Being a home cook who uses a recipe book as often as a whisk (can’t forks do the same thing?), I’ve always been fascinated by what inspires professionally trained chefs to create intricate and innovative dishes, especially ones that are simple enough to create quickly and satisfy many. I recently had a chance to catch up with Chef Donnell Long of the Olde Towne Inn in Maryland to talk about recipe development, family mealtime and how parents can get their kids more involved in the kitchen. Check out some of the highlights from our conversation.


''Chef Donnell Long is a nationally recognized chef to the stars and proprietor of The Olde Towne Inn, located in Upper Marlboro, MD.''

What initially got you interested in the culinary arts?

The fact that I could use my hands to create something that didn’t exist and turn it into something people would crave. Now that’s power.


What do you enjoy most about being a chef in Washington DC?

Meeting new people and watching how something as simple as a meal can put a smile on their faces.


How do you get inspired when creating a new dish for your menu? Any tips to help busy families?

Most of my new dishes come from talking with my customers about what they like and don’t like, and then I start experimenting with various combinations based on these conversations.


What’s your favorite meal to cook for your family?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite meal, but family seems to enjoy my seafood meals most—shrimp scampi and shrimp alfredo.


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Source: Together Counts