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With 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Dearie's resumé includes manager for the 4 star, 4 diamond, international award winning Conservatory Restaurant atop the Peabody Court Hotel and its allied catering business on Mount Vernon Square for 8 years, and Antrim 1844 in Taneytown, MD, another prestige dining establishment, for 4 years.

A native to Sykesville, Dearie purchased the station in the summer of 1997. He quickly turned the station into a venue to unleash his creative freedom. By hiring Executive Chefs to design the menus and co-oping with Uptown Promotions, Baldwin's Station soon became the talk of the town for its food, service and Thursday night concert series. Busily working away in the old train master's office, atop the station, Dearie barely has time to take in the bird's eye view of the scenic Patapsco River rolling below. As chief of his own promotions, Dearie has quickly wow'd magazines and newspapers afar with the lure of the train station and the revitalization of the sounds of singer-songwriters and jazz music. As quoted in the Baltimore Sun, Dearie says "I want this place to be an experience, not just a meal".

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Chef Dustin Heflin

Dustin Heflin
EXECUTIVE CHEF

“The first couple of days were a bit rough…”

I first thought about being a Chef when I was in high school. I liked to cook but, more importantly, I loved food. I decided to get a job in a local restaurant to find out what this business was all about. I applied to (wait for it) Baldwin’s Station. The first couple of days were a bit rough, and I was honestly not sure if this was the right path for me. However, I stuck in there, and it only took a week to know that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I have worked in the restaurant industry ever since, and I can’t imagine doing anything else!

After high school I attended culinary school. I earned an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts for Professional Cooking, an Associate in Arts Degree in Professional Cooking and Baking, and a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management. All the while, I continued to work almost full-time in the restaurant industry – a self-induced immersion program! However, I like the crazy long hours, the fast pace and the culture of the kitchen. I like that almost every day is different.

“Food is art and the plate is your canvas…”

I have had the opportunity to work with a number of great chefs, on the job and at culinary school. They not only taught me how to cook, but they helped me discover why food is so important to me. Food is art and the plate is your canvas, and there is a lot of room for creativity. It goes far beyond being just something to eat when hungry - it can be an expression of who you are, where you are from, and how you are feeling. Food can be celebratory when you are having good a day, or a comfort when you are not. It brings people and cultures together, as you really get to understand a culture through their food. I love creating dishes “with a twist” – combining distinctive ingredients and cultures to come up with a new, innovative dishes. 

“I have many plans I look forward to implementing…”

  • Fresh new ideas, as well as twists on classical dishes. There will be more fusion items - I might take a traditionally French dish and put a Spanish or Asian twist on it - depending on how I am feeling that day.
  • Changing the menu for each season. For the new spring menu I to have a fresh, light menu.
  • To use the highest quality ingredients available. I like to use local Organic produce and meats. I am also using different fish that you don’t see everywhere else, like parrot fish and dogfish to name a few.
  • I will also be updating the dessert menu. It will have more old classics - but these will also be with a twist. For example, I might present a tiramisu but with caramel and espresso for variation.

“Continuing Baldwin’s tradition of community involvement…”

The Station has a long history of community engagement, and I embrace this tradition. It has been nearly a decade since my first days at Baldwin’s Station, and when I was invited to come back to Baldwin’s as Executive Chef, I jumped at the opportunity to “come home” to where my career began, and where I enjoy being a “local” chef. I will be going to schools to teach kids about food, working with area farmers to help the local economy, and creating specialized menus for our many community events. I love to make people happy through my cooking. There is no match to seeing the smile on the face of someone eating a signature dish. I also love when I can turn skeptics into believers when I take an ingredient, prepare it in a new way that many people like, and actually change their outlook on that food. That is when I feel that I have done my job properly. I look forward to sharing my love of food and continuing my career “at home” at Baldwin’s Station.

 

 


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