What’s Gary Shtenygart Eating in Charleston?

www.randomhouse.comGary Shteyngart is not a food writer. He’s a novelist, and – with Tuesday’s release of Little Failure – a memoirist. But even if there aren’t baguettes and vodka bottles in every scene he stages, food is central to his work: As he told the New York Times in 2011, “I wander (New York City’s) streets — my mind attuned to the idea, ‘Must feed … must feed … must feed’ — but the wandering is really an excuse to look at the city and to reacquaint myself, consider how things are changing.”

During the outing recounted for the Times, Shteyngart polished off a Northern Chinese lamb burger; liang pi cold skin noodles; porchetta; trippa alla Romana and a vodka tonic.

The author is always eating: Judging from the press coverage of each of his books, his promotional schedule consists mainly of meeting reporters for Korean feasts and vodka sessions. Continue reading

StarChefs.com Assembles Carolina Culinary Talent for Awards Gala

Chicken Liver Pâté, Pickles, and Pistachio PestoStarChefs.com, an online magazine which stages regional parties to recognize “up-and-coming chefs and culinary professionals,” found nearly all of the talent for its Carolina Rising Stars gala in Asheville and Charleston: The cities are home to eight of the 11 chefs participating in a Dec. 11 tasting at Memminger Auditorium.

“In Charleston, we found a tight-knit community of chefs that sees itself as the keeper of what is one of the richest food traditions in America,” editor-in-chief Antoinette Bruno is quoted as saying in a release from the organization, which considered 100 chefs in 18 cities and towns for the honor. Bruno added that Asheville chefs have distinguished themselves by being “weird,” in keeping with the town’s unofficial slogan.

Charleston’s chef honorees are Husk’s Travis Grimes; Two Boroughs Larder’s Josh Keeler; FIG’s Jason Stanhope and Butcher & Bee’s Stuart Tracy. Charlestonians also made the cut in a number of additional categories: David Schnell of Brown’s Court Bakery was an ‘artisan’ winner; Aaron Siegel of Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ took the ‘concept’ prize; Social Restaurant + Wine Bar’s Brad Ball shared the ‘sommelier’ title with Maximilian Kast of Fearrington House and The Gin Joint’s Joe Raya claimed one of two ‘mixologist’ awards.

Attendees who buy $85 tickets (or $115 tickets, if they want VIP status and the caviar reception which accompanies it) will undoubtedly eat well. But it’s the few chefs who hail from beyond the Carolina powerhouses who may well emerge as the evening’s breakout stars. Continue reading