SC-connected James Beard Award semifinalists. Nominated for Television Program, on Location: A Chef’s Life, PBS, Host Vivian Howard, Producers Cynthia Hill and Markay Media; Charleston chefs and restaurants nominated for Outstanding Chef: Sean Brock, McCrady’s; Outstanding Wine Program: FIG; The 2014 James Beard Awards will be held in New York City on May 2 and 5.
Total Wine goes totally Washington ... for wine, that is. Every evening through Sunday, March 23, come out and meet the wine producers, brewers and distillers responsible for Washington State’s fine wine, beer and spirits and sample some of the wares. For a complete schedule of tastings, see http://www.totalwine.com/discoverwashington
Grocery store tours! The South Carolina Academy of Nutrition, a professional organization of registered dietitians, will be conducting free grocery store tours at selected Bi-Lo stores in Richland and Lexington counties Thursday and Saturday, March 20 and 22. Learn how to shop and eat healthy while stretching your food dollar. For tour times, look for a poster in selected Bi-Lo stores or go to http://www.eatrightsc.org.
Farm to Trunk wine tasting to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. Head over to City Roots Farm 6-9 p.m. Thursday, 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
Soda City Spring Fest will be happening 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, 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 on the 1400-1500 blocks of Main Street in Columbia.
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.
Oysters Down on the Farm 6-10 p.m. March 27 at Harmon’s Tree Farm (in the barn), 3152 Augusta Rd. This Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center event features oysters, barbecue, burgers, beer and more; cornhole games and music by Trent Jeffcoat. Tickets $50, available at www.lexingtonsc.org
South Carolina Cornbread Festival is 10 a.m.-8 p.m. March 29, Main and Newman streets in North Columbia. Fun for the whole family, events include 5K Run/Walk, Little Miss Muffin Pageant, live music and, of course, cornbread (in a variety of flavors: sweet, honey, crackling, gluten-free, jalapeno and pulled pork). More information at www.sccornbreadfestival.com
Foolish for Chocolate: A preposterous celebration of the sweeter side of life. A bake sale at Crescent Cacao (rescheduled from February snows), noon-6 p.m. April 1. Participants include Ally & Eloise Bake Shop, Bid for Butter, Chocolate Nirvana, Evolution Through Chocolate, Happy Cafe, Indigo Chocolate, K&K Gourmet Sweets, Main Street Bakery and The Goddess of Truffles. Get seduced at 3015-B Millwood Ave.
Tour and Tasting at Columbia Museum of Art. Doug Aylard, of Vino Garage, introduces Asian-inspired wines and Japanese sakes and CMA Education Manager Kayleigh Vaughn walks you through the museum’s Japan and the Jazz Age exhibition 6 p.m. April 3. Tickets $65 for non-members, $55 for CMA members.
West Wateree Rotary Wild Game Dinner and Silent Auction April 5 at Old McCaskill Farm in Rembert. This event will raise money for college scholarships for graduating Lugoff-Elgin High School students. Tickets $35 per person, $65 per couple and are available at First Community Bank, Mid Carolina Credit Union or First Citizens Bank in Kershaw County. Contact Amy Schofield, (803) 427-6420 or email@example.com for more information.
Champagne and Pearls: An evening with Mikimoto at Columbia Museum of Art. 6 p.m. April 10, reception to follow. Mikimoto is synonymous with the pearl and recognized internationally as a symbol of excellence in fine jewelry. Join CMA and Sylvan Jewelers for an evening with Mikimoto (American) Ltd. senior vice president Aaron C. Reed as he tells the story of Kokichi Mikimoto and his vision of adorning “the necks of all the women of the world in pearls.” Champagne and scotch reception and Mikimoto trunk show follows lecture. Tickets $40, $30 for CMA members.
Mac Madness hits Florence April 11. Twelve area chefs prepare their best Mac-and-Cheese recipes for the public to taste and choose a winner. Cold beer, mechanical bull riding, a kid’s zone and live bands round out the evening. Tickets $5 general admission, $10 VIP (souvenir glass and voting chips) or upgrade for access to the Harvest Hope Luxury Lounge, $35, featuring unlimited mac-and-cheese samples, wine and craft beer tastings. Proceeds benefit Harvest Hope Food Bank. www.macmadnesssc.com
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
Middleton Place weekly Wine Strolls have returned . 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.
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.
Peak of the Season GrowFood Party 5:30-8:30 p.m. April 30 at the GrowFood Warehouse, 990 Morrison Drive, Charleston. Enjoy local food and libations and learn more about the GrowFood concept of connecting local farmers to local markets and creating a thriving local food system. Tickets $35, available through eventbrite.com
Food, Fire and Fun Whole Cow Roast ... BOVINOCHE! New name, lower price, more fire and food. Bovinoche (Night of the Bovine) is where you will see a custom-built rotisserie for an 800-pound cow as well as roasting goats, hogs, chickens and some exotic meats. Main event 3-10:20 p.m. May 17 at City Park, 310 West Curtis Street, Simpsonville (next to the Police Station), tickets $35 per person through eventbrite.com or $30 at The Community Tap, 205 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville; Bee Bee’s Restaurant, 1907 Laurens Rd., Greenville; or Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce, 211 N. Main St, Simpsonville. Become a sponsor and enjoy Friday night (May 16) activities that include roasting a whole swordfish, tickets $250 per person. More information at www.facebook.com/Bovinoche or www.bovinoche.com.
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.
Chefs on the Shoe Fundraiser and Competition is 5-10 p.m. March 24 on the USC Horseshoe. Organized by the university’s Tourism Festival and Management class, this evening of live entertainment, delicious food, a silent auction and more raises money for the Jules Pernell Memorial Scholarship Fund that provides future HRTM majors with financial support. Local chefs will compete for the Pernell Prize for Culinary Excellence and will be judged by crowd participation. For more information and chef participation forms, go to chefsontheshoe.weebly.com
Columbia Warrior Cook-Off is a new barbeque competition sanctioned and judged by the S.C. Barbeque Association on 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 http://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.
Is your dish good enough to get “On the Menu”? TNT has begun production of a new cooking competition show where home cooks will be challenged to create the next signature dish for a national dining institution. “On the Menu” will be hosted by Ty Pennington (“Trading Spaces,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) and contestants will be mentored by Chef Emeril Lagasse (“Emeril Live,” “Top Chef”). Amateur cooks will work with professional chefs to create dishes for that week’s selected restaurant chain, stadium concession stand or other American food business. The winning dish immediately foes on the business’s menu, giving viewers at home the chance to try the dish the very next day. Interested in competing? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbia’s Cooking! Upcoming classes include: Friday, 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 19, spa getaway; March 24, Italian primavera; March 26 (noon), Spring grill-out; March 28, couples spring entertaining March 29, knife skills; April 1, sushi; April 2, gluten-free gourmet; April 3, Uptown Down-Home Comfort with Chef Virginia Willis. 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 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: Thursday, March 20, Asian snacks; Friday, March 21, Swiss raclette; March 26, vegetarian with Chef Larry Platt; April 4, tapas; April 10, Greek yogurt recipes. Detailed listings at letscookculinary.com. Let’s Cook is at 1305 Assembly St. (803) 348-5874
McCutchen House at USC. Chef d’Jour Classes: 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
Healthy Carolina’s Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays on Greene Street in front of the Russell House. www.sa.sc.edu/healthy carolina/farmersmarket