[image-7]It was a busy event evening in Charleston Thursday night. At the Belmond Charleston Place, supporters gathered to raise funds for the Emanuel Nine victims at A Community United. Meanwhile, at McCrady’s, the restaurant played host to The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle, an international chef swap of some of the biggest names in food. For one night only, 35 of the world’s best chefs traded restaurants to prepare an eight course dinner. Each restaurant’s chef wasn’t revealed until a day before the event and last night McCrady’s guests discovered that in place of Sean Brock — who was at Mossimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy— Paul Cunningham of Denmark’s Henne Kirkeby Kro was in the house.
City Paper staffers split up to cover the events. I headed to Charleston Place and Eric Doksa and CP staff photographer Jonathan Boncek took a seat at McCrady’s.
“The dinner was pretty awesome,” Boncek reports. “Very unpretentious. The dining room was filled with the music of Led Zeppelin, Metallica, and AC/DC. Bartenders donned T-shirts, as did Dan Latimer, Neighborhood Dining Group’s Operations Executive. He was sporting an Elvis T-shirt under his sport coat.”
Cunningham’s laid back approach didn’t diminish his work in the kitchen however. Dishes included shrimp over tomato vines, Carolina Heritage Farm pork and grilled raspberries, and house yogurt sorbet. Cunningham even did his own playful take on a Brock recipe.
“He delivered the Heritage beans dish to our table, sat down, and said, “I’ve never met Sean, nor have I ever talked to him. The cover of his book inspired this dish. If you don’t like it, it’s his recipe,” says Doksa.
As a nod to the states, Cunningham chose to feature all American wines from Harry Root, a choice guests loved. “The best pairings were Gamay Noir with the beans — the dry spicy wine went well with the subtly sweet and savory beans. (There was Benton’s bacon in there too),” Doksa says.
Boncek couldn’t pick a favorite dish, but says “Greg Johnsman Tomato with rooftop basil, and Duke’s open faced sandwich had an unbelievable flavor that screamed summer. The open-faced sandwich was nostalgic of my childhood that left me wanting three more bites.”
For a visual taste, here are some shots Boncek took from the exclusive event.
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