Stratton Lawrence gobbled up his fair share of local grub at yesterday’s Chef’s Potluck. Here’s the lowdown:

From the field to the plate, the Lowcountry’s culinary scene has plenty to be proud of these days. Lowcountry Local First’s second annual Chefs’ Potluck aptly conveyed that since of pride. Unlike some mingle-and-hustle-between-restaurant-table events, often more focused on the drink booths than the food, the chefs represented at Middleton Place on Sunday all seemed more concerned with quality than churning out plate after plate. Which they did as well — there was never a wait for anything but beer — but with every dish worth the time to sit and savor, there wasn’t a rush to stock up before a particular selection ran out.

The restaurants did a good job catering to the vegetarian crowd as well; important with the conscious-eaters who make a point to shop local and organic. Fish utilized River Run Farms beef in a crisp and savory Potato Nam Sod Spring Roll, offering a fried tofu platter adjacent atop arugula and Boone Hall strawberries. Coast’s shrimp and snapper ceviche was decadent, and earned the honor of being the one dish we sampled twice. Duvall Catering’s seafood stew was impressive, and High Cotton’s soft shell crab po’ boys were the evening’s most generous offering.

Hosts Middleton Place impressed with a Keegan-Filion pork loin, topped with red-eye gravy and folded over a generous spring vegetable succotash grown by Rita’s Roots. Monza’s take on the Sloppy Joe, featuring shredded MiBek Farms beef, was a rare treat for this infrequent carnivore. Cru Café, Anson, and Carolina’s were all in attendance as well, but we ran out of room after scarfing the Glass Onion’s strawberry pound cake, topped with a monstrous scoop of whipped cream.

In between runs down the food line, Elise Testone wowed the crowd underneath Middleton’s ancient live oaks with a jazzy set of originals and soulful favorites. The plantation is a perfect setting for the event, and many attendees took advantage of the locale for a walk along the Ashley River through the gardens. The clear skies and early summer weather couldn’t have been more fitting. With the spring harvest in full bloom, the timing was ideal for what proved to be a top notch showing of Charleston’s finest foodies.Stratton Lawrence