Since coming to work as executive chef for the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel in 2019, Chef Elizabeth (Beth) Dinice has embraced Charm City and brought her signature culinary style to this community.
Dinice, a graduate of the Bucks County (Pennsylvania) Community College culinary program and American Culinary Federation apprenticeship, has been privileged to work for some of the top-rated hospitality establishments in the country, including The Palm Restaurant Group, The Ritz Carlton and Stephen Starr Events and Restaurant Group. But exploring the Lord Baltimore Hotel’s lobby for the first time served as the catalyst that sparked her interest in working at this celebrated downtown Baltimore hotel.
“Independent hotels are rare. What really made me want to come to work here was getting the opportunity to work closely with the management team,” she says.
That work took some unexpected turns, particularly during the past year. In 2020, the Lord Baltimore Hotel went from regular operations to serving as a COVID-19 respite center during the pandemic. “We’re very grateful to the City and the University of Maryland Medical Center for the opportunity to help at-risk Baltimoreans,” she says.
While the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on Dinice’s plans to explore the city, she has been taking advantage of the opportunities when she can to dine out in downtown Baltimore. “Baltimore has a vibrant culinary scene that I don’t think people realize exists here,” she says.
Dinice’s role as a culinary professional also encompasses education. She served as a culinary instructor in Philadelphia during her career with Stephen Starr as well as at Mercer County College in New Jersey—opportunities she says gave her an appreciation for knowledge sharing. “One of the things that I like the best about being a chef is that I don’t know everything,” she says. “I can learn from my staff just the same as they can learn from me. The most important thing is that you have people who are willing to learn. I’ll teach anything. They just have to be willing to show the desire and the interest.”
You can learn the techniques for making Chef Dinice’s Crab Rolls and Rockfish Salad with the recipes below.
Makes 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 pieces of 6-ounce rockfish fillets, skin on
- 2 peaches
- 1 watermelon radish
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 2 heads hydroponic lettuce of your choice
- 2 lemons
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté rockfish skin side down until fish begins to turn opaque
and skin is crispy. Turn fish over and continue to sauté until thoroughly cooked.
- While fish is cooking, assemble salad ingredients. Slice peaches, radish and cherry tomatoes into any shape you desire.
- In each serving bowl, place lettuce and peach, watermelon radish and cherry tomato slices.
- Slice each lemon into 8 wedges.
- When fish is cooked, add salt and pepper and add to salad.
- Squeeze lemon wedges over salad to dress. Toss and enjoy.
Chef’s Note: “I did not dress this salad with standard dressing, so each of the elements can be enjoyed with just a squeeze of lemon. Feel free to add a dressing of your choice.
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 12 split-top mini hot dog buns or 4 standard-size split-top buns
- 1 pound lump or jumbo lump crabmeat, cleaned of all shells and cartilage
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (choose your favorite)
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives or scallions
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ lemon
- Melt butter in a heavy saucepan and toast the tops of the buns gently in the butter. Set aside.
- Place the crab in a large bowl. Gently mix in mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, the chives or scallions, salt and pepper to taste.
- Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the crab and mix gently until incorporated.
- Place the crab mixture into the split-top buns, sprinkle a little Old Bay seasoning on top and serve with kettle-style potato chips, if desired.