Art of Cooking has couples battling it out in the kitchen

February 15, 2011|BY TIFFANY ARNOLD |
  • James and Georgia Pierne prepared mango and pear salad during last year's Art of Cooking at Fountain Head Country Club. The Piernes stepped aside this year to allow six new couples to test their culinary skills Saturday, Feb. 26, for the Washington County Arts Council fundraiser.
File photo

The Washington County Arts Council fundraiser will put a new spin on tasteful art.

On Saturday, Feb. 26, the arts council will host its second annual Art of Cooking dinner at Fountain Head Country Club, north of Hagerstown. Six "celebrity" chef teams will demonstrate how to whip up dishes from Fountain Head's kitchen as diners watch on a big screen.

Fountain Head Executive Chef Todd Reynolds and his staff will plate and serve the dishes for the guests. Lou Scally and Mary King from WHAG-TV return as emcees.

Proceeds from the $125-a-plate dinner will help fund the council's regular programming.

 Last year's event raised around $10,000 and fetched 125 attendees. It's one of the arts council's biggest fundraisers, said WCAC Board President James G. Pierné

"We've already got 100 reservations," he said.

Arts Council hosts monthly exhibits and is a local conduit for Maryland State Arts Council grants. The organization has been a longtime sponsor of Western Maryland Blues Fest and has given money to the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and the Barbara Ingram School of Fine Arts, among other community arts organizations.

The board is hoping to raise between $15,000 and $20,000 at this year's Art of Cooking, Pierné said.

Six couples will be cooking for art's sake, including Al Smith and his daughter Stephanie Olson, who've concocted a dessert recipe for poached pear.

"She's here visiting with us for six months while her husband is deployed," Smith said. "It seemed like a good father-daughter thing to do."

Another of the cooking couples is husband-and-wife team Art and Ruth Anne Callaham. Art Callaham is on the WCAC's board and is the executive director of The Greater Hagerstown Committee. Ruth Anne Callaham is a county commissioner and is the executive director of Food Resources Inc.

They decided to join the panel of "celebrity" chefs to promote the arts, but there were other reasons.

"It's the ham in us," Ruth Anne said. "We wanted to be on camera with Mary King."

 The Callahams will be preparing a spicy corn soup, which Ruth Anne Callaham said she likes to serve in the summer when fresh corn is plentiful. When asked who does most of the cooking in the Callaham household, Art gave a democratic answer.

"We have a rule," he said, "only one in the kitchen at a time because two Libras confined in the same space where there are knifes is not really a good thing."

Ruth Anne was more specific.

"He does the cooking," she said. "I just tell him what to cook."


Hors d'oeuvres | Recipes from the kitchen of  Chef Todd Reynolds

  • Panko-crusted salmon with ancho chili sauce
  • Chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya
  • Zucchini cups filled with garlicky grilled vegetables
  • Cheese display


Served hors d'oeuvre | Recipe from the kitchen of Mike and Jane Anderson

Duck terrine with pistachios and dried cherries Cumberland sauce


Soup | Recipe from the kitchen of Art and Ruth Anne Callaham

Southwest roasted corn soup


Assorted sorbets



  • Jumbo sea scallops with applewood smoked bacon crust | Recipe from the kitchen of Peter and Pat Spellar
  • Double sirloin steak in herb sauce | Recipe from the kitchen of John and Teresa Barr


Vegetable | Recipes from the kitchen of Brandon and Haven Younger

Pan-roasted asparagus with toasted garlic and Parmesan roasted butternut squash and shallots


Dessert | Recipe from the kitchens of Al Smith and Stephanie Olson

Poached pears with raspberry coulis with white chocolate mousse or blue cheese stuffing

If you go  ...

WHAT: The Art of Cooking, fundraiser for the Washington County Arts Council

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26. Dinner starts at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Fountain Head Country Club, 13316 Fountain Head Rd., north of Hagerstown

COST: $125 per person

MORE: Cocktail music by Prophets of the Abstract Truth; there will also be a limited silent auction. For more information, contact WCAC executive director Mary Anne Burke by calling 301-791-3132 or e-mailing

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