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On Thursday night, the Civic Design Center sizzled with the sounds and smells of an iron chef-style competition that pitted teams of two—one professional chef paired with one middle/high school kid—against each another to raise both awareness of our nation's juvenile obesity epidemic and funds for Louie's Kids, a local nonprofit that teaches children about nutrition and exercise.

The teams, which consisted of Chef Michelle Weaver (Charleston Grill) with Auja Ravenel, Chef Craig Deihl (Cypress) with Tre Vaughn Davis, Chef Marc Collins (Circa 1886) with Katie Davis, and Chef Joseph Jacobson (Oak) with Domonique Minor, were given the task of creating a healthy dish that reinforces the nutritional education taught at Fit Club, an after school program hosted by Louie's Kids.

Contestants eagerly chatted up the steady stream of guests, who stopped at every station to sample the food before casting a vote for the favorite dish. The top prize—a cutting board engraved with the title "Big Chef Winner"—was awarded to Deihl and Davis for their squash soup with roasted figs, ricotta cheese, fig balsamic, and crispy ham.

My own education came courtesy of Weaver and Ravenel, who prepared an heirloom tomato salad with farro, a grain similar in flavor to my favorite—quinoa—but with a more satisfying crunch.

Though August is a relatively quiet time on the Fete Set scene, the turn-out was great, which is always gratifying for the organizers of a first-time event. People arrived promptly at the 6:30 p.m. start time, and they were greeted at the door by the smiling faces of volunteers Jessica Johnston and Ashley Gunnin. Television personalities Ryan Nelson and Dave Williams (catch them weekday mornings on Lowcountry Live) also volunteered their time and emcee talents to the event. Additional nibbles were furnished by Mary Zapatka (Square Onion). All in all it was a great success, and one that I hope to see again next year!

Learn more about Louie's Kids and Fit Club by visiting the website:
louieskids.org

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