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Festival brings culinary experience to Prince George’s

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Published on: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

By Tracey Gold Bennett

Get your taste buds ready to sample some of the finest cuisine in the region at the Taste Prince George’s Food and Wine Festival on Sept. 7 at Six Flags America in Mitchellville.

It costs just $25 for admission to Six Flags and parking. Taste booklets to sample the food begin at $24 for 10 tickets and $15 for a five tickets.

Featured chefs include Chef Huda, master chocolatier Mary O’Malley, Chef Donnell Long, and Kitchen Cray Chefs James Robinson and Sean Robinson.

 “We think that our residents are well traveled and their palates are sophisticated and refined. So we have work to do to raise the diversity of food options available in the county,” said Quianne Perrin, CEO of Fly Candy, the firm sponsoring the event. “We feel like we can do something about that even if it means inviting other chefs from other places to come into the county.”

Perrin, born and raised in Largo, experienced eclectic culinary scenes such as Los Angeles. She wants to use her firm to raise awareness of the culinary talent in the county.

“Kenny Calay, for example, lives in the county but is the executive chef at Clyde’s on 7th Street NW, and then there’s Donnell Long, of Old Towne Inn in Upper Marlboro, who is an incredible imaginative chef, and he’s always learning new culinary techniques,” Perrin said.

Another item on Fly Candy’’s agenda is to bridge the gap between dining options that are currently available in the county and new culinary experiences offered by innovative companies like Kitchen Cray LLC.

“We decided to join the ‘Taste of PG’ to be a part of something great because as we all know food brings everyone together, and it’s going to be cool to have the community out networking and supporting each others’ businesses,” said James Robinson, private executive chef and founder of Kitchen Cray LLC.

Chef Robinson and his pastry chef Sean Robinson will be among the chefs doing live demonstrations.

“We will be doing a live action station serving up some lemon pepper shrimp over pesto fettuccine with spinach and sundried tomatoes,” he said. “We will also have some house made cupcakes and chocolates for everyone.”

Robinson said KitchenCray is on the precipice of a foodie revolution.

“The C is for Creativity, R is the Revolution we are starting [by way of] the new chef culture where we bring chefs together as one and not in competition. A is for the Artistry because we are artists, and the Y is for the youth because we are the youth and we support the youth in the community,” he said.

Mary O’Malley, of online confection company Mary O’Malley Chocolatiers LLC,  is about to celebrate the anniversary of her first year in business. O’Malley thinks events like the Taste Prince George’s Food and Wine Festival will raise awareness of her offerings online.

“Owning a small business is challenging in this economy, and it has its ups and downs. I think it (the festival) is great for exposure because my company is so new,” she said.

The chocolatier uses all organic ingredients in her chocolates.

“Everything is handmade, no preservatives, organic and all-natural, high-quality chocolate,” she said. “I will have on hand different types of truffles: one is a white macadamia nut caramelized with Jamaican rum, chocolate dipped pretzels and fruit and Jasmine tea truffles.”

As the event draws closer, Perrin can barely contain her excitement. Still, she remains humble when assigning credit for the success in garnering support and participation.

“It lets me know that hard work pays off and that God is good,” she said. “He has orchestrated this entire event from start to finish.”

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