Restaurateur, chef Quigg to receive Edna Ross Award for outstanding service to the community

CHESTERTOWN — Steve Quigg, head chef and owner of The Kitchen at the Imperial on High Street in Chestertown, is the 2024 recipient of the Edna Ross Award.

The Chestertown Tea Party Festival created the award in 2011 in honor of Edna Ross, a longtime and dedicated business owner who passed away in January of that year.

The award recognizes a person who has been “a stalwart part of the town’s business community and been a supporter of local causes and nonprofits.”

After working for more than 25 years in the technology field, Quigg moved with his family to the Eastern Shore.

Rather than taking the traditional route of culinary training, Quigg learned to cook through cookbooks, which he continues to do to this day.

In 2014, Quigg moved his restaurant from Rock Hall to downtown Chestertown.

Chestertown has not been immune to the country’s labor shortages or the devastating effects the pandemic has had on independent businesses.

“But The Kitchen remains busy during dining hours, in large part to Steve’s playfulness and creativity, which are evident in the menu items that rotate weekly and that feature a varying display of ingredients, dishes, and cooking techniques,” a news release from the Chestertown Tea Party Festival states.

For many years, beginning in 2015, Quigg has offered a free Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings — what he has called “a fellowship dinner” — at his High Street restaurant.

In 2021, the Kent County Chamber of Commerce presented The Kitchen at the Imperial with a Community Excellence Award for its many outstanding contributions to the community, especially for feeding University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown staff during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic hit and many were forced to work from home or seek unemployment benefits, the hospital staff diligently reported to work. With few customers to serve, Quigg reached out to the hospital and offered to cook and deliver meals for the night shift.

Quigg will be presented the Edna Ross Award on Saturday, May 25 at about 11 a.m. — immediately following the Tea Party Festival parade.

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