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The Dining Room at Woodlands Mansion, a five-star restaurant that closed in September 2012, reunited former staff to reopen for one night only. The intimate event was not organized purely to please nostalgic party-goers, but also to benefit Chase After a Cure, a local charity that raises awareness for childhood cancer and donates funds to ongoing pediatric cancer research at MUSC Children’s Hospital.
The evening began with an hour of classic Woodlands hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings, and the chance to mingle with other guests while enjoying live music from pianist Tom Bailey.
After the cocktail hour, guests settled into the softly lit dining room for a five-course dinner prepared by Tristan executive chef Nate Whiting with wine pairings by sommelier Stephane Peltier, both former staff members of Woodlands Mansion.
Whiting’s reinterpretation of the original Woodlands peach tea, a refreshing, encapsulated one-bite bubble, set the innovative precedent for the following courses—each more delicious and decadent than the last. Fare highlights included melt-in-your-mouth vanilla poached New England lobster with scallop crudo; made-from-scratch risotto with saffron, Chinese five-spice, and Parmigiano Reggiano; and dry-aged Canadian duck breast with foie gras and a misoyaki glaze. And for those with room for it, the swoon-worthy finale: a smoked chocolate parfait recently named by Food Network magazine as the best ice cream dessert in South Carolina.
Chase After a Cure, a nonprofit started in 2009 by Whitney Ringler, decorated one of the mansion's rooms with pictures and stories of children who have battled cancer; it served as an inspiration room for the evening. Since its founding, the organization has raised more than half a million dollars, and all proceeds from this successful, sold-out event went to support Chase After a Cure’s mission.