Solomons has a new attraction that offers delicious options. Chef Gwyn Novak opened No Thyme to Cook, a cooking school and small events facility on May 18, 2018.
Chef Gwyn Novak began No Thyme to Cook as a personal chef service in 1999. A native of Southern Maryland, she is a graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary College and a member of the United States Personal Chef Association. Chef Novak has been cooking and writing about food for more than 25 years. This facility has been a dream for many years that has finally come to fruition.
Several years ago, Chef Novak purchased property in Solomons to build her dream. Working with Thomas Reinecker, architect, they designed the three-story waterfront facility that was built by Matthew S. Keen Construction. Both of the companies are local, something that is important to Chef Novak. A proponent of working with local businesses, she also uses local sources for meat, seafood and produce. During development she worked with Kathy MacAdams, formerly with the Maryland Small Business Development Center. MacAdams is now Business Retention Specialist with the Calvert County Department of Economic Development.
The waterfront building features two kitchens with commanding views of Back Creek and the mouth of the Patuxent River. The kitchens contain state-of-the-art equipment and video screens that provide great views of techniques as they are taught. Porches on all floors are the perfect place to sip a glass of wine while you enjoy what you created in your class.
Located on the first floor, “The Culinary Shop” features provisions for chefs of all skills. Shop for cookware, knives, kitchen tools, cookbooks, and local artisan products from honey to knife blocks. Need your knives or scissors sharpened? Drop them off and they will work their magic, bringing them back to life in “no thyme” at all!
Chef Novack offers private cooking classes, corporate team building, chopped-style competitions, and culinary tours. The facility may also be rented for small events, birthday parties, showers, graduation events, rehearsal and retirement dinners.
Looking for a way to spend a special evening with your significant other? Consider one of their monthly “Couples in the Kitchen” classes. Featuring a different theme each month, the meal includes three-courses with wine and/or beer pairings. The next “Couples in the Kitchen” class will be Saturday, June 16, from 6-9 p.m., featuring “Great Grilling.” The perfect way to spend a beautiful June evening in Solomons!
Andrea Hurley has taken classes from Chef Novak and looks forward to learning a new recipe and technique at this location. She said, “This is a great concept for Solomons and Gwen has the talent to make it happen.” Her mom, Adrianna Takacs, has been hoarding cookbooks for years. As she munched on some of the delicious appetizers she said she looked forward to trying out new recipes. They said they were looking forward to the “great chefs” classes that are held once a month.
Throughout the summer cooking camps will be offered for kids. Camps are designed for children ages 9-13, running Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – noon each day. Each week is different. The basics of the kitchen safety and preparation are taught in “The Essentials.” Eat your way around the world in five days with “The Adventurous Palate.” If they love to create luscious desserts and breads then “Baking Boot Camp” is for them. “Think like a Chef” is for the child that knows the basics and is ready for a challenge, including knife skills, sautéing and braising. The cost is $275 per child. Each child receives an apron, diploma of completion, and cookbook with all of the recipes prepared that week.
Behind the building, on Back Creek, a pier will be restored to allow guests to access a historic oyster buyboat. The Half Shell will provide unforgettable adventures offering regular cruises as well as private charters. Grab a friend and enjoy a sunset cruise, a wine-tasting cruise or a “Hook to Cook” fishing charter. Steamers Seafood Shack, a food truck, will be accessible to the public in the parking lot, offering some of the freshest seafood around.
No Thyme to Cook is located at 14624 Solomons Island Road, Solomons, MD 20688.
To learn about classes, products, trips or special discounts visit their website www.NoThymeToCook.com and sign up for their free e-news. You can also find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nttcook/. Questions email Chef Gwyn at info@NoThymeToCook.com.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Joyce Stinnett Baki / Calvert Beacon Reporter