Vote For Charleston as Best Everything in Food & Wine Poll

Can Charleston claim the nation’s most vibrant ethnic food; most pompous foodies; best food trucks; best sushi; healthiest eaters and most adventurous diners? Probably not, but Food & Wine is leaving it up to the public to decide, so cast your online vote now.

Forty cities made the cut for the magazine’s Favorite Food Cities survey, the results of which will be published in the September 2014 issue.

If you opt to take the poll, leave yourself a few minutes: There are 25 different categories, many of which are better suited to Charleston than the categories cited above. Voters are asked to select cities boasting the best-dressed diners; best-looking chefs; best-looking bartenders and most romantic restaurants.

The survey closes on Apr. 30. Get started here.

Zero George Cooking Class Wins Recognition From Food & Wine

cook3“I’m starving,” a student in Zero George’s weekly Saturday morning cooking class exclaimed as she reluctantly handed off a cauliflower floret for the next student to examine.

Executive chef Randy Williams’ two-hour instructional sessions, which this month were honored by Food & Wine as one of the nation’s top three new cooking courses, are far from frivolous eating-and-drinking affairs: He doesn’t uncork a bottle of wine until the second hour starts. Instead, as I observed when I swung by this weekend, the classes are designed to emphasize contemporary techniques and encourage students to think like chefs.

On Saturday, Williams – wearing a chef’s jacket and cowboy boots – demonstrated how to prepare a butternut squash puree, roasted pork loin and olive oil cake. The cake recipe he distributed was written out in metric measurements, because “that’s how more people like to do it now.” He also stressed asymmetrical plating and advised that “people are getting away from blanching vegetables ahead of time.” Continue reading