Modern Stone Age Kitchen - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Modern Stone Age Kitchen

Chestertown, Maryland

Learn about our ancestral eating habits at the passion project of an archeologist.  

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At Modern Stone Age Kitchen (MSAK), brunch is a museum-worthy experience. Run by a former archaeology professor at Washington College and long-time food anthropologist, the Chestertown, Maryland eatery is on a mission to reintroduce the lost gastronomic traditions of our ancestors, while harnessing the power of modern technology.

Dr. Bill Schindler’s passion for primitive skills, experimental archaeology, and traditional food preparation is the driving force behind MSAK’s restaurant, cafe and on-site bakery. Everything MSAK serves is crafted from scratch, leading to dishes that are nourishing and delicious. Whether it’s pizza, pasta, meats, cheeses, fermented veggies, or baked goods and sweet treats, changing daily specials emphasize authenticity and flavor, while connecting patrons to ancient worldwide civilizations.

The owner’s travels and research, including via the 2016 National Geographic TV series “The Great Human Race,” taking audiences on a global journey of Indigenous food methods, have inspired a highly unique family business. The Schindler’s adventures learning about potato fermentation in Peru and sharing cow’s blood and milk with Samburu warriors in Kenya, inform a menu which Bill, as well as his wife Christina and children, Brianna, Billy, and Alyssa, all take part in creating.

Brianna, who started baking several sourdough loaves every week for families and elderly members of the community, now sells her breads and pretzels from MSAK’s storefront bakery, Rise. Dine-in options include sourdough waffles, cream cheese-slathered bagels, and sandwiches, including the “Whole Hog Hoagie” using every part of an animal from a nearby farm.

In addition to culinary offerings, MSAK collaboratively hosts monthly classes delving into ancient foodways,  uncovering from sourdough and other fermentation techniques, animal butchery, nose-to-tail cooking and more. Through satisfying meals and nurturing education, the Schindler family is forging a community hub for food heritage and regional, sustainable sourcing, while preserving arts of ancestral eating.

Know Before You Go

The Eastern Shore Food Lab, a nonprofit research and teaching facility founded by Dr. Schindler during his time at Washington College, is deeply connected to MSAK’s work. Classes, including the four-day "Eat Like a Human" program, an intensive introduction to techniques such as sourdough and cheese making, are available in-person and online.

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March 28, 2024

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