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If endless plates of delicious yet miraculously guilt-free food is your version of heaven, then you really should have been at this year’s Big Chef Little Chef event at Lowndes Grove.

Benefiting Louie’s Kids, Big Chef Little Chef brings local master chefs together with Louie’s Kids program participants for the ultimate health-conscious cook-off.

Foodies flocked to the tents like ants to a picnic, swarming around the chefs’ tables for their chance to snatch up a plate of savory or sweet delights. Then it was off for a glass of wine... or perhaps seconds.

This year’s chefs served up a wide range of mouth-watering delights, including gluten-free lasagna from Red Drum Chef Ben Berryhill, venison kefta from a skirt-wearing Chef John Ondo, vegan and sugar-free chocolate-avocado pudding from Charleston Grill Chef Michelle Weaver, and a refreshing watermelon salad from Cypress Chef Craig Deihl.

“It’s a party in your mouth!” Little Chef Samara Cash declared, handing over the colorful plate of watermelon, greens, and calamari. She was right!

Each dish was tastier than the last, pleasing every gourmand’s palate without requiring a post-party counter-caloric dash to the gym. “You can eat as much as you want but you won’t get fat,” Little Chef Chelsea White assured me. “I promise!”

The wonderful summer fete went on into early evening, and guests enjoyed a beautiful sunset while listening to live music. Charleston Grill’s Mickey Bakst and his wife Ellen Gansen not only celebrated their anniversary that evening, they were able cheer on Chef Michelle Weaver and Chelsea White as they won the best dish competition for their chocolate-avocado pudding. “It was incredible,” celebrity chef/judge Marvin Woods gushed.

It was another inspiring evening for all who attended, but for none so much as the participating Little Chefs. Each Little Chef is a program participant with Louie’s Kids. Founded in 2001 by Louis Yuhasz in memory of his father, Louie’s Kids is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity through behavioral change, education, and physical activity. The program caters to economically disadvantaged children and has helped make lasting, positive changes throughout the Lowcountry.

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