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Charleston Cooks Recipe Contest

December 2009
Charleston Cooks Recipe Contest
The Charleston Magazine Recipe Contest & Cook-off

Last summer, we asked for entries to the inaugural Charleston Cooks Recipe Contest, and readers responded in droves. Charleston food editor Marion Sullivan and Charleston Cooks!’ Danielle Wexler culled the best, and the Culinary Institute of Charleston fired up its stoves for a live cook-off. After four 30-minute rounds of head-to-head competition, judges Marion Sullivan, Maverick Southern Kitchens’ David Marconi, and award-winning cookbook author Nathalie Dupree deliberated on the dishes’ use of local ingredients, originality, preparation, presentation, and taste.

Charleston Magazine Recipe Contest from Charleston Fashion Week on Vimeo.

<h2>WINNER! {Appetizer}</h2> <p><strong>Required major ingredient:</strong> Locally harvested shellfish</p> <h2>Dawn Baker</h2> <p>Dawn began cooking early on, playing in her grandmother’s kitchen and “concocting inedible things.” She’s since honed her culinary creativity, earning kudos in the kitchen from family and friends. For an oyster roast, this mom and homemaker wanted a hearty yet healthy clam chowder. Rather than using starchy potatoes, she chose white beans as a healthier thickener and topped it off with turkey bacon.</p>
<h2>WINNER! {Side Dish} </h2> <p><strong>Required major ingredient: </strong>South Carolina-grown vegetable or grain</p> <h2>Marion Mathes</h2> <p>“I’m not very good at following directions,” laughs Marion, an upbeat financial professional who rarely makes the same thing the same way twice. “I read cookbooks, then I close them and do my own thing.” Marion’s Curried Butternut Squash Purée recipe went through at least four rounds before she settled on a final version, and the practice paid off.
<h2>WINNER! {Entrée} </h2> <p><strong>Required major ingredient:</strong> South Carolina-harvested or -raised fish or game </p> <h2>Lou Rena Hammond</h2> <p>When Lou’s husband took up hunting, the PR pro found herself with a freezer full of birds but few ways to prepare them. So she started collecting recipes into a “quail cookbook.” Inspired by a lamb dish and her time in the Middle East, Lou created the sweet and tangy Classy Quail. “The combination of pomegranate, spices, and pistachios was so on target,” says Marion Sullivan.
<h2>WINNER! {Dessert}</h2> <p><strong>Required major ingredient: </strong>Locally or historically significant product</p> <h2>Seth Purvin</h2> <p>Following his dream to one day design wedding cakes, Seth enrolled in the Culinary Institute of Charleston’s baking and pastry program in 2007. “I’ve always been interested in comfort food, not so much fine dining,” he says. His Lowcountry Cannoli, however, offers a bite of both.
<h2>Runner-Up {Appetizer}</h2> <p><strong>Sarah Digangi</strong></p>
<h2>Runner-Up {Side Dish} </h2> <p><strong>Stephanie Jo Chapa</strong></p>
<h2>Runner-Up {Main Dish}</h2> <p><strong>Dawn Baker</strong></p>
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