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Get Cooking Charleston!

(From left) Cook-off competition winners Angie Pitts, Ashley Finamore, Bob O'Brien, and Greg VanDerwerker. Photographs by Paul Cheney & Jason Kaumeyer

December 8, 2010

Get Cooking Charleston!
Find out which four home cooks tasted victory during this fall’s recipe contest and cook-off

Written by Lauren B. Johnson

Last summer, we put out a call for entries to the second annual Charleston Magazine Recipe Contest & Cook-off, asking home cooks to send in their best original recipes. Readers responded with a hearty helping of creativity, submitting appetizers, sides, entrées, and desserts that showcased a cornucopia of Lowcountry ingredients. Our expert judges culled through the generous bounty and selected the top contenders, and then the Culinary Institute of Charleston fired up its stoves for a live cook-off on October 23. During four rounds of competition, our eight finalists stepped up to the plate in front of a live audience, each hoping for a taste of victory. But only four earned the pleased-palate approval of our judges. After deliberating on each dish’s use of local ingredients, originality, preparation, presentation, and flavor, Marion Sullivan, Nathalie Dupree, and Holly Herrick agreed on the winners:

Appetizer: Lowcountry Boil Sliders
Cook: Angie Pitts
This cool slider packs a smart dose of Old Bay and spicy cocktail sauce with a hearty patty of shrimp, sausage, potato, and corn. For the recipe, click here.

Side Dish: Tuscan Collards with Leeks
Cook: Ashley Finamore
Ashley took home the Grand Prize ($500 plus a Cuisinart PowerBlend Duet blender/food processor) with her restaurant-quality spin on a standard side that pairs slightly salty pancetta with earthy collards. For the recipe, click here.

Entrée: Porcine in the Fall
Cook: Bob O’Brien
This classic recipe for savory rosemary- and garlic-infused pork loin uses sophisticated preparation methods. For the recipe, click here.

Dessert: Lowcountry Tres Leches
Cook: Greg VanDerwerker
This fresh and creamy “three milks” cake is sweetened with South Carolina personality using the region’s traditional pecans and oranges. For the recipe, click here.

Find the full story (along with pull-out recipe cards and a $5 grocery coupon courtesy of Piggly Wiggly) in our December 2010 issue. Or click here to read the feature, including background on each of our winners and recipes from the runners-up.

Want to see a piece of the action? To watch a video of the competition, click here.


Wed, 12/08/2010