Local restaurant community steps up for Keegan-Filion barn-raising 

Superhero Chefs

Charleston chefs have a soft spot for local farmers — after all, farmers are the ones ensuring that chefs can keep their kitchens turning out the freshest local food possible. So when farmers need help, these chefs are often quick to take a break from their demanding schedules to lend a hand.

That was certainly the case on Sunday, when 14 of the city’s culinary masterminds showed up to Lowndes Grove for a fundraiser benefiting Keegan-Filion Farm, which lost its barn and much of its livestock to a fire in December. The plantation on the banks of the Ashley River was the perfect setting for the afternoon event, and the overcast day just made the warm food and local brews seem that much tastier.

Chefs were stationed at tables underneath a spacious tent beside the historic home, each one offering a different dish to show off their culinary prowess, from foie gras mousse (Circa 1886) to grilled octopus (McCrady’s) to lamb tamales (S.N.O.B.) to the most incredible Italian wedding soup we’ve ever had (Trattoria Lucca). EVO offered Ovis Hills turkey sausage with peppers and a Holy City Smoked Marzen, Wild Olive plated a meaty lasagna, and FIG dished out Orvis Farms lamb bolognese with ricotta gnocchi — obviously the trend was toward hearty comfort food. Down by the river, folks shucked oysters fresh from the steamer.

Guests were invited to buy a “chicken,” “sheep,” or “cow,” representing increasing levels of donations for the farm. After everyone had had their fill, Patrick Properties’ Randall Goldman invited the farm’s owners Marc and Annie Filion to the mic to say an emotional thank you. The event raised $15,000 for Keegan-Filion, so hopefully we can count on them to continue filling our plates with tasty locally grown food for years to come.

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