[image-1]I could talk all about Sam Talbot getting kicked off last night’s Top Chef but I don’t really give a rip about that. Instead, let’s talk about the real shocker of the show. If you caught Top Chef: Charleston Ep. 3 last night, you know the cheftestants chose from 10 different kinds of radishes to cook a seven course Elimination Challenge meal for super fans. Ten coolers of radishes came from five local farms. But you probably didn’t know that because they didn’t say a damn thing about the farmers.
Unlike the love given to local providers like St. Jude Farms — whose oysters were showcased in episode one — or grits from Anson Mills who also got a generous shout out, the farmers behind the radishes, the main focus of the episode, got nary a mention. And GrowFood Carolina‘s team, which helps small scale farmers get their products into stores, wasn’t too happy about that.
“We begged @TopChefA3 to film @growfoodchs and highlight the amazing farmers, but no love,” GrowFood tweeted this morning. In a follow up email Sara Clow, GrowFood’s general manager, shared Top Chef’s sales order, a massive purchase of 10 coolers of everything from watermelon to French breakfast radishes from Wabi Sabi, Spade & Clover, Rosebank Farms, City Roots, and Rest Park farms, but as Clow says, the farmers got, “No mention/ signage etc.,” even though Top Chef had all the info.
So who did get some much craved local product placement last night? The only thing we saw was local event company Eventhaus. That’s it.
But just because Bravo dropped the ball doesn’t mean we will too. With that in mind, allow us to introduce you to the badass farmers who brought Top Chef those gorgeous radishes:
Spade & Clover
John Warren is the farmer behind this operation and he’s known for his interest in Asian ingredients. Josh Walker at Xiao Bao Biscuit is a big fan. Learn more about how they work together here.
Johnna and Jimmy Livingston run Wabi Sabi in Cordesville and grow loads more than just radishes. You can pick up things like onion, squash, zucchini from Summerville, Moncks Corner, and Mt. Pleasant markets when they’re open.
I can’t believe Top Chef didn’t take the opportunity to include such a character as Rosebank Farms owner Sidi Limehouse. No one is more Lowcountry than that man. And yet did we get a Sidi cameo? Nope.
This Columbia-based farm is certified organic grows vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, and mushrooms, and provided microgreens and radishes for the episode.
This family farm has been operating since 1884 (!) and is run by fifth generation Lowcountry farmers — would have made for a nice local story tie in, huh? Oh well.
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