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A Proustian Travel Guide: John Shields

A Proustian Travel Guide: John Shields

john shields

A Baltimore chef gives us the best local eateries.

Name: John Shields

Profession: Restaurateur/Chef/Author

Age: 64

Location: Baltimore

"Baltimore born guy who adores all things Chesapeake and Divine."

What is your favorite thing to splurge on?

Upgrades for leg room

What was the best gift you’ve ever received, and who was it from?

An inlaid cutting board from my good friend, Linda Gerson, some 30-plus years ago. I use it everyday.

When traveling, what do you never leave home without?

A nightlight.

Describe the perfect weekend in Baltimore.

A Weekend of Museums. Friday, make a visit to the American Visionary Arts Museum, coupled with at least one hour in their gift shop; so much fun. Then a cocktail and small plate at Encantada Restaurant, right in the museum. Then jump on a water taxi and head to Canton for another artistic adventure at Alma Cocina Latina, where art and amazing Venezuelan food meet.

On Saturday, a visit to the Walter’s Art Museum and its vast collection of ancient art. Cruise around the Mount Vernon Cultural District, with a stop at the lively City Café, on Eager St. and a dinner at one of my favorite spots, The Helmand, on Charles St which features delicious Afghanistan cuisine.

On Sunday, the Baltimore Museum of Art. So much to see here, but do not miss the fabulous Cone Collection, the largest Matisse collection in the world. The gift shop is another must, with tons of items handcrafted by local artists. I spend every Sunday brunch at the north end of the bar at Gertrude’s, located right in the museum, and listen to live jazz music with Baltimore music legends, Dottie Timberlake & Al Saunder’s. (Disclaimer: This is my restaurant).

What is your favorite neighborhood? And why? 

Charles Village/Waverly – This is where I spend most of my waking hours and love this lively neighborhood. Most especially the 32nd Street/Waverly Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

Tell us about your favorite restaurant, café or bar. 

Love Carma’s Café on West 32nd Street in Charles Village.

Alive, dead or fictional – who is your favorite local?

John Waters, of course!

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