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Our very own Aaron Deal of Tristan has been invited by the James Beard House in Manhattan to prepare an unforgettable meal.  Why is this such a big deal you say?  More than 20 dinners, lunches, and workshops showcasing culinary artists from around the world are held there each month. Every great chef in the U.S. has cooked a meal there. It’s supposedly one of the best places in the country to sample the cuisine of up-and-coming chefs as well as contemporary legends without traveling to their home cities.

Before heading off to the Big Apple, Aaron and his wonderful team invited passionate foodies and food professionals from around the Lowcountry a chance to “preview” his Modern Taste of Charleston menu.  I have to say, this was probably one of the best meals that I have had in my life.  Yes, my life.  We started out with a butternut squash terrine, followed by a heirloom beet salad, white tuna in a Tahitian vanilla bean broth, and veal short ribs.  Each course was perfectly paired with a wine selected by sommelier Brian Austin.  This guy really knows his wines.

As everyone enjoyed great food and conversation, special guest Farmer Lee Jones of the Chef’s Garden, wearing his signature overalls and bow tie, got up to speak about his life’s passion, Veggie U and its Adopt a Veggie Classroom Kit.  This program provides classrooms with materials needed to teach the hands-on lessons covering healthy nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and state-requested plant studies. I am all for teaching kids how to grow their own food and eating healthy.

The night ended with lots of conversation about the inauguration of Barack Obama and who was going to buy the last round of drinks.

Congrats Aaron on a delicious meal and representing for the Lowcountry.