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Dish Dining Guide - Winter 2018

It was the fall of 2013. I was new to Charleston, working as a server at Cru Cafe, when the catering division recruited me for an easy evening art walk event. The hour-and-a-half of work was nothing compared to what longtime catering servers put in — read all about a gig-to-gig vet in "Wedding Slinger," — and I only glimpsed then what the highly skilled catering kitchen was capable of (I mean, just look at our cover). An oft forsaken facet of Charleston's food and drink industry, catering has grown with the city, now serving thousands of faces from here and afar every year for weddings, corporate events, and nonprofit fetes. Think you know what all that entails? Think again. Learn all about the city's unsung, tireless industry pros here, then be sure to call them up next time you're planning a shindig. —Mary Scott Hardaway

To make it work, Charleston restaurants are evolving in size and shape
To make it work, Charleston restaurants are evolving in size and shape Small Fries

If you like bone broth, you would have loved the original restaurant. According to French food bible Larousse Gastronomique, the very first "restaurant" was the work of a 1760s Parisian entrepreneur, Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau. — Kinsey Gidick


Making culinary dreams come true in Charleston sometimes means being an itinerant chef
Making culinary dreams come true in Charleston sometimes means being an itinerant chef The Pop-up Life

In 2007, Los Angeles Chef Ludo Lefebvre introduced Ludo Bites, a series of temporary eateries that opened randomly across the city, lasted a few days or weeks, and then disappeared. Over the next decade, this trend spread, and a new term — as well as a culinary movement — was born. — Vanessa Wolf


For some Charleston restaurant personalities, chatting is a fine art
For some Charleston restaurant personalities, chatting is a fine art Sweet Talk

For better or worse, the restaurant business has become an industry of cool, and fine-dining has never had a young, hip air about it. Fine dining's very desirability is based upon its inaccessibility, made accessible by a staff who'll fuss over you. — Jessie Hazard


Small size and big flavor aren't mutually exclusive
Small size and big flavor aren't mutually exclusive Small Plates, Big Ideas

Since about 2013 or so, acres of trees have given their lives to the musings of writers on the phenomenon of the "small plate." The first few hundred pages were lamentations; jeremiads borne of empty bellies and wallets, and mournful elegies to the Old Way of Dining. — Mark Rinaldi


How Chef Jill Mathias made a tiny, unconventional Chez Nous a can't-miss restaurant
How Chef Jill Mathias made a tiny, unconventional Chez Nous a can't-miss restaurant Coup de Foudre

With Chez Nous, Fanny and Patrick Panella presented me my dream restaurant. It's a concept I always wanted to do. — Jill Mathias