Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Renata Dos Santos Named Culinary Legend

We are late announcing that CIC student Renata Dos Santos was awarded the Laura Hewitt Culinary Legend Award due to a delay in obtaining the official photograph, but we are still proud to post this exciting news. The official press release from the Charleston Food + Wine Festival follows.
Celebrating Charleston's Culinary Legends
2009 winners of the Laura Hewitt Culinary Legend Award

At the Festival's Opening Ceremonies, four leaders in the culinary community were awarded with the "Laura Hewitt Culinary Legend Award". This award was designed to honor individuals and organizations who have excelled in the culinary community of Charleston, or who have contributed significantly to Lowcountry cuisine. The 2009 winners were:

Individual Award Winner: Richard Elliott: owner of Maverick Southern Kitchens, has been a pioneer in the culinary industry. A risk taker, he has opened a number of successful restaurants around the state including three of Charleston's most popular. He is an active member of the community and is involved with organizations such as the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce.

Chef Award Winner (new category for awards): Chef Robert Carter: a leader in the chef community, Robert is the Executive Chef and Co-owner of Peninsula Grill. Robert started and has continued planning the annual Chef's Feast, an annual fundraiser for the Lowcountry Food Bank. He was named 2008 SC Hospitality Association "Mentor of the Year" for the Pro-Start National Culinary Arts Competition at Wando High School. He is also one of the inaugural members of the Culinary Institute of Charleston Chef Council, Industry Advisor for the Art Institute of Charleston, member of Sustainable Seafood and Lowcountry Local First and voted "Best Chef" by City Paper for eight years and "Best Restaurant" for ten years. Robert was nominated for an Outstanding Restaurant in 2008 by the James Beard Foundation.

College Student Award Winner: Renata Dos Santos: a college student at the Culinary Institute of Charleston is very involved on campus and with the American Culinary Federation. Renata has volunteered at a number of community events such as Vintner's Dinner, Chef's Feast, Taste of Charleston and Camp Happy Days. She is involved with Slow Foods Charleston and has worked at The Lodge, Sea Island, My Personal Chef and Magnolias.

Organization Award Winner: Charleston Restaurant Association: The Charleston Restaurant Association has been a vital community organization for several years and has been marketing Charleston's restaurants locally and throughout. They have created signature events to elevate the restaurant community such as the Oyster Festival and the Taste of Charleston, and continue to improve these events every year.

Winners from the 2008 Festival included Sustainable Seafood Initiative and Chef Brett McKee from Oak Steakhouse. 2007 Festival winners included John Taylor, "Hoppin' John", winner of the "Individual" category, Gayle Rawlins, winner of the "College Student" category( a CIC grad), Emily Byrd, winner of the "High School Student" category, and American Culinary Federation-Charleston Chapter, winner of the "Organization" category of the Culinary Legend Awards. For the 2009 Festival, in honor of Laura Hewitt, Board of Director Chair for the Festival, and her leadership the past two years with the Festival, the award was renamed the Laura Hewitt Culinary Legend Award.

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