[image-2] Last night 5Church Charleston celebrated one year in the city with a special tasting menu and free wine and beer for customers. And while the promise of free wine certainly lured me to the party, I was glad I stick around for the tasting menu.

Co-crafted by Charlotte-based Chef Jamie Lynch — one of this season’s Top Chef: Charleston contestants — the menu highlighted seasonal ingredients and playful twists on classic dishes. While Lynch visits Charleston to cook on occasion, the kitchen is run full time by Executive Chef Adam Hodgson, who also helped create last night’s menu.

As I cleaned the plate of my lobster risotto, delicately rimmed with Rosa foam, I wondered: Is this a preview of Lynch’s dishes on Top Chef? Will I be watching TV, knowing just how Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio are feeling as they spoon miso-marinated maitaki mushrooms into their mouths? Only time will tell.

Until the show’s premiere, on Dec. 1, feast your eyes on pics of some of last night’s plates. And read up on Charleston’s own contestant, Emily Hahn, here.
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