Local restaurant hosts benefit for Napa earthquake relief

Bluffton, SC – They’ll be popping corks on some good juice in Bluffton tomorrow night when Hogshead Kitchen and Wine Bar hosts a farm and sea-to-table wine and food pairing dinner with Cakebread Vineyards.

The famed winery is one of the many Bay Area vintners affected when a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck just six miles southwest of Napa California’s famed wine country on August 24, 2014.

It was the strongest earthquake to strike the Bay Area in 25 years and has caused an estimated $x in damages to the Napa community.

Executive Chef/ Owner John Pashek is locally known for creating twists on contemporary Southern cuisine. Here’s a sneak peek at his casual, yet upscale pairings menu written special for tomorrow nights event:

Reception: 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa) paired with Crispy May River Oyster with Lavendar Honey, “Sugar Beet” Tuna Tartare with Bruleed Pineapple

2012 Chardonnay (Napa) paired with Grilled Lobster Tail with Orange & Chili Marmalade and Gorgonzola Beignets;

2012 Pinot Noir (Two Creeks Vineyards, Anderson Valley) paired with Crispy Pork Belly with Buttered Turnips, Greens, Roasted Pistachios and Blueberry Gastrique;

2010 Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain) paired with coffee-crusted New York Strip Loin with Buttered Leeks, Truffled Mushroom Risotto and Bing Cherry Demi Glace;

2012 Zinfandel (Red Hills) Warm Fudge Brownie with Double Chocolate Ice Cream and White Chocolate-pecan Caramel.

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“There is Magic in Old Town” – at 10th Annual Historic Bluffton Art and Seafood Festival

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10th Annual Historic Bluffton Art & Seafood Festival (Photo by Chris Katon)

Bluffton, SC – I spent the better part of Sunday immersing myself in the sites and sounds of the 10th Annual Bluffton Art and Seafood Festival and one things for certain, this once sleepy artist community is exploding with energy.

“There is magic in Old Town,” said Bluffton resident Ed McCullough. “Great things are happening here.”

We were talking about two renovation projects that he’s involved in, along with the exploding growth of the Bluffton Promenade.

McCullough, who is founder of the Bluffton Farmers Market, couldn’t be happier about the positive vibe of the day.

Both sides of Calhoun Street were lined with 100 vendor booths of artists from across the South East showcasing beautiful paintings, photography and other original art.

Two dozen local restaurants including Red Fish, Mulberry Street Trattoria and Joe Loves Lobster Rolls were on-hand to cater the event.

Bluffton Middle School Junior Naturalists manned touch tanks with Taco the Turtle, horseshoe crabs and fiddler crabs to share information about Low Country marine life.

Collage Illusion is an award-winning technique of collage art on glass by artist Carl Crawford of Columbia, SC. Crawford uses a mixed media style to create an illusion of an oil painting. The technique has earned him numerous national awards, including Most Creative for the 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

1st Annual Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Trail Run

Bluffton, SC – The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy hosted the inaugural “Buffalo Trail Run” at Palmetto Bluff Plantation this morning. Members, staff and guests participated in a 10K, 30K or 50K trail run through parts of the property normally off limits to everyone but staff. Special thanks to Conservancy Director Jay Walea, who let me jump into the back of his ATV for a ride along the course of a 10K loop normally reserved for Wild Turkey and White Tail Deer. “It’s the Conservancy’s main  charge to develop programs where people and nature can coexist in harmony,” Walea said. He has managed wildlife activities on the 20,000 acre property for 26 years. For more, look for my story in the November issue of Hilton Head Monthly Magazine.

 

Lowcountry Thrill Rides

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You’re eight stories up, standing atop a platform resembling a fire watchtower that you’d seen out west. You’re dressed in active gear, wearing a helmet and a climbing harness. And you’re about to jump.

Hilton Head Island is no longer just attracting people to play tennis and golf. Today’s eco-friendly destination traveler is searching for adventure.

Read my story: Lowcountry Thrill Rides

The Sound of Gullah Culture

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“Not to take anything away from New Orleans, but I’m reading a book right now that makes a strong case that jazz music was actually started in Charleston,” Stevens said. “The impact that Charleston had in the world of jazz is one of those things that has gotten lost in time.” – Musician Lavon Stevens

Read my story: The Sound of Gullah Culture

Recordings from Paradise

“It went further than him being a great drummer. We were both from Niagara and my mom was his teacher in school. There was that sense that if he came from here and made it that maybe I could too.” – Greg Critchley talking about childhood idol Neal Peart of Rush. Read Greg’s story:  Recordings from Paradise

The Gatsby Car

The Gatsby Car

Hilton Head Island, SC – We enjoyed a great time at 2013 Concourse d’ Elegance Motoring Festival held at Port Royal Plantation this weekend. My favorite car was this beautifully restored 1928 Packard 443 Roadster, owned by Charles Mistele of Bluffton, SC. It was winner of the 2013 Peoples Choice Award and is adorned with original Roaring 20’s color scheme of rich cream, deep green and polished nickel. The car is additionally equipped with duel golf club doors and adaptive headlights, which move when the steering wheel is turned. (Photograph by Chris Katon)