Women-Made Dinner Benefits Women-Made Houses

A Guerilla Cuisine supper next Sunday will benefit Sea Island Habitat for Humanity’s Woman Build, a weeklong program in which “women from all walks of life” collaborate on a home construction project.

Participating chefs include Kelly Franz Richburg, Jacqueline Hesse and Andrea Lever Upchurch (Magnolias); Jessica Toutant Eisenberg (The Original Ms. Rose’s) and Danetra Delgadilló Richardson (Kiawah Island Golf Resort.)

The Apr. 27 dinner starts at 6 p.m., and – as always – the location is a secret. Tickets cost $75; purchase at eventbrite.com.

Nico Romo Selected for JBF’s Sustainable Seafood Boot Camp

James Beard Foundation

James Beard Foundation

Reflecting the increasingly common understanding that sustainable seafood isn’t merely a coastal concern, the roster for the James Beard Foundation’s upcoming Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change includes chefs from Cleveland, Minneapolis and Sacramento.

Nico Romo of Fish is also joining the group of 15 chefs, which will convene later this month in California for a three-day series of workshops “designed to provide chefs with tools and support to be effective leaders and advocates for food-system change.”

The Beard Foundation in 2012 launched its Chefs Boot Camp at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn. The holistic program includes media coaching; brainstorming sessions; policy briefings and other workshops meant to help chefs develop and deliver messages pertaining to the camp’s specific topic. Continue reading

RiverDogs Introduce Palmetto Beer Brewed Just for Their Ballpark

There are plenty of beers associated with ballparks: Just ask the Cardinals fans who congregate at Busch Stadium. But the RiverDogs have lately upped the ante by introducing a beer brewed specifically for Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park – and currently available exclusively at the venue.

“The Original,” which debuted last week, is a Palmetto Brewing Company creation. A release describes the beer as “an adventurous blonde with a clean crisp tangerine aroma and a neat finish, along with a slight hint of lemongrass.”

To find The Original, head for the Palmetto Brewery Beer Garden and look for the “special baseball bat handle tap.” The team’s out of town this week, but returns next Tuesday for a home stand against the Augusta GreenJackets.

Maya Del Sol’s Moroccan Mondays

moroappsIt seemingly doesn’t take much to transform Maya Del Sol’s new dining room into a Moroccan restaurant: A few ornamental tagines; a soundtrack of Arab-Andalusian music; and mint green tea poured from a silver berrad appear do the trick.

But chef Younesse Alami — a Marriott catering sales manager who every other Monday takes over the Park Circle venue – doesn’t merely summon his homeland through material things. He returns to Morocco every December to press oil from his brother-in-law’s olives and buy raw spices.

“I know what I’m getting,” Alami says. “Like the ginger: You grind it, and it’s straight from there to the suitcase to the freezer.” Continue reading

Rolf & Daughters Plots One-Night Takeover of Butcher & Bee

Edsel Little

Edsel Little

Rolf and Daughters, the Nashville restaurant which last year earned the number three slot on Bon Appetit’s “best new restaurants in America” list, is planning to occupy Butcher & Bee on June 19 to serve a five-course supper.

According to the event announcement, “The Rolf and Daughters team will be serving a selection of hit dishes from their menu, including their dynamite handmade pasta.”

Butcher & Bee’s Nadya Freire says additional menu details are still being developed, but “we’d like to take advantage of seasonality as much as possible. We definitely want to source some great local ingredients for the menu, both on the produce and protein side.” She mentions Abundant Seafood and Grassroots Wine as possible partners. Continue reading

Roadside Seafood Settles Into Permanent Digs on Folly Road

crabsoupWhen a food truck strikes an item from its menu board, patrons are apt to write off the inconvenience as just another entertaining idiosyncrasy of eating far from a fixed kitchen. As Sean Mendes has learned since he earlier this month opened a permanent location of Roadside Seafood, it doesn’t work that way in restaurants.

“People don’t expect you to run out of everything,” he says. “I’ve been doing three or four batches of she-crab soup.”

The she-crab clamor is understandable, since Roadside – which got its start two years ago as a food truck – produces one of the city’s best bowls.  Based on Mendes’ grandmother’s recipe, the soup bears little resemblance to the flavorless, overworked bowls of thick cream which have caused plenty of Charleston eaters to dismiss the dish as tourist pap. It’s almost more of a chowder than a bisque, crammed with picked crab and flecked with onion and celery. Continue reading

Blend Juice Bar Open in Mt. Pleasant

blendThere’s little doubt that Blend, the brand new juice bar in Mt. Pleasant, takes its “putting the fresh in refreshing” slogan seriously: When I recently rang up the store to learn more about its plans, my call was politely declined by a staffer apparently busy chopping vegetables.

“We’re in the middle of prep,” he told me after consulting with the owner.

According to its online menu, Blend is serving a wide range of juices and smoothies. Although customers are given the option to assemble their own juice combinations, there are eight “signature juices” on offer, including a pair of juices spiked with cayenne and jalapeno peppers. Continue reading

Dickensian Punch Debuts at Edmund’s Oast This Weekend

ingratiating_manAfter I raved about Edmund’s Oast, Eater Charleston smirked that I was “perhaps the only restaurant reviewer to ever use the word ‘Dickensian’ in a food evaluation.”

Perhaps. But I’m not even the only one in town to use the word in a culinary context. Edmund’s Oast (who else?) is scheduled to put a cocktail called “Dickensian Punch” on tap today.

While I wish I could take credit for inspiring the drink, the nomenclature has nothing to do with me: According to beverage manager Cameron Read, the name was chosen long before my review was published. And the original recipe is older still: “(It) was actually written down by Charles Dickens and sent to a friend of his in a letter,” Read writes.

Dickens’ recipe — reprinted in David Wondrich’s authoritative Punch: the Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, which describes the British author as a “dedicated punch-maker” — calls for lemons, rum, sugar, brandy and fire. Edmund’s Oast plans to prepare the punch in a similar fashion, making it genuinely Dickensian. Sounds like the perfect thing to quaff while reading The Pickwick Papers.

Southern Season Uncorks Thursday Wine Tastings

southernseasonA Thursday night wine program launched earlier this month by Southern Season got off to a fairly standard start: Last week’s $15 tasting covered Portuguese wines, while tonight’s session is devoted to what to drink with “a casual Easter brunch or an elegant Easter dinner.”

But in a month or so, Summer Thursday Uncorked will take a more interesting turn, with a line-up that’s refreshingly offbeat. In June, the program will tackle wines from films; wines from Germany (other than Riesling) and wines from the former Communist nations of Central and eastern Europe.

For the complete schedule, visit southernseason.com. Tastings begin at 5 p.m.

Five Loaves Cafe Plans to Open Summerville Location This Fall

logoAnother Charleston restaurant is opening a Summerville location, with Five Loaves Café today announcing plans to take over the former Farringdon Bistropub.

The news comes just days before Toast of Summerville, a spin-off of the popular peninsular breakfast spot, is scheduled to open on Trolley Road.

Five Loaves owner Casey Glowacki is projecting an October opening for his restaurant, which will offer the same menu as the downtown and Mt. Pleasant locations. Like the Mt. Pleasant location, the Summerville location will feature a full bar and Sunday brunch. Continue reading