Baltimore's best and only celebration of the delicious world of petite edibles, the annual Small Foods party and contest, returns for its 15th year on Saturday, February 8th, 2020.

The party-cum-competition began in 2006 as a casual hors d’oeuvres gathering of a few friends, including Baltimore artists Melissa Webb, Kelley Bell, Kristin Anchor, and Edward Knapp, near the Christmas holidays. Over time, the food, once bite-sized, became smaller and smaller and the obsessive, competitive nature of the small group of friends gave rise to an event that grew bigger and bigger, requiring a shift to a larger venue. Annual entries increased as the event was opened to the public, and the scope of the competition grew to include categories like the Golden Toothpick – the best miniaturization of a food, and the Blue Plate Special – the best meal in miniature. This year  there will be 7 categories of competition, the winners of which compete for the Grand Prize, a giant can of miniature corn.

Notable past grand prize winners have included ‘Crappy Meals’, an assembly line-type performative entry in which apron-clad ‘employees’ distributed tiny red and yellow printed boxes filled with French fries, burgers, along with a soda cup, complete with straw and lid, as well as a tiny, simply-prepared and executed (and oh-so-delicious) pulled pork sandwich, served on fingernail-sized freshly baked biscuits.

Baltimore Small Foods party Shrimp Coktail

Photo: Jefferson Jackson Steele