I have some sweet memories rolling around my head right now. Last weekend I found myself in the midst of several hundred foodies and fourteen amazingly generous chefs. We were at Lowndes Grove Plantation along the slow and winding Ashley River in Charleston, South Carolina. We were there for a barn raising, quite literally. Keegan Filion Farm owned by Annie and Marc Keegan supplies many of Charleston’s restaurants with free range poultry, eggs, grass fed beef and heritage Tamworth Hogs. On December 4th a young turkey knocked over a heater and the barn built in the 1930’s was consumed by fire. More than 100 turkeys died in the fire as well as turkey and hog feed, farm equipment and tools.
Chef Nico Romo of Fish Restaurant and Randall Goldman, CEO for Patrick Properties rallied the troops. A barn raising, was planned in a little less than two months. Chefs offered their services and food. Patrick Properties provided the spectacular venue and the public came in droves to taste and celebrate together. Enough money was raised at the event to build the new barn.
The food was amazing of course! Here are some pictures of the wonderful treats we were served.
From the culinary program at the Art Institute, this beautiful Foie Gras Custard with Pickled Red Onion Mousse
From FIG, here is yet another “play with lamb dish”, AMAZING soft pillows of gnocchi with a velvety lamb ragu. This just might be the best gnocchi I have ever tasted.
It literally melted in my mouth. Chef Mike Lata is an artist in the kitchen. I would go back to Charleston just to sit at one of his tables.
Pulled Pork Tamal with Black Bean Sauce and a Kicker of Green Chile Salsa
Cassoulet with house made bacon
And then there were the OYSTERS! I miss oysters so much living in Hawaii. Low Country Oysters are unique and so very good that I often dream of them.
In the low country oysters are roasted, this does not mean that they are cooked… they are steamed just long enough to encourage them to open.
Big thanks to the generous chefs who at the end of Restaurant Week still found energy and gave their all to the cause:
Nico Romo from Fish Restaurant, Sean Brock from McCrady’s and Husk, Ken Vedrinski fromTrattori a Lucca, Marc Collins from Circa 1886, Fred Neuville from Fat Hen, Craig Deihl from Cypress, Sarah O’Kelley from Glass Onion, Matt Russell from EVO, Nathan Thurston from The Ocean Room at Kiawah, Jacques Larson from Wild Olive, Mike Lotz from Triangle Char and Bar, Frank Lee from SNOB, Mike Lata from FIG, Jeremiah Bacon from Macintosh.
Ahhhh… I miss the Low Country already and I have only been back in Hawaii for a few days.
And here is a shout out to my host in Charleston, Holly Herrick… it was so much fun exploring the city and dining with you. More on her soon.