The Truth In The Art with Chef Zack Mills of True Chesapeake Oyster Company

The Truth In The Art with Chef Zack Mills of True Chesapeake Oyster Company

In this episode of "The Truth in This Art," host Rob Lee welcomes Chef Zach Mills, co-founder of True Chesapeake Oyster Co., to celebrate Culinary Arts Month. They reminisce about past interactions and discuss the impact of the pandemic on the restaurant industry. Chef Mills shares his creative process for menu development, emphasizing the importance of local produce and continuous improvement. He highlights unique dishes like French onion oysters and steak tartare with smoked oyster aioli. The episode concludes with culinary tips for home cooks and an invitation to visit True Chesapeake Oyster Co. in Baltimore.

Episode Highlights:

  • Learning to Eat Oysters (00:01:06) Chef Zach Mills shares a story about learning to eat oysters from a friend.
  • Challenges During the Pandemic (00:06:57) Chef Zach Mills reflects on the challenges faced by True Chesapeake Oyster Co. during the pandemic.
  • Recovery and Business Outlook (00:08:39) Chef Zach Mills discusses the recovery of the restaurant industry and the positive outlook for his business.
  • Trust in Chefs and Culinary Exploration (00:13:08) Rob Lee shares his trust in chefs and the culinary exploration at True Chesapeake Oyster Co.
  • Creative Inspiration (00:18:06) Chef Zach talks about how he gets inspired by various sources such as nature shows, cooking shows, and social media to develop new dishes.
  • Reflecting on Failures (00:24:39) Chef Zach shares his experiences with dishes that didn't work out initially, but through revisiting and combining ideas, they eventually became successful.
  • French Onion Oyster Creation (00:31:18) Chef Zach Mills discusses the creation and success of the French onion oyster dish.
  • Support Within the Chef Community (00:39:37) Chef Zach Mills shares how he finds support and camaraderie within the chef community during challenging times.
  • Closing Remarks (00:51:27) Gratitude and promotion. Expressing gratitude, inviting listeners to check out True Chesapeake Oyster Co, and closing the podcast.

Key Takeaways:

1. Adaptability is Key:
Embrace change and find innovative ways to overcome challenges.
2. Trust and Transparency:
Build trust with customers by using and being transparent about high-quality, local ingredients.
3. Embrace Failure:
View failures as learning opportunities to refine and improve your culinary creations.
4. Continuous Learning:
Always seek feedback and mentorship to grow and enhance your culinary skills.

Website and Socials:
Instagram: chefzackmills
Facebook: True Chesapeake
LinkedIn: Zachary Mills

🎙️ Hey everyone, I'm Rob Lee, host of the "The Truth in This Art" podcast. Tune in as Chef Zach Mills and I reminisce about culinary experiences and share the resilience of the culinary community. You won't want to miss this inspiring episode! Dive deeper into Chef Zach Mills' creative process, the importance of local produce, and the balance of tradition and innovation in the culinary world. Visit and support Chef Zach Mills' website and social media links for more insights. If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and review it, and consider supporting my Patreon to keep the inspiring content coming. Your support means the world!

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

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Original music by Daniel Alexis Music with additional music from Chipzard.

Episode illustration by Alley Kid Art.

About "The Truth In This Art"

Hosted by Rob Lee, "The Truth In This Art" podcast dives into the heart of creativity and its influence on the community. This arts and culture podcast from Baltimore highlights artists discussing their ideas, sharing insights, and telling impactful stories. Through these artist interviews, listeners gain a deeper understanding of the creative economy and artistic life in Baltimore. 

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Creators and Guests

Rob Lee
Rob Lee
The Truth In This Art is an interview series featuring artists, entrepreneurs and tastemakers in & around Baltimore.
Zachary Mills
Zachary Mills
Corporate Chef & Partner at Chef Shucker Farmer Inc