Awards and Notices
Robert Stehling of the Hominy Grill took home the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast, beating out some serious Georgia competition and Charleston's Mike Lata from FIG, too. McCrady's Sean Brock came up just short on the Rising Star, but the three nominations and one win for Charleston are a huge confirmation of the city's growing stature as a culinary city.
Circa 1886 is holding the "Charleston's Choice ice cream contest." Charlestonians are being asked to create a flavor that is most representative of the city. The winning combination will earn its creator a free dinner for four at Circa 1886, and it will be featured on the restaurant's menu during the month of August. Submit entries here.
Charleston Magazine and The Charleston Food + Wine Festival are holding a design contest for the poster for the 2009 festival. The winning design will "reflect Charleston's rich culinary history and exciting food scene," and the winner designer will take home $1,000 in cash, a selection of local retail items . . . and an ampersand!
Openings & Closings
The city of Orangeburg will get a shot at fine dining when Four Moons Restaurant opens near the Orangeburg Mall on June 25th. The menu will feature "Adventurous American Cuisine" and a 500-label wine list, along with a separate tapas menu featuring items like lamb carpaccio, blue cheese mousse, and "corn dogs" made of grouper, tuna, and shrimp. Executive Chef Charles Zeran comes from Glendorn Lodge, a Relais & Chateux resort in Bradford, PA, and professes a passion for molecular gastronomy. Yes, I did say Orangeburg.
Ken Vedrinski of Sienna is opening Trattoria Lucca on Bogard Street downtown, which will offer affordable Italian cuisine with late-night hours.
Miss Ellie's Island Soul has opened on Daniel Island in the spot formerly occupied by Baker's Cafe. They serve an old-school diner style breakfasts, and the lunch menu features sandwiches and "blue plate specials" like fried chicken, chicken pot pie, and fried whiting.
Luna Rossa, the Mt. P wood-fired pizza joint, has closed after 30 years of business. Word is the spot will be transformed into "Abe's Oyster Bar and Saloon".