Egan & Sons to Open Next Week

Get your fill of leprechauns now, because you won't find them at Egan & Sons / gruntzooki

Get your fill of leprechauns now, because you won’t find them at Egan & Sons / gruntzooki

The owner of the forthcoming Egan & Sons says the rustic cooking style which chef Kyle Yarborough perfected at the now-defunct La Fourchette is an especially good fit for the forthcoming downtown Irish pub.

“That French country cooking is close to Irish country cooking, with the root vegetables, casseroles and stews,” Chris Egan says.

Egan’s also looking forward to Yarborough using animal parts which don’t fly at his restaurants in New Jersey, where eaters insist on chops and filets.

“In other regions, people are kind of snobby about other cuts of meat,” Egan says. “I love the South because it’s not that way.” Continue reading

Military Vets Raise Money to Compete at Kingsford Invitational

The 2014 Kingsford Invitational had most of its Veterans Day bona fides in order: The barbecue competition was scheduled to unfold aboard the USS Intrepid on Veterans Day weekend. But, according to Summerville pitmaster Russ Cornette, event organizers still needed a team of military veterans to compete.

Fortunately for the Kingsford Charcoal Company, Cornette and his crew were game.

“All three members of Queology are military vets and we will be representing The Folds of Honor Foundation,” Cornette writes. “We are going as the underdog team, I guess you could say.” Continue reading

Mudd Pie Girl Bakery Makes a Name For Itself on James Island

mudtartsTwo months after bringing her baking operation to a James Island café, Tina Kinney is getting her name on the door.

Kinney in August shifted her three-year old cookie, muffin and pie enterprise to How Art Thou Café, using the kitchen to fulfill catering and restaurant orders. Now, in addition to carrying her baked goods, How Art Thou has created a stand-alone space for Kinney’s Mudd Pie Girl Bakery.

“It’s a collaboration between the two places,” publicist Heather Richie says. “They are adding her name and hours to the front door.”

Richie adds Kinney is now taking holiday orders for peanut butter pies and pumpkin pies; she also sells scones and tarts.

To celebrate the new collaboration, Kinney is offering free samples on Friday, Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. To learn more, visit

Wine Fest Adds Shrimp and Grits

A shrimp-and-grits cookoff is the newest addition to the Irvin-House Vineyards’ annual Blessing of the Vines festival.

On Nov. 9, restaurants including Fat Hen, Rosebank Cafe, Stono Cafe, Seanachi’s  and Tomato Shed Café will converge on Wadmalaw Island to prepare their finest versions of the iconic dish. Tickets cost $5, and all proceeds will be donated to the Frierson Elementary After School Program and The Center for Women.

Other activities on the 12 noon-5 p.m. schedule include live music; pony ride; wine and spirit tastings and a sugar cane crushing. Admission is $10 per car; call 559-6867 to learn more.

Gluten-Free Food Expo Spotlights Locally-Made Choices



According to a cheat sheet distributed by local holistic nutritionist C.J. Powell, the list of foods which people with gluten sensitivities must avoid includes bread, pasta, cereal, beer, lunch meat, chicken broth, lunch meats, bottled gravy, malt vinegar, frozen sweet potato fries, blue cheese dressing and imitation bacon.

Not surprisingly, entrepreneurs everywhere have responded to the long list of forbidden foods by creating acceptable alternatives. The Charleston Celiac Support Group plans to showcase locally-made examples of those products next Monday at its Gluten-Free Food Expo.

The event at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley runs from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, e-mail or call 478-3777.

La Fourchette Closing This Week

AR-307089906.jpg&maxw=640&q=100Confirming a rumor first reported this morning by Eater Charleston, La Fourchette today announced its imminent closure.

According to a press release, chef and owner Perig Goulet sold the eight-year old French bistro to Hall Hospitality Group LLC, which operates the adjoining Halls Chophouse. Halls has not yet revealed how it intends to use the space.

The release doesn’t list an exact date for the closing, but it’s scheduled to occur “this week.”

“I will be back,” Goulet is quoted as saying. “Bonsoir y’all.”

Chicken Salad Chick Claims Andolini’s Old Address

Chicken Salad Chick, the Alabama chain which “offer(s) customers a ‘custom-fit’ chicken salad experience”, today announced it’s taking over the Andolini’s Pizza space at 82 Wentworth Street.

The chain already operates a store in Greenville, and plans in the coming year to add another seven stores across the Southeast, including the Charleston location.

The menu at Chicken Salad Chick features 15 chicken salads sold by the sandwich and the pound. Among the varieties are a chicken salad with pineapple and macadamia nuts; a chicken salad with ranch dressing and bacon and a chicken salad with extra onions.

According to a press release, Chicken Salad Chick will open in Charleston in early 2014.

Crave, Mosaic and New Moon Take Home Mac-Off’s Prizes

macoffWhen last week I spoke to mac-and-cheese expert Stephanie Stiavetti, she bemoaned cooks’ reluctance to add seafood and Asian flavors to their customized mac-and-cheeses. Entries at this weekend’s Mac-Off suggested her concerns weren’t unfounded: Competing restaurants were far more likely to use pork than shellfish, and a bottle of Sriracha at the Southern Season station was the rare nod to Eastern cuisines.

But Mosaic, which my fellow judges and I unanimously selected for the Critics’ Choice award, at least made smart use of panko. The bread crumbs added an attractive texture to a mac which was already distinguished by jalapeno heat. In a field of very creamy entries, Mosaic’s mac stood out for its complexity.

The People’s Choice award went to Crave, which has won the prize every year since the event’s 2009 debut: Folks are fools for classically-cheesed cavatappi — and reminding voters that Esquire‘s already deemed Crave’s mac “life-changing” probably doesn’t hurt the restaurant’s annual chances. Continue reading

Author of Food Network History to Speak in Charleston

It’s been seven years since the Food Network last produced a marketable star. But in just one month, Charlestonians can hear investigative journalist Allen Salkin explain why.

Salkin, author of From Scratch: Inside the Food Network, will appear on Nov. 14 at the Charleston JCC in conjunction with the Charleston Jewish Bookfest. I’m introducing Salkin, so I’ll definitely be there. Tickets are $12, although JCC members get a $4 discount. Call 571-6565 for reservations.

The program officially begins at 7 p.m., but there’s a cupcake decorating contest beforehand; bring your pastries by 6:30 p.m. if you’d like to play. Salkin and I are judging the entries on looks alone, so don’t sweat your sugar ratio.

From Scratch was featured yesterday on Weekend Edition Sunday: Rachel Martin’s interview with Salkin is here.

Patrick Owens Next Local Chef on James Beard House Schedule

patrickowensFollowing in the footsteps of the 50 local chefs who’ve cooked at James Beard House since Louis Osteen in 1991 represented Louis’ Charleston Grill there, Patrick Owens next month will travel to New York City to prepare a lowcountry seafood meal.

Owens — executive chef and owner of Owens Dining Group, which operates Langdon’s and Opal – is planning to prepare  a menu including seared diver scallops with green chile-fontina polenta and bacon-fig jam and scamp grouper with sweet corn, crab and tarragon for his Nov. 9 dinner.

Steven Lusby of 82 Queen is scheduled to take his turn in the James Beard House kitchen on Dec. 4.

Tickets to Owens’ appearance in conjunction with the James Beard Guest Chef Program are $130 for James Beard Foundation members and $170 for non-members. For reservations, call (212)627-2308.