Friday, June 19, 2009

The Reviews Are In on Sustainable Seafood Lowcountry Supper

On June 16th, the CIC and the Sustainable Seafood Initiative of the South Carolina Aquarium partnered to present a Lowcountry Seafood Supper featuring CIC chefs, guest chefs and culinary and hospitality students. The event took place at 181 Palmer. The menu and wines follow:
~ Passed Hors d’oeuvres created by Chef Stefanelli and CIC students ~Louis Bouillot Grande Reserve Cremant de Bourgogne
~ Blue Crab and Mascarpone Ravioli, Fava Beans, Spring Onion, Preserved Lemon,
Chef Scott Stefanelli ~ Rene Sparr 2007 Pinot Blanc
~ Seared Yellow fin Tuna, Yellow Gazpacho, Roasted Corn, Pickled Okra,
Chef Frank McMahon: Hank’s Seafood ~ J Wine 2007 Pinot Gris Russian River Valley
~ Sautéed Trigger Fish, Sweet Peas, Country Ham, Wood-Grilled Shrimp, Vidalia Onion Relish,
Chef James Clark: Waterscapes at the Marina Inn ~ Martin Ray 2007 Pinot Noir
~ Roasted Swordfish, Lobster Sauce, Heirloom Potatoes, Early Summer Vegetables,
Chef Robert Wysong: Kiawah ~ Bodegas de la Marquesa Valserrano Crianza Rioja
~ Fresh Blueberry Buckle with Local Peach Ice Cream, Chef Jeffrey Alexander
Guests at the event included Chef Bob Waggoner, who sent an email that the "Dinner was wonderful. Ya'll did fantastic!"
And author and former Post & Courier restaurant critic Holly Herrick, who wrote the review that follows in her blog at
Friday, June 19, 2009
Saving Fish While Sustaining the Soul
The Culinary Institute of Charleston, working in tandem with the South Carolina Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Initiative, culinary students, and a host of talented guest chefs, achieved a resounding missionary and culinary trifecta at the Sustainable Seafood Dinner held at 181 Palmer on the school's Palmer campus last Tuesday (June 16).
A fund-raiser extraordinaire, the goal was to raise funds and awareness for the aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Initiative, showcase the talents of the students and the chefs, and present an award-winning, five-course feast to the evening's guests. Served within the intimate, soothing space of the school's working classroom/restaurant, 181 Palmer, the event achieved all this and more.
Between courses, Megan Westmeyer, the aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SSI)Coordinator, provided informative and humorous anecdotes about the significant progress the initiative has made in improving the lives and longevity of the fish that populate our coastal waters. From improved long-line techniques and gentler and kinder lures that prevent wastless ensnarement (and murder) of the denizens of the deep to the chivalrous mating habits of male triggerfish, Westmeyer had the small crowd of 40 alternating between waves of laughter and hushed, appreciative enlightenment.
The menu showcased 100% sustainable fish, including blue crab, yellowfin tuna, triggerfish and swordfish and each course was paired with wine, every bottle retailing for $20 or less. Hank's Seafood Chef Frank McMahon's pink, seared slices of yellowfin tuna swam in a cool sea of sweet corn, tomatoes, tangy pickled okra and dill while Waterscapes at the Marina Inn (Grand Dunes) chef James Clark triggerfish went Lowcountry with the round, rich flavors of sweet peas, country ham, shrimp and Vidalia onion relish. Dessert came in the delightful form of a round scoop of fresh peach ice cream served on a crisp shortbread cookie with a blueberry buckle; a type of sophisticated spoon bread.
Students worked with the chefs to create the dinner, just as they do every day of the school year with chef Scott Stefanelli in the school's kitchen laboratory. One of Charleston's best kept restaurant secrets, 181 Palmer serves a three-course lunch ($15)throughout the year when school's in session, and everyone is invited. Just be sure to make a reservation. Stefanelli and his students infuse the food and the dining room with talent, skill and unbridled positive energy that's on par with any five-star restaurant anywhere in the world.
Culinary Institute of Charleston Palmer Campus 66 Columbus Street, downtown
For required reservations: (843) 820-5087, ext. 2

1 comment:

Robin said...

I love that the aquarium has been supporting sustainable aquaculture, and educating the public about it for years. Charleston is a model for what other cities should be doing!