Sweet Treats from Around the World Highlight December 14 Episode of Chesapeake Farm & Bay to Table


Jinji Fraser of Pure Chocolate by Jinji and Luke Ilardo and Megan Cowman of Doppio Pasticceria join Mary Hastler and Chef John Shields during this holiday program

“Sweet Treats from Around the World” is the theme of the December 14 episode of “Chesapeake Farm & Bay to Table.” This popular virtual cooking series is produced by Harford County Public Library and Chef John Shields’ nonprofit Our Common Table and highlights Maryland farms, fisheries and local businesses. The program will be presented via Zoom from 7 to 8 p.m.

The program begins as Chef John and Library CEO Mary Hastler visit the Belvedere Square Market in North Baltimore to learn more about locavore sweet treats available in the area this holiday season. Along for the fun are guest hosts Jinji Fraser of Pure Chocolate by Jinji and Luke Ilardo and Megan Cowman of Doppio Pasticceria.

After the visit to the Belvedere Square Market, it’s back to the kitchen to cook up a storm.

Jinji Fraser began her chocolate journey assisting people with their health pursuits by establishing Pure Chocolate by Jinji as a dairy and gluten-free business. Through extensive travels and research, Fraser has dedicated herself to aligning with direct trade and minority community funding objectives within the chocolate industry. Pure Chocolate by Jinji is located in Belvedere Square Market.

Opened in spring 2022, Doppio Pasticceria, owned by partners Luke Ilardo  and Megan Cowman, is a Sicilian bakery in Baltimore. Ilardo, whose father immigrated to the United States from Lascari, a small town outside of Sicily’s capital of Palermo, grew up in Baltimore working in his family’s pizzeria and other kitchens before switching to agricultural work. Cowman grew up surrounded by agriculture in Carroll County and began working in kitchens at the age of 14. Her great-grandparents hail from Santo Stefano, less than 70 miles from Lascari. 

Doppio means “double” in Italian and represents the duality of Sicilian cuisine, influenced by countless empires of old, yet singular and definitively belonging to the small Mediterranean island. They prioritize products cultivated in the Chesapeake region, from the grains they mill, to the produce they feature and the dairy they use in cheesemaking. 

“The holidays are always extra special when cooking and serving delicious foods that are found close to one’s home,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. “In this episode we are so fortunate to have Jinji Fraser from Pure Chocolate by Jinji and Luke Ilardo and Megan Cowman of Doppio Pasticceria join Chef John and me as we create some delectable sweet treats for the holidays and beyond.”

A specially curated book list has been created for this episode. To access it, visit https://hcplonline.org/farmbaytotableregister.php.

To sign up to view “Sweet Treats from Around the World,” visit https://hcplmd.org/cfbtt-s3e6-register. Advanced registration, including a valid email address, is requested. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email from Zoom with a link to the program and a unique password to access the event. Viewers will also receive copies of the recipes (usually provided the night of the event).

This episode of “Chesapeake Farm & Bay to Table” is presented in partnership with Harford County Public Library, Our Common Table, 32nd Street Farmers Market, Doppio Pasticceria, Chef John Shields’ restaurant Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen and Pure Chocolate by Jinji.

For more than 75 years, Harford County Public Library has provided its communities with

access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the library interacted with its residents more than 12 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, using free WiFi, and attending classes and events. In 2021 Harford County Public Library was named a Star Library by Library Journal. For more information, visit HCPLonline.org.

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