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Culinary and marital balance

For husband and wife team restaurateur Tony Foreman and chef Cindy Wolf overseeing restaurants in Baltimore is a balancing act of individual talents and shared goals.

by: Richard Leong | 01 Feb 2008

Foreman's eateries offer a diverse range of styles from French bistro to southern cooking and emphasise natural flavours from seasonal, locally-grown products.

He also owns a wine store in the city's hip waterfront neighbourhood of Harbour East, within blocks from some of his restaurants.

Last year Foreman, 42, opened Cinghiale (Italian for wild boar), which doubles as a wine bar and an "osteria" serving updated takes on classic northern Italian dishes.

Q: What inspired you to be in the restaurant business?
A: "When I booked my first event – a wedding, I thought to myself, 'I should be doing this.' I would like to push these buttons and make things happen. I could tell you exactly what the menu was and what the prices were. And I thought I could do a lot better than that."

Q: How would you describe your cuisine?
A: "The overriding concern for us is the quality of food that comes through our back door. Seasonality is an enormous thing. Simplicity and balance – those are very big deal. In doing all of those things, you can show some humanity or humour or a sense of history or culture. Sometimes people call it classicism, but I call it a little kindness in what you are doing that makes it accessible for the people who come in."

Q: What are you experimenting with these days?
A: "We are doing an awful lot of fabrication of meats and working with different parts like prosciutto with venison legs. It's a lot more 1880s than 2008."

Q: How do you balance your marriage and business partnership with your wife?
A: "That's the $54,000 question. We are both pretty intense. For us, it's always a balancing act. As far as food, she's probably a little more concise and more all-American with her palette. I'm a little more adventurous. It's the right amount of tension with the exact same goal."

Q: What do you cook for yourself?
A: "Most often they are very simple things. Good buttery croutons made from baguette. I like ham of any kind, some cheese and a bottle of wine."

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