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About Our Common Table

Live, Learn, and Protect the Bounty of the Chesapeake

Welcome to Our Common Table

Chef John Shields’ call to action to rebuild our local food economy consists of promoting healthy, local, bay and body friendly food that brings us all to a common table. That is why he started his newest project, Our Common Table, to support and create initiatives and partnerships that engage communities to live, learn, and protect the bounty of the Chesapeake region.


John has devoted his career and life to celebrating and protecting the Chesapeake region and those themes are expressed throughout his many cookbooks and public TV cooking shows. His latest book, the New Chesapeake Kitchen is a mix of cooking, philosophy, lifestyle, and education, and is what guides John’s educational outreach projects.  


Whether engaging the youth of Baltimore City to adapt a healthy lifestyle, starting a scholarship fund through the Baltimore Community Foundation and CollegeBound, showcasing the farmers and the watermen, or delighting the patrons of his Gertrude’s restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art, John is a champion of all things Chesapeake. The region’s seafood, agriculture, recreation, culture, and cuisine are unique and a decline in one area affects all the others. We can all play our part to conserve and restore our regional Chesapeake food economy.  


Teamed up with long-time friend and senior marketing executive, Josianne Pennington, as Executive Director, Our Common Table embraces this urgent call to envision opportunities that demonstrate just how vital our region is to all of us. Interested in partnering, sharing some great ideas, getting involved – come join us at Our Common Table.


"John Shields has done an amazing job showing us how to preserve the traditions of the region while also respecting the environment around us—he understands how important it is to maintain our local food economies so that future generations can also know the beauty and the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay."

—José Andrés, Chef/Owner, ThinkFoodGroup & minibar by José Andrés

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