Through Charm City Food Tours, Celeste Corsaro gives out-of-towners (and locals) guided gustatory tours through Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Yes, there will be crab cakes. And no, you won’t overeat (she promises). We check in with Corsaro on the state of local cuisine.
Where did you go to school?
I dabbled with college, but didn’t have much time for it. I don’t regret it, though. I’ve launched two businesses so far and consider what I have learned along the way to be my college education.
What is the best advice you ever got?
To shut up when my mouth wants to run. My friend Liz gives me that advice on a daily basis.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
There are no mistakes.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
I left my corporate sales job to start my own business. I was a single mother and jumped right out of the frying pan into the fire. Sometimes, I still can’t believe I did it. But again, no mistakes.
Is Baltimore becoming a foodie town?
Well, I loathe the word “foodie,” but Baltimore is definitely growing up in the culinary world. Ten years ago, I would have never been able to launch a food tour.
What’s the most delicious thing you’ve eaten on your food tours?
I don’t normally eat on the tour itself, but I have tried everything: Nancy Longo’s Pierpoint crab cakes are a shining star. Oh, so are the Mediterranean spreads at The Black Olive. And the burger at Kooper’s. The list goes on and on . . . Berger Cookies? Ostrowski’s? Mmmm. . .
How do you keep the participants from overeating on the food tour?
Ah, they can’t overeat. Everything is portioned out, and we don’t stay long enough to get more. When my customers finish a tour, they are satiated, not stuffed.
What’s the one kind of cuisine that you think Baltimore needs more of?
We need more talented Italian chefs. I’m talking authentic Italian. The ones we have are good, but authenticity is the key to Italian cooking. There are only really a few authentic places to experience that. I won’t mention any names. . . .
What do you think the next big food trend will be?
I have no idea. There is always something new around the corner. Wait, what am I talking about? Food tours—that’s the next big trend.