Wando High School Culinary Team Wins National Honors

twaler

Bill Twaler with students Anna Ware and Talbot McGee.

A Wando High School culinary team’s restaurant concept earlier this month earned a fifth-place prize at the National ProStart Invitational, becoming the first South Carolina management team to place in the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s annual competition.

The state champions proposed a French café attached to a French art museum; they were required to submit a business plan, marketing plan, menu and test recipes to support their pitch.

“Then they prepare a PowerPoint and do a 10-minute oral presentation, along with a visual display board of the concept,” explains Wando Culinary Arts instructor Bill Twaler, who described the trip to Minneapolis as “lots of fun.” Continue reading

Sean Brock Up For an Emmy

alanlight

Alan Light

The nominations just keep on coming for chef Sean Brock, who now has a chance at claiming an Emmy statuette.

Brock and April Bloomfield are nominated in the “outstanding culinary host” category of the 41st annual Daytime Emmy Awards for their PBS program, The Mind of a Chef. The National Academy of Television Art & Sciences announced the nominations this morning.

The nomination prevented a Food Network sweep: Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Rachael Ray represent Brock and Bloomfield’s competition. Continue reading

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

Butcher & Bee Named to List of Best Sandwich Shops

bbintThe author of a new Thrillist round-up of the nation’s 21 best sandwich shops has very definite opinions on which sandwiches to order: the muffaletta at Cochon in New Orleans; the Caribbean Roast at Paseo in Seattle and the Parmageddon at Cleveland’s Melt Bar and Grilled. But when it comes to Butcher & Bee, he suggests getting “whatever’s available.”

“Their menu, scrawled on a chalkboard, is constantly changing depending on the region’s local offerings, but always features innovative creations such as the General Tso’s-chicken sandwich,” Adam Lapetina writes.

Although Lapetina doesn’t outline his sandwich criteria, his list introduction alludes to freshly-baked bread and sauces good enough to drink.

Butcher & Bee’s menu today lists roast beef, grilled cheese and beef tongue. The shop at 654 King St. is open until 3 p.m.

No Charleston Chefs Nominated for JBF Best Chef Southeast

brockSean Brock is the lone Charleston chef up for James Beard Foundation honors this year.

Brock was nominated this morning for the organization’s prestigious Outstanding Chef award, along with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony, Lucque’s Suzanne Goin; Manresa’s David Kinch and Mozza’s Nancy Silverton and Vetri’s Marc Vetri. Brock , the executive chef of McCrady’s, Husk Charleston and Husk Nashville, was nominated for the same prize in 2012; he won the Best Chef Southeast category in 2010.

Local semi-finalists Jeremiah Bacon of Oak Steakhouse and The Macintosh; Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder and Kevin Johnson of The Grocery didn’t make the short list, which was announced in a lengthy ceremony live-streamed from Chicago. Continue reading

Charleston Ice Carver Takes Ninth in World Championships

IceAlaska

The prototype for the ninth best ice sculpture in the world is now sitting in a Summerville freezer, slowly evaporating away.

“The dove is ready to disappear,” says local ice carver Brian Connors, who created the intricate angel with Greenville’s Edwin Hutchinson.

But even after the 1400-pound practice sculpture is gone, Connors and Hutchinson will retain the distinction of earning a top 10 spot in the World Ice Art Championships, held earlier this month in Fairbanks, Alaska. Continue reading

Websites Shower Charleston Restaurants With Awards

There are three months between the Oscars and the Tonys, but it’s always award season for Charleston restaurants. A few of the latest accolades:

  • O-Ku was designated a Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurant in America by OpenTable, which scans five million diner reviews collected over the course of the year to determine top scores in the “hot spot” category. Although the reservation service’s website doesn’t explain what’s meant by “hot spot,” it appears to have at least a tangential relationship to clubbing: Fourteen of the listed restaurants are located in Florida, with most of them clustered around Miami. Culinary powerhouses San Francisco and Seattle, where dining culture is considerably more staid, weren’t represented. Continue reading

Keeler, Johnson and Bacon Named James Beard Semi-Finalists

Three Charleston chefs are in the running for finalist status in the Southeast division of the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef awards.

Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder, Kevin Johnson of The Grocery and Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh are semi-finalists for the prestigious prize, which will be awarded this May in New York City. Bacon is a semi-finalist for the third year running; Keeler was also a semi-finalist last year.

Other local semi-finalists include McCrady’s for Best Service; Sean Brock for Outstanding Chef, a national award, and FIG for Best Wine Service. “Greatest honor to date,” FIG’s sommelier David McCarus tweeted. Continue reading

Southern Living Names Basico as One of The South’s Best New Bars

AR-130909748.jpg&q=80&MaxW=750&MaxH=350Basico’s updated country club vibe earned the Park Circle taqueria a spot on Southern Living’s list of The South’s Best New Bars, featured in this month’s issue of the magazine.

According to an editor’s note, the 20 chosen bars are “a throwback to a time when whiskey and Champagne were sipped by elegant folks in sleek social rooms,” minus the pretension. Basico at Mixson Bath & Racquet Club won praise for its summery, un-stuffy ambiance and spicy grapefruit margarita.

Basico was grouped with Nashville’s ultra-trendy Pinewood Social, the carnivalesque eating-and-drinking warehouse from The Catbird Seat team, in the “social club” category. Continue reading

Five Charleston Restaurants Receive Four Stars From Forbes

While not a single South Carolina restaurant cracked the list of Forbes Travel Guide five-star winners, five area properties received four stars from the hospitality evaluator.

According to the list, released last week, Charleston Grill; Circa 1886; Peninsula Grill; Tristan and The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary – which earned five stars for its hotel and spa – provide “refined personal service” and “feature creative, complex foods and emphasize various culinary techniques and a focus on seasonality.”

Forbes updates its list twice a year.