. My parents visited and were treated royally by the owners.

The first group of glass blowers were still whipping up their Christmas bulbs, while the second bus brought the next group to shop at the Clipper Mill boutiques. Rebecca Myers opened especially for this group as well as a few others.

Her space is on the back side of the building.

The artists in this custom jewelry design firm were so fun to talk to. Rebecca is on the right and I've lost my notes and my mind and can not remember the other two. But they were lovely. 

These are the molds where they mold the wax for the jewelry.

The wax is blue. These are stack rings.

This is an oxidation wash to darken the metal.

This is the spinner thingy that shoots the metal into the mold.

Then it goes into the kiln.

And then they polish up the metal and add the jewels. 

I was a shutter bug and couldn't stop taking photos of the whole process. It was fascinating to see the behind the scenes of this neat gallery. We are seriously so blessed to live in such a richly artistic city.

More wax casts.

The Dremel polishes the jewels.

The jewels are displayed beautifully in the front of the gallery.

Form also opened for the group. It is a wonderful boutique with clothing, accessories and custom designed jewelry as well.

All the spaces in Clipper Mill are unique and have wonderful architectural details like the rafters in this ceiling.

The owner Aimee was great to speak with and is very talented.

She designs many of the items in her shop.

After all this shopping and glass blowing the guests were starved. 

Lunch was served family style on platters. This Truck Patch Spinach Salad is one of my favorites. I love pecans and goat cheese together.

They made fresh potato chips.

And an assortment of sandwiches. Turkey salad, beef and butternut squash were the options.

All of the bread is homemade at Woodberry. Notice the layers on this turkey salad sandwich. The top layer is apple butter and the bottom is cranberry sauce. Unbelievably good and a great idea for our leftovers.

Isaiah made more than Whoopee Pies for the luncheon. Ginger snaps, macaroons and brownies were also included.

The ginger snaps were perfect. Kinda chewy. Just perfect. And the iced tea was so good.

Spike came and talked to the crowd about the mission of WK, the buildings of Clipper Mill and the meal.

I couldn't get over how pretty the leaves looked outside. We are having a beautiful fall in Baltimore.

Then he went and told the group in Woodberry Hall the same details.

He recently purchased this new clock on Ebay. It's such a stately addition to the room.

I love all the architectural details of this restaurant.

And of course the beverages spare no detail of awesomeness. This was how they served the simple syrup to go with the iced tea.

I spent some time hanging out at Allie's barista bar. 

I loved these Weck jars.

She has a little coffee plant growing in her "office". Totally appropriate. And shocker, they serve Counter Culture. Our favorite. She is married to Isaiah and has cuppings at Woodberry Kitchen on Friday's at 10:00 am. Oh how I wish I could sneak away and go to one.

Allie tried to teach me how to perfect the tulip art in her famous latte.

It's all in how you make the foam. I listened and watched carefully.

It's such a nice detail and when trying the technique at Stone Hill Farm later this week, I failed miserably.

Good excuse to get out of the house for another visit to Woodberry.

It was a successful event and the clients were so thrilled.

Thank you Miss Nancy for the great tour, amazing service as always and your precious spirit. You are a gem to work with and a true professional. I remember our first meeting three years ago when you asked me for advice on how to be a catering director. Well honey, you are truly, truly wonderful at what you do and take so much pride in every detail. Thanks to you Spike, Allie, Isaiah, Marco and the whole gang!!!


Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore said...

I love of the best restaurants ever! xx

Tiffany from HOLIDAY said...

whoopie pies! whoopie pies!

Ella said...

I like the black and white pic with Pippi. Is that film and character still known in the U.S?

Nelle Somerville said...

Yes, Ella. Pippi Longstocking is a great movie in the states too.