Thursday, March 31, 2011


HCSA is having its first sponsored event with the Charleston Riverdogs on Sat. April 16, 2011. This is the first of many events that HCSA will be doing.

- Tickets are $11 in advance and include game ticket and food vouchers! And for those of you that are 21 and over there will be $1 beers.
- Doors open at 6pm. The game starts at 7:05. If you would like to attend, please contact Chef Vagasky.
- *All tickets must be purchased by Tuesday April 12, 2011.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

181 Palmer Featured in "Southern Lady Magazine" Article on Charleston

'A City Set in a Garden' is the title of an article complete with lovely sketches created by guide book author and artist Diana Gessler in the March/April issue of "Southern Lady Magazine." One of the places featured by Gessler is 181 Palmer.

"When Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts decided to pack up their pots and leave Charleston, this foodie town was fortunate that the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Palmer Campus stepped into the kitchen to take its culinary place.

"When classes are in session, students cook and serve a $15 prix fixe gourmet lunch for the public at 181 Palmer (it's the classroom number.)"

Follow 181 Palmer at 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Catch Chef Stefanelli and 181 Palmer in the City Paper

Eat This Tonight: asparagus, blue crab, blood oranges, and Meyer lemons

by Stephanie Barna
"Spring has sprung, people, and you know what that means. No more root vegetables! Turnips and sweet potatoes are just fine, but who could stand to eat another pureed pile? Local chefs are even more thrilled at this news, and menus around town are popping with fresh fish, spring onions, and bright green asparagus. Walk into any restaurant worth its salt, and you'll find a specials board full of fresh flavors. We called around to see what chefs are excited about.

"Blue crabs and asparagus are figuring prominently in dishes at 181 Palmer, the Culinary Institute of Charleston's restaurant that serves as a training ground for students. You can't really eat this tonight, because they're only open for lunch, but you can most definitely check them out next week (they're open Mon.-Thurs.). Head Chef Scott Steffenelli is teaching his students to plate a shaved spring asparagus salad with blue crab, housemade bacon, Sea Island farm egg, and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette.
"'In a nutshell," says Steffenelli, "we shave the asparagus very thinly with a peeler. We make a vinaigrette with Meyer lemons and olive oil. The Meyer lemons give the dressing a clean citrusy and slightly sweet not acidic flavor, which pairs nicely with the crab and asparagus. For service we toss some of the raw asparagus with the vinaigrette, jumbo lump crab meat, sea salt, and some of the bacon which has been rendered crisp. We neatly pile the salad on top of housemade brioche which has been toasted. Chives are then mixed in with some vinaigrette and that's swirled around the plate for extra flavor and visual appeal. Meanwhile we cook our egg sunny side up just until the white is set and the yolk is warm but still runny. We cut the egg with a round cutter to make them look uniform and perch the egg on top of the salad. We garnish the egg with a touch of sea salt and some bacon powder and as our customers eat the salad the egg yolk emulsifies nicely with the vinaigrette and the salad for some really great springtime eating." I'll say. Sounds like a lesson in springtime deliciousness."

For More of this story:
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Visits CIC

Agricultural Science – from the Classroom to the Laboratory to the Plate Posted by Dr. Cathie Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, on March 18, 2011
"Last week, I was in South Carolina to see some of the work being done by USDA’s scientists at the U. S. Vegetable Laboratory, where researchers strive to improve vegetable yields and quality. Any chef will tell you great meals begin with high quality ingredients, and nutritionists will add that a colorful meal is a nutrient-dense meal. On my way to the lab, I stopped at a place that is focused on that good food equation, especially using locally sourced produce: The Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College."
Pictured: Dr. Woteki and CIC Dean Michael Saboe
For the rest of the post, please go to: 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CIC is proud to have been a part of the 12th Annual Chefs' Feast.

Led by Chef Robert Carter of Peninsula Grill, Chefs' Feast helps raise the much needed funds for the Lowcountry Food Bank's childhood hunger programs, Kids Cafe and BackPack Buddies. Kids Cafe, an innovative after-school program that provides hot, nutritious meals and academic assistance, and BackPack Buddies, a program designed to attack the issue of weekend hunger, are our central tools in the effort to end childhood hunger.
Chef Stefanelli served Braised oxtail with winter vegetables, polenta, shaved ricotta salata, gremolta, and tangerine oil.

The CIC Team for Chefs Feast: r-l: Chef Instructor Of 181 Palmer Scott Stefanelli, Hospitality Instructor Lisa Buzzelli, and Operations Director Herb Waters.

CIC Has Exciting Dine Around During BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival

"One of the most coveted events on the Festival schedule is the Restaurant Dine-Arounds. This year nineteen of Charleston's renowned chefs, three of them James Beard Best Chef Southeast Award winners, will open the doors of their acclaimed restaurants to a nationally celebrated guest chef to craft a 5-course tasting menu that blends together the culinary styles of each chef and creates a one-of-a-kind menu and dining experience. A winemaker will join each restaurant to pair every dish with the perfect varietal."
Host CIC Chef: Kevin Mitchell
Guest Chef: Duane Nutter of One Flew South, Atlanta, GA,
Guest Chef: Todd Richards of Ritz Carlton, Atlanta, GA

Guest Winemaker: Bob Davis, Jordan Winery, Alexander Valley, CA.
Guest Master Sommelier: Andrea Robinson, Napa Valley, CA

Passed Hors D'oeuvres
2007 Jordan Chardonnay

First Course
Benton's Bacon and Egg Salad
Poached Pear, Frisée, Arugula, Pink Peppercorn Vinaigrette
2008 Jordan Chardonnay

Second Course
Pan-Roasted Sturgeon
Sea Island Red Pea and Crab Succotash, Tomato-Fennel      Broth
                                                  2008 Jordan Chardonnay

Third Course
Keegan-Filion Farm Chicken and Tarragon Waffles
Mushrooms, Turnips, Pickled Shallots, Blueberry Sorghum Jus
2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

Fourth Course
Trio of Lamb
Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon-Barbequed Lamb Chop, Berbere-Crusted Lamb Loin,
and Lamb Sausage
Farro, Collard Greens, Lamb Jus
Magnums 2005 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

Fifth Course
Roasted Pineapple and Anson Mills Polenta CakeGinger and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Pineapple Reduction
Created by CIC Chef Jeff Alexander

The CIC's proceeds from the evening benefit the CIC chapter of the BCA.
To learn more about CIC guest chef Duane Nutter:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Elizabeth Freer Wins People’s Choice Award in S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Competition

CIC student Elizabeth Freer won the prestigious People’s Choice Award in Napa March 11-13 during the 9th annual S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Competition. Ten of the most talented culinary students from Italy, Mexico and Puerto Rico competed with rising stars from the U.S. and Canada. Students were critiqued on taste, texture and aroma of their dishes, presentation, kitchen skills and the ability to perform under pressure. Freer’s winning dish was Rabbit Two Ways.

Hosts Gail Simmons and Ralph Pagano were joined by media judges Dana Cowin of Food & Wine Magazine, Sophie Gayot of, Mitchell Davis of The James Beard Foundation, and Bonnie Stern of The National Post. The lineup of world famous chefs present to judge and mentor the student chefs consisted of Chefs Rick Moonen of rm seafood, Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia, Jean Joho of Everest, Gary Danko ofRestaurant Gary Danko, Brooke McDougall of ByMark and Bob Hurley of Hurley's, and Michel Richard of Michel Richard Citronelle, winner of numerous awards, including two Michelin stars.
To qualify for the competition, Freer had to first win the Southeast Regional San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition in Atlanta, Ga. She competed against Johnson & Wales, Charlotte; Art Institutes, Atlanta; and Le Cordon Bleu, Atlanta, for the coveted prize. This is the second time that a Culinary Institute of Charleston student has won the Southeast Regional and continued on to win the People’s Choice Award. CIC Adjunct Instructor Joe Branton was CIC’s first winner when he was still in school.

Elizabeth Freer has a BA in Art History and Studio Art from the University of Virginia. She is pursuing Certificates in Culinary and Pastry Arts at CIC, with projected graduation in May 2011. She is a Pantry Chef at Peninsula Grill.

About the S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Competition
For centuries, Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water and S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water have complemented fine food, wine and the dining occasion. In support of this passion for gastronomy and their commitment to the culinary arts, The Almost Famous Chef Competition was founded in 2001 as a mentoring program that connects top culinary students with established chefs and influential media. Since then, this program has helped to launch hundreds of culinary careers and refined the skills of a new generation of chefs. Through the Almost Famous Chef Competition, student chefs are given the opportunity to gain unmatched experience, while cooking in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world. For more information, please visit, ###

Friday, March 11, 2011

CIC Students Work with Top Chef Marisa Churchill


For the first time ever the Festival celebrated the Bravo hit TV show, Top Chef, with a bash and “Lowcountry Ingredient” challenge. A fan favorite from each season was on-hand to serve a small plate of their signature recipe, using Giddy Goat Handemade Homegrown Goat Cheese, a Lowcountry ingredient voted on in advance by the event’s ticket-holders. A panel of judges voted on each chef’s dish and decided who won Holy City bragging rights. Kenny Gilbert, a contestant from the 2010 season, served as Master of Ceremonies and Lamplighter matched the chefs’ plates with complementary wine.

With the assistance of CIC students, Season Two Top Chef fan favorite Marisa Churchill used the CIC's Palmer's production kitchen to make her signature recipe. Churchill, one of San Francisco's top pastry chefs,
whipped up a goat cheese cheesecake with strawberries.

The 2011 Tourism and Hospitality Education Foundation Scholarship Application is Posted

The 2011 Tourism and Hospitality Education Foundation scholarship application is posted and students may begin filling them out immediately. Both rising freshmen and current under-graduate students are eligible for this scholarship. Last year $25,000 was distributed amongst 19 students.

Scholarships can be filled out by hand or online. If applicants choose to fill out scholarships online they will still need to mail in transcripts and letters of recommendation. The application deadline is May 13th.
Applications are found on Click the green "Apply Now" button.
For a direct link:

Talicia White Wins Vintner's Auction Competition

Mrs. Anita Zucker purchased a TTC Vintner's Auction Package for a CIC student-prepared dinner and competition. Chef Frank Lee of Slightly North of Borad judged the competition and awarded first place to Talicia White!
Talicia's menu:
1st Course: Golden Tilefish with Succotash and a Tomato Jus
2nd Course: Grilled Beef Tenderloin with a Shiitake Mushroom and Asparagus Saute in a Sweet Soy Sauce
3rd Course: Ginger Caramel Cheese Cake.
Congratulations to Talicia and her team! ( photo: l-r Arlene, Beverly, Mrs. Zucker, Talicia.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Elizabeth Freer Wins Southeast Regional San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition!

Congratulations to Ms. Elizabeth Freer for winning the Southeast Regional San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition in Atlanta, Ga. She competed against Johnson & Wales, Charlotte; Art Institutes, Atlanta; and Le Cordon Bleu, Atlanta, for the coveted prize. This is the second time in two years that one of our students has won the Southeast Regional. Joe Branton was our first winner.

Her next stop is Napa, Ca., to visit the CIA at Greystone and compete against regional winners from throughout the country. Congratulations, Elizabeth, and thank you for making CIC proud of your accomplishments!

(Photo of Elizabeth with Chef Ford Fry of JTC Kitchen, Atlanta.)

Culinary Department Head Chef Michael Carmel Named ACF Southeast Region Chef Educator of the Year

2011 ACF Southeast Conference a Stellar Success!

The 2011 ACF Southeast Regional Conference, hosted by ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter, Inc., brought more than 450 chefs, cooks and foodservice professionals to Atlanta. Attendees participated in numerous seminars and demos featuring the latest trends and techniques, meal events, networking functions, trade show and intense competitions. Congratulations to all the award recipients and honorees for their outstanding contributions and goodwill, and to all the competitors for a job well done.

ACF Southeast Region Chef Educator of the Year Winner:
Michael Carmel, CEC, CCE, department head, Culinary Institute of Charleston, Trident Technical College, Charleston, S.C.; ACF Greater Charleston South Carolina Chapter