Belong to a Losing Barbecue Team? Goose Creek Needs You

The city of Goose Creek has secured a musical act (the Shem Creek Boogie Band) and cornhole boards for its Beach and BBQ Festival later this month, but it still needs competitors for its Boston butt cook-off.

Teams are being invited to submit entry applications for the Apr. 26 event; it costs $40 to play, and the winner takes home $250. Only amateurs are allowed to compete, which means teams that have won or placed in an event sanctioned by the South Carolina Barbecue Association since April 25, 2013 aren’t eligible.

Entry forms must be filed by Apr. 14. To learn more, call 569-4242.

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High Wire Scores Two Medals in Craft Distilling Competition

hat-trick-bottle-shot-croppedOf the more than 300 entries in the first-ever craft spirits judging administered by the newly-formed American Craft Distillers Association, only 35 percent took home prizes. The winners group included Charleston’s High Wire Distilling Co., which claimed bronzes for its Hat Trick Botanical Gin and Quarter Acre Sorghum Whiskey.

The judging panel rated spirits on their stylistic integrity and balance, rather than their relative merit, which resulted in a rum category with no gold medal recipients. According to interim executive director Penn Jensen, in laymen’s terms, golds were reserved for spirits that judges would proudly display on their back bars. Silvers went to spirits the judges would want to buy, and bronzes meant “this is good stuff.”

“It’s not the Special Olympics,” Jensen says of the national competition, which concluded last week with an awards ceremony in Denver. “Not every spirit gets a gold. Making the medal round is a big deal.” Continue reading

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Circa 1886′s Marc Collins Throws His Knife in the Ring

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Is it mere coincidence that Collins’ official head shot looks eerily similar to the Chopped logo?

Among the local chefs hoping to score a competitor’s spot on Chopped is Circa 1886’s Marc Collins, who’s definitely not in it for the money.

“Funny thing is, I had no idea the winner received ten grand,” says Collins, who was contacted by the Food Network show’s casting team. Chopped is now soliciting applications from professional and amateur Charleston chefs, and plans to conduct in-town interviews next month. “It just seemed like a good way to have fun and get some media attention for the restaurant at the same time.”

Collins responded to the recruitment e-mail with a message saying he’d submitted an application two years ago, but never heard back. Continue reading

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Chopped Conducts Contestant Search in Charleston

Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time for talented cooks to shine, and that may be especially true this year in Charleston as the holiday coincides with the deadline for Chopped applications.

Professional chefs and talented amateurs interested in competing on the Food Network show are being invited to submit resumes and photos in advance of the production team’s upcoming trip to Charleston. Although Thanksgiving 2013 is the official cut-off date for applications, sharp chefs will want to enter their materials sooner, since in-person interviews will be scheduled for the third week of November. Continue reading

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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

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Taste of Charleston Iron Chef Pits Men Against Women

bildeIt’s unimaginable that a friendly competition would divide chefs by religion, race or ethnic background. But the gender war format is exceedingly popular in culinary circles: When Top Chef went to Texas, it pitted men against women in Restaurant Wars, and MasterChef Australia built an entire season around the conceit.

And next weekend, Taste of Charleston is basing its Iron Chef event around the “men vs. women” theme, following up on the gender allegiances which naturally rippled through the crowd at last year’s Charleston Wine + Food Festival when Michelle Weaver and Mike Lata met in the Waffle House Smackdown.

At Taste of Charleston, the showdown features Drew Hedlund (Fleet Landing) and Brandon Buck (Middleton Place) taking on Jael Allen (Mosaic) and Eva Broyles (Eli’s Table).

So what happens if the women win? Does a victory advance the cause of kitchen equality? Or does it reinforce the idea that men and women cook differently? Continue reading

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