Wando High School Culinary Team Wins National Honors

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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

Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot Brings Southern Cooking to Wando

chxdonutWhen Nathaniel Chamblin was nine years old, his father opened The Icehouse Café, then a small bar in a suburb of Washington D.C. Within a few years, it was one of the city’s top restaurants, branching into California cuisine long before its competitors and pouring microbrews by 1987.

Chamblin is planning to get off to a similarly modest start with Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot, opening next month in Wando. And while he doesn’t have any immediate plans to overtake the city’s leading restaurants, he says, “I have mad respect for all of the talent we have in town. But I wouldn’t mind going toe-to-toe with some of these chefs in an Iron Chef format, and they know it.”

Now 43, Chamblin has been involved in restaurants since he was a boy. After his family in 1991 sold The Icehouse Café, he gravitated toward restaurant consulting, moving to Charleston in 1997. He helped open Bull & Finch and Zinc Bistro, but didn’t spend much time in the kitchen: Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot is Chamblin’s first full-time chef job in 20 years. Continue reading