John Shields (chef)

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John Shields
John shields 5213000.jpg
Born1951 May 5

John Shields is an American chef, food writer, and host of the PBS television shows Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields and Coastal Cooking with John Shields.[1]


He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.

Shields studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music; he moved to Provincetown / Cape Cod with aspirations of becoming a rock star, and played piano in local bars. One day an injured friend asked John to work his shift in the kitchen of a popular Cape Cod inn. This led to many years as a restaurant chef & owner, author, and host of two national public television series.[2] In the 1980s, Shields moved to Northern California, where he joined the New American Food revolution. He was executive chef at A La Carte, a French restaurant in Berkeley. Shields opened his first restaurant, Gertie's Chesapeake Bay Café, in 1983[3] in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto. In the late 1990s he returned to Baltimore, and opened Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Serving locally sourced food, Gertrude's received positive press in Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, the Washington Post, Edible DC, the Baltimore Sun, and has been a multi-year winner of Baltimore Magazine’s “Best of Baltimore,”.

Shields specializes in regional American coastal cuisine, and in particular the cuisine of his native Chesapeake Bay region.[4] He is a proponent of slow food and local food, and is active in related organizations such as the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance, Slow Food, and the Chef's Collaborative.[citation needed]

Shields is openly gay and works with his husband, John Gilligan, at Gertrude's.[5]



  • The Chesapeake Bay Cookbook (Addison-Wesley, 1990)
  • The Chesapeake Bay Crab Cookbook (Addison-Wesley, 1992)
  • Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields (Broadway Books, 1998)
  • Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields, 25th anniversary edition (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015)
  • The New Chesapeake Kitchen (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018)


  1. ^ "Coastal Cooking with John Shields | Cooking Shows | PBS Food". PBS Food. 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  2. ^ "Who is this guy?". John Shields. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  3. ^ "Redefining Chesapeake". Edible DC. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  4. ^ Rodricks, Dan. "The care and handling of crab cakes". Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  5. ^ Sun, Baltimore. "The stories behind some of Baltimore's most notable couples". Retrieved 2018-07-10.

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