Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sunday: Watch Charleston chef Vinson Petrillo on 'Beat Bobby Flay'

Two-time Chopped champion returns to Food Network

Posted by Parker Milner on Thu, May 28, 2020 at 6:05 PM

Watch Vinson Petrillo on the Food Network this Sunday at 10 p.m. - JONATHAN BONCEK FILE PHOTO
  • Jonathan Boncek file photo
  • Watch Vinson Petrillo on the Food Network this Sunday at 10 p.m.
This Sunday at 10 p.m., Food Network competition show Beat Bobby Flay will feature Vinson Petrillo, Zero Restaurant + Bar's executive chef.

For those who have not seen the show, there are two rounds, starting with a showdown between the two chefs hoping to face Flay. The chefs are asked to use a secret ingredient of Flay's choosing to be the star of a dish in 20 minutes. The winner then earns 45 minutes to cook their signature dish against the Food Network celebrity chef.

The episode, titled "Summer Lovin'," is the first of the show's 25th season. Although Petrillo could not reveal how he fared against first round opponent and Boston-based chef Kathy Sidell, he did say cooking with the secret ingredient was challenging.

"When I was thinking about a summer ingredient, that's not what I was expecting," Petrillo said.

Petrillo has experience competing on the Food Network after winning Chopped, a three-round culinary battle where chefs must cook using a basket of mystery ingredients. Petrillo also won Chopped Champions, which pitted 16 former champions against one another in a round-robin-style tournament.

Petrillo, who showed up to the New York studio kitchen wearing a flamingo shirt fitting the episode's summer theme, said that competing on this show was different than his previous experience on Chopped

"Compared to Chopped which is tense and serious, we actually had fun." 

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

SC officials expect healthy shrimp season for commercial trawlers in local waters

On your mark, get set, go

Posted by Parker Milner on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 3:49 PM

  • Flickr user brook_b19
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 27, the commercial shrimp trawling season is open in all legal South Carolina waters, according to a press release from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

In the release, the SCDNR reported that this start date is in line with the average year and they expect there to be a healthy supply of roe white shrimp, which are typically plentiful in the spring shrimping season.

“Based on field sampling completed by SCDNR biologists earlier in the year, as well as reported landings of shrimp from federal waters and our provisional areas beginning in mid-April, our white shrimp abundance this year should be about average or slightly better in comparison to previous similar years,” said SCDNR Office of Fisheries Management director Mel Bell.

"Provisional areas" were open to local boats on April 15 when the provisional trawling season began. This period allows local shrimpers to take advantage of the offshore harvest while still protecting the larger population that have yet to spawn.

While the coronavirus pandemic disrupted local shrimpers' ability to sell to restaurants, it also gave them the opportunity to add more retail grocery stores as customers. This coupled with the reopening of many Charleston-area restaurants should lead to a high demand for local shrimp during the spring season. 

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Pink Cactus hosting Mansueta's for Filipino pop-up

Get your Filipino fix

Posted by Parker Milner on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 11:20 AM

Mansueta's chef Nikko Cagalanan will serve nine Filipino dishes during his pop-up at Pink Cactus - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Mansueta's chef Nikko Cagalanan will serve nine Filipino dishes during his pop-up at Pink Cactus
Looking for Monday night dinner plans? Head to Pink Cactus on June 1 for a Filipino pop-up featuring Mansueta’s chef and owner Nikko Cagalanan.

Cagalanan, who’s occupied a stall at Workshop since November 2019, said that he and Pink Cactus owner Brooke Warden had never actually met in person before they decided to do the kitchen takeover.
Mansueta's lumpia - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Mansueta's lumpia
"She sent me a video of the kitchen and I am basing my menu on the kitchen settings she has," said Cagalanan. After viewing the video, the chef came up with a menu featuring nine dishes. Lumpia, pancit, adobo, dumplings and an ube ice cream sandwich are some of the savory and sweet items guests can expect on Monday when Warden will also be on hand to serve drinks that pair with the chef's menu.

Cagalanan has experience with kitchen takeovers. A week-long stint at Kwei Fei in August 2019 helped the chef gain name recognition prior to his Workshop debut.

The service will start at 4 p.m. and will go until food runs out. The June 1 Pink Cactus pop-up will serve as a precursor to a two-night takeover of 132 Spring on June 10-11. 
Location Details Pink Cactus
Pink Cactus
100A Spring St.
Charleston, SC
Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.Sun. 11a.m.- 10 p.m.

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Charleston craft beer community mourning the death of Matty Symons, co-founder of Two Blokes Brewing Co.

"We'll miss you, Matty. Hooroo, good friend."

Posted by Parker Milner on Mon, May 25, 2020 at 9:26 AM

View this post on Instagram

It is with extreme sadness we have to announce that Matty Symons, head brewer and owner of Two Blokes Brewing, husband and father, our friend and fearless leader, has passed away. This was very sudden and unexpected from a severe stroke. There are no words to describe how grateful we are for the support we have felt in the last few days and we will definitely need it to get through this. While we are still coming to terms with this overwhelming loss, please be respectful of his family and staff's grieving period. We are taking on the challenging task of carrying on at Two Blokes without him. We plan to keep the brewery open because that's what Matty would have wanted. Try to be patient with us while we navigate through this difficult time. He was equally good at pissing people off and making people smile, but if you ever had the chance to share a beer with him it’s easy to see why he was loved by all. Matty will live on in the brewery and the great memories we have shared. The brewery is open today for to-go beer orders and the picnic tables will be open 2-8. Flight is serving 4-8PM. Come out for a few beers and to toast to Matty.

A post shared by Two Blokes Brewing Co. (@twoblokesbrewing) on

The local craft beer and brewing community is mourning the death of Matty Symons, co-founder, owner and head brewer of Two Blokes Brewing Co. on Saturday.

A post by Two Blokes on social media Sunday said that Symons' death was sudden, from a "severe stroke."

"While we are still coming to terms with this overwhelming loss, please be respectful of his family and staff's grieving period," the post from the brewery read. "We are taking on the challenging task of carrying on at Two Blokes without him."

Symons grew up in Melbourne, Australia before moving to Charleston in 2007 to work for Blackbaud, according to a Gofundme set up to raise money for his family. He founded Two Blokes in 2016 with Sean Geddis, a co-worker who shared his love of beer. After studying at the Siebel Institute of Technology, America’s oldest brewing school, Symons brought 20 years of experience to the Mount Pleasant brewery.

The South Carolina Brewers Guild is raising money for Symons' family, with nearly $25,000 raised by Wednesday afternoon. This Friday May 29, every brewery in the greater Charleston area will join the fundraising efforts by donating $1 for every pint sold that day. 

The trade group said on social media that, "The Guild is saddened to learn of the passing of Matty Symons, co-founder, owner, and head brewer of Two Blokes Brewing in Mount Pleasant. Matty was a valued member of the South Carolina brewing community, and is survived by his wife and daughter ... We'll miss you, Matty. Hooroo, good friend."

Two Blokes remains open, serving to-go beer orders placed online at

Location Details Two Blokes Brewery
547 Long Point Rd. #101
Mt. Pleasant, SC
(843) 654-4564
Breweries & Distilleries

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

How a Charleston pizza shop delivered 12 pies to the crew stuck on board a cargo ship in the harbor

“I had no idea how involved I was going to be getting with this adventure”

Posted by Sam Spence on Sun, May 24, 2020 at 9:44 AM

  • Ben D’Allesandro/Provided
On Friday afternoon, Ben D'Allesandro found himself on board a 15-foot boat with 12 pizzas. His task: Delivering pizza to the crew stranded aboard a Liberian-flagged cargo ship anchored in the Charleston Harbor.

Hitching a ride with the local team that has been provisioning the 21 crew on board the Evolution while legal issues are sorted out by the ship’s owners, D’Allesandro didn’t quite know what he was getting into. But he a dozen pies at the ready.

“I took them 12 of our finest pizzas,” said D’Allesandro, who owns D’Allesandro’s Pizza with his brother. A few specialties like Get Gnarly, Beetnick, Spicy Benny and Chauncinator were among the selections, as well as a vegan pizza for the ship’s captain. He threw in a few hats, T-shirts, postcards and stickers for good measure.

  • Ben D’Allesandro/Provided
The D’Al’s team is used to making deliveries along the crowded streets of downtown Charleston, but this one was unique.

“I had no idea how involved I was going to be getting with this adventure,” D’Allesandro said.

Pulling up alongside a 550-foot cargo ship in a small boat in the middle of the rolling harbor is a bit intimidating by itself. But to do it while also helping unload a week’s supply up a moveable set of stairs hanging from the side of the ship is even more challenging. In addition to the pizzas, fresh vegetables, fish, water and other supplies were in Friday’s delivery.

“It was a little sketchy … they usually use a little bigger of a boat, which kind of added some excitement to the whole process,” D’Allesandro said. But the delivery was successful, “Nothing [went] overboard, it was pretty amazing,” he said.
  • Ben D’Allesandro/Provided
Of course, this is not the first time the D’Allesandro brothers have used their pizza powers for good. Recently, the shop has donated pies to local grocery store employees and firefighters at work in the middle of the pandemic. And during the 2019 government shutdown, Ben delivered pizza to TSA agents at Charleston International Airport.

The Evolution has sat in the harbor for nearly four months after being detained by American officials, reportedly tangled in international business disputes. Evolution was sold this past week and its crew is seeking back pay for their time on board, according to The Post and Courier.

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