"The Social Network of the South"
Much like with Sabrina's Paris, Charleston is always a good idea.
The city is without a doubt one of my favorite places to visit. Not only because of the trendsetting food scene but because of the richness of its culture and history.
This past weekend Southern Foodways Alliance gave me the perfect excuse to pack a bag and head South. The "Young Guns" Dinner was held Saturday night upstairs at McCrady's. This was the third such dinner organized by SFA and patrons of the culinary arts in the South to celebrate the next wave of culinary talent in the South.
A small group of lucky SFA members got to experience the creative cuisine of six of the South's finest up and coming chefs: Chef Anthony Lamas of Louisville, KY, Chef Rodney Einhorn of Virginia Beach, VA, Chef Matthew Kelly of Durham, NC, Chef Rob McDaniel of Lake Martin, AL, Chef Ryan Smith of Atlanta, GA and Chef Trey Dutton of Bluffton, SC. Back in January, bids were placed at a SFA auction for a seat at this dinner. I placed a bid not knowing really what I would be getting but was thrilled with the idea of heading back to Charleston. It was a win-win for everyone, I'd say.
Dishes by the new and notables were served up by none other than super chefs Sean Brock and Mike Lata. As fun as it was for us to enjoy them all dressed up in their suit and ties, what an honor it must have been for these "young guns" to have their dishes served by those two.
After being wowed by the offerings of hors d'oeuvres, 4 courses and dessert, Preston Van Winkle was on hand to toast the chefs with a nightcap offering of 20 year Pappy Van WinkleBourbon.
Any excuse I have to go to the Holy City I will take. But pair one of my favorite cities with this impressive line-up of culinary talent and you've got the makings of a memorable night. Big thanks to the most charming host ever, "Rathead" Riley, Mary Beth Lasseter and everyone at SFA for introducing us to these amazing chefs!