In Good Taste

Top Chef Alumna Jesse Sandlin Takes Over Rebranded Canton Kitchen

JD's Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant & Bar gets new name with Sandlin at the helm.

By Jane Marion | February 20, 2015, 2:18 pm

-Photography by Scott Suchman
In Good Taste

Top Chef Alumna Jesse Sandlin Takes Over Rebranded Canton Kitchen

JD's Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant & Bar gets new name with Sandlin at the helm.

By Jane Marion | February 20, 2015, 2:18 pm

-Photography by Scott Suchman

Former Top Chef contestant Jesse Sandlin has been hired as executive chef at the rebranded JD's Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant & Bar in Canton.

The new space at 3000 O'Donnell Street is slated to have its official debut on March 1, and will be known as Jokers & Thieves (inspired by a lyric from the Bob Dylan Son "All Along the Watchtower" in which he sings, "There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief").

Sandlin, who got her start at a hot dog stand in Glen Burnie, and who has worked in some of Baltimore's top kitchens including stints at Petit Louis, Charleston, and more recently Oliver Speck's Eats & Drinks, is far from a jokester when it comes to cooking.

While the menu is still in flux, Sandlin says that it will feature southern-inflected flair, with mainstay dishes such as fried chicken and waffles, catfish, and shrimp and grits.

"We'll have pulled pork sandwiches, we'll have brisket," says Sandlin who was working at Jack's Bistro prior to coming the space. "I want more southern, low country food, that's what I lean toward. My grandmother on my father's side is from North Carolina—I just dig it."

One place you won't likely find Sandlin is on another episode of Top Chef. "Being on Top Chef taught me that I'm a terrible celebrity," says Sandlin, laughing. "I consider myself to be a pretty humble person. I understood all the attention after the show and that people feel like they know you after you've been in their living rooms for the past four or five weeks, but at the same time, they don't know you. I just want to make good food."

For now, the space is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the kitchen opens at noon. Brunch plans are in the works, too. For more information call 410-675-4029.




Meet The Author
Jane Marion is the food and dining editor for Baltimore, where she covers food, wellness, beauty, and home and garden.


You May Also Like


Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: The Bun Shop Opens in Towson

Plus, we get a Steak ‘n Shake, Orioles specials, self-serve wine, and our best bites this week.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Plant Food + Wine; Motzi Bread; Pillion Tea

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

In Good Taste

Gnocco Chef Brian Lavin Talks Restaurant Closure and Move to the West Coast

Highlandtown spot will serve its final dinner service this Saturday.


On The Town

Weird Wine Event to Showcase Maryland’s Most Peculiar Blends

Makers gather to highlight wines made with everything from coffee to fish peppers.

Food & Drink

Women in the Craft Beer Industry

On the latest Baltimore Boomerang podcast, we revisit the perception of women in the craft beer industry.

On The Town

Baltimore Cocktail Week Celebrates Fifth Year With Focus on Wellness

Spirited events and health-inspired industry workshops planned for the big anniversary.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Gnocco Chef Brian Lavin Talks Restaurant Closure and Move to the West Coast: Highlandtown spot will serve its final dinner service this Saturday.

Loyola Lacrosse’s Pat Spencer Readies for One Last NCAA Tournament Ride: One of the game’s all-time scoring greats plays at home for the last time Saturday.

City Officials Express Concern Over Elon Musk’s Baltimore to D.C. Transit Plan: Before exploring intra-city transportation options, local leaders hope to address issues at home.

Gender-Neutral Bathroom Bill Unanimously Passes City Hearing: Supported by transgender activists and Mayor’s LGBTQ Commission, legislation could be signed during next month’s Pride Weekend.

Arts Community Reflects on What The Windup Space Has Meant to Baltimore: Inclusive arts venue in Station North will close its doors on June 1.