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Inside the Charleston Wine & Food Festival

Inside the Charleston Wine & Food Festival

We talk to chefs about what made the 8th year particularly unique

Ali Rosen

Charleston Wine and Food

This weekend was the eighth annual BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival. And with a booming culinary scene, a beautiful setting, and great events, chefs and attendees alike flocked to join in on the fun.

We spoke to some of the participating chefs about what was new for the eighth year. Charleston-based chef Frank Lee of Slightly North of Broad said, "What’s unique about the festival this year is the level of participation from the visitors and from all the chefs." Anthony Lamas, from Seviche in Louisville loves the atmosphere. "There’s just that Southern charm... The chefs are amazing and the people here really enjoy good food and it takes a special city to support something like this," he said.

The caliber of chefs has also grown over the years. First-time attendee Chris Cosentino of San Francisco’s Incanto noted that "It’s really for me been exciting to not only view the city from whole new eyes — I’ve never seen anything like this... There’s a lot of chefs I have a lot of respect for here."

For more information about the festival and Charleston, you can watch more of our coverage, or watch the Festival's Daily Recaps if you want to see what went down! If it all makes you hungry then make sure to get ready to book your tickets for next year!


10 Can’t-Miss Events in Charleston

While Charleston, SC, is a favorite tourist destination it’s also home to some of the best festivals and events in the US. Here are 10 reasons to plan your next trip to the Lowcountry.

Spoleto/Piccolo Spoleto Festival
Spring brings the preeminent event that has become a verb (Do you Spoleto?), Spoleto Festival USA. Founded in 1977 by Gian Carlo Menotti (and others) as the companion to the Festival of the Two Worlds in Spoleto Italy, the event brings internationally renowned and emerging artists and performers to town beginning Memorial Day weekend through the first full week of June. Performances range from opera and theater to dance, chamber, symphonic and jazz music. For the budget-conscious or those looking for family-friendly entertainment, Piccolo Spoleto provides a full schedule of low- to no-cost activities that focus on regional artists.

MOJA Arts Festival
Just as the heat begins to wane, the second of Charleston’s arts festivals, MOJA, descends upon the city. MOJA, which means “one” in Swahili, is an African and Caribbean arts festival that takes place the last weekend in September through the first full week in October. It showcases performances in dance, theater, literary and visual arts, and music.

Charleston Fashion Week
For one week in March, the center of town in Marion Square becomes the runway to New York with Charleston Fashion Week. Presented by Charleston Magazine, the CFW showcases emerging designers and models, many of whom have gone on to find fame in the Big Apple and beyond, designing for celebrities like Khloe Kardashian and Toni Braxton or being featured on the hit TV show Project Runway.

Charleston International Film Festival
Now in its fifth year, the 5-day Charleston International Film Festival showcases over 80 new features, shorts, documentaries and animation films from some of the best national and international filmmakers today. The stories capture a range of emotions and take audiences from historic to current to future times. Films are shown at the historic Sottile Theater at the College of Charleston as well as Cinebarre, the independent theater in Mount Pleasant, SC. After-parties are held nightly at some of Charleston’s best venues, including the Music Farm.

Lowcountry Oyster Festival
If you like to shuck ’em and suck ’em, join the thousands who gather in January at the height of the season for the world’s largest oyster fest, the Lowcountry Oyster Festival. Held every year at Boone Hall Plantation, just outside of downtown Charleston, bivalve connoisseurs consume more than 80,000 pounds of oysters at this 1-day event filled with shucking and eating contests, plus live music, wine, beer and food from some of the area’s best restaurants.

BB&T Charleston Wine Food Festival
Nearly 100 of the country’s best wine and food purveyors can be found under the tents of Marion Square the first weekend in March during the BB&T Charleston Wine+Food Festival. The festival brings together samples of wine, spirits and food from across the nation, and attendees have an opportunity to learn techniques from culinary celebrities such as the Lee Bros., Husk Restaurant’s chef sensation Sean Brock and master sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson.

Charleston International Antiques Show
Antique dealers, collectors and enthusiasts from around the country gather here in March to explore the Charleston International Antiques Show. The 3-day event features fine 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century period furniture and art from America, Asia and Europe, as well as lectures and tours.

Fall Tours of Homes & Gardens
Instead of riding past the historic homes in Charleston’s South of Broad neighborhood on the carriage tours, take a stroll down the streets of the historic district in September and October, during the Fall Tours of Homes & Gardens presented by the Preservation Society of Charleston. For 5 weeks each year, tourist have an opportunity to glimpse inside some of Charleston’s oldest, most exquisite addresses and lush hidden gardens that highlight American architecture from the early 1700s through today.

Family Circle Cup
In late March/early April, it’s 9 days of game-set-match at the premier women’s tennis event in America, the Family Circle Cup. The tournament, the longest-running sponsored professional tennis tournament in the United States, brings the circuit’s top players such as Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Martina Hingis and the Williams sisters to Daniel Island, just 20 minutes outside of Charleston. In addition to watching the singles and doubles matches, spectators can enjoy demonstrations of the latest in tennis equipment, personalized video analysis of one’s game and even children’s courts for the next generation of tennis stars.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition
If you love ducks, dogs and the great outdoors, join the thousands of outdoor enthusiasts who turn out every February for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE), the largest wildlife event in the nation. The 3-day event promotes conservation and preservation of wildlife as well as numerous outdoor sports through competitions, art, educational programs and more. Animal expert Jack Hanna is a regular presenter, and the Dock Dog competition draws record crowds annually who watch pro-, semi-pro and amateur canines of all breeds compete in the long jump, high jump and retrieval contests.


The Secret Ingredient for the Best Buttermilk Biscuits

Carrie Morey could easily be called the biscuit queen of Charleston. It’s a mantle she inherited from her mother, a caterer named Callie White who was known for her country ham biscuits. (For the uninitiated, a country ham biscuit is exactly what it sounds like—a biscuit split in two, with some salty, smoky country ham in the middle, and a condiment or secret ingredient binding everything together. In Callie’s case, the biscuit is cheese and chive flavored, the ham is chopped, and the condiment is Dijon mustard butter.)

Morey and her mom launched Callie’s Charleston Biscuits in 2005 and the company has since grown into a successful purveyor of biscuits, baking mixes, pimento cheese, and other Southern staples. Last year, they opened Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits on Charleston’s King Street, a 629-square-foot shop where you can order a hot biscuit with homemade jam, a bowl of grits, or a French press coffee.

Morey is one of the local culinary talents featured as part of the 10th annual Charleston Wine + Food festival, which kicks off Wednesday. It’s a five-day celebration of the people, restaurants, bars, and regional treats that give the southern city so much of its flavor. Morey will be teaching a biscuit-making class, “Wake + Bake,” on Saturday morning as part of the festival, but it’s already sold out. Luckily, she shared a few tips in the video above, including her “dough snake” trick for high-rising biscuits. “Biscuits like to be touched,” explained Morey. The second tip involves a key ingredient that you don’t often find in traditional biscuits—cream cheese. Some bakers swear it makes for a lighter, fluffier biscuit.

Her No. 1 tip? Mix everything by hand, not by machine. “Get in there and get messy,” she urged.

We’ve got the family recipe, so if you can’t make it to Charleston Wine + Food, you can still make Callie’s biscuits.

Callie’s Classic Buttermilk Biscuits
Yields approximately 10 (2-inch) biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour (White Lily preferred), plus more for dusting
5 tablespoons butter: 4 tablespoons cut in small cubes, at room temperature, and 1 tablespoon melted
1⁄4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup whole buttermilk (may substitute low-fat buttermilk)

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle position.

Measure the flour into a large bowl. Incorporate the cubed butter, then the cream cheese into the flour, using your fingers to “cut in” the butter and cheese until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. It will be chunky with some loose flour.

Make a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk and, using your hands or a small rubber spatula, mix the flour into the buttermilk. The dough will be wet and messy.

Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the bowl, creating a separation between the dough and the bowl. Sprinkle a bit more flour in this crease.

Flour a work surface or flexible baking mat very well. With force, dump the dough from the bowl onto the surface. Flour the topof the dough and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough to 1⁄2-inch thickness into an oval shape. (No kneading is necessary—the less you mess with the dough, the better.)

Flour a 2-inch round metal biscuit cutter or biscuit glass. Start from the edge of the rolled-out dough and cut straight through the dough with the cutter, trying to maximize the number of biscuits cut from this first roll out. Roll out the excess dough after the biscuits are cut and cut more biscuits. As long as the dough stays wet inside, you can use as much flour on the outside as you need to handle the dough. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet with the sides lined with parchment paper, or in a cast-iron skillet, or a baking pan with the biscuit sides touching. (It does not matter what size pan or skillet you use as long as the pan has a lip or sides and the biscuits are touching. If you are using a cast-iron skillet, no parchment paper is necessary.) Brush the tops with the melted butter.

Place the pan in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 450°F. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, until light brown on top (or as dark as you prefer), rotating the pan once while baking.


40 Very Charleston Dishes

No other handwritten roadside sign brings us to such a screeching halt. Many non-Southerners are startled at first by our love for damp peanuts so tender they eat like beans (peanuts are legumes, after all). But once you’ve acquired the taste for this hot, salty, messy, slow-simmered snack, it’s nearly impossible to put down the bag. Click here for recipe.

2. Henry’s Cheese Spread

Many decades ago, long before Charleston’s restaurant scene exploded, a big night out involved Henry’s on Market Street, where white-jacketed waiters swooped in with trays of iced crudité, including this malty cheese spread that’s so addictive, it’s tempting to eat it by the spoonful. Try Matt Lee and Ted Lee’s adaptation of the spread (published in their 2012 The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen), and it’ll quickly become a party favorite. Click here for recipe.

3. Benne Wafers

Proust’s madeleine has nothing on Charleston’s benne wafers in the taste-memory department. We’ve been baking these paper-thin, chewy-crisp, salty-sweet, buttery-nutty cookies for centuries, using toasted benne seeds introduced by African slaves during Colonial times (“benne” is Bantu for “sesame”). Hugely popular as souvenirs, benne wafers are said to bring good luck to those who eat them. Click here for recipe.


4. Cheese Straws

Crispy, salty, spicy, cheesy, these baked crunchy munchies are ubiquitous at downtown cocktail parties and tailgates. We can’t say cheese straws are unique to Charleston (the small country of Guyana asserts a claim), yet somehow they’ve marched into our tradition of Southern hospitality. Many locals keep a frozen log of cheese dough at the ready to slice and bake when company comes.Click here for recipe.

5. Pimiento Cheese

Pronounced fluidly “pimenta-cheese” and nicknamed “Southern caviar,” this signature piquant-creamy spread nestles into crustless finger sandwiches, tops burgers, and gussies up fried green tomatoes. Most of us just hoover it up on crackers, especially Nathalie Dupree’s recipe. Click here for recipe.

6. Jerusalem Artichoke Relish

Truth be told, Jerusalem artichokes are neither from Jerusalem nor are they artichokes. These small, native sunchoke tubers with a water chestnut-like consistency slice, dice, and pickle beautifully. Typically served over cream cheese as an hors d’oeuvre, a little artichoke relish can also brighten any plate. Buy Mrs. Sassard’s by the jar (it’s truly delicious) or make your own with John Martin Taylor’s tried-and-true recipe. Click here for recipe.

7. Ice-Box Pickles

A sweet-tart way to preserve and punch up the humble cucumber, ice-box pickles make a cool, crunchy summertime snack or delicious burger topping. If you’re willing to brave the line at Jestine’s Kitchen, you can enjoy these finely sliced beauties alongside corn bread. But there’s really no reason not to make them yourself and tweak them to your liking with garlic, herbs, or hot peppers. Click here for recipe.


8. Spiced Pickled Shrimp

Many local dishes feature the Lowcountry’s ubiquitous crustacean, but pickled shrimp has been a longtime cocktail-party staple for good reason—it’s delicious and easy. Prepare a batch a day in advance, serve over ice with toothpicks, et voilà—a light and bright yet complex and crave-worthy appetizer. Make Lavinia Huguenin’s mid-century receipt or mix it up with your favorite flavors. Click here for recipe.

9. Pickled Okra

Heat-loving okra falls into the category of bigger-is-not-better. You want to pluck the pod while still young and tender about the size of your pointing finger. Pickling the veggie with varying degrees of heat makes it available year-round, perfect for cocktail party munching or garnishing a Bloody Mary. Click here for recipe.

10. Charleston Okra Soup

Matt Lee and Ted Lee have asked hundreds of chefs why Charlestonians have historically flavored okra soup with rich, dark, bone marrow. No one has an answer, apart from, “Because it tastes good.” Head up to Bertha’s Kitchen for an intensely soulful version of this silky, meaty, tomato-based staple, or try your hand at the Lee Bros.’ recipe. Click here for recipe.

11. Shrimp & Grits

Many restaurants riff on this beloved combo of sautéed shrimp over “hominy” (as it used to be called). ACME Lowcountry Kitchen, for example, offers jerk shrimp over coconut grits with pineapple salsa. Old-schoolers keep it simple, allowing fresh, local shrimp and quality, stone-ground grits (like Geechee Boy’s or Anson Mills’) to speak for themselves. Nathalie Dupree, who literally wrote the book on the subject with Charleston food editor Marion Sullivan (Nathalie Dupree’s Shrimp & Grits Cookbook), recounted its humble beginnings as a recipe in Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking (1930). We suggest you prepare that simple “Shrimps & Hominy,” then make it your own. Click here for recipe.

12. Shrimp Paste

Don’t be fooled by shrimp pastes laden with mayonnaise or cream cheese. Charlestonians have been grinding shrimp into smooth pastes for centuries. Served cold or as a warm mousse, shrimp paste relies on little more than butter, a dash of spices, perhaps a hint of sherry. Savor it on crackers, thin toast, or finger sandwiches (crusts removed, of course). Click here for recipe.

13. Shrimp Pie

This popular casserole-style dish dates back to the 19th century, and two versions were included in Sarah Rutledge’s 1847 cookbook The Carolina Housewife. As household help typically had Sunday afternoons off, the cook would assemble this savory “pie,”and the lady of the house would simply slip it into the oven before supper. Rutledge’s “Baked Shrimps & Tomatoes”calls for layers of crustaceans, stewed tomatoes, spices, and rich buttery goodness that marry well in the fridge before baking. Just watch the salt, as the shrimp will add natural brine. Click here for recipe.


14. She-Crab Soup

An elegant, lightly creamy bisque loaded with chunks of blue-crab meat and spiked with a touch of dry sherry, she-crab soup is credited to William Deas, the cook for Mayor Goodwyn Rhett who first prepared it for President William Taft. Astute chefs know to seek out female crabs with faint orange shells that signify the presence of precious, briny roe within. Click here for recipe.

15. Cream Oysters

Let’s face it: anything that calls for two cups of heavy cream promises to be delicious. The natural liquor from the oysters themselves thins out this classic preparation. Published in 1847’s The Carolina Housewife by venerable Charleston lady Sarah Rutledge, cream oysters are ideal when ladled over puff pastry. Click here for recipe.

16. Roasted Oysters

No cool-weather outdoor gathering is complete without a bushel of local oysters, roaring fire, long table, cooler of beer, and ample oyster knives. The bivalves are best roasted on a flat surface for even cooking, steamed under cover of a damp burlap sack, and cooked just to the point of opening (overcooking will dry them out like raisins). Grab a knife, pop the hinge, and slurp ’em down. Click here for tips on how to throw an oyster roast.

17. Oyster Dressing

Thanksgiving dressings often celebrate regional treasures. Take, for example, East Texas’ venison dressing, Tennessee’s sausage dressing, or Georgia’s pecan dressing. In the Holy City, we turn to corn bread and oysters to complement our bird. Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill offers her decadent version with stone-ground white cornmeal, Parmesan, and three dozen oysters. Click here for recipe.

18. Fried Oysters

Biting into a perfectly fried oyster is a voyage of discovery: The delicately crisp casing gives way to the creamy, mineral-rich prize within. Master that fry technique, then perch them atop deviled eggs like Macintosh chef Jeremiah Bacon does, and you have a marriage of Southern favorites made in heaven. Click here for recipe.

19. Shad Roe

The running of American shad, the largest herring, is a Lowcountry rite of spring, with local chefs and old-school cooks alike seeking out the prized sacks of roe from the dark-fleshed, bony fish. While it’s been ages since the Eastern seaboard was lined with seasonal herring shacks—they were shuttered one by one as river dams impinged on the fish’s annual migration—Crosby’s Seafood still manages to get a hold of shad and its roe. Cook them in the traditional manner (wrapped in bacon, pan-fried, and served over grits) for a rich and creamy Lowcountry delicacy. Click here for recipe.

20. Crab Cakes

We don’t credit our Colonial ancestors with much (British food gets such a bad rap), but we must admit that crab patties, or croquettes, were a great idea—we just spiced them up a bit. Most agree that the best crab cakes feature the meat itself with very little binder, are lightly breaded (if at all), and fried to a golden brown. Click here for recipe.

21. Deviled crab

Crabmeat hand-mixed with seasonings, nestled back into the open shell from whence it came, topped with buttered bread crumbs, and baked to glory—for many years, the former Henry’s on Market Street was the place to go for this special dish. These days, you can find deviled crab at The Wreck on Shem Creek, made up by none other than Skipper Shaffer, great-grandson of Henry’s founder. Health codes red-flag the actual shells, so they’re served up in aluminum ramekins. Not quite the same, but still delicious. Click here for recipe.

22. Fried whiting

Whiting, or southern kingfish, is plentiful on our shores, cruising beneath surfers on Folly and anywhere waves are breaking. It’s common to see anglers load up coolers full of them, destined to be deep fried and served with hot sauce, as has been the traditional preparation, especially among African-American cooks. In their 2012 cookbook The Lee Brothers Charleston Kitchen, Matt and Ted celebrate the sweet, mild flavor of this tasty panfish with a lighter skillet approach. Click here for recipe.

23. Barbecue

The word “barbecue” is said to have been derived from the West Indian “barbacoa,” for the slow-cooking meat over hot coals. Around here, it means pork, usually a whole hog, cooked low and slow, and a long night of tending fire. And while most pitmasters guard their secrets, Jimmy Hagood of BlackJack Barbecue shares a Boston butt grill recipe that even novices can master. When the meat takes on a buttery tenderness, shred it up on slices of Wonder Bread and watch the crowd form. Click here for recipe.

24. Charleston Rice

Most Charlestonians don’t consider a meal complete without rice on the plate. Our city was, after all, built on the wealth of rice exportation. Dedicated members of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation have worked hard to restore the aromatic antebellum grain to our pantry. Cooked in the traditional Charleston rice steamer, each fluffy and never-sticky grain holds its own and requires little more than butter and a pinch of salt—though gravy is always welcome. Click here for recipe.

There are as many variations on preparing as there are in pronouncing this antebellum rice-based dish, but locals generally say “purr-LO.”A medium for veggies, seafoods, or meats, it’s basically rice cooked in a rich stock until tender. The toasty layer that forms at the bottom of the pot is part of the charm, so mix it in before serving for a little crunch. Click here for recipe.


26. Frogmore Stew

New Orleans has crawfish boils we have frogmore stew (named for the little town of Frogmore, down the coast on St. Helena Island). It’s the same principle: seafood, sausage, potatoes, corn, and spices, only we feature shrimp, sometimes throwing in stone crab claws from local waters for good measure. Click here for recipe.

27. Hoppin’ John

A peas-and-rice dish eaten year-round but always on New Year’s Day for good luck, hoppin’ John features the humble field pea (and if you eat it the day after New Year’s, it’s called “skippin’ Jenny”). Petite Sea Island red peas are ideal, as is aromatic Carolina Gold rice for superior flavor and texture. Some insist the peas and rice be cooked together, others say separately and then combined. Charlotte Jenkins, author of Gullah Cuisine: By Land and By Sea, shares her recipe, cooked together with ham hocks, onion, and thyme. Click here for recipe.

28. Red Rice

Not to be confused with Creole dirty rice, red rice is essentially tomato pilau, as John Martin Taylor notes in his seminal Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking: Recipes and Ruminations from Charleston & the Carolina Coastal Plain. Sometimes sweetened with a touch of sugar and flavored with diced bacon, salt, and pepper, red rice has been satisfying Lowcountry denizens since well before the Civil War. Click here for recipe.

29. Chicken Bog

Chicken bog is, well, boggy—i.e. moisture-retaining but not soupy (picture the damp floor of a low-lying cypress grove for boggy inspiration). A stick-to-your-ribs rice dish slow simmered in chicken stock and laced with tender shredded meat, Matt and Ted Lee call it “a close cousin to the classic Lowcountry pilau” in their 2006 The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. Chef Louis Osteen, who moved to the Lowcountry from Atlanta in 1979, learned his recipe from Dickie Creighton, “a legend in Pawleys Island,”he says. “I’ll never forget the comfort of its warm simplicity.” Click here for recipe.

30. Fried Green Tomatoes

You’ll find fried green tomatoes jazzed up all over town: with pork-belly croutons and feta at Cru Cafe, tomato chutney and country ham at Magnolia’s, comeback sauce and goat cheese at Southerly. No matter the sidekick, these crispy-tart slices are the star. Click here for recipe.

31. Sweet Potato Pone

The ladies who contributed to Charleston Receipts grated their sweet potatoes and sweetened their pone with molasses or dark cane syrup, as did Gullah chefs (from whom the Junior Leaguers probably learned the “sweet tada pone” receipt in the first place). James Beard Award-winning chef Robert Stehling of Charleston’s beloved Hominy Grill sticks to brown sugar and stays true to the citrus-cinnamon signature of this hot, rich dish. Click here for recipe.


32. Corn Bread

A thoroughly New World creation, the once plain hoecakes of cornmeal, fat, and water have evolved across the country with the addition of sugar or molasses, dairy, and leavening agents. Here in Charleston, you can get savory skillet breads with cracklin’ at Husk or sweet cake-like squares at S.N.O.B. If you make your own, be sure to splurge on quality cornmeal such as the coarser, stone-ground varieties available through Anson Mills or Geechee Boy Mill in nearby Edisto. Pitmaster and Food for the Southern Soul owner Jimmy Hagood shares his savory cast-iron skillet corn bread sweetened only by a kiss of cane syrup. Click here for recipe.


33. Fried Okra

In her classic Gullah cookbook, Bittle en’ T’ing’, Maum Chrish’ refers to fried okra as “buckruh ok’ry” (white people’s okra). She insists okra be cooked so tenderly it doesn’t require chewing but acknowledges that some like it fried. Anyone who’s ever eaten raw okra straight off the vine knows how satisfying the crunch can be, and frying is a great way to seal in flavor. Click here for recipe.

34. Succotash

Succotash is as it sounds: a free-form collision of ingredients. But in actuality the word derives from the Naragansett Indian “msickquatash,” translating to “boiled ear of corn.” Sweet corn parties with butter beans or field peas, tons of fresh herbs, garlic, and butter. Any veggies will do, perhaps even a little smoked ham hock or bacon drippings for a Southern charge of flavor. Click here for recipe.

35. Collard Greens

A field of collards is a beautiful sight—bundles of large, dark-green, bitter leaves waiting to be stewed into submission. The process of rendering them takes hours on a stove top (an acquired smell that, like pluff mud, conjures sense of place), usually involving salty pork broth. Cookbook author Charlotte Jenkins learned her recipe from generations of women in her Awendaw-based family. Click here for recipe.


36. Lady Baltimore Cake

Celebrated author of Mrs. Whaley’s Charleston Kitchen, the late Emily “Cheeka” Whaley was a local grande dame of entertaining, though she always considered herself a country girl at heart. She managed to lure the recipe for Lady Baltimore cake from the originator’s granddaughter. (A favorite at the Ladies Exchange, it was made famous by the 1906 novel Lady Baltimore.) A firm white layer cake interspersed with sherry-soaked raisins, nuts, and hard icing, it was highly popular at weddings and birthdays. Click here for recipe.

37. Huguenot Torte

An incredibly sweet confection, somewhere between apple-pecan pie and a spongy blondie, this torte was for years attributed to the Huguenots, who still hold services in French behind their pale-pink church at the corner of Church and Queen (the congregation dates to the 1680s). Food historian John Martin Taylor did the research and busted the myth, however, revealing that a chef at the former Huguenot Tavern sourced an Ozark pudding recipe, tweaked it, and introduced it to Charlestonians in the 1940s as “Huguenot Torte.” It remains one of the city’s most famous desserts. Serve with a generous dollop of unsweetened, freshly whipped cream for a dreamy balance of flavors and textures. Click here for recipe.

38. Coconut cake

A longtime favorite on the Southern dessert table, this layer cake became a Charleston sensation when Peninsula Grill first served its frothy-light, 12-layer version in 1997. Soon, cake lovers across the country began ordering them for a whopping $130 a pop plus shipping costs. Although we can’t share that recipe, the kind folks at Square Onion offer theirs for six layers of true indulgence. If you want to stay true to old Charleston cookbooks, use freshly grated coconut. Click here for recipe.

39. Syllabub

The name alone is worth reviving, yet this old-school Colonial dessert has fallen out of fashion. That needs to change. A delicious end to a full meal, syllabub is a light, airy blend of fortified wine, cream, and lemon. While earlier recipes, notably one from The Carolina Housewife (1847), contained more alcohol, ours has been tamed to suit modern tastes. Click here for recipe.

40. Groundnut Cakes

Culinary sleuth and author Dr. David S. Shields notes that penny groundnut cakes were sought-after confections of peanuts and molasses sold on Charleston street corners and along wharves until health officials put the clamp on vendors in 1918. Brothers Matt and Ted Lee share their recipe for these bronzy, sweet, crispy nuggets. Click here for recipe.


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Stefan DeArmon was struggling to support his parents while living in a homeless shelter until his ambitious nature, a fateful meeting, a simple mistake and some really, really good cornbread changed his life forever.

DeArmon, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, took a leap of faith when he returned home to Charleston, South Carolina, to help his parents after retiring from the service. His father had been in and out of the hospital while his mother, who been diagnosed as being legally blind, was still cooking and running the household. DeArmon didn't have the funds to relocate or scrape up enough money to put towards getting a home, but he wanted to help his family at any cost.

"If you could put your pride aside, I can get you in the shelter," a veteran social worker told DeArmon. He then learned about One80 Place, a shelter that provides unique job opportunities for residents. "I said, 'Whatever it takes for me to get home to my parents,'" DeArmon told TODAY Food.

DeArmon told TODAY that although the shelter saved his life, being homeless was a struggle — one that inhibited productivity and the rest one needs to feel healthy and thrive. But One80 softened the harsh blow of homelessness with programs to foster success, one of which provided culinary training.

DeArmon, who grew up watching his mother and grandmother cook, also loved to prepare food. He enjoyed the program and heeded the advice of his instructor, Angie DuPree, when she recommended that he find a local chef to assist at the Charleston Wine + Food festival, which had recently started a partnership with One80 Place to give residents on-the-ground experience.

It was there that a chance meeting changed his life. DeArmon started volunteering for the station of a local barbecue restaurant called Smoke — a place where he had eaten before.

"He had his black chef coat and his white undershirt. And I said, 'Sir, you've got the spirit. I'm calling you 'the Reverend' and you're coming to work at Smoke,'" Smoke BBQ owner Roland Feldman recalled to TODAY.

DeArmon began working as a dishwasher and quickly worked his way up to preparing food. One day while he was preparing a batch of the restaurant's signature cornbread, DeArmon accidentally poured heavy cream into the batter instead of buttermilk. Feldman decided to have DeArmon bake it up and what ensued proved how wonderful a simple mistake can be.


Gullah Geechee Recipe: Carolina Crab Rice

To me, crab rice is one of the most underrated, well-kept, and well-loved recipes from out of the Lowcountry, the geographic and cultural region comprising South Carolina&rsquos coast and the Sea Islands. Everyone has their own way of doing it, but it&rsquos always recognizable no matter where it&rsquos served.

Usually, we would use the just-caught-and-cooked sweet blue crab meat that&rsquos found and eaten throughout the region. Since I&rsquove moved around the country, however, the beloved blue crab of my youth becomes harder for me to find, and I use substitutions when I can. When the warmer days come around, I find myself craving a big plate or bowl of crab rice.

Using Sallie Ann Robinson&rsquos recipe for her &ldquoOl&rsquo Fuskie Fried Crab Rice&rdquo as a base, I was not only able to make my own version of the crab rice I grew up eating, but I was able to feel like I was at home in Charleston, and feel connected, even for just a moment, to my community and culture.

I invite you to cook along with me and Chef BJ Dennis during &ldquoMigration Stories: Sustaining Gullah Geechee Cooking Across Land and Sea&rdquo on Wednesday, February 3, at 8 p.m. ET. You can even cook ahead and enjoy during the program. The event will stream on Zoom, and tickets are required. Register for $15 through our partner organization, the Museum of Food and Drink.

If you plan on cooking along, we recommend having the following items prepped before the start of the program:

  • Rice: Rinse, drain, and cook fully.
  • Bacon: Dice, cook in pan until crisp, remove from pan. (Leave the fat in the pan it will be used to cook the vegetables and rice.)
  • Vegetables: Dice celery, bell pepper, and onion.
  • Crab meat: If using frozen, defrost.

Recipe by Amethyst Ganaway
Adapted from Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way by Sallie Ann Robinson

Serves 2 for a full meal or 4 sides

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
2 cups water
Small pinch of salt
2-3 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 bell pepper, any color, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 pound crabmeat, cooked (lump preferred, but any will do)
Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to taste

Preparation

Rinse the dry rice under cool water 3 to 4 times and drain. Put the rinsed rice into a small pot, cover with 2 cups of water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, crack the lid of the pot so that the rice can stop cooking, and set aside.

In a small skillet, fry the bacon pieces over medium-low heat until all of the fat is rendered and bacon is crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully remove the bacon pieces and set them aside. Reserve the rendered fat in the pan.

Over medium heat, add celery, bell pepper, and onion to the pan with the bacon fat and sauté until vegetables have softened and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add crabmeat and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until crab has begun to crisp.

Add the cooked rice, bacon, and seasonings to the pan with the vegetables. Incorporate all ingredients until evenly mixed, turn to low, and let cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Amethyst Ganaway, aka the Geechee Gordita, is a food industry professional and a North Charleston native. She began her career in restaurants as a server and cashier and now works in recipe development, catering, and food writing.


Charleston Wine + Food

Sink your teeth into these buttery delights from Carrie Morey of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit!

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits Cinnamon Biscuits

2 cups White Lily self-rising flour, plus more for dusting work surface

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit Cinnamon Butter (see recipe)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour and room temperature butter. Use your fingers to break up the butter. The result should resemble grated Parmesan. Add cream cheese and mix it into the flour with your hands, leaving a few larger pieces. Add buttermilk and mix until dough is sticky and wet, but not sloppy. All flour should be incorporated. Move the dough to a lightly floured work surface, being sure to remove all dough from bowl. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll out dough to 2-inches thick. Cut dough into 2-inch circles. Arrange circles on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake 12 minutes or until biscuits tops are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly. Split biscuits in half and spread with cinnamon butter. Serve immediately. Makes: 6 biscuits

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit Cinnamon Butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

In a medium bowl, stir together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Transfer to a small dish and cover. Refrigerate until needed. Or roll into a log and wrap in plastic wrap, then freeze. Makes: 2/3 cup


Kathie Lee and Hoda are headed to Charleston Wine and Food festival

The festival features cooking demos with globally renowned chefs, local excursions highlighting the region's diverse produce and seafood, hands-on cooking classes and — of course — plenty of opportunities to sample the city's diverse cuisine, cocktails and incredible wines.

In Charleston, TODAY is teaming up with the popular festival and will be featured at several events, including Bread of the South (biscuits or cornbread, anyone?) the oyster-farming excursion Raising Shell a barbecue bash helmed by female pitmasters (Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room), and an evening of wine tasting featuring varietals from around the world at Winederlust.

On Monday, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb — who will both be heading down to Charleston to broadcast the 4th hour of TODAY from the festival — enjoyed fresh buttermilk biscuits from local bakeshop Callie's Hot Little Biscuits and a signature morning staple with a truly Charleston twist: The Captain Bloody Mary from The Darling Oyster Bar in downtown Charleston — and yes, it is garnished with a fresh lobster claw.


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Watch the video: Special Edition: O Άδωνις Γεωργιάδης μιλά στη HuffPost Greece (December 2021).