Tuscan-style dish is a customer favorite

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From the September 2021 issue

recipe-august-2021

Erikah Fitz loves getting feedback from Full Belly American Bistro’s diners. “My guests influence my style,” the chef explains. “I’m very special-based; I change my menu every single day.”

Facebook followers look forward to photos of her spiral-bound notebook, which sports the Lewes-area restaurant’s specials. Highlighted in Day-Glo colors, they’ve included meatloaf, a Korean salmon bibimbap bowl, shrimp-and-chicken gumbo and chicken schnitzel. “My style is very eclectic,” Fitz acknowledges.

The cuisine might travel the globe, but Fitz is a “Beebe baby” who grew up along the coast. The Sussex County native has more than saltwater in her blood. When she was 8 or 9, she helped her father, a head chef, make salads. Her mother, Aimee Lackford, has been in the local restaurant industry for three decades, and when she worked holiday bartending or server jobs, Fitz took over the family kitchen.

"Mock" crab cakes let everyone in on the coastal craze

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From the August 2021 issue

recipe-august-2021

For many Delmarva diners, nothing compares to a crab cake dinner. It doesn’t matter whether the restaurant specializes in seafood, steak, bar food or ethnic fare. Along the Culinary Coast, a crab cake is a must-have menu item.

If you don’t eat crab, you might feel left out. However, Chesapeake & Maine, part of the Dogfish Head family, has a solution. The downtown Rehoboth Beach restaurant serves “faux” crab cakes made with mushrooms. “They are extremely popular, and we’ve gotten a lot of great guest feedback on them,” says head chef Ray GiangerusoRaised in the hills of Vernon, N.J., Giangeruso knows his way around plants. As a child, he helped his mother — “a fantastic cook” — tend her vegetable garden. “I would help pick ripe tomatoes and herbs for marinara sauce,” he recalls. “I always enjoyed the long process of creating a great red sauce.”

Local ingredients, zesty dressing enhance Jim Lewis’s colorful presentation

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From the July 2021 issue

recipe-july-2021

Growing up in Berlin, Md., Jim Lewis was interested in agriculture, and he worked in landscaping as a teen. But when he hit the line in a restaurant kitchen, he began viewing plants through a culinary lens. Today, he is the executive chef at Sedona in Bethany Beach. “I use local ingredients whenever they are available,” says Lewis, who was the opening chef at five area restaurants before coming to Sedona.

The chef, who gives classic recipes a signature twist, has landed at the right spot. Sedona, which opened in 1993, is known for its compelling flavor profiles — one of Lewis’s specialties. Consider his roasted grape salad with basil green goddess dressing. This is hardly your grandmother’s dressing. Green goddess, reportedly named after a 1921 play, is often made with tarragon and chives. Lewis uses basil and avocado to achieve the telltale hue.