South Carolina Camper Cookoff Series 2014: Catfish Cookoff is March 14-15 at Santee State Park. Sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, this is a series of four cookoffs that will be held in different state parks throughout the year. You can choose to participate in the cookoff or as a judge. Reserve your spot by calling the park directly, entry fee is a two-night minimum registration fee. Join in on the fun at the Santee Catfish Cookoff by calling (803) 854-2408. Other cookoffs include: Barbecue at Kings Mountain, Chicken at Calhoun Falls and Grits at Myrtle Beach. More information at southcarolinaparks.com
Smokin’ at the Farmers Market Commissioners Cup BBQ Cook Off and Festival returns March 21 and 22 to the State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Hwy. Come out 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, March 21, for the Anything Butt (no pork) competition or swing by for the main event 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 22, for pork ribs and Boston butts (tastings both days while supplies last). Sanctioned by the Southern BBQ Network, prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Grand Champion SC State Champion, Reserve Champion, Pork Butts (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Pork Ribs (1st, 2nd, 3rd), Anything Butt, and new in 2014, Peoples Choice. There will be activities for children and live music. Ticket packages available at ticket booth. More information, contact Jackie Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Team entry forms and vendor/food truck information at agriculture.sc.gov. Deadline to enter is Friday, March 7.
Columbia Warrior Cook-Off is a new barbeque competition sanctioned and judged by the SC Barbeque Association set to take place May 24 at the State Fairgrounds. Prizes will be awarded to the top five barbeque cooking teams. The competition is open to the first 75 teams to properly complete the entry process by May 9 and be accepted. Cock Pit Barbeque, organizer of this event, seeks donations and sponsorships; proceeds from this event will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. More information at www.cockpitbarbeque.com or www.facebook.com/CockPitBarbeque or call Brooks Herring at (803) 269-4167. Downloadable entry and sponsorship forms linked to this article at thestate.com
Check out The Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards honoring 20 categories of America’s favorite food experiences: from best food truck to best food city and chef. The public is invited to vote online for their favorites now through March 31 at Tablespoon.com/themunchies. “Bizarre Foods” host Andrew Zimmern and a panel of more than 40 celebrity food chefs developed the list of nominees (Charleston chef Sean Brock is nominated for Best Chef). Winners will be announced in early April.
Charleston represented in list of 2014 James Beard Award Semifinalists: Sean Brock of Husk and McCrady’s, nominated Outstanding Chef; McCrady’s, Outstanding service; FIG, Outstanding wine program; Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh, Best Chef: Southeast; Kevin Johnson of The Grocery, Best Chef: Southeast; Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder, Best Chef: Southeast. The list of semifinalists will now be voted down to five official nominees by a group of past JBF Award winners, Restaurant and Chef Award Committee members and panelists. The nominees will be announced March 18.
THURSDAY: Sweet & Savory Chef’s Competition at EdVenture Children’s Museum. Local chefs will compete for a People’s Choice award for the best savory hors d’oeuvres and sweet treat 6-9 p.m. March 6. Come out and vote for your favorite bite. Chef-competitors include Vinnie Livoti (BlueCross BlueShield), Dave Grillo (Cantina 76), Ryan Whittaker (116 State), Drip Coffee, Robert Stegall-Smith (Performance Food Group), Whittaker Williams (Chili Gourmet), Larry Platt (Let’s Cook Culinary Studio), Betheny Pelletier and Bob Burgess (Merchant Foodservice), Lawrence Wright (Southern FoodService) and Charlie Young (Young’s Hearing Aid Service). This is a fundraiser for Palmetto Place. Tickets $35 per person or $60 per couple at palmettoplaceshelter.org
Soda City Spring Fest will be happening 9 a.m.-1 p.m. March 22. In addition to the regular vendors you see Saturday mornings, come by and check out the cooking and gardening demonstrations and sample some local craft beer. The market is located on the 1400-1500 blocks of Main Street in Columbia.
Slow Food at Indie Grits Sustainable Chefs Showcase will be 3-6 p.m. April 13 at 711 Whaley. Chefs must feature at least one locally, sustainably produced major ingredient in their dish as they compete for the most delicious bite. Participating restaurants include Terra, Motor Supply Co. Bistro, Rosso Trattoria, Bourbon, Baan Sawan Thai Bistro, Spotted Salamander Catering, Rosewood Market and Deli, Scott Hall Catering, The Oak Table, Saluda’s and Tombo Grille. Tunes and cash bar by The Whig, featuring wine and local craft beers. Tickets $20 for general admission; $15 for Slow Food USA and Nickelodeon members; $10 for Potluck participants. Join in the Potluck by bringing in a dish (roughly 20 small portions) made with at least one sustainable, local ingredient. Information and tickets at indiegrits.com
Harvest Dinner at City Roots March 10. Get your tickets now, $60 per person includes opening cocktail, wine pairings and four courses. 6:30-9:30 p.m., tickets available at eventbrite. City Roots is at 1005 Airport Boulevard.
Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival is March 10-15. Get your tickets now for wine and beer dinners at Hilton Head’s finest restaurants, wine knowledge sessions and a chance to see celebrity guests ( Eric Asimov, chief wine critic of the New York Times and Christy Jordan, author of Come Home for Supper). Information and tickets available at hiltonheadwineandfood.com
Middleton Place weekly Wine Strolls return March 12. Experience the natural beauty of the 273-year-old plantation while sipping wines chosen by the Middleton Place Restaurant’s sommelier 6-8 p.m. every Wednesday through June 25. On June 25, learn about the Charleston-Barbados connections through the Rum Stroll featuring a variety of light, dark and spiced rums. Tickets to Wine Strolls are $20 per person in advance, $25 at the gate and are available at www.middletonplace.org or call (843) 556-6020.
Farm to Trunk wine tasting to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. Head over to City Roots Farm 6-9 p.m. March 20 for an evening of live music, appetizers and a tasting of over 25 wines from AdVintage. $20 per person, tickets available at eventbrite.com
Small Plate Crawl in Greenville March 24-26. Sample the best of Greenville’s culinary scene with special small plate menu items ($3-$8 each) from participating restaurants. As a bonus, purchase a small plate at five or more restaurants and enter to win prizes in the Passport contest. Check out GreenvilleSmallPlateCrawl.com for more information, downloadable map and Passport.
Sip some cider: Windy Hill Orchard & Cidery, near York, will be open for Hard Cider tastings weekends in April and May. Stop by 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays at 1860 Black Highway, York (look for the windmill). More information at windyhillorchard.com or call (803) 684-0690.
It’s All About Herbs Festival, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 5 at Lexington County Museum. Free event featuring plant sale, bake sale, seminars, demonstrations and a silent auction and raffle. Proceeds to help fund a scholarship for a qualified student in Lexington County pursuing an education in horticulture; maintain the Colonial Garden at the museum and provide professional herbalists to educate the community on the use of herbs for cooking, growing, crafting and medical usage. Information at www.facebook.com/theherbbunch
SAVE THE DATE(S): Midlands SC Farm Tour is scheduled for 1-5 p.m. April 5 and 6. Featuring 10 local sustainable farms in Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties, come out and bring the family to see baby farm animals, learn gardening and growing techniques, enjoy a farm-fresh picnic or snack and see where your food comes from. Tickets $25 per vehicle, good for both days, available online now at http://www.carolinafarmstewards.com/mft or at Whole Foods Market and City Roots in Columbia closer to the event date. Want to volunteer? Contact Vanessa Driscoll at (919) 542-2402. The Upstate SC Farm Tour with farms in Greenville, Spartanburg, Oconee, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens and Greenwood counties is June 7-8.
Our Local Catch, specializing in supplying local and sustainable seafood, is now at Rosewood Market twice a week. Find them under the tent every Thursday and Friday 1-7 p.m. 2803 Rosewood Drive, online at ourlocalcatch.com
Recycle that cooking oil. You have choices: Richland County will take used fat, oil and grease at the Richland County C&D Landfill at 1070 Caughman Road North and at the county’s Lower Richland Drop-off Site at 10531 Garners Ferry Road in Eastover. More information, call (803) 929-6000. Or take used cooking oil to the city of Columbia’s Southern Fried Fuel recycling program, open throughout the year, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays at the Public Works Facility, 2910 Colonial Drive. Cooking oil should be free of water, soap suds and food scraps and should be transported in a clean, non-breakable, leak-proof container with a tight lid.
Cooking with Chef Marion focuses on light and quick weeknight meals 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, March 8. Register by March 7, $25 includes all supplies. Call (803) 781-2031. Ballentine Park is at 1009 Bickley Road, Ballentine.
Saturdays @ The Center features hands-on cooking with Chef Jeff Urso in the state-of-the-art kitchen at The Center for Advanced Technical Studies in Chapin. Learn the history of and how to make shrimp and grits (creamy cheese grits and 2-3 different sauces) in your choice of class time (10 a.m.-2 p.m. or 3-7 p.m.) March 15. $40 per person, register by calling (803) 476-8601. The Center is located at 916 Mount Vernon Church Road, Chapin.
Beer 101 at the Lourie Center is a 4-part class where you can learn everything there is to know about beer: it’s history, brewing, beer pairing and appreciation. Beer and snacks are provided. Class begins 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 6, and continues each Thursday through March 27 and is led by Marshall White, expert beer enthusiast from Baan Sawan Thai Bistro and Morganelli’s Party Shop. Open to members and the public age 50 and up, $40 per person for series ($12 per class), pre-registration required. Call (803) 779-1971 or register online at www.louriecentersc.com/activities/regular-classes. The Lourie Center is at 1650 Park Circle.
Columbia’s Cooking! Up coming classes include: Thursday, March 6, Dressing Your Salad (find under Featured Guests) ; March 18; Flavors from Around the World: Anti-Cancer Superfoods (Wellness Courses); March 21, Italian Date Night (Evening Sessions); April 3, The Culture of Your Food (Featured Guests); April 24, An Evening with Patricia Moore-Pastides; 2nd Friday cooking classes for kids age 9+. For pricing and information, see http://cpcp.sph.sc.edu/cooking. Register by calling (803) 576-5636 or email email@example.com. 915 Greene St., Suite 101
Tiny TasteBuds cooking classes for children ages 3-5 years at EdVenture are 11 a.m.-noon the first and third Friday of each month now through May. $10 per person, preregistration required. EdVenture is at 211 Gervais St., (803) 779-3100, edventure.org
Charleston Cooks! at Cross Hill. Wednesday, March 5, one chicken five ways; Thursday, March 7, couples spring entertaining; Friday, March 8, Southern comfort; March 10, catch of the day; March 12, Mexican fiesta; March 14, couples spring entertaining; March 15, brunch; March 17, St. Patrick’s Day; March 19, spa getaway. For information or to register, call (803) 509-8111 or www.charlestoncooks.com
Chef Francois Fisera hosts cooking classes at Fleur de Lys Home Culinary Institute. Friday, March 7, fillet of beef flambe Bordelaise style; March 11 and 14, halibut; March 18, mussels and salmon in champagne sauce; March 21, white pinot tasting with trout; April 3 and 4, Kobe beef; April 8, 11 and 12, sea bass; April 15 and 18, Maine lobster thermidor. Fleur de Lys is at 3001 Millwood Ave. (803) 765-9999 or fleurdelyscolumbiasc.com
Let’s Cook Culinary Studio events: Friday, March 7, tapas; March 14, couples French bistro; March 17, St. Pat’s Irish class; March 18, Wild Women; March 20, Asian snacks; March 21, Swiss raclette; March 26, vegetarian with Chef Larry Platt. Detailed listings at letscookculinary.com. Let’s Cook is at 1305 Assembly St. (803) 348-5874
McCutchen House at USC. Chef d’Jour Classes: Saturday, March 8, jams and jellies; March 29, brunch made easy; April 19, pasta and sauces; May 3, cooking with alcohol. Wine classes: April 1, dinner with Conquest Brewery; April 22, In-Depth Grape Series: Pinot Grigio. Details and registration at http://www.hrsm.sc.edu/mccutchen-house or call (803) 777-4450
Rosewood Market Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m. second and fourth Thursdays, 2803 Rosewood Drive, (803) 256-6410 www.rosewoodmarket .com
Vista Marketplace Online Farmers Market Orders delivered to downtown offices/locations. http://vista.locallygrown .net or email vista firstname.lastname@example.org
Vista Marketplace at Whaley, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday at 711 Whaley St. Facebook page: Vista Marketplace at Whaley
Soda City Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday at the 1500 block of Main Street www.sodacitysc.com