Chef, author and television personality John Shields is the owner of the celebrated Gertrude's Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
John is often called "The Culinary Ambassador of the Chesapeake Bay," and he has written three popular cookbooks on the cuisine of the region: The Chesapeake Bay Cookbook; The Chesapeake Bay Crab Cookbook; and Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields. In 1998, public television stations across the country began airing John's series "Chesapeake Bay Cooking," based on the book of that title. For the series, John hit the road, interviewing folks around the Chesapeake region and showing how they prepared their favorite regional dishes.
His most recent book, Coastal Cooking with John Shields, highlights foods from America's coastal regions and introduces the people who grow, raise and cook them. The companion PBS television series, "Coastal Cooking with John Shields," currently airs nationwide. In "Coastal Cooking with John Shields" the cameras accompany John to locations across the continent, from Maine to New Orleans -from Charleston, South Carolina to the Pacific Northwest's Whidbey Island.
John's writings have appeared in numerous national publications, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, Coastal Living, and Southern Living. He is a frequent guest chef on radio and television and at public events. During his appearances, and in his writings, John often expresses his passionate convictions about healthy eating and the importance of supporting the growers, producers and food artisans of one's region. He has spoken before the American Diabetes Association on the importance of promoting a healthier diet to combat what has become a national epidemic.
In 2010 he worked with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center For A Livable Future and appeared in the film "BFED - The Baltimore Food Ecology Documentary."
In the spring of 2011, partnering with Johns Hopkins University, he launched a five-part kitchen garden series at Hopkins' Evergreen Museum and Library. The series includes hands-on gardening workshops in the new kitchen garden Gertrude's staff has created on the grounds at Evergreen, with harvesting and cooking demonstrations presented by John.
Every spring and fall John goes to local elementary schools volunteering as guest chef for the American Institute of Wine and Food's innovative Days of Taste program. During the Days of Taste inner city students are led to explore the different flavors of healthy food and shown how to prepare a fresh salad from local ingredients.
John serves on the Advisory Board of the John Hopkins Center For A Livable Future's Food and Faith Project and is a member of many other community organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an environmental group dedicated to protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding wetlands. He's also active in a variety of professional organizations, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance, Slow Food USA, the American Institute of Wine and Food, and the Chefs' Collaborative, which promotes sustainable agriculture through use of indigenous foods and local suppliers.