Atlanta Chef Anne Quatrano hosted a lunch and book-signing for her new cookbook Summerland earlier this afternoon at Basico in North Charleston (crap, just realized I forgot to grab my copy). Unfortunately, the weather refused to cooperate, and instead of eating on a sunny patio, we were forced indoors. But no matter. The gorgeous little picnic plate warmed us up with its sunny flavors.

Pretty as a picture, right? 

A beautiful leaf of lettuce with marinated beets and slivers of carrot piled on a dollop of creamy sheep’s milk cheese from Manyfold Farm

Nothing says springtime like radishes with butter and a tiny deviled egg.

The best presentation: a Weck jar swimming with pickled Georgia red shrimp, fennel, and pomegranate seeds. 

Anchoring the lunch was a massive biscuit with slivers of Benton’s ham, a swab of butter, and tomato jam. 

Marie Stitt from Grassroots Wine was on hand pouring some clever wines: Dirty & Rowdy Semillon from Napa Valley and a red Colterenzio-Lago d Caldarao Schiavo from Italy. Each had their charms, but we were partial to the white. A different grape than what you might be used to from California. 

Overall, my kick-off to this weekend’s wine and food gorge-fest set the bar high. Quatrano elevated a simple meal with superb ingredients and tiny little surprises. And, oh yeah, inside that little Star Provisions baggie? A gluten-free brownie that I’m saving for a late-night snack.  

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