Tuesday, August 4, 2020

New Rutledge Avenue restaurant Chasing Sage debuts with pop-up takeout series

From Seoul to Paris

Posted by Parker Milner on Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 9:17 AM

Chasing Sage will open for takeout-only on August 4 - PARKER MILNER FILE
  • Parker Milner file
  • Chasing Sage will open for takeout-only on August 4
Rutledge Avenue restaurant Chasing Sage will open for takeout only starting on August 4, just a few short months after their planned March opening. Owners Cindy and Walter Edward and Forrest Brunton plan to serve a regularly-changing takeout menu featuring some of their favorite international foods during a series of rotating themed pop-ups.

Executive chefs Walter Edward and Brunton have used the quarantine to reinvent some classic dishes they’ve missed since the start of the pandemic, cooking everything from Moroccan to tacos and ramen. While the group does not yet feel comfortable fully opening due to COVID-19, they did want to offer a fun takeout menu highlighting the chefs’ culinary perspectives.

"The idea of doing something that’s made for the world of COVID but is also fun is really exciting," Walter said. To start, the chefs will serve a Korean barbecue themed menu titled "We Got Seoul."
"We recently all just made Korean barbecue for Cindy’s birthday, and it was so much fun," Brunton said. "It’s a type of food that’s hard to find in Charleston proper. It’s such a fun, interactive food and it just struck us as the go-to one to start with."

Look for bibimbap, duck bulgogi, short rib with kimchi and more on the entirely gluten-free menu. For drinks, Chasing Sage will offer Hite beer, cava and soju flavored with local peaches. The Korean menu, which will be available from August 4-15, will be followed by a trip to France starting on Tuesday August 18.

"We’ll be doing a lot of the classic dishes you might find at affordable, casual French places," Brunton said. "During the day, we’ll have picnic baskets available with charcuterie, cheese plates and bread. We’re big on bread-making and this will be our first chance to showcase that." 
Cindy, who also owns a local online bakery called The Moody Macaron, will be making macarons for the pop-ups, changing flavors every week to go with the theme. This week, look for sesame, green tea and Calamansi lime.

The Edwards and Brunton don’t know when they’ll open up the Chasing Sage dining room. For now, they're simply welcoming the opportunity to feed hungry customers. 

"Once we’re ready to do what Chasing Sage is, we’re going to do it 100 percent," Walter said. "Forrest and I have cooked all over the world and traveled a lot, and this gives us the opportunity to play around a little bit with carry-out appropriate dinners."

To place a takeout order from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, visit
Location Details Chasing Sage
267 Rutledge Ave.
Charleston, SC
Tues.-Sat. 5-9 p.m.
Modern American

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Monday, August 3, 2020

Workshop adds Killer Brats, the third new tenant since pandemic's start

You gouda brie kidding me

Posted by Parker Milner on Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 5:15 PM

Workshop, Charleston’s rotating food hall, announced it will add a new tenant for the third time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Starting Wednesday, Killer Brats will take over the stall that was previously occupied by Julios Bodega.
After debuting his food truck one week before the city shut down due to COVID-19, Killer Brats chef and owner Bobby Downey started making his rounds, popping up at Low Tide Brewing, Palmetto Brewing and the Johns Island Farmers Market, where he met Workshop owner Michael Shemtov.

Shemtov liked his energy and reached out once they had an opening at Workshop. Downey, who fell in love with brats while playing baseball throughout his childhood, said his concept is simple. "We make homemade bratwurst and top them with local ingredients," he said.

Downey grinds all of his own meat before wrapping in a natural casing. And just because the offering is straightforward doesn’t mean these brats are boring.
Patrons start by picking their brat — Downey offers Wisconsin-style beer brats, Italian smoked sausage, smoked turkey sausage and vegan carrot hot dogs. Next, customers can choose from one of ten house preparations, from the mac and cheese and pulled pork topped “You Gouda Brie Kidding Me” to the “Pimp Daddy,” which comes with homemade pimento cheese, pineapple and local serrano peppers. Each brat comes with smoked gouda and brie mac and cheese, smoked seasonal local vegetables, chili or coleslaw.

“The menu is always subject to change because we try to be as local as we can,” Downey said.

Killer Brats will make their Workshop debut this Wednesday. For menu updates, follow Killer Brats on Instagram @killerbratschs.
Location Details Workshop
1503 King St.
Charleston, SC
(843) 546-5512
Lunch, Dinner (Daily)
Coffee + Tea Shops and Variety

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Greenville planning scaled-back Euphoria wine and food festival in September

Culinary Institute of Charleston's Kevin Mitchell to participate in event's grand finale

Posted by Parker Milner on Mon, Aug 3, 2020 at 8:30 AM

Euphoria is celebrating its 15th anniversary this September - COURTESY OF EUPHORIA
  • Courtesy of euphoria
  • Euphoria is celebrating its 15th anniversary this September
Organizers announced that Euphoria, Greenville's annual wine and food festival, will still take place this September.

According to a press release, the four-day event will be scaled back, featuring "smaller gatherings, including lunches, guest chef dinners and classrooms to allow for proper social distancing and other safety measures."

The weekend typically draws crowds exceeding 1,000 people, but event director Morgan Allen said Euphoria will look much different in its 15th year.

"The health and safety of our guests and participants is our number one priority, so we will be bringing people together to eat, sip, listen and learn in smaller groups this year," Allen said in the release. "This allows us to provide an authentic Euphoria experience, while still following, and even exceeding, all protocols and procedures recommended by the CDC, AccelerateSC and the City of Greenville."

  • Kevin Mitchell
  • Mitchell
"We are determined to find a way to continue hosting our events safely, so we can keep our mission alive," Allen added. "This is a great opportunity for us to highlight and celebrate the incredible culinary talent we have right here in the Upstate and across South Carolina."

Right now, just one Charleston-based chef has committed to attending Euphoria. Kevin Mitchell, a chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston and founding member of the Black Culinarian Alliance, will be collaborating with other SC chefs for Sunday Supper, the weekend's grand finale.

Euphoria 2020 will take place from September 17-20. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Starting Thursday, Tu shifts focus from Indian to Asian-inspired street food

Now open for dinner Thursday through Saturday

Posted by Parker Milner on Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 11:02 AM

Meeting Street restaurant Tu will get a new menu and a new focus this week, the latest look for the creative, low-key downtown spot.

Since January 2019, Tu has focused on cuisine from the Indian subcontinent, serving dishes like butter chicken, vindaloo curry and naan. Starting Thursday, Tu will shift to a focus on Asian-inspired street food, a version of the restaurant executive chef Josh Walker refers to as Tu 3.0.

"People now more than ever are on this comfort food kick," Walker said. "The idea moving forward is to do a mix of cultures all throughout Asia but mainly inspired by street food."
The new menu, which features seven items under $15, lends itself to casual dining on their newly expanded outdoor patio. Bao buns with pork belly vindaloo, chicken satay and a Korean fried chicken sandwich are some examples of the dishes Walker will offer. In addition, fans of the Indian menu will be pleased to see the vada pav, a spicy fried potato slider-style sandwich, return to the menu after debuting back in January 2019.

The change at Tu comes just days after Walker announced his other restaurant, Xiao Bao Biscuit, would open a second location in Charlotte's new food hall, Optimist Hall. The Charlotte outpost, which will be simply called Xiao Bao, is the 23rd tenant to commit to the food hall and will open in spring 2021.

In a press release, Walker said, "This is an exciting next chapter for us, and we can’t wait to share our love for Asian cuisine with Charlotte. This is a big moment in the city’s restaurant scene, and we couldn't be happier to be a part of the great community at Optimist Hall."
Location Details Tu
430 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC
Serving lunch and dinner, Thurs.-Sat.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Local retail stores and restaurants advocate against proposed 100 percent tariff on imported European wines

US Trade Representative accepting public comments online through July 26

Posted by Parker Milner on Tue, Jul 28, 2020 at 4:53 PM

A large civil aircraft dispute between the United States government and the European Union could impact the local Charleston wine industry. After keeping wine tariffs at 25 percent in February, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) could raise the tax on most wines from France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain to 100 percent during their next review, set to take place in August.
The increased tariff on European wine and other goods is a retaliation against the E.U. for illegal subsidies it provided to airplane manufacturers like Airbus. The result, however, could be devastating for a United States hospitality industry that has already been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic.

"For every European winery that this attempts to negatively influence, it's a negative for free American companies that bear the burden of this tariff," said Harry Root, owner of Grassroots Wine.

  • Ruta Smith
  • Root
"The 100 percent tariffs that they're proposing are effectively prohibition from any wines in the E.U. That means we're going to have Italian restaurants with no Italian wine, French restaurants with no French wine and Spanish restaurants with no Spanish wine," he said.

In a June policy hearing, USTR ambassador Robert Lighthizer said, “I understand there are people that import wine and don’t like the tariffs. On the other hand, many members of this committee and in Congress generally come from areas that have, in my judgment, the best wine in the world and there’s no tariff on any of it.”

According to Root, there isn't a domestic alternative meeting the price and quantity demand for imported wines like pinot grigio and prosecco, and the 100 percent tariff could also lead to the closure of several retail stores.

"The end result is going to be more consolidation at every level," he said.
"For a store like mine it would be impossible if these sorts of tariffs went through," said Monarch Wine Merchants owner Justin Coleman. "We are virtually a full European wine store, so it would make 90 percent of our wines too expensive for what they are."

And switching to a mostly domestic shop wouldn't be as easy as Lighthizer suggested.

90 percent of the wine at Monarch Wine Merchants would be subject to the 100 percent tariff - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • 90 percent of the wine at Monarch Wine Merchants would be subject to the 100 percent tariff
"We couldn't just switch to an all American domestic wine store overnight," Coleman said. "It would hurt us getting those as well because we get our domestic wines from the same distributors that we get our European wine from. So this would cut down every piece of our supply chain." 

National advocacy organizations like the United States Wine Trade Alliance are calling on citizens to join the fight against 100 percent tariffs by contacting elected officials in Congress.

The USTR is expected to make a decision on the tariff in August.

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