Travel Channel to Feature Georgean’s Caribbean Soul

georgeansOver the last month, Georgean’s Caribbean Soul has quickly become a favorite of Charleston food lovers, many of whom savor the joint’s relative anonymity nearly as much as its jerk seasoning. But the tiny Line Street take-out joint is likely to lose its “hidden gem” status with the arrival next month of Adam Richman.

According to Georgean’s owner, Deborah Grant, producers of Richman’s new Travel Channel show yesterday contacted the restaurant about filming in June.

“They’re profiling Charleston, and they’re looking for some of the off-the-beaten-path sort of places,” Grant says. Continue reading

Nation’s Restaurant News Visits Charleston, Writes a Trend List

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Nation’s Restaurant News

What’s popular in Charleston? According to Nation’s Restaurant News, cured meat, foraged greens and flavored ice cubes.

The trade publication’s senior food editor, Bret Thorn, recently paid the city a visit to uncover “trends that are likely to become further entrenched across the country.” Although he went looking for them in the usual places – his write-up doesn’t note relative newcomers such as Edmund’s Oast or Warehouse – he came up with a pretty defensible list of five things Charlestonians like to eat. Continue reading

Putting a Lowcountry Spin on Dessert Plates

pastryChocolate, the fallback dessert ingredient for many young chefs, doesn’t fare well in the Lowcountry. “It’s hot down here,” Kelly Wilson, an instructor at Trident Tech’s Culinary Institute of Charleston, this week explained during an American Culinary Federation regional conference session dedicated to regional pastry.

“In terms of climate, that dictates what you can make and what you can store,” Wilson said.

But Wilson urged her audience to think beyond chocolate for other reasons, too: While chocolate has a long central American history (and shorter European history), a bevy of other ingredients are more closely tied to the Native American, African, British and French cultures that are reflected in traditional Charleston foodways. Chefs who reflexively localize their savories sometimes forget about fortified wine, black walnuts, rice, sweet potatoes and coconuts when planning last courses, Wilson suggested. Continue reading

Charleston Chefs Look to Asia For Gibbes’ Street Party Inspiration

streetpartyAlthough the Gibbes Museum’s Street Party is now in its fifth year, tomorrow night’s event marks the first time the fundraiser has adopted a regional theme. And according to spokeswoman Amy Mercer, participating chefs are having fun with the “East Meets West” concept.

“Many of the chefs ended up creating Asian foods,” she says, citing Cypress chef Craig Deihl’s planned Korean beef buns; FIG chefs Mike Lata and Jason Stanhope’s fried oyster hand rolls and country pate and chicken liver mousse banh mis from Edmund’s Oast chef Andy Henderson.

Not every one of the 18 restaurants represented at the tasting party gravitated toward the Eastern end of the celebratory equation. Jacques Larson, who’s still in opening mode at The Obstinate Daughter, is contributing calamari fra diavolo. Continue reading

Culinary Scholarship Offered to South Carolina Students

Fortunately, most students are pros at putting off assignments until just before they’re due, so the looming deadline for a newly-announced culinary school scholarship shouldn’t scare off too many potential applicants.

On behalf of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, the James Beard Foundation is offering a $6250 scholarship to a South Carolina resident (the arrangement is payback for the festival hosting a James Beard dinner in Charleston last year.) The program is open to high school seniors and graduates who are already enrolled in culinary school, or plan to enroll.

South Carolinian applicants who don’t receive the scholarship reserved for state residents will be considered for 15 scholarships without geographic restrictions.

The application postmark deadline is May 15. For more information, visit http://sms.scholarshipamerica.org/jamesbeard.

“Million Dollar Critic” Finishes Charleston Restaurant Shoot

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Million Dollar Critic,” which is now wrapping up filming in Charleston, is a television show. But host Giles Coren, The Times of London’s restaurant critic since 1993, says the BBC America series is supposed to celebrate print journalism (a declaration that’s sure to win him the viewing loyalty of the few dozen or so full-time newspaper restaurant critics left in the U.S.)

“The idea is it puts reviewing back at the heart of the story,” Coren says of the series, which will air its Charleston episode in September.

In each show, Coren will dine at five restaurants, one of which he’ll choose to review; the conceit is Coren’s endorsement is worth $1 million dollars. The money shot is of the restaurant owners eagerly opening their hometown paper to discover whether their meal merited a write-up.

“In many ways, it’s about journalism,” Coren says.  “I have this dream of these kids watching because it’s a mouthy critic, then going out and seeing someone on a bike tossing a newspaper” – and presumably chasing after it. Continue reading

The Palace Hotel Hires Head Chef

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Ongoing point-of-sale system issues have forced The Palace Hotel to repeatedly delay its official grand opening, but the “underground boutique dive bar” last night hired an executive chef.

Blake Joyal, who’s currently the butcher at FIG, will work in tandem with restaurant consultant Eva Keilty before taking over the kitchen.

“He is amazing,” says Keilty, the Warehouse opening chef who designed The Palace Hotel’s starter menu of gourmet global hot dogs. “I’ve been looking for someone for a while.” Continue reading

Blu Appoints New Executive Chef

vendue-exterior (11)The impending opening of The Vendue‘s new restaurant has forced a kitchen shuffle at sister property Tides Folly Beach.

Steve Klatt, formerly chef de cuisine at The Francis Marion Hotel’s Swamp Fox Restaurant, is joining Tides as executive chef of Blu Restaurant & Bar. Former Blu executive chef Jon Cropf is taking the same position at The Vendue. In addition to heading up The Drawing Room’s kitchen, Cropf will oversee operations of the hotel’s rooftop bar and coffee shop.

“(Cropf) continues his rise in the Charleston culinary scene with his move,” Avocet Hospitality Group’s Ken Merkel is quoted as saying approvingly in a release announcing the hires.

The Drawing Room is scheduled to open next month.

Grind and Squeeze Pouring in I’On

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Grind and Squeeze

A model-stylist sister team is behind the newest addition to I’On Square, a beverage bar emphasizing “quality-conscious fare.”

According to a press release, Grind and Squeeze was inspired by the “relaxed lifestyle” that Heston Stutz and Harley Stutz-Hall led in Australia, Asia and Europe. The release grudgingly allows that the café will have “free Wi-Fi for those who must be in contact with the outside world.” But the sisters would obviously much prefer that guests lose themselves in the menu of cold-press juices; vegetable smoothies; wine and craft beer.

The drinks are supplemented by cheese, charcuterie and WildFlour pastries.

Grind and Squeeze, 357 1A N. Shelmore Blvd., is open every day. For hours and more information, call 606-2857 or visit the cafe’s Facebook page.

Coming Up With a Cover Image for Sean Brock’s First Cookbook

HERITAGE by Sean Brock (1)And, speaking of Sean Brock, the chef’s long-awaited cookbook inched closer to his fans’ grasp last Friday with the release of its cover image.

The non-traditional portrait fronting “Heritage” was shot by Charleston photographer Peter Frank Edwards. Within 24 hours of Brock posting the cover art on Instagram, nearly 1000 of his followers had given the image of Brock’s hands cupping beans a virtual thumbs-up.

Brock inked the book deal in 2011; Artisan is renowned in cookbook circles for high-quality, lushly-illustrated books. Continue reading