Woodberry Kitchen committed to sustainability

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In the restaurant’s bathrooms, Woodberry Kitchen supplies cloth towels for guests to dry their hands.

Gjerde said he considered recycled paper in the bathrooms — whose walls are papered with pages from his mother’s old Gourmet magazines — but found it wasn’t ideal from “the experience side.” He also said he wanted to steer away from typical laundry services, which use high levels of chemicals.

So the restaurant does its own laundry, using a detergent that breaks down easily and is considered environmentally friendly.

Keeping local cooking traditions alive

Gjerde also is trying to preserve and even resurrect some culinary traditions of the Chesapeake Bay area.

“With our commitment to using local products, we’ve become more aware that knowledge of the heritage of Chesapeake Bay cooking can really inform our own cooking,” he said.

He currently is studying what he calls “a tremendous tradition of Maryland ham.”

Fried chicken also has Maryland roots, he said, adding that people in the Chesapeake Bay area have been frying poultry since before the state of Kentucky was even established.

Gjerde is particularly excited about the revival of the fish pepper.