Mid-Shore Food: Chef Erin O’Shea at Mason’s Redux

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Just like any other hiring process for a significant leadership position, the search for the right executive chef with the proper credentials is paramount to the success or failure of that dining establishment. All serious searches start with the premise that a person’s background and education that will made an indelible impression on the community and its long-term reputation.

That is why the Spy has continuously found a way to interview some of the best Mid-Shore chefs who have made the Eastern Shore their culinary home. From the past brilliance of Jordan Lloyd in Easton, Patrick Fleming’s remarkable presence in Cambridge, or Kevin McKinney’s legacy in Chestertown, we have intentionally sought to understand better these chefs unique pedigree and history.

That was why the Spy was excited to catch up with Erin O’Shea, the new executive chef at Mason’s Redux on Harrison Street in Easton. To our surprise, Erin is no stranger to the Eastern Shore having attended school in Talbot County before heading south for a brief tenure at Texas A&M University. But while college life didn’t quite fit with her ambitions, the cooking scene in Houston did, and very shortly she headed back east to pursue her passion for food and cooking.

Last week, the Spy sat down to talk to Erin and those early years of training, her mentors, and the privilege to bring Easton’s beloved Masons back alive with her own unique touch.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Mason’s Redux please go here

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Letters to Editor

  1. Carla Massoni says:

    Had lunch at Mason’s yesterday! It was a dark, stormy day and we drove over from Chestertown with a lunch reservation and plans to visit the Academy Art Museum. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and when reviewing the menu on line focused on the dinner menu instead of the lunch menu. Although briefly disappointed, we perused the menu and came up with a perfect lunch. The turnip soup with white wine, cream and shallots would please any country french fan and the chicken soup was fabulous. Tumeric, fenugreek, and dill were the main spices of the soup, but the beautiful shredded kale and chunks of tender chicken and carrots made for a masterpiece. We chose two of the salads – chicory with shaved fennel, honeycrisp apple and pumpkin seeds in a light champagne dressing and the kale salad with toasted farro, pomegranate, and mushroom in a lemon vinaigrette – both with the addition of seared tuna (although there were other options – shrimp & chicken). Always a fan of potatoes – we shared an order of the fingerling potatoes in the same lemon vinaigrette but with shallots and capers. Unable to resist dessert, we split the chocolate pate – dense rich, fudge-like consistency, with a drizzle of orange syrup toped with gingersnap crumble & fresh mint. Perfect with the last sips of Pinot Noir – a Jean-Claude Boisset we had not tried before. Great coffee – deep rich expresso! We had an opportunity to talk with “Chance” one of the owners and had hoped to meet Erin who had just slipped out of the kitchen. Al and I both commented on the almost Moroccan or Middle Eastern flavors – vaguely reminiscent of the renowned Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia. Fair warning….it would be a mistake to go thinking you were going to experience the vibe of the old Mason’s – gone are the red walls and posters and menu favorites. Go with an open mind and experiment!! The toned down interior is well suited to the adventurous menu. We will be back for dinner. The lamb shank and beef short ribs are calling!! PS The service was perfection.

    Jean-Claude Boisset – “Les Ursulines” – Pinot Noir – 2016

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