You are here

December 2010

Get Cooking Charleston!

The Charleston Magazine Recipe Contest & Cook-off

Armed with seasonings, spatulas, and a hearty helping of creativity, eight recipe contest finalists stepped up to the plate for our October 23 cook-off. But only four culinary contenders could earn the pleased-palate approval of our expert judges.



Charleston magazine Recipe Contest from PDA Video on Vimeo.


Lowcountry Boil Sliders

{Appetizer Winner}
Angie Pitts

Leave it to a middle school teacher to pare down a plateful of Lowcountry boil into a simple, easy-to-eat bite. Inspired by her grandfather’s love of Charleston cuisine, Angie Pitts created this cool slider that packs a smart dose of Old Bay and spicy cocktail sauce with hearty hunks of shrimp, sausage, potato, and corn. “It’s a Lowcountry boil without all the work,” beams Pitts.

Tuscan Collards with Leeks

{Side Dish Winner}
Ashley Finamore

Growing up in the kitchen with her Italian grandmother preparing quintessential Tuscan recipes, Ashley Finamore has an appreciation for tradition. But as a vibrant young pharmacist, she also likes to give tradition a twist. “I love combining the classic foods of Tuscany with the staples of Southern cuisine,” she explains. In this spin on Grandma’s pancetta and broccoli rabe, Finamore blends the slightly salty Italian pork with earthy and more subtle local collards. Leeks add a hint of onion flavor. “We all thought this dish was restaurant quality,” says judge Marion Sullivan of the mild, eye-pleasing side.

Porcine in the Fall

{Entrée Winner}
Bob O’Brien

From the lyrical nature of his dish’s name, our emcees could tell that Bob O’Brien has a penchant for poetry. And from the sophisticated methods he used to prepare his rosemary- and garlic-infused pork loin—including scoring the fat cap and trussing the roast with butcher’s string—our judges knew that the home cook possesses time-tested talent. O’Brien relies on this classic recipe from his German-born mother (who sometimes added fennel-tinged sauerkraut) every winter when he’s entertaining loved ones. To complement the savory herbed pork, he typically plates the slices with baby potatoes and balsamic string beans.

Lowcountry Tres Leches

{Dessert Winner}
Greg VanDerwerker

Kiawah Island resident Greg VanDerwerker discovered tres leches (“three milks”) cake some 15 years ago while visiting Costa Rica, where the fresh and creamy confection is considered the national dessert. But Greg, a 59-year-old retiree, saw potential for sweetening the cake with some South Carolina personality. “It’s readily adaptable to the addition of other flavors, and the Lowcountry’s traditional pecans and oranges go so well together,” remarks Greg, noting that he regularly experiments with this favorite dessert for family meals.

Lowcountry Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp with Peach Dipping Sauce

{Appetizer Runner Up}
Ryan Lemire

Johns Island Guiness, Truffle, & Olive Oil Steamed Collards

{Side Dish Runner Up}
Adam Paul

Sweet Tea Pork Tenderloin

{Entrée Runner Up}
Kenny Abernathy

Peach Cheesecake with Pecan-Graham Cracker Crust

{Dessert Runner Up}
Shauna Morris