About our Guest Speaker: Sam Droege grew up in Hyattsville, Maryland, received an undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland and a Master’s at the State University of New York – Syracuse. Most of his career has been spent at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the Bioblitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and works on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs. Currently he is developing an inventory and monitoring program for native bees along with online identification guides for North American bees at , and reviving the North American Bird Phenology Program.
About our Guest Chef: Executive Chef Chris Amendola received his formal training at the Southeast Institute of Culinary Arts in St. Augustine where he graduated at the top of his class. After refining his craft under Chef Todd English at BlueZoo in Orlando and with Chef Sean Brock at McCrady’s in Charleston, Chris headed north and worked in the kitchens of Café Dupont in Washington, D.C., Allium in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and the renowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also staged in the kitchens of Mini Bar in Washington Dc and Eleven Madison Park in NYC. Locally, Chris held positions at Fleet Street Kitchen and Waterfront Kitchen.
Chef Chris is an experienced farmer and forager, having worked at Thackeray Farms on Wadmalaw Island, S.C. and in close connection with the team at Blue Hill Farm. When he is not behind the stove at Foraged, Chef Chris is out in the woods looking for new ingredient to cook with. This agricultural and woodsman knowledge allows Chris to elevate the dining experience for his guests. “I like to let the product speak for itself,” says Chris. “I believe in utilizing hyper-seasonal ingredients and allowing the natural flavors to complement one another.” His modern American style of cooking gives Foraged diners a unique culinary experience.