"I'm confident that the resources being deployed by police and investigators will lead to the successful recovery of the product," said Matti Antilla, owner and president of Chicken Cock Whiskey in a statement. The shipment, originally destined for a Texas distributor, was swiped at a Florence truck stop on June 10. "We immediately ramped up production to get the original orders back on the road to our Texas accounts," Antilla said.
The truck cab was later found not far from the scene of the crime, but the trailer had been missing until today. No official word on where the poor empty trailer was recovered.
The hooch, valued at over $200,000, could fetch as much as $1.4 million if it ends up being sold through restaurants or bars. Not saying we don't have a few of the aluminum bottles stashed under our desks here at CP HQ (we're partial to the root beer flavor), but unfortunately, there's not nearly enough room for all 884 cases.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that no new restaurant in Charleston can be complete without a solid bar and a signature cocktail. According to Hey Bartender, a new documentary by 4th Row Films, that’s because we’re in the midst of a worldwide cocktail renaissance. The film follows two bartenders leading up to and during the annual Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans. First, and featured most prominently, is Steve Schneider, a former Marine who became a mixologist after an injury from a bar fight cut his military career short. Schneider rapidly climbed the New York City bartending food chain to become an apprentice at the world-famous Employees Only. The Big City scene is contrasted with a small-town bar in Connecticut, Steve Carpentieri’s Dunvilles. By contrasting Dunville’s descent with Employee’s Only’s continued growth and acclaim, award-winning director Douglas Tirola makes sure that his film offers a compelling argument in favor of the cocktail trend.
Hey Bartender will be making a week-long stop in Charleston, playing at the Terrace Theatre from June 21-27. On June 26, Tirola will be at Terrace along with Charlotte Voisey, the brand ambassador for William Grant and Sons and one of the film’s commentators. Following the showing, Tirola and Voisey will hang around for a Q&A session and, we can only assume, a drink.
The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook
by Diane St. Clair
Forget about an apple. A glass of buttermilk a day can cure all sorts of ailments: canker sores, colitis, heat stroke, thrush, parasites, and even excessive sweating. Which must be why country folk have been enjoying a thick glass of cool, tangy buttermilk for generations. Nostalgia for that drink of childhood summers in the Catskill Mountains eventually led Diane St. Clair to make her own buttermilk. At least, it influenced her a little bit.
St. Clair is a dairy farmer, the proprietor of Animal Farm in Orwell, Vt., who supplies chefs like Thomas Keller and Barbara Lynch with her artisanal dairy products. She recently released The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook, a celebration of her farm, her cows, and ultimately, the choices she's made in her life.
St. Clair's story is the somewhat clichéd one: successful city dweller leaves the rat race and heads to the country to get back to basics. In Vermont, she discovers a DIY farming tradition that inspires her to grow her own food, raise her own animals, and even buy her own team of draft horses.
In chapter two, she starts with an ironic observation: "I'm surprised at how being a farmer or living on a farm has become romanticized in recent years." Her book, with pictures of beloved cows enveloped in haloes of sunshine and stories of freshly baked loaves of bread, does a fine job romanticizing the farming life. Despite the endless commitment and work — the daily drudgery regardless of health or mood — St. Clair's love for her farm, her cows, and her work is palpable throughout the book. You can also tell she loves tangy buttermilk.
The recipes she shares are accessible and quite delicious. The book begins with lessons on making buttermilk, whether it's from heavy cream or raw milk. From there, St. Clair offers advice on cooking with it (don't be afraid of the break!) before she shares a wealth of recipes. One chapter is dedicated entirely to breakfasts, which is really the strength of buttermilk, isn't it? From fluffy waffles to cinammon rolls, shirred eggs, and biscuits, breakfast just wouldn't be as good without a healthy dose of buttermilk.
St. Clair will be signing copies of her cookbook Wed. June 19, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Heirloom Book Co. at 54 1/2 Broad St. (843) 469-1717
People will argue over the proper way to enjoy 15-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve bourbon. Some say it’s best in a tulip glass, neat, while others insist on sipping it cold over a single chunk of ice.
The truth is, Pappy is best enjoyed as a slug taken straight from the bottle while standing in a cloud of smoke from a barbecue pit, preferably one overlooking a lazy Lowcountry creek dappled by the setting sun.
That was proven Thursday night at Boone Hall when Sean Brock and the team from McCrady’s welcomed Daniel Humm and Will Guidara to Charleston. They’re the executive chef and general manager, respectively, of Eleven Madison Park in New York, and the event was a celebration of their second cookbook, I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes.
It’s been an eventful year for Humm and Guidara. Back in the fall, they ditched their restaurant’s a la carte menu and replaced it with a four-hour, $195 prix fixe tasting parade. The move raised plenty of eyebrows and drew a few choice brickbats from critics, but after a few adjustments, it’s garnered them plenty of rave reviews as well, including landing them in the number 5 spot on Restaurant Magazine’s much-discussed list of the World’s 500 Best Restaurants.
But there was no pastrami or Long Island duck in sight Thursday night. Their focus may be on opposite sides of the Mason Dixon line, but Brock and Humm share a deep passion for local ingredients and traditional preparations, and Brock rolled out a bang-up Lowcountry feast to welcome the Yankees.
It started with a Lowcountry boil brimming with heads-on shrimp and whole blue crab, dumped in a cloud of steam on a long table so hungry diners could dig in. Barbecue king Rodney Scott was on hand, too, cooking a whole hog on a mobile pit borrowed from the Jim ‘n Nick’s boys, fired by a steady supply of coals from his signature burn barrel.
Scott’s been a busy man lately. He’d spent the previous weekend up in New York City himself, wowing the cityfolk at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. He got started for the Boone Hall event at 6 a.m. that morning, and the next day was going to pack up and head to the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee, where he would cook pigs with the Fatback Collective.
“This is amazing,” Daniel Humm said as he sampled a fingerful of pork pulled straight from the pit. “I’m just hanging out and taking it all in.”
As the setting sun sent long beams of orange light slicing through the haze of smoke from Scott’s pit, Brock broke out a bottle of Pappy, took a slug, and then began circulating it around the guests gathered under the trees and out on the cotton dock.
That’s how it’s done in the Lowcountry, youse guys.
Picture King Street on a Saturday night, really picture it. The rowdiness, the clusters of salmon-colored shorts, the boat shoes, and the often agonizingly long wait for a drink. Oh, and how could we forget the roaming street chiropractor who will surely crack your back for a nominal fee, or free of charge if you’re lucky.
James Groetzinger and Joey Rinaldi are opening a bar in hopes to remedy those nightlife woes. Warehouse, located on the corner of Spring and St. Philip streets, is opening sometime during the last week of June. This will be a place to escape the crowds of King Street and build a community at the same time. The duo has gone as far as putting in a second entrance, on the St. Phillip side, to “engage that side of town.”
Their massive renovation of the old warehouse that once housed restaurant supplier Kahn Wholesale is almost done. Groetzinger and Rinaldi made sure to repurpose many objects found in the building. The joint’s “specials” chalkboard is fixed to the exposed brick wall via a grate that once guarded the front windows. Groetzinger also converted a few large, old safes into high-top tables. He describes the soon-to-be-open establishment as “vintage, old warehouse meets modern, new and sexy.”
Just inside the Spring Street entrance, comfy leather seating forms a lounge area, where they plan to start hosting live music within the first month of business.
A large bar spans much of the length of the building. Here, customers will be able to find craft and local brews, house cocktails, and boutique wines. A long banquette with cocktail tables spans the back wall. In between the bar and the banquette, Groetzinger says two large community tables will fill the space.
Warehouse’s happy hour will be from 4-7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with discounts on “modern and innovative” bar food created by Chef Eva Keilty, the former darling of downtown's Ted's Butcherblock. Her menu can be described as new takes on original favorites. Warehouse will also have an all-day drink only happy hour on Sunday to go along with brunch.
“We would like to be known as a bar more than a restaurant, but we have righteous food,” Groetzinger says. “It’s going to be an elevated neighborhood bar with an emphasis on community feel.” Customers can escape the crowd that overtakes King Street on the weekends and kick a few drinks back while enjoying themselves in a chic environment.
Expect doors to be open within the next two weeks.