The Ultimate Summer 2015 Guide for Food-Lovers in Charleston

Drink local beers and sample delicious bites in and around Charleston this summer

On Saturday, June 27, the Mixson Farmers Market will host their third annual Tomayto Tomahto event.

Summertime is here and it is time to get out and bask in the sun. While doing so, it’s important to stay hydrated (with a good cocktail or beer) and stay nourished (and barbecue seems to be the underlying theme). Below is a list of key events to attend this year that promise to make your summer in Charleston that much better:

Charity Tap Takeover at Bay Street Biergarten
We love an excuse to drink great local beer, and when it is for charity, it makes it that much better. On Thursday, July 16, Bay Street Biergarten will host a Charity Tap Takeover starting at 4:00 p.m., where six craft beers will be on the bier wall, each benefiting a different local charity. The breweries taking part are Brooklyn Brewery, Tradesman Brewing, Thomas Creek Brewery, Holy City Brewing, SweetWater Brewing Co., and Westbrook Brewing Co. To learn more, check out Bay Street’s Facebook page.

Charleston Brown Water Society’s (CBWS) Summer BBQ Invitational
After a successful event in 2014, the CBWS will once again host a Summer BBQ Invitational on Sunday, July 12, at Holy City Brewery. Starting at 4:00 p.m., national barbecue legends Pat Martin of Martins Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville; Mike Mills and Amy Mills of 17th Street BBQ in south Illinois;  and local barbecue pitmasters Aaron Siegel, Taylor Garrigan ,and Madison Ruckel from Home Team BBQ will create a stellar barbecue menu. There will be a variety of bars serving up whiskey and live music by Guilt Ridden Troubadour. Regular tickets are $60, and for $150 you get access to the VIP tent featuring special drinks by national bartender Alba Huerta from Houston and more.

The Grand Gelinaz Shuffle Takes Over the World
And in our case, it takes over McCrady’s. Tickets might be sold out by the time this runs, but it is worth calling about a wait list. An once-in-a-lifetime event, The Grand Gelinaz Shuffle on Thursday, July 9 has 37 chefs around the world swapping lives, identities, and restaurants. Chef Sean Brock at McCrady’s will be swapping with an unknown chef and on July 9, that guest chef will be cooking for a special eight-course dinner. Tickets are already sold out, but you can learn more on the Ticketmaster website.

Mexican Cake Fiesta at Edmund’s Oast
Mexican Cake beer fans rejoice: Edmund’s Oast is hosting a fiesta on Wednesday, June 10 that will feature 10 different variants of the Westbrook Brewing Co. popular birthday brew. During the fiesta, beer enthusiasts can drink past versions of the brew, along with a few new creations prepared just for the event. Chef Andy Henderson will also offer special Mexican-inspired bites and there will be live music and Mexican-themed activities (think piñata with prizes). Tickets are $85 and can be purchased on the restaurant’s website.

Pitmaster John Lewis at Revelry Brewing
As he prepares to open his first South Carolina location, Texan barbecue Pitmaster John Lewis will be onsite each Saturday at Revelry Brewing serving up Texas hot guts sausage and foie gras tender beef brisket, along with some sides for patrons to come enjoy. Revelry Brewing also collaborated with Lewis on a special brew called Lean or Fat that will be served along with their current beers on tap. Lewis will be cooking every Saturday starting June 6 until September 5. To keep up with it, visit the series’ Facebook page.

Special “Chefs of the Past Dinner” at Magnolias
As they celebrate 25 years in Charleston, Magnolias is bringing back eleven chefs that spent time in the kitchen for a special one-night-only dinner. During their Chefs of the Past Dinner on Thursday, June 11, chef Donald Drake will join chefs Doug Beard, Jared Van Camp, John Cornelly, Mike Davis, Craig Deihl, Mike Dragon, Kelly Franz, Bryan Lindsay, John Milner, Andrea Upchurch, and John Wright who together will collaborate on a five-course dinner. Tickets are $125 and a portion of the proceeds benefit the Historic Charleston Foundation. Reservations can be made by phoning the restaurant and asking for Pat Pettus.

Tiki Trader Shrimp Luau at Old Village Post House
With shrimp season in full gear, the Tiki Trader Shrimp Luau is the perfect way to get your fill of the tasty crustaceans. On Wednesday, June 17, chef Forrest Parker will do his part, hosting a Polynesian-inspired dining experience that features hors d’oeuvres and then four shrimp-based courses paired with an accompanying tropical cocktail. Menu items include crab and shrimp rangoon, shrimp and pork wonton soup, steak and shrimp pad Thai, a volcano ribs and shrimp combination, and a rum cake sundae. Costs is $75 and can be purchased by calling the eatery.


Tomayto Tomahto at Mixson Farmers Market
You say tomayto, I say tomahto. On Saturday, June 27, you can say both at the Mixson Farmers Market during their third annual Tomayto Tomahto event. Partnering with GrowFood Carolina, the celebration features a Hot Chef Salsa Smackdown, where attendees can judge salsas prepared by local chefs. There will also be sample tomato-inspired fare from chef Bryan Cates of Basico and a bloody Mary bar. Bakers can submit a tomato pie for the pie contest and there will be plenty of fresh, local tomatoes for sale. To learn more visit the market’s Facebook page.