As we rolled out of the sixth annual Lowcountry Food Bank's Chef's Feast two Sundays ago — packed full of outrageous quantities of duck liver, Kobe beef, and all types of local seafood — we could only hope our gluttony would be counteracted by the simultaneous act of charity. We gorged on fancy dishes, expertly prepared by local chefs, and felt better about indulging ourselves knowing that Robert Carter's (Peninsula Grill) "Surf and Turf Brochette with Creamed Spinach Fritter and Pimento Cheese Fondue" and Jason Scholz's (High Cotton) "Savory Sweet Potato Shortcake with Smooth Duck Pate, Baby Lettuces, and Balsamic Port Wine Reduction" were being used to help someone in dire need of sustenance. The black tie gala more than delivered the gastronomic goods, with 95 percent of the proceeds going to charity. —Jeff Allen


The first annual Distinctively Charleston Food + Wine Festival took over (literally) Marion Square last weekend. The tented culinary village seemed to piss off more people than it pleased, with reports of long lines, expensive “samples,” and technical difficulties, in addition to garnering a scathing column by the Post and Courier’s Robert Behre Monday morning after the festival for taking up the entire downtown public space. The Thursday and Friday night parties were well-received, but the Saturday night gala finale was a bit under-attended (perhaps the $250 tickets were a deterrent?). Hopefully, the festival organizers will have a productive post-mortem meeting that will result in a better festival next year. Our suggestion: lower the ticket prices so folks who can’t afford to dine weekly at Peninsula Grill can join the party, too. —Stephanie Barna


McCrady's can look forward not only to an updated menu but celebrity status with the addition of new chef Sean Brock. Don't believe us? Just ask Al Gore. The former VP recently contacted the chef to cater a private dinner. But that's just how Brock rolls, and McCrady's manager Karen Johnston reports the restaurant is more than thrilled to have the 27-year-old culinary protégé roll their way. "He trained at our own Johnson & Wales and began cooking under Bob Carter at Peninsula Grill. He still sees Carter as his main mentor." A mentor who will only be a few blocks away when Brock leaves Tennessee and his job as executive chef at the Hermitage Hotel's Capitol Grille to take the helm at McCrady's in April. —Kinsey Labberton



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