My excitement about my trip to Charleston can be attributed almost completely to Chef Sean Brock. I saw him first on PBS’s “The Mind of A Chef” where I was introduced to the wonderful cuisine of the lowcountry. I learned there was a genuine and natural farm to table mentality, a movement towards bringing back the long-lost crops of rice and corn of the region and Chef Brock introduced local purveyors who were passionate and proud of their products. The food of the south seemed almost romantic to me.
Then there was Cook it Raw, an international food event where the world’s top chefs gather to share ideas, discuss sustainability and creativity while being in an environment with strong culinary traditions. It had always piqued my curiosity that Chef Sean Brock had been a participant in previous Cook it Raw events. I wondered about this chef from the south who seemed to be “in” with the crop of international chefs on the cutting edge. Cook it Raw had previously been held in locations in Europe and Japan and for its first event in the Americas, Charleston was chosen as the location. This caused a lightning strike of excitement for me.
Knowing I’d be in Charleston and having watched the 2nd season of “The Mind of A Chef” with Sean Brock and the Cook it Raw Charleston documentary both 3 times before I arrived, I felt I had a good understanding of the type of meal I’d be served at Sean Brock’s restaurant, Husk. I was glad I went with a big group and everyone was game to eat, because I felt we did a very good job exploring the menu for the meal.
I was full after all the appetizers, but needed to soldier on, seeing as I was the one leading the charge on ordering WAY more than we needed.
Up until this point, I had been happy about being in the south and trying the cuisine. Other than Scott’s barbecue, I couldn’t say my socks had been knocked off by anything I’d eaten. My meal at Husk was finally the epiphany I’d been waiting for about lowcountry cuisine. I understood the energy and enthusiasm for the awesomeness of Charleston. It’s one of those meals that food lovers like me seek. The meal that makes a trip to a new region worthwhile.
Call me a food lover... not a foodie. Maybe you have a definition of foodie that's different than mine, but I think of myself as a person who loves to eat, cook, find amazing eating spots, browse interesting grocery stores and drive a hundred miles out of the way to visit a farmers market. I like talking about food and taking food photos...
Up until now, I've never been motivated to put my thoughts to words. But then I heard the 2 words that inspired me to start writing. French Laundry.
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