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Best Bites from the Charleston Waterkeeper’s Ball

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Photos by Olivia Rae James and Stan Foxworthy Studios
Photos by Olivia Rae James and Stan Foxworthy Studios

Sustainable Seafood. It’s important to us, and we feel like it should be important to you as well, so that’s why Managing Editor Allston McCrady “dove into the deep end” of this confusing subject in “Scales of Justice,” out in this month’s print edition.

Clean water is a part of the equation as well, because no matter how sustainably it is fished/farmed, if it’s from dirty waters, it’s not good eats. That’s where organizations such as Charleston Waterkeeper come in. As a watchdog group that works to protect, promote, and restore the quality of the Charleston Harbor watershed, they hold an annual Water Ball at the South Carolina Aquarium. Once again, this year’s event served up some of the best sustainable seafood the Lowcountry has to offer, from some of its most skilled chefs.

I got dressed up and joined in the festivities, tasting and sampling my way past glowing tanks of fish, a photo booth, and on-site printmaking by Redux Contemporary Art Center.  Here are my “two servings” thumbs up (a second helping bite I just had to have):

Deconstructed Clam Chowder from Hometeam BBQ / Smoked clams, roasted sweet corn, house cured bacon, jalapeño, Yukon gold potato, and crema on a sesame seed cracker. The experience of this was akin to the best Super Bowl bite you’ve ever eaten.

Oyster Stew with Brioche Toast from Ted’s Butcherblock / Creamy and delicious with a brioche crouton that didn’t skimp on the butter. Ted’s proved that they are more than just one of the best butchers and burgers in town.

Bonus second helpingJack Rudy Tonic (with Hendricks Gin) / this tonic has quickly become a quality standard for craft cocktails, so if you haven’t tried it yet, you should. You’ll never drink the supermarket stuff again.