Casting Call! Are You a Character … and A Chef

A new TV show that showcases what general aviation airports are all about … food, flying and hangar treasure … is now casting for the show, which will include a pilot, a chef, and a “hangar rat.” Each episode of Air Fare America is expected to center around the cast of three characters – an adrenaline-junkie pilot, a professional chef and a colorful “picker” – who will fly into various general aviation airports, eat at the associated restaurant and search the hangars for interesting aircraft to fly. The chef will set out to improve upon the restaurant’s menu, which will vary from local “mom & pop” eateries to high-end five-star restaurants. The three characters will begin each show in the cockpit of an airplane and end each show sharing a meal. “We’re not looking for people who have great hair and great teeth and don’t know what they’re talking about. We’re looking for authenticity,” said Executive Producer Joel Westbrook. Big fat kudos to B-more’s Andrea Vernot, the visionary behind AFA. For more information on casting for Air Fare America, or to submit an application, visit

OPEN FOR BIZ: Under the guidance of General Manager Heath Bostick, The Tin Roof restaurant, bar and live music venue, opened at 32 Market Place in Power Plant Live. Tin Roof originated in Nashville … there are now 13 locations across the U.S. Their specialty is TennMex – a unique regional American cuisine that blends foods specifically available in Tennessee and neighboring states, along with the culinary creations of Mexican-Americans influenced by Mexican cuisine. As THEY say – Southern cookin’ meets Mexican culture! Check out Chef Patrick Cook’s chicken and waffle nuggets with bacon, maple syrup and unique quesadilla options including brisket and mushrooms or the all-you-can-eat $13 wings during NFL games. And – Tin Roof’s concert stage features national recording artists.

Keir and Binda Singh, owners of Baltimore’s Ambassador Dining Room opened Ananda Restaurant in Maple Lawn in Fulton. Ananda means “bliss” in Pali, Sanskrit and other Indian languages, and the Singh brothers have set out to provide diners with “absolute happiness – through food, comfort and the feeling that you are at home, yet transported away to tranquility.” I’m told that they have achieved that goal. FSM’s own Dara Bunjon gave rave reviews to not only the food but the décor as well. The 8,000 square foot restaurant (twice the size of The Ambassador) resembles a medieval castle from the outside and emulates royal Indian and British style on the inside and a year-round terrace with glass garage-style doors.

WHAT’S SUP? Chef Cyrus Keefer has moved on from The Fork and Wrench. He is now partnering with Sean White and Andrew Dunlap of Bandito’s Tacos & Tequila in Federal Hill in a new concept called Allbird featuring Asian inspired poultry. Until the partners finalize a location, Chef Keefer will be continuing doing menu development for Bandito’s.

The National Kidney Foundation of Maryland will hold its 5th annual Santé: A Culinary Odyssey celebration, Thursday, November 20, from 6 to 10 p.m., at the M&T Bank Stadium, North Club Level Lounge in downtown Baltimore. With over 900 guests expected, the business/casual fête will feature signature dishes from over 45 top local chefs, including: B&O American Brasserie, Barrett’s Grill, Bertha’s Mussels, Grillfire, and Bruce and Sherifa Clarke’s Laurrapin. Proceeds from Santé will fund vital research at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, and directly support NKF-MD’s patient emergency assistance program, which provides essentials such as food, housing costs, utilities, medication and transportation to dialysis.

Birroteca, the popular restaurant in the Clipper Mill/Hampden area is opening another location in Bel Air – no word on the actual address yet. Stay tuned.

Donna’s Charles Village, located at 3101 St. Paul Street, has extended its hours and has introduced a special late-night menu. “Late Night at Donna’s” will also feature weekly drink specials. The new menu includes selections from executive chef Andy Thomas’ signature Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

About the Author

RANDI ROM is a Baltimore special events planner, marketing and public relations maven, freelance writer and head of R.J. Rom & Associates. Have a hot scoop? Contact Randi via e-mail at or by phone at 443-691-9671.

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