When planning your next trip to South Carolina, check out how these five chefs use Certified South Carolina ingredients straight from area farmers:
Marc Collins, executive chef at Circa 1886 in Charleston, takes a deep dive into South Carolina’s history and the African, Native American, and European influences that formed its cuisine. Plus, some of Circa 1886’s ingredients are even grown on-site.
Tania Harris, pastry chef at the Lazy Goat in Greenville, blends flavors from her birthplace of Mexico City with South Carolina ingredients. Save room for dessert: The Honeycomb has local honey drizzled over fresh vanilla ice cream.
Jessica Shillato, longtime caterer turned cafe-owner of Spotted Salamander in Columbia, balances classic Southern dishes and quirky charm. The lunch-only spot is known for its Fried Chicken Tuesdays and creative deviled egg dishes, including one garnished with praline pork.
Brandon Carter, chef and partner at FARM in Bluffton, draws inspiration from the tidal May River, local farms, and international flavors. The coastal menu changes almost daily, but you’ll almost certainly see some local oysters, blue crab, or shrimp in the mix.
Kelly Vogelheim, executive chef at Town Hall in Florence, is a Michigan native making a name for herself in the Pee Dee region with heritage meats and bold flavors. Vogelheim lets in-season produce guide her menus, which are filled with innovated Southern staples. One standout is the “mac” and cheese with ricotta gnudi, gouda mornay sauce, and pork belly.
This group of locavores are also South Carolina Chef Ambassadors. Launched five years ago as a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the annual program highlights South Carolina chefs who combine culinary excellence with locally grown flavors.
“The link between farmers and chefs is fundamental to our food culture in South Carolina,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “By showcasing chefs from all over the state who use Certified South Carolina produce, we can bring attention to the farmers who grow our food and the chefs who preserve and explore the state’s diverse foodways.”
- by Erin Byers Murray