It’s National Mimosa Day!

May 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

Mimosas are Delicious, Fun and Surprisingly Healthy 

The mimosa is a simple cocktail consisting of equal parts Champagne (though sparkling wine may be substituted) and chilled, fresh orange juice. Served in a tall Champagne flute, it is a staple of the American brunch and morning weddings. It also frequently appears on First-class service menus for airlines and railways. The prevailing theory is that the Mimosa was invented sometime around 1925 in the Hôtel Ritz Paris by head bartender Frank Meier.

What’s less well known is that mimosas have distinct health benefits. Freshly squeezed orange juice is full of vitamins and minerals including vitamins C and A, to folate, fiber and potassium. As for Champagne, it contains proteins that improve short-term memory and antioxidants, which diminish bad cholesterol, prevent blood clots, and reduce blood vessel damage. Moderate consumption can also help prevent dementia and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

To celebrate, both Eli’s Table and Toast! are serving $2 momosa singles and $7 mimosa carafes all day long today.  Eli’s Table is located at 129 Meeting Street, downtown. elistable.com. Toast! is located at 155 Meeting Street, downtown. ToastofCharleston.com. Have a Toast! worthy National Mimosa Day with us.

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Do You Know?

May 15, 2018 § Leave a comment

Charleston Hospitality Group Catering Chef Kimberly Brock Brown?

Kimberly Brock Brown’s life has been especially full and exciting these past few months. The mother of two (including son Brock Brown pictured with her here), was recently engaged to be married for “the second and final time” and just started her post as Catering Chef at Charleston Hospitality Group in April.  Her duties will evolve as she grows into the role, but for now she’s focusing on coordinating and adding to the catering offerings at each CHG restaurant.  Her first focus is Eli’s Table, where she is creating a more upscale and elegant dessert menu and teaching the kitchen staff there how to prepare them.

The American Culinary Foundation graduate has a long and proud track record working in luxury hotel property kitchens such as Grove Park Inn, Hyatt Regencies and several Omni properties, including Charleston Place Omni (now Belmond Charleston Place), which is ultimately is what brought her to Charleston in 1994.

A native of Chicago, IL, Brown is adept in all manners of both cuisine and pastry, but she prefers working with pastry. “You can present a very beautiful plate of prime rib, but when you’re served an exquisite dessert, it truly makes the entire meal and experience very special and memorable. It’s the wow factor,” she says. Chef Brown describes herself as a “seasonal person” and is looking forward to using the fruits and berries of the season as much as possible as she creates her dessert menu masterpieces.

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Showtime with Shipley

May 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Celebrating 35 Years in Food & Beverage, 60th Birthday, and Entertaining Millions with HonkyTonk Saloon’s General Manager Bob Shipley

Bob Shipley went off to University of South Carolina to study law, following in the footsteps of his father, who worked as both a lawyer and a judge. After a year and a half the Goose Creek native changed course and started studying at MUSC. He worked nights to make extra money at a club. Thus began what would become a 35-year stint in the food and beverage industry with a nod towards entertainment.

“I’ve had over 2,500 people work for me over the years and in fifteen years at Desperados and another seven years at The Plex (2001 to 2008) we entertained over four million people,” says Shipley. “At Desperados, we entertained anywhere from 1,500 to 1,800 per night. Country was hot, really at its peak. At HonkyTonk Saloon (recently named Best Country Saloon in City Paper’s Best of 2018 issue), we average 500 to 700 on weekend nights. It’s one of the top country nightclubs in the southeast and one of the biggest attended venues in the area,” he added.

Despite his tremendous success, Bob Shipley is a humble man who happens to love his work and takes tremendous joy in keeping his clientele happy, safe and entertained. “We strive for great service and a great product. People need an escape. We strive to provide a safe atmosphere, especially for the ladies, that’s paramount. It is satisfying to see people have fun and appealing to see people have a quality dining and entertainment event.”

Reflecting upon his 35 years in the business, Shipley waxes sentimental. “I’m so blessed to have so many people work with me, literally thousands.” In addition to his work, Shipley takes exceptional pride in his children, Ryan and Lauren, both of whom are committed to spreading goodwill and giving back to the world. Ryan is in law enforcement and Lauren is a mental health technician about to take her sixth trip to Africa to assist orphanages and an artisan program for the underprivileged. “She’s a special person, they both are. God blessed them with the ability to make the world a better place.”

Shipley is so committed to Lauren’s cause, he is donating proceeds from $10 spaghetti dinner and raffles at his birthday party and anniversary to Artisan Global, the charity Lauren works with.

At HonkyTonk Saloon since 2016, Shipley was President of the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association for two years, Vice President for four years, and on the board for fifteen years. “It’s astounding how much the culinary industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. People always want to share a story with me about how great our area is. I love to do my best to give back to the community.”

 

HonkyTonk Saloon is located at 192 College Park Road, Ladson, SC. For more information, call 843-569-6000 or visit honkytonksaloon.com

Day Trippin’ on Memorial Day at Fort Moultrie

May 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

 

Officially part of Fort Sumter National Monument, Fort Moultrie has ties to The Revolutionary War, The Civil War, World War I, and World War II and dates all the way back to 1776. It is an exceptionally patriotic place, and for that reason alone, it makes it the perfect destination to celebrate Memorial Day (May 28) or any warm, beautiful summer or spring day. But, there are so many more reasons to visit and linger at this Charleston destination gem.

Located on Sullivan’s Island, it is an easy trek from any greater Charleston locale, but it is the sheer beauty of the place, easy parking, and almost illegally inexpensive day passes, that make it well worth spending a good chunk of the day here. History buffs will revel in the clear and well-written information boards strategically placed along the walking path to show what events took place, where, when, and why.

With its birds-eye views of Ft. Sumter (actually so close it feels like you can touch the ancient fortress), this patriotic perch also affords sweeping views of the entire harbor, the edge of the Atlantic, and a doll’s house sized distance view of tiny steeples and columned mansions of the Charleston peninsula.  If you are lucky, you will catch views of dolphins frolicking in the shimmering waters and a salty, soul-reviving sea breeze.

Parking is exclusively for monument visitors (not the general beach crowd), so it is easy to access and included in your entrance fee. Fees for a group of four adults (family pass) is $5, children age 15 and under are admitted free, single adult tickets are $3, and senior citizens (age 62+) are admitted for $1 each. There is a designated picnic area and dogs are welcome to walk the grounds – though no food or dogs are welcome inside the visitor’s center. Guided tours are also available.

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Fort Moultrie is located at 1214 Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482. The park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including on Memorial Day. For more information, call 843.883.3123, ext. 220 or visit www.nps.gov/fosu.

Farm to Fork Dinner Raises Funds to Support Ashley Ridge High School’s Agriculture and Culinary Programs

May 8, 2018 § Leave a comment

Culinary and Agricultural Students Grow and Raise Their Own Food to Learn Career Skills

Not every child has an opportunity or desire to go to college or culinary school. The staff at Summerville’s Ashley Ridge High School has acknowledged this in a way that goes well beyond intent and straight to a “classroom” farm and culinary training table.

The students’ education is part of Fox Ridge Farm, an educational farm on the school’s campus. The farm oversees and maintains livestock, vegetable and greenhouse production, forestry, wildlife management, and turf grass management. Fox Ridge Farm is comprised of ten acres and is the first GAP (Good Agricultural Practices ) certified farm operated by a school. School staff work with the students who are given hands-on instruction while participating in daily farm operations and responsibilities. Back in the kitchen Rachel Blank oversees the culinary program with her students.

The school held its second annual Farm to Fork Dinner on May 3,  featuring fresh produce and  hog they raised. The pig was was cooked and smoked by Sweatman’s BBQ, but all of the remaining food collection, cooking and service was performed by enthusiastic students of the culinary program.

Two members of Charleston Hospitality Group’s marketing team, Timmi-Jo Pashuta and Holly Herrick, were graciously invited to attend. The family-style dinner kicked off with a simple and exquisitely fresh salad of greens picked late that very same day from the school gardens by the students. Lightly and expertly tossed in a fresh herb vinaigrette, it was followed by platters of pulled pork, rife with pure pig flavor, delicately enhanced with smoke and pungent mustard  and vinegar-based sauces. Layered potato gratin, four cheese macaroni and cheese and fruit and fresh fruit parfaits finished the fabulous feast.

All proceeds from the Farm to Fork Dinner go back to the Agriculture and Culinary Programs at Ashley Ridge High School.  Ashley Ridge High School is located at 9800 Delemar Highway, Summerville, SC 29485.

 

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