Friday, October 26, 2018

Soulfood Sessions Dinner



Soulfood Sessions Dinner
From left front: Belinda Sherman*, Ebony Gary*, Chef Benjamin Dennis - Graduate
From left back: Sebrina Minor*, Justin Brown*, Ashlee Washington – Graduate, Aaron Kelly*, Chef Daven Coad – Graduate and Chef Kevin Mitchell
*Denotes Culinary Institute of Charleston Students

On October 16, 2018, the Dewberry Hotel in Charleston, SC hosted a Soulfood Sessions Dinner to raise awareness of African-American chefs, and funds to support their ongoing culinary educational aspirations.  Chefs Dennis, Coad, Mitchell and Ms. Washington prepared the menu items along with the chefs of Soulfood Sessions.  The remaining students  served the meal.  

The delectable menu included:

PASSED HORS D’OEUVRES
Mushroom duxelle | Marinated pulled chicken | Toasted crostini | Orange coulis
Blue cork cake | Green tomato marmalade | Okra and tasso ham streusel

APPETIZERS
Smoked trout | Crab salad | Pickled mushrooms | Black pepper tuile | Creole hollandaise
Rabbit rillette cake | Potato and golden beet pave | Crispy greens | Smoked rabbit jus
Blue Crab Stuffed Carolina Shrimp | Spicy Tomato Jam | Collard Greens | Pickled Vegetables

VEGETABLE COURSE
Sweet potato | Oyster| Scallion | Benne

SEAFOOD COURSE
Crispy fried fishcake | Crispy oyster purloo croquette | She-crab gravy

FOWL COURSE
Pan-seared duck | Sweet potato confit | Bourbon braised dinosaur kale | Sorghum reduction

FEATURED DISH
Grillades over cornmeal waffle | Green strawberry relish | Smoked peanut dried okra crumble | Paired with a Classic Coca-Cola

DESSERT
Poached pear Napoleon | Goat cheese chiboust | Cashew crumble | Red wine gastrique


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mr. Nathan Rex and Chef Joe Branton, along with students from their respective HOS 298 and CUL 299 classes have taken to the high seas!  They booked passage on the Carnival Ecstasy out of Charleston to the picturesque island of Bermuda. During their time on-board, they will receive instruction in both front and back house aspects of the cruise industry, including some “behind-the-scene” views of life at sea.  They will also eat delicious food, bask in beautiful sunshine, watch fantastic shows and “live-it-up” in general.  Once on the island, they will receive in-depth instruction on Bermuda’s history and food culture, and get to sample local delicacies.  When’s the next class?  I’m ready to sign up…  

Friday, August 17, 2018


Thank you to the team from Trident Technical College and The Culinary Institute of Charleston for joining us for lunch!

This month, we invite you to join us for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch as we celebrate Chef Shane Whiddon's passion for the culinary industry and giving back to others. Proceeds from Virginia's on King will be donated to the Chef Shane Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student pursuing culinary studies at Trident.

Pictured from left: J. Michael Saboe, Dean of TTC's Culinary Institute of Charleston; Michael Carmel, Culinary Arts Department Head; Nathan Rex, Hospitality and Tourism Department Head; Elliott DeMerell, Donor Engagement

https://www.holycityhospitality.com/virginias-on-king/2018/07/25/establishing-chef-shane-memorial-scholarship/


The Charleston Parks Conservancy gave Chef Vagasky props for his “wonderful garden to table cooking” at their Hampton Park Preview and Ice Cream Social Tuesday night. Thanks, Chef, for representing!




Monday, August 6, 2018

CIC faculty and staff planning for a successful 2018-2019 academic year. Thank you to our industry partners at Embassy Suites.

Monday, July 9, 2018

181 Palmer Featured in "The New Charleston Chef's Table"


Photo credit for dessert: Paul Cheney

Thanks to Charleston food writer and critic Holly Herrick for including the CIC restaurant 181 Palmer in her new edition of "The New Charleston Chef's Table." The book features the recipe for 181 Palmer's peanut butter and chocolate mousse with coconut crunch and caramelized bananas. Ms. Herrick wrote: "If it wasn't situated on a campus and if the servers and cooks weren't so young, you'd swear you were at a five-star restaurant. In fact, you are in a live culinary classroom at 181 Palmer, where advanced-level hospitality and culinary students work at the stations of a real restaurant to prepare for real-life work." And there are more kudos. Look for the book on Amazon and bookstores near you.

Monday, July 2, 2018

CIC Chef Instructor Kevin Mitchell Studies the Stories of Enslaved Cooks



In an article in Charleston's Post and Courier newspaper, Food Editor Hanna Raskin writes: "Charleston changed Kevin Mitchell. The chef instructor at Trident Tech's Culinary Institute of Charleston (CIC) wasn't thinking much about the culinary journey of African Americans when he began his career. But now he has a master's degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi and a mission to use his knowledge to broaden his teaching and continue to delve into the story of enslaved cooks. That wouldn't have happened if his career hadn't brought him to Charleston." Click here to read more.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This!



In the summer, CIC partners with TTC's Continuing Education department to provide culinary and baking and pastry classes for the Kids' College. Pictured are the participants in Chef Claire Chapmans' Kids'College confections class, eager to fill to-go boxes with the sweets that they created that day. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CIC Grad Christian Isaman Receives TTC Award


At Trident Tech's 2018 Awards Day, the President’s Award/Kurtzman Prize, given to a graduating student on the basis of academic achievement, contributions to the college and community service, was awarded to Christian Isaman, a Culinary Arts Technology graduate from Charleston. TTC President Mary Thornley personally presented the award. Congratulations, sir!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

CIC Alum Andrea Lever Upchurch Creates a Sunday Supper for Charleston Magazine

"Andrea Upchurch calls herself a 'well-seasoned South Carolinian,' having pin-balled around all areas of our state during her youth. Though her family changed locales frequently for her parents’ business, gatherings around the table for weekend suppers remained fixed. 'Sundays always meant fried chicken and cornbread,' she reminisces.
"Now as the executive pastry chef for Magnolias and Blossom—as well as mama to two-year-old Dewey and wife to husband Nate—Upchurch has a lot on her plate." Read the story and get the recipes here. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

CIC Alum B. J. Dennis Featured in The New York Times

"Mr. Dennis, 38, believes food is the living bearer of history.
He has devoted himself to promoting the cooking of
the 
Gullah-Geechee Nation, the descendants of West Africans
 who lived along the coast from North Carolina to North Florida."
Kim Severson recognizes Dennis in a New York Times article titled "Finding a Lost Strain of Rice, and Clues to Slave Cooking: The search for the missing grain led to Trinidad and Thomas Jefferson, and now excitement among African-American chefs." 

Chef Dennis' part in this story is his discovery of the rice in Trinadad.
"Mr. Dennis had heard about hill rice — also known as upland red bearded rice or Moruga Hill rice — through the culinary organization Slow Food USA and the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, the group that brought back Carolina Gold in the early 2000s. He’d also heard stories about it from elderly cooks in his community. Like everyone else, he thought the hill rice of the African diaspora was lost forever.

"But then, on a rainy morning in the Trinidad hills in December 2016, he walked past coconut trees and towering okra plants to the edge of a field with ripe stalks of rice, each grain covered in a reddish husk and sprouting spiky tufts. 'Here I am looking at this rice and I said: ‘Wow. Wait a minute. This is that rice that’s missing,’ he said."
Read this fascinating story here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

CIC Alum John Ondo Tells Charleston Magazine Why He Opened Kairos Greek Kitchen


After running Lana Restaurant for twelve years, the Charleston native traded fine dining for fast casual at Kairos—but his culinary craftsmanship, and his French fries, came along for the ride.

"Before this, you owned Lana Restaurant (white tablecloth) downtown. What made you leave?" 
John Ondo: "Honestly, I was ready for a change. Twelve years was a good, successful run in such a competitive market and I wouldn’t take anything back, but I thought it was time to move on. I was ready to try something different and challenge myself with something new." Read the whole story.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CIC Alum Allison Smith Shares an Indian Supper with Charleston Magazine

Photo by Shell Royster
"The baking whiz behind Glazed, the gourmet doughnut shop sweetening up King Street since 2011, has earned a reputation for creatively delicious baked goods. But doughnuts with berry-goat cheese filling, green-tea glaze, beet custard, and candied fennel aren’t the only goodies in the Culinary Institute of Charleston alum’s cannon. Allison Smith’s true passion skews toward international cuisines, specifically that of her husband Mark Remi’s South Indian family. 'I cook at home a good bit, and it’s rarely a typical American meal,' she says. 'Mark and I make a lot of Asian food, and Indian dishes are in regular rotation.' Smith’s personal menus became more public this past fall, when, sensing a hole in the local ethnic dining market, she opened Sambar, a South Indian food stall in Workshop."
Read the whole story and get the recipes here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

CIC Chef Instructor David Vagasky Featured in Charleston Magazine

The November issue of Charleston Magazine included a story titled "Bountiful Supper," which featured Chef Vagasky entertaining. "When dinner menus are dictated by the season, you never know quite what you’ll get. “'Every day, Jim brings in what he calls the ‘mystery basket’ of whatever he’s growing and asks me to figure out how to use it,'” says David Vagasky. The cooking challenge suits the chocolatier and pastry chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, whose childhood suppers in Minnesota embraced the plant and animal yields of his family’s farm."

There's a wonderful menu of grilled chicken with sauteed Swiss chard, smoky shrimp ravioli with Roma tomato sauce, autumn salad, and the pecan pie with Bourbon whipped cream seen in the photo. Read the story and get the recipes here.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Grayson Foster Receives a 2017 South Carolina Tourism Student Award

Congratulations to CIC Hospitality and Tourism Management student Grayson Foster! Hospitality and Tourism Department Chair Nathan Rex accompanied Grayson to the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia for the 2017 South Carolina Tourism Student Awards, where she was awarded a plaque and a $1500 scholarship by Duane Parrish, Director of South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Sponsored by the South Carolina Travel and Tourism Coalition, the Tourism Student Awards recognizes students who were recommended by faculty for exemplary work and outstanding academic achievement related to hospitality and tourism in South Carolina, including culinary studies.