The Columbia Foodies are 14 people who meet once a month, alternating between hosting dinners and dining out. There are a few professional cooks, but the rest are, as George says, "amateur but dedicated cooks of varying skill levels."
I asked George to recommend some resources for local chefs. He went beyond the Howard County line for a few places that I haven't visited -- and straight to U.S. 1 for the Sysco basics:
The European Market at 7428 Muncaster Mill Rd, in Derwood (near Gaithersburg), Md. This grocery store specializes in Portuguese and Brazilian products as well as some Mediterranean foods. They have fresh Portuguese breads and pastries, Portuguese sausages and clay cooking pots as well as a full line of Portuguese and Brazilian groceries. They also have some terrific prices on olives. Kalamata olives are $3.99 a pound.
Penzeys Spices at 1048 Rockville Pike in Rockville is an entire store devoted to spices and herbs. They have an amazing selection in a variety of sizes at good prices. I have been very happy with the quality and freshness of there products. They also do catalogue and online sales.
Sysco Discount Food Store at 7540 Washington Blvd. in Elkridge has some good values in meats and canned goods and decent prices on commercial cooking utensils. In the back of the store they often have merchandise from broken cases that are very good value.CoThe Columbia Foodies are trying to keep their group small, but they occasionally consider new members. For more information, contact George at 410-290-8380 or gershonr at comcast dot net.
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