Jay Belle, former chef/owner of the too-short-lived Alabama BBQ on Harford Road, is back in Maryland. He has lots of plans, but right now, he’s heading to Solomon’s Island, slightly less than two hours from Baltimore, to cook at a new restaurant called Ruddy Duck Brewery & Grill.
Here's what happened to Jay since he closed his popular barbecue place in January due to the economy. He headed to California to work at another "Q" restaurant. He stayed for about six weeks and shared that "his heart wasn’t in it" in an e-mail to Baltimore fans who were following his travels.
Jay came back to Baltimore in February and has been searching for the right fit. He’s looking forward to working as an executive sous chef at Ruddy Duck, which will open in four to five weeks, but he really hopes to open a "purely Southern" restaurant in Baltimore in a few years.
In the meantime, Jay will be preparing New American fare with regional influences from across the United States and into South America at the Ruddy Duck. And barbecue enthusiast that he is, he is in discussion with the Duck’s owners to include authentic barbecue on its menu. Let’s hope he does. It would be worth the drive.