The Smalltimore moment when you realize you’re related to a legendary Crab Cake Chef and connoisseur

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The Maryland Crab Cake Tour took on a new twist once Nestor finally made it to Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Chef and proprietor John Shields and Mercedes Lopez of the BMA discuss how family, art, culture and crab cakes all come together in one awesome – and free – museum in the heart of Baltimore.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

bma, crab cake, museum, baltimore, art, oysters, chesapeake, crab, maryland, years, john, called, shields, gertrude, good, boardwalk, restaurant, artists, mercedes, mustard

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Mercedes Lopez, John Shields

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:00

Welcome back at W N S, ci, Towson Baltimore and Baltimore positive or positively doing our final segment I think is our final segment cuz you’re gonna feed me we’re at gertrudes in the chsp kitchen we’re at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Uh, you know, it’s been really crowded here the last couple hours. John didn’t have the time to even come in here. It was like this T black table all this stuff all these crabcakes all this food here, all the holiday celebration here but down to the BMA First off, get over here because the price is right. It’s centrally located and Dan Roderick show is gonna be your Baltimore you have no idea. The Maryland crab cake Tour is presented by our friends at the Maryland lottery I have a whole bunch of scratch offs. I have the unwrap the cash. I have the scented although I can’t smell them peppermint payout and the very very scented Oh snaps we had some winners up at the bar earlier our friends of winter nation have the fun floppy hat here which is own art experiment, especially on my head with my hair as well as Jiffy Lube multi care John shields my cousin by marriage through daughter in law’s Mercedes is new she didn’t even know this story. John shields runs gertrudes Mercedes Lopez is the Visitor Experience Manager a real Marylander and UMBC you got all these local routes here How are things at the BMA besides just full and vibrant here today on a beautiful almost spring like day in the middle of winter right?

Mercedes Lopez  01:16

But it is Baltimore so I’m sure will cycle through all of the seasons shortly

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:20

within the next 24 hours. So yeah, usually it was winter. The other day was Spring today we’ll see you know,

Mercedes Lopez  01:26

but everything at the BMA is going great you’re right we do have a lot of fun and vibrant things going on. We’ve got a brand new installation in the East lobby by Mexican artists rolled in yet is and it is fantastic. It occupies both the inside of the first floor and extends onto the second floor and has a fantastic stained glass element on the second floor that you can see as well. We have a fantastic making her mark exhibit and that focus is on work from European artists between 14 118 100 women artists, we have worked from over 15 different countries and that exhibit alone 20 Different materials over 230 objects in just that space. It’s fantastic. And we also have a new Joseph Education Center reopening shortly. We have a celebration coming up on December 3 so that we can reopen the first floor and we are looking forward to that so much

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:19

well I did this crabcake tour no one I was gonna get to a lot of places and we talked about John and gertrudes and this pathway with Odette Ramos and and Jamie Raskin and vegan crab cakes, different kinds of crab cakes. But the BMA The reason I wound up here last year was because of Dan. Dan decided to put his show here. And I’ve been the groceries a dozen times for various indoor outdoor functions, parties, best of parties over the course of years. I’ve had some beautiful outdoor nights here in the spring in the summer, when you when the space is hosted sort of grand occasions here at various points. And I know you’re a special occasion place for dinners and but the the museum itself, and I had Chris on during the plague maybe three four years ago, and we talked about like shutting people out Virtual Learning Virtual Art, all of those things now that it’s back and it’s vibrant. I hear my wife literally literally showed me her pictures at the Louvre 48 hours ago, my wife was in Paris took her sister to Paris two weeks ago to see the man who saved her life and see football and do all this stuff. And they went to the Louvre. She came back from the Louvre supposed to no pictures because she was just like running around Paris and wasn’t posting pictures. She did a photo drop and she dropped like 400 pictures and I’m like, I’m not looking through foreigner pictures. I’m like you went I want to see them. And it occurred to me like three days ago. So I’m doing the show at the BMA she’s like, I went to the Louvre last week and I’m like, I didn’t see any pictures. I said, Where’s the Mona Lisa, let’s go. You know, she showed me all this stuff. And I’m like, you’ve been to the Louvre and you’ve never been to the PMA you like what? Sounds like she’s overdue. So you know, we go to New York, we go to DC we Smithsonian and you say I go to Chicago are in like there’s all of these fabulous places when you go other places. You think, Whoa, be snobby. I’m on the road. It’s raining. I’m in New York. I’ll go to the art museum and this place here and the Walters and what we have in this community. There’s a lot of people like me, dodo bird never had a vegan crab cake. But I had never been to Deep Creek Lake. I was admitting this to you and the crab cake tour and Dan Rogers took me fly fishing in western Western Maryland against the West Virginia border, a little town called Western Port Maryland. And I go to all these wild places and I’m thinking I’ve been all over the web in the Australian Outback and I’ve never been to Western Maryland. So for the BMA to be here for people like my wife to go to the Louvre. Tell her what she’s going to see here that is bigger and better and more grand. I

Mercedes Lopez  04:48

love it. That’s a great question. So one of my favorite things about the BMA is the breadth of our collection. Not only do we have art from all around the world, but we also have a fantastic color ton of work by Maryland artists and particularly Baltimore based artists, which we’re always proud to share. So when you visit the BMA, not only will you find some fantastic examples of art from antiquity and the Renaissance and early European art from like the 17th and 18th century, but we’re also working to fill the gaps of our collection. And that’s really important work to canonically include previously excluded voices or voices that don’t always get a chance to express themselves. So as you continue to come to the museum, you’re going to continue to see more and more contemporary art from around the world. Some fantastic works by contemporary American artists, we have one guy he moved whose water woman out in the sculpture garden, which is pretty much always assessable. And most importantly, what we’re best known for is probably our Matisse collection, we have the largest public holding of works by Matisse in the world, over 1200 works by Matisse alone, which means that we’re able to put Matisse in two areas of the museum at a time, not only will you be able to see his paintings and sculptures on the second floor in the cone collection, but you’ll also see works on paper by Matisse and his contemporaries in the first floor. And that

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:11

goes out. I’m sorry, those alone out. Oh, absolutely.

Mercedes Lopez  06:15

I mean to other museums, not not Oh, no,

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:17

no, I mean, there’s a lot of times I’ll go places and you know, see sort of traveling exhibits or the cheer for 60 days or whatever. And I’m thinking you have all of this art. And when I went through earlier today, I was given an early tour and I went through an African collection on the way because I’m doing an event here next week before and thank you to the BMA to everybody and who’s at least everybody has been awesome to me as my everybody for dance show, but I walked through, and I thought to myself, Where do you keep the stuff when it’s not being shown? Right? And I guess the news would be on a thing like Matisse is like, well, Chicago wants one Houston wants one la Paris. Like that would be something that great might get you something cool. I met trade cards, I trade Pacific a belt buckles right now I got my kiss belt buckle on right now. It’s my art. This was art to me this when I when I was eight years old. I was nine years old when I came here to see the cone sisters, I was in fifth grade, maybe 10/5 grade, my fifth grade field trip was to see the cone sisters here. And we learned all about it. And but this was what the art that we drew on our way this was kiss art. So this list is what what I thought art was in 1978 Because I learned about art through rock and roll. Like, like literally like rock and roll album art was like to me still rush and 21. Like, that’s art to me. That’s what I would want to hang on my wall. And then I but when I came here as a kid, and no offense, I mean, you know, these places are a little stuffy for an eight year old kid from Colombia, right? I mean, in that era, it was it’s not the more I walked in. And to your point, give me the Mexican artists again, that those the pop culture that’s old in yev is colorful, vibrant, physical,

Mercedes Lopez  07:59

interactive city.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:01

Catch these pieces of art. And you know, and I talked about the American Visionary Arts Museum, which was in my neighborhood, which had all this weird pop art, you know, and I think it John Waters who was on my show recently Yeah, I got him on for the first time, the John shields and John Waters in the same month, big big month, vegan crab cakes. But art has changed and 50 artists change from the only place a kid could get that kind of jam was on a kiss album cover. Back when I was a kid, kiss album covers now come to places like this in the form of people who were also inspired by kiss album covers from now do really cool, popular art that is accessible in a place that maybe 50 years ago, the curators would have said that’s not that Andy Warhol, that’s not real art.

Mercedes Lopez  08:47

We’re interested in having all audiences with different levels of understanding and familiarity with art to come and engage and learn something new explore and maybe have an aha moment. So art for all ages, all levels of experience and familiarity. And if somebody has, like a realization will, we’re here to, to help facilitate to be really

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:10

expensive to get in here. The museum is free. So much that I knew well. I called because I was trying to organize getting here today and setting up and make sure that you I knew you were going to be really busy and crowded here at gertrudes. And when I called I called like the main switchboard, the first thing it says, we’re free, free, we’re free. We’re free. And I’m thinking yes we are. And that’s its own. That’s that I want to bury the lead.

Mercedes Lopez  09:35

Absolutely no The museum has been free I believe since 2006. And we are so happy to be able to share our permanent collection with the public. We do have occasional ticketed exhibits which that making her mark. History of women artists in Europe 14 through 1800 is a ticketed exhibit. We usually have those about twice a year, but every ticketed exhibit will have at least three free days. And that’s so that the art can remain free and accessible for all.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:01

Well you guys, first thing I saw coming in were kids, you know like there’s always school groups going through. John Give me the bat your your Parkville guy John gertrudes we’re seeing it Gertrude. Mercedes Lopez is here. She’s the Visitor Experience Manager for all things Baltimore Museum of RMSE BMA. I’ve had a couple friends that were getting to the BMA. What’s that? You know, in Okay, border music. Is that the one downtown or is the one by hockey? You know, so I get that. So I’m inviting people here next week. The one thing I would say is that people know about you and they know about your place. How long has gertrudes give me the Gertrude story is the crabcakes calm because we’re going to talk about Gertie is crab cake here and Gert was but I don’t know of the museum not having you. Right. Yeah. How long has it been here?

John Shields  10:44

We’ve been here for 25 years. Why? I

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:46

don’t know. Yeah, yeah. wasn’t here when it cones, sisters? 97. No, we weren’t here. So give me your background and how you build an iconic restaurant because every museum wants to have a high end, a nice restaurant a place that people want to come back again. And sometimes I go to places and see that they fail. And sometimes the names change. And I think we’ve all seen that. You’ve built something pretty venerable here, maybe because you have all these crab cakes on the menu that I get to try. Exactly,

John Shields  11:12

exactly. That’s that helps. I mean, but I also think that, you know, when we started here, 25 years ago, having a kind of a higher end, nice restaurant in a museum was not normal. We were one of the first in the country to do that. And, you know, so every year we were recognized from travel magazine,

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:33

and here before when you came here, it’s just a vending machine or light. So I’m serious. I’ve gone to a lot of museums in my day, we’re like, where’s the food? Yeah, no, it’s down the freeway what you know, like that. That’s not.

John Shields  11:43

Now that’s not an experience now, but that’s true to leave. That’s traditional. I mean, most most museums, especially when when I was growing up when you were growing up, they were cafeterias. I mean, you went and there were vending, either either vending machines or there were cafeterias. And, you know, so this whole era of making an experience to come to come to a museum, you know, was one thing. My background is in Chesapeake cooking. I had a Chesapeake Bay restaurant in Berkeley, California for many, many years. I was there for 20 years. And California was pretty good. It is cool. It’s good spot. So I moved back home. And when I did, I started a PBS cooking series, Chesapeake Bay cooking with John shields, and then I needed to John, we’re learning that’s great. So then I needed to get a real job. And so we’re looking around looking at spaces. And I heard that this space was available, came and I thought, This is it. I just looked at it. That sculpture garden looked at everything around me, but I want to be here historic, true. Gertrude was my grandmother. And so that’s let’s let’s do that story. Because this garden, this is very important to Dan Rodricks. Okay, this is very that we got to do a disclaimer here. So okay, John shields comes back from California. And I’ve known Dan for years and years. And I said, Oh, Dan, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I’m opening this restaurant at the BMA. And my investors all want my name to be in it. And I don’t want my name in it. He goes, Don’t you worry. I’ll take care of it. And so he wrote an op ed article for the Baltimore Sun said, Celebrity Chef John shields comes back to his hometown of Baltimore, and he’s going to open a restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Now his wonderful restaurant in California was called 30s, named after his grandmother, Gertrude Cleary. My suggestion is since this is a little bit more upscale, why don’t we call it gertrudes? It will not only be a tribute to his grandmother, but to Gertrude Stein, who was instrumental in making the Cohn collection come to life. So it is a tribute to the gertrudes of Baltimore. Thank you, Dan. Rodricks. You

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:52

didn’t know that. You weren’t here? No,

Mercedes Lopez  13:53

I didn’t know all of that. I knew. I knew that it came from your grandmother. I didn’t know the whole connection. So I love hearing all

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:00

right. So John shields spring crabcakes. Here, and this is I’ve done over two under crabcakes. Right. So this is the first time somebody is actually bringing me multiple different versions. They’re not. These aren’t the same recipe. They just look similar because they’re deliciously pan fried. Correct.

John Shields  14:19

Exactly. Exactly. I have you a little, a little combo. Yeah. So you’re

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:25

gonna hold these up for the camera and you can explain what these are. Go ahead. All right.

John Shields  14:29

Now, this is the signature. This is the Gertie, this was my grandmother’s recipe. Gertrude Cleary. Here’s Gertrude from gertrudes 25th In Greenmount simplis, a Baltimore resident is St. Anne’s St. Anne’s Church. All right, okay. So that that and then we do a boardwalk and it’s a little bit more like you were talking about with your mom making and this

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:49

looks like the crab cake. They served me in the press box on the mezzanine level Memorial Stadium in the 80s. Yeah,

John Shields  14:54

so I think of it as what like when I used to go to the circus, or when I would go down to the Ocean, they would use a mixture of crab meat. It’s kind of like the vessel. It’s kind of like they do in Smith Island when they’re when they’re picking crab there. They put it all into one pot. You don’t have jumbo lump. You don’t have a lump, you don’t have it. It all goes together. And so that’s what the boardwalk is. And then I made a very special one for you. Okay, what is the problem we have in the in the bay right now? We have the blue cat fish invasive invasive.

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:27

I’ve done whole segments on this. So I made people have no idea how big those things are caddies,

John Shields  15:31

instead of Cadiz I got caddies, and so I make soft cat and use and smokes in the middle

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:40

is not a cut. It’s not a it’s not a crab cake. It’s a case of that first give me give me a fork me Mercedes. Let’s go. Come on here. Let’s go. I need a fork. You’re gonna get after that’s the cat. All right. We’re at the BMA and I’ve done a lot of different crabcakes. And it just turns out did I begin to segment that at telling you that we’re related?

Mercedes Lopez  16:02

Did we talk about this overheard part of it that I don’t know that I understand the controller but because

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:06

it’s been a half an hour from the radio perspective on I told the whole story of how I’ve never met him until like today that I remember. Do I have I met you if we really met I

John Shields  16:15

don’t think we I don’t think I’ve ever met talk and sit down. Now. I don’t know that I may be in an event. Yes.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:22

But I don’t even remember. I mean, I we’re Facebook friends, because I’m sort of that guy that does that. I met members of your staff a year and a half ago. We’ve talked about eating these crabcakes for long. I have a vegan one of your hand from my wife from the last segment. Two days ago, I said I’m coming to gertrudes I share this beautiful menu. And my Are you ready for this? My son’s wife’s mother. My son is 39 His wife is I don’t know how it’s 30 An hour or whatever. They’ve been in Amsterdam the last week. They didn’t even know about this. My daughter in law’s never ever told me. I’m related to Johnny gertrudes. So Aubrey, shame on you and no catfish for you. So my daughter in law’s mother Cindy. Cindy shields Vate Uncle Willie writes on writes on Facebook, that John shields is my cousin. And I said, Hold on to shields. I’m like, I didn’t even think about her maiden name. Right. So they will be married for like a decade and I found out last night. I called him fam on a text. Is that okay? Yeah, absolutely. So So now kurti gertrudes fam to me now. Yeah. Hold on, man. This is heavy. Hold on. So So what is this made with this? catfishing

John Shields  17:42

okay, it’s salt cat. So I make it like salt cat cod. And then I also smoke some of it. Then it has potatoes. It has carmelized onions and all kinds of seasonings and sauces. See what this is? Take Take a look. What is that? Little bit of potato? It’s potato with a bit of potato? Yeah. So that on a cracker. Like you would have a coffee with a little bit of mustard. Finish. Yeah, a little. Little finish. Finish. Finish. Yes.

8

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:12

He’s your Parkville don’t hold against okay, it’s okay. So what am I gonna get the fish in it? I don’t have any fish. i Oh, you got

John Shields  18:19

plenty of fish. Okay. Oh, that’s all shredded up.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:21

I like fish. I don’t like fish hash.

John Shields  18:27

Yeah. Okay. Good. Yeah. Because if you make a seafood hash, you’re making it with onions and with potatoes and cooked fish and you chop it all together. And that’s a cloud fishcake? Sort of it is. Yes. See, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:40

never really I wasn’t a part of that era. And so you know, like I know like IT admins, they have caught some ways you could still get a cut. I get the corned beef, you know what I mean? And I have to be honest with you as I sit here and enjoy your and I’m going to try the other ones. I’m gonna take it home and my wife does sample as well. Oysters. I am I threatened after doing 30 or 30 crab cakes in 30 days in 21. Then in 22, I did 31 crab cakes in 31 days all and went to different places on purpose. The second time, I love Western Maryland so much I had to go back I love the eastern shore so much outside Ocean City. I told her I’d never really been off of 50 So I went to Hooper’s Island up to suicide bridge all these places. And I went back to a few of them that I love and I tried some new stuff. And I said to my wife last year, I’m like, Alright, I want to go back to these places in Maryland. But everywhere I went and Amy from families is always on me much like you with a catfish saying oysters oysters, they the oxygenation of the oyster is what allows crabs to live you need to promote oysters. We need to eat oysters. We need to talk about oysters, oyster recovery, all that. So she’s like, you know, it’d be a good tourism thing for you. So I was gonna do 32 oysters and 30 Because my 36 But it turns out some a 25th anniversary of my station. So I’m like ah Only 25 wishes and 25 days, and it got away from me. I just got busy. But it’s still my 25th year. So next year, um, I’ve said I’m going to do 25 oysters and 25 days and 25 ways and with different ways. I came in here today, so I’ve only had fried oyster six times in my life damy sits them on the table when I do the showed fadeless famously, she just slides them in and puts them down. And I sit there and pick out him like popcorn and they’re so delicious. But I’ve never ordered a fried oyster in a restaurant in my life. Because there’s always 20 things on the menu. Yeah, that’s feel like they’re gonna appeal to me more. You know, like there’s shrimp There’s crab cakes, real crab cake. There’s some there’s sake there’s chicken. There’s a salad. I ordered your oysters today. I’ve never ordered fried oysters anywhere until today. And the reason I ordered them I want to align research. I’m doing this fried oyster. It sort of eliminates me from having it for the first time when I come back here and I’m going to come back now that we’re family. So I came in both your hostess has said, try the fried oysters, servers the fried oysters around Milan, Ronnie who’s been phenomenal. Alexa came over manager said, trying to fried oysters. I said alright, order the fried oysters. I have one bite of the Remi lon and I had the oyster is in my mouth and I grabbed my phone. I started taking pictures. And I tweeted out literally I don’t even know what the reaction is. I’ve been here one of my jobs for four hours. My last statement was I think we just unwittingly kicked off the 25th anniversary of the Maryland oyster tour here at the Museum of Art. And I took the picture of your oysters before I ate them. Text my wife I said ridiculous. I don’t. So oysters to me are the undiscovered that you know what I mean? That’s going to be my next Chesapeake celebrity chef thing what do I need to know about oysters that I am what made sure so tastes so good. Why does everybody want them?

John Shields  22:02

Well because we just do them really, really simply we you know we get Chesapeake oysters there shucked oysters we do on with just simply with a little bit of flour and a little bit of just big seasonings, salts and peppers. shake that off from very quickly so they’re nice and crisp. And that’s it. no egg, no batter.

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:24

And I wanted six more and I had had a little cup of cream a crab and I had the berry salad which is still in my teeth, which is a long story. Blackberries. You know, mistake always. But I got the oysters and I just want to say like, if you’ve inspired me today to re imagine that because I have more Mercedes than meet more VMAs to promote more family to meet that I don’t know about probably not. But in this particular case, your Chesapeake background and you taking the goodies concept of the Dungeness crabs to do what are they doing out there? You didn’t serve a Dungeness crab?

John Shields  22:59

No, not a Gertie is known. We didn’t have the Dungeness. What’s a Baltimore guy

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:03

doing a Berkeley Cal Poly? I know why you came back right? Because this is Oh,

John Shields  23:07

exactly why I went on vacation and I just got lost and I was there for 18 years. I don’t know things happen was it but

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:13

it was a Chesapeake. Calif there was Berkeley Chesapeake menu to Northern California.

John Shields  23:18

I did. I did. And well, that’s its own podcast.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:21

I mean, that’s gonna take us at least that’s the next episode of all this. But so so for your menu and for your association here for all these years of being here. What what makes it awesome when I pulled in today, and it was just more vibrant? Not that I should say that I expected it to be but you didn’t have an empty seat in here. 123. I mean, no, it’s really remarkable. It really is. It is gertrudes is a community

John Shields  23:43

spot as is the BMA. And that makes me so proud. I mean, I have so many people who actually had their first dates here. They got married here, their kids, they would have a christening party here. And then those kids actually are or host people at the restaurant. That continuity of being the spot the the community gathering place, I call it our common table. And you know, I mean, it gives me so much joy. I completely

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:16

I can see it. I mean, you wear it there’s no debt. Well the reason I’m here is Baltimore, you have no idea Dan Rodgers is going to be doing a show your next couple weeks. Dan’s been a friend of mine. I came here last year. I’m like, I gotta come back. I’ve been meaning to get here. And I haven’t even tried the real thing. So this is sort of like what kids plays rock and roll all night at the end of the show, you know, like they did with my art i i brought this today for you because I thought this was what art was to me. This was what art was to me album art and concert art. When I think of the first art I fell in love with as a kid other than finger painting or logos of sports teams where you know, every soilers

Mercedes Lopez  24:52

is we love we love it whatever the gateway to art is.

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:56

Well let me do marrying a phenomenal woman that went to the Louvre a few weeks to go, who hasn’t been to the BMS? So we’re gonna look to change that next.

Mercedes Lopez  25:03

Sounds like good are you all should both come back, spend some time in the museum and then maybe a meal over here,

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:09

or figure out which one of these crabcakes I’m going to. So this is what I’m going to do at a perspective. My mother not to disrespect your grandmother. But this looks like the way my mother would do that. And you swear to me, so there’s a restaurant down in Annapolis called Davis’s pub in the corner, and they do something I think that might be similar to this, which is, I call it East Baltimore. Yeah, I call it the fried hockey puck. No fence. No, it’s not gonna taste like a hockey puck, but it looks like one. So this, I’m gonna love this. I mean, I’m good. This is gonna taste like home to me. It is no offense to grandma or those lumpy crab cakes that you jumbo lump. I didn’t argue with Andrew Zimmern. He told me he’s only one way to do a crab cake. He said that on my air. Yeah. Like, dude, you’re not from around here, you know?

Mercedes Lopez  25:52

Yeah, not in Maryland. There’s a there’s more than just one way to do your grab. There’s

John Shields  25:56

so many now what about many?

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:58

I had a whole summer the first summer. Everywhere I went. They gave me tartar sauce. And they give it to me in a little. It’s mayonnaise and some pickled crap. In a lot of places. It’s not artisan. Then I had a shell by the way. I mean, just real. Yes. That’s real crap. And then I had really really good tartar and a handful of places with this lemon and this burst and this brightness and in this creaminess, and I thought Who in the world would ever put tartar sauce on a crab cake? Like it’s not unheard of in Dundalk like, we just wouldn’t do it. Cocktail? Yes on that. Yes. But never charter and then I start to see fancy Schmidt guys who go to Berkeley chefs. Who do Remy Lodz, who do various mustards and I see mustard seed. Are these the same remz Because, yes,

John Shields  26:54

these are their mustard is this one. I had three mustard sauce. This isn’t what I had on the oyster. That’s a different that was around.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:04

Alright, so what should I do with what?

John Shields  27:05

Well generally, that’s it’s harder. The Gertie goes with the basil caper tartar sauce,

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:12

so this is going to be Gucci the way it’s good. Very good. Okay. High end Dundalk, Kid keep in mind all right, but the lowest

John Shields  27:18

common denominator. It’s tartar sauce.

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:21

Mustard, I’m gonna go mustard on the old school mama daddy. That’s the good and what’s this cake called? The fried

John Shields  27:27

that’s the boardwalk like you would get more boardwalk in Ocean City. Delicious. Okay. And we get we get our crab from jam Clayton, which you probably know down in Crisfield. Let me tell you that jam clan, I mean, in Cambridge, Cambridge, s jam,

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:43

Clayton trueblue. They’re out on the Choptank bringing these in. And Jack down there, Jack’s Great. Jack took me in two summers ago on the tour. And he said, You’re gonna come down here when we’re picking. And you’re gonna come through and I’m gonna bring in and all the women had masks on because it was COVID time, right? All Mexican and Central American and artists. I use the artists the way the crab comes out. And I saw every step of that process and learn that the females are what with the row and when you find orange row in a delicate crab cake. It’s going to have the sweetness and I’ve I’m into this as you can tell a few crab cakes by day where what was your favorite crab cake when you grew up in Parkville? Did you have a place? Was there a place you went and made it like your grandmother?

John Shields  28:43

Let’s well usually my grandmother we didn’t grow up with a whole lot of money so we really didn’t go out to eat very often. Okay, so there was a place right up on Taylor Avenue called hair hails Hill seafood. And they were there for ever pappases bought it. Okay, so they’re there. I was there last week by the way Yeah, but growing up that’s where where I would go if Gertie wasn’t making the crab cake I would. So what’s what’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:09

good he’s crab cake me. Don’t get the recipe but what what is this? Because everybody’s talked about this. This is the one everybody talks about. Well, I

John Shields  29:17

mean, it’s just like a crab cake like a you know, a normal crab cake should be it. It’s good crab meat. That’s what you need. You need good crab meat is nothing you know, earth shattering about that. You know, it has a egg. It has some mustard. You could use Dijon you could use the you know, the English mustard. If you want it to enjoy some lemon juice you could do and you mix up, make a little batter with it. Treat it very gently. Use the least amount of breading that you can do to get it to hold together and then let the crab do the talk and you don’t have to go crab really does do the talk. Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:52

don’t talk right now. Yeah, that’s why I’m not talking because it’s gradual talk. John shields is your worker church. I got crab in my teeth. I’ve got boy Boardwalk. I’ve got cat caddies at ease cat he’s not caught cat fish. They’re eating our crabs is a problem. Go back and watch my thing with Marty Gary, as well as the the house gertrudes and it’s some some days you get the Barbara Mikulski or nana right? Yep, absolutely.

John Shields  30:15

I call it the Babs. We call that Senator. Senator Barb’s Senator Barb’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:19

Yeah. And what makes that on the menu or not on the menu? What? How does that happen? Well, it’s

John Shields  30:24

just a rotating, you know, just a rotating thing. It’s whatever, that special bread of women that they come up in the kitchen. Let’s do the senator Barb today, and then I’ll come back that that

Mercedes Lopez  30:34

means you got to come back from multiple visits. You can try all the crab cake. Well,

John Shields  30:38

actually, actually, you know, when you think about that, and and Nestor, when you were talking about all the different kinds of things in different kinds of crab cakes, I kind of look at gertrudes as an exhibit space. It’s called gertrudes, Chesapeake kitchen. So a lot of people are visiting from out of the country or they’re visiting from out of state. So I’d like them to be able to get a taste of all around the Chesapeake, they might not be able to get down to the Eastern Shore, they might not be able to go down to Southern Maryland. So I’d like this to be a little bit of a culinary exhibit right here at the Baltimore Museum of Art as

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:13

well. Now we’re family. I’m coming back. We’re gertrudes with the BMA, the Baltimore Museum of Art right off the Hopkins campus, easily accessible if you’re in Hamden or Remington or anywhere, quite frankly, close enough that I can almost see the 33rd Street stadium lights if they were still here, but they’re not. I couldn’t drive past here for 10 years. My wife tell you beginning our marriage, Mercedes our business here she is the Visitor Experience Manager at the BMA. I came here for cone sisters when I was a kid, give everybody a 32nd. Tell them about the cone sisters and what I learned when I was in fifth grade. Yeah, about why they’re saying tificate so

Mercedes Lopez  31:46

the cone sisters Clara Belen at a cone are Baltimore based, I guess. Collectors from the late 1800s, early 1900s. They were friends with the with Gertrude Stein, her brother Leo, studied at Hopkins friends with artists like Matisse. Their collection is really the bread and butter of the BMA. So you’ll find Matisse and his contemporary Saison, Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, all those modernists that you’re familiar with, you’ll find

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:20

my son went to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam day before yesterday. So there, well, we’ve got

Mercedes Lopez  32:26

Yeah, yeah, they’ll have well, if he hasn’t been in the BMA, maybe he can come to have

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:31

true Van Gogh’s here.

Mercedes Lopez  32:32

We’ve got two Van Gogh’s we’ve got Moses. Yeah, there were tastic. And we recently participated in a worldwide like Van Gogh project, which I’m sorry the name escapes me, but I have no doubt that you’ll be able to find it because it’s a worldwide first

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:46

time I ever went to the mechanic was to see Vincent with Leonard Nimoy as the last I saw me there in 1979. At Mr. Star Trek spot guy doing doing Van Gogh. Yeah, about that year in the envelope poor guy. Well, you know, but you know, the, the notion that I’ve been to the Van Gogh Museum, but don’t spend more time with the BMA shame, oh, my I’m gonna get my kid in his daughter. Oh, absolutely. I hear that related to you. They are

John Shields  33:12

they are my cousin and her. Give

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:15

them grief for spending a whole week in Amsterdam museums and not coming to your museum,

John Shields  33:20

while I’m going to have their butts Oh,

Mercedes Lopez  33:22

we have over 97,000 objects. So we’re rotating constantly, we can only have like six to 8% of the collection on view at any given time. So if it’s been a little while since the last visit, come through, and I’m sure you’ll see a new museum. All right,

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:35

we’ll get over here soon. Anything special for the holidays or anything going into the new year that we need to promote? Let people know events, anything like that. shorts

Mercedes Lopez  33:44

are the next big thing that we’re looking at is the opening of our Joseph Education Center. It’s a assessable interactive space to welcome kids and families. That’s a renovation that just happened on the first floor and we’re really looking forward I just walked

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:58

in there that I walked through there on the way the executive I think I did, there was sort of a closed off area there is an old office no brand new may have

Mercedes Lopez  34:05

seen the behind the scene, so don’t give it away.

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:08

behind the curtains, it was like special bps, it felt like it was gonna get smart episodes.

Mercedes Lopez  34:12

We do need a special beat for that. When a special BP

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:15

and I’m like, we’re the only ones in here. I feel like it’s Disneyland after dark, you know? And then I smelled and I’m like, smells like a new wing. And so that was it that was in that area.

Mercedes Lopez  34:25

So that’s opening that’s coming up next and ahead into the new year. We’re looking forward to our retrospective for Joyce Jay Scott. Yeah. All of Baltimore loves

John Shields  34:38

you live here quite frequently when I when I can’t stand being in a restaurant any more than I go on a stroll. And what a great place to

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:48

be placed. Do some thinking.

John Shields  34:49

Yeah, get my steps in.

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:50

You got it? Absolutely. Mercedes Lopez is here. She’s the Visitor Experience Manager. You can find her over here at the BMA. Everything at the BMA is at arch AR T Like ngModel bma.org RT b m a.org. And of course you could find gertrudes here. You’re open midday. You’re like a really lunch early dinner place right for

John Shields  35:11

lunch and dinner. Five days a week until what time our last eating normally is eight o’clock at night. Yeah, and, and brunch on Sunday brunch on Sunday.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:24

90% of your pictures are crab cakes and brunch. And I’m like and what kind of music we have good

John Shields  35:29

music. Yeah, we have Dottie Timberlake, who is a Baltimore legend. She played with Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington. She’s gonna have to show you later on.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:40

I’m gonna hang out with the museum guys here. I’m gonna get some family get some better guests around here like these folks. John shields is here. We’re cursors Dan Rajic show opens next week. It’s Baltimore. You have no idea. My thanks so don’t Ramos Councilwoman for coming by. And for her husband, my life a friend John for providing the proper cookie dough. You know, I got cookie dough today. Yesterday. They surprise me a Coco’s and dumped a bunch of eggnog on me. Whiskey. rombro had all this stuff in it that I don’t put my when I put it in the coffee. So the holidays are this is adding up. I’m taking crabcakes home to my wife from my family member John shields whose cousin is my daughter in law’s cousin. Is that right? Mother? Mother?

John Shields  36:22

I’m sure. Your daughter in law. Mother,

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:26

you’re the cousin of the mother of my dog

John Shields  36:28

cousin. Her cousin in law’s really close in and loss as far as families

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:32

that were causing loss somebody was saying your cousin’s by marriage and I’m like That sounds so I that’s that’s not a real family. Yeah, that sounds

Mercedes Lopez  36:42

a little too formal for small to more right? Yeah, you

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:45

don’t over here get a boardwalk cake. Get a caddy, get a Geurts by the way, I want to give some love to the family of Gert Gibson who was my mother’s best friend who we were at we didn’t have a big family and I said we would spend every family holiday Miss skirts house. Miss skirts have we are Mr. Sam but a lot of times called Miss girl that was her husband and all of their kids. Listen, they’re friends of ours and Stan Gibson. They do Stan stock every year. His mother’s name was Kurt and I don’t know I don’t know that I’ve met any other Gertz many Gertz in my whole life. Other than Miss Gert who we lost years ago. But she lives on her spirit lives on her name here being your but really in our sauerkraut co boss you know from don’t talk about your boss on holidays, right? That’s right,

John Shields  37:27

you do that? Parkville you’re gonna have to come to crap fest.

Mercedes Lopez  37:31

What you’re gonna have to come Krause fest.

John Shields  37:34

We have the sauerkraut, we got the kielbasa. We got it all where polka band right here, joy of Maryland on the 12th and 13th of January. they cease to be uh huh. I’ll get you in are

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:49

very important. You’re now you’re now related to my wife who’s polish. So yes, will there be Will there be a pierogi? Sir, absolutely. We have everything man. We take care of the Polish people to have here every year to crabcake people take care of the art people. We got it all going on. Thanks to you. I see your whole team and I’m here to help with the BMA we’re going to tour around we’ll be back here next week with Dan Rodricks. If you miss Dan, if you missed our dead please go check it out and stay with us. We’re wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore signing off our friends at the Maryland lottery win donation and of course if you do multi care where the Maryland crabcake tour and I’m sorry I know it all your patrons with my volume back for more right after this.

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