Frank Lee’s Band of Tamed Male Chefs Gathers for Tribute Dinner

FrankLeeTickets are still available to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival’s dinner honoring Frank Lee, the chef who sits atop Charleston food tree.

The festival on Dec. 9 is assembling 11 chefs (six from Charleston; five from out-of-town) to pay tribute to Lee with a five-course dinner at The Grocery. The chefs will be joined by two “culinary experts,” longtime Columbia chef Malcolm Hudson – who festival events director Randi Weinstein credits with converting Lee from “vegetarian to a meat-loving fool” – and Justin Hammerstrom, a former sous chef and mixed martial arts fighter who now serves as corporate trainer for a kickboxing franchise.

Although Hammerstrom last cooked professionally in a high school cafeteria, his participation in the program is fitting, since the featured chefs say they’re indebted to Lee for much more than kitchen know-how. Continue reading

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Five Must-Buy Charleston Wine + Food Festival Tickets

cwfpcTickets to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival go on sale tomorrow, and they have a tendency to sell out quickly, which means planning your purchase is essential. While the schedule‘s crammed with lots of intriguing events, here are the five tickets I’d buy if I had the extra cash.

1. Two Boroughs Larder Perfectly Paired Dinner, Thursday, 7 p.m. $175

I fear this ticket could be a hard sell, since the supper conflicts with the extraordinarily popular Opening Night party. But you know what? Sample plates are for amateurs. The real culinary fireworks are bound to fly at the splendid Two Boroughs, where James Beard-nominee Josh Keeler is teaming up with Ryan Smith and Ryan Hidinger, the duo behind Atlanta’s long-planned (and eagerly-awaited) Staplehouse. Smith’s known for his willingness to smartly bend Southern cooking conventions, and the dining room’s likely to be crowded with Atlantans wondering what the Empire State South alum’s planning for his new restaurant. Continue reading

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Charleston Wine + Food Festival Releases Complete Schedule

BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival

BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival

The complete schedule for the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival wasn’t available when today’s food section went to press, but prospective ticket buyers can now find the entire agenda on the festival’s website.

Among the new events offered are breakfasts at Basico, Callie’s Kitchen and the Rarebit; a pair of events featuring Atlanta chef Kevin Gillespie; dinners at Edmund’s Oast, Xiao Bao Biscuit; a Poogan’s Porch dinner starring pioneering cocktail revivalist Dale DeGroff and a demo by Thai food champion Andy Ricker of the ever-growing Portland/NYC Pok Pok empire. In keeping with current beverage trends, there’s also a sherry seminar on the schedule. Continue reading

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