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Mobile Passport Control App Expands to BWI Marshall

Mobile Passport Control (MPC) has come to Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). MPC is the first authorized app to expedite U.S. citizens’ and Canadian visitors’ arrival into the United States.

Eligible travelers submit their passport information and customs declaration form to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) via a smartphone or tablet app prior to arrival. Much like Automated Passport Control (APC), which is also available at BWI, the app does not require pre-approval, is free to use and does not collect any new information from travelers.

Travelers opting to use the app no longer will have to complete a paper customs declaration form. As a result, travelers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing.

There are five steps to MPC.

  1. Download the Mobile Passport Control App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store prior to arriving.
  2. Create a profile with your passport information.
  3. Complete the “New Trip” section upon arrival in the United States.
  4. Submit your CBP Declaration form through the app to receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (QR) code.
  5. Bring your passport and smartphone or tablet with your digital bar-coded receipt to a CBP officer.

The MPC pilot launched in August 2014 for eligible travelers arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and has since expanded to 16 additional airports.

In addition to BWI and Atlanta, MPC is available to passengers at Boston Logan International Airport; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport; Denver International Airport; Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; Miami International Airport; Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; New York John F. Kennedy Airport; Newark International Airport; Orlando International Airport; Raleigh-Durham International Airport; San Francisco International Airport; San Jose International Airport; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; Tampa International Airport; and Washington Dulles International Airport.

CBP has committed to expanding the program to the 20 airports with the highest volumes of international travelers by the end of the calendar year.

Information about Mobile Passport Control, including how to download, user eligibility and other frequently asked questions, is available on CBP.gov.

New Cooking Classes at Historic Oakland

Culinary Institute of America Graduate Chef Ben Rubin will be teaching four cooking classes this fall at Historic Oakland, in Columbia Town Center. The classes will be held on Thursdays, from 7–9 p.m.; the dates and class topics are as follows.

Sept. 15: Culinary Fundamentals

Foundational cooking knowledge such as knife skills, basic recipes and guidelines for stocks and sauces.

Sept. 22: Butchery

Working with a whole chicken or fish is the least expensive and most flavorful way to buy all proteins, says the chef. Sharpen your butchery skills, and it will be a lot easier.

Sept. 29: Mediterranean

Explore and discuss Greek cuisine and Mediterranean culture and sample some spanakopita and some authentic spreads.

Oct. 6: Asian Fusion

Learn tastes and techniques involving such ingredients as kimchi, fish sauce and Chinese five spice. Learn about Asian fusion and how to make the perfect base for stir fried dishes.

The cost of the classes is as follows.

  • $220 – Four classes (paid in advance)
  • $120 – One class per couple
  • $60 – One class/Town Center resident
  • $65 – One class/non-Town Center resident

Register for the classes at https://cookingwchefrubin.eventbrite.com. For more information, visit www.ColumbiaTownCenter.org 
or call 410-730-4744.

Local Chefs Compete for $1,500 Cash

The Chesapeake Chefs Challenge is a live cooking competition held at the Mid-Atlantic Food, Beverage & Lodging Expo on Sept. 27 and 28. The event is made possible by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Greater Baltimore Chapter and Anne Arundel Community College’s Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute.

Chefs of all backgrounds and experience from around the region are invited to participate in the challenge. The entry fee is $100, and the challenge is limited to the first 20 chefs who sign up. The following ACF categories are also available for entry: A 1-6, B 1-4, C 1-5, D 1-4, K 1-9.

Each chef will compete for 60 minutes, creating four finished plates, in the hopes of winning the $1,500 grand prize, sponsored by Nestlé Professional. The second-place chef will win a weekend getaway, sponsored by Fager’s Island, in Ocean City. The third-place chef will take home a professional knife set, sponsored by Mercer Culinary.

Expo attendees are invited to watch the competition throughout both days. Finished plates and desserts will be on display for attendees to view.

Interested in competing? Contact John Johnson, CEC, CCE AAC, AACC – HCAT Institute, at 443-909-6658 or https://myprereg.com/Registration.aspx?key=VvyNHt8psmapUR3xCGtV7kyTqkqkNuwK4Jc9kEJffyE%3d.