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Monday, February 23, 2009

Food for thought

Last night was the 10th Annual Chef's Feast benefitting the Lowcountry Food Bank at the Charleston Area Convention Center. Fish was fortunate to be part of this great event, spearheaded by Peninsula Grill's own Bob Carter. Fact: the Lowcountry Food Bank serves food to nearly 2,500 hungry children per week.

Sales Manager Jessica Kafer and I attended the black-tie optional evening, and I have to say, it was a feast for all of the senses. I'm one of those people who gets amazed at the sheer enormity of expansive event venues like the Convention Center. You know, a ballroom the size of a football field, the most ENORMOUS ice sculpture I've ever seen, food stations as far as the eye can see, a full, fantastic jazz ensemble and acres of people. Of course, there was some fantastic food. Among my favorite bites were: Fish's coq au vin (what can I say?), McCrady's chicken liver foie gras, oyster with citrus and yuzu from Tristan, Caw Caw Creek pork from FIG and an incredible beet and green bean salad from Fat Hen. Congratulations to everyone who gave their time and talents to help make the 10th year so successful.

In local, sustainable news, three cheers for First Lady Michelle Obama who gave a lucky few a tour of the White House kitchen before the Obamas first big dinner: "The first lady took the opportunity to put in a pitch for local and sustainable food and for healthy eating, a recurring theme of hers during the campaign and since she arrived in Washington."

Along those lines, Alice Waters just keeps coming up pragmatic solutions to our food conundrum. This time, she tackles the National School Lunch Program. I don't know about you, but the food in my public elementary school was not what you might call, delicious and nutritious. Luckily, I brought my lunch most days (packed by my Mom). I did get to have the "treat" of buying lunch on Pizza Fridays now and again. (Ellio's frozen pizza.) Sidenote: my best friend used to eat a packed lunch most every day. His Mom was big into bananas (go potassium). Anyway, he'd eat the banana, put the Chiquita sticker on his forehead and then wear his brown bag as a hat for the rest of the lunch period. Good times. He's now a high school teacher. Seriously.

A few months back, I got a tour of one of the finest private schools in Charleston. I was amazed by the facilities, the history, the intense physical beauty of the grounds and buildings. And then, I walked into the cafeteria and smelled that industrial cafeteria smell that I bet you can imagine right now. It's the overcooked-tired-food-from-giant-cans-please-God-don't-make-me-eat-this smell. Awful. And honestly, it nearly undid all of the incredible things I had seen and heard up until that point. Because if you aren't nurturing and teaching me through the food I put in my body three times a day, aren't you leaving something important out of the curriculum? How about you? Any school lunch tales worth sharing?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So I had this guidance councilor in high school, Mr. Fink, who was super funny and he'd walk around the cafeteria during lunch time chit chatting with the students. I’ll never forget, every year around the holidays he would wear the best sweatshirt that read in huge letters: “Ho, ho, ho! It’s ha, ha, Hanukah!”

I mean, come on, that's awesome.