Piggin' Out: Boone Hall hosts national BBQ championship
That apple pie sitting in your next door neighbor's window, the one that was put there to cool off, you want it. In fact — you want it so bad that you're considering stealing it. Friend-O, ask yourself this question: What would Reuben Greenberg do? But you're hungry, you say. Never fear. We've got the solution to your empty-stomach needs. Just swing on by this year's Southern National BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Fest, Aug. 30-31 at Boone Hall Plantation. Once there, you won't just pig out; you'll beef out and chicken out too. (But not that kind of chicken out. The good smoked and sauced kind.)
It's hog-eater heaven and a vegetarian's worst nightmare.
Arlie Bragg, president of Nashville's Arlique catering and an award-winning barbecue competitor, is managing this year's Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event at Boone Hall. KCBS is the largest barbecue organization in the world, with over 8,000 members and sponsoring more than 300 contests a year.
Bragg says that about 50 teams are expected at Boone Hall this year, from South Carolina and the surrounding states. Each participating team must prepare an entry for each of the contest's four categories: chicken, ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder or butt.
The enviable judges — can someone please tell us how they got so lucky? — will grade six teams each over the two days. Winners are chosen for each category, and the teams' scores are calculated to determine an overall champion, with a total of $10,000 in prize money to be handed out.
And since stuffing yourself is mandatory, Boone Hall will keep you entertained while you wait for your second wind. Listen to some top-notch bluegrass tunes or enjoy family-friendly activities like jump castles, a dunking booth with local celebrities, or a mechanical bull.
Although it might be a good idea to do that last one before you eat. —Susan Cohen
Southern National BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Fest
Boone Hall Plantation, Mt. Pleasant
2008 Pig Bowl
Total prize money: $7,500
S.C. State BBQ Championship
S.C. Festival of Discovery
Total prize money: $20,000
& Barbeque Festival
Total prize money: $14,000
Pigs & Peaches BBQ Contest (State Championship)
Total prize money: $10,000
Beach Boogie & BBQ
Total prize money: $20,000
Going to the Market
Charleston is home to three can't-miss farmers' markets during the summer-time, featuring fresh local fruits and veggies and other culinary treats. And since each farmers' market is held on a different day, catching them all shouldn't be a problem, that is unless you have to flee the country quite suddenly after your coke buddy is arrested and he spills his guts to the police.
8 a.m.-2 p.m.
3 p.m. until dark
Moultrie Middle School
A Few Items of Note for the Foodies
First Fridays on Broad
What better way to end the work week than with a Friday night stroll along Broad Street, cruising the galleries, sipping wine, eating cheese, and talking with your fellow strollers.
Gallery Row, Broad St.
Four for the Fourth
July 1-July 31
Circa 1886 knows how to celebrate Independence Day right — with a month-long deal. For the entire month of July, the restaurant is offering any four courses off its menu for $49.
Charleston's Choice Ice Cream Contest
Do you think you have what it takes to take on Ben & Jerry, the masters of the out-of-left field-but-oh-so-right ice cream concoction? If you do, then Circa 1886 wants to hear from you. The '86 is looking for a few good ice cream flavors, and they want your help. The winning ice cream will be served throughout the month.
Paint and Paté: The Palette and Palate Stroll offers something for the soul and the stomach
The Charleston Fine Art Dealer's Association (CFADA) formed back in 1999 with the goal of making Charleston a fine art destination, unlike, let's say, Project Mayhem, which formed in 1999 to awaken credit-card slaves to the horrors of their indentured consumer servitude by doing all sorts of very bad things — inserting splices of porn movies into family films, destroying coffee shops with corporate art, and making soap ... lots and lots of soap. Judging by the popularity of CFADA's now Third Annual Palette and Palate Stroll, it seems the organization has done just that, and by that we mean transforming Chucktown into an art-lovers hot spot, not launching the literary career of Chuck Palahniuk, anarchist and author of Fight Club.
CFADA's Palate and Palette Stroll takes attendees on a twilight tour of Charleston's finest art galleries. All galleries have paired up with restaurants for the occasion, so each gallery stop includes art and conversation with artists, food and face time with some of Charleston's most renowned chefs, and, of course, wine. The event has sold out every year since its inception, and this year promises to be no different.
"We had to cap the event at 700 tickets this year," explains Leigh Limehouse, the director of Smith Killian Fine Art Gallery, "because the 1,500 people that came last year were just too much. The crowds made it more difficult to really enjoy the art, food, and wine that the stroll is all about."
Palette and Palate was started in order to raise money for CFADA's Art Scholarship Fund. Last year, the event raised more than $22,000 for the fund, and this year they hope to keep adding to that amount.
While the main motivation for Palette and Palate is art and arts education, the food and wine provided has a tendency to steal the show. "Sometimes people spend more time talking to the chefs than they do looking at the art or speaking to the artists," laughs CFADA publicist Vladia Jurcova-Spencer.
With food from FIG, Fat Hen, Cypress, Blossom, Cru Café, and McCrady's (to name just a few) it would be hard not to be so distracted. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it. —Meaghan Strickland Third Annual Palette and Palate Stroll
Fri. July 11