Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Royal Family's Chef Visits Columbia!

Okay, so here’s that spaghetti squash I promised:

I ended up cooking it in the microwave then adding miced garlic and cooking it a little longer. After that I sprinkled a TINY bit of seasoning salt into the strands, added a can of stewed tomatoes with celery and onions, and a scoop of pizza sauce and cold cottage cheese. BETTER. THAN. SPAGHETTI… I really just said that. (Heads up to all of you health freaks and dieters – this is a magnificent substitute to pasta. I’m sure you could make a lovely spaghetti casserole with it too!)

This is what I ate after volunteering for a few hours at the SC State Fair. I originally signed up thinking that I was going to be helping fill out forms for a photo boot, but it was SO much more than that…

You see, the photo booth was for Sustainable Midlands, a nonprofit organization that works with the community, a clean air partner, sustainable schools, the local watershed, and IT PROMOTES THE LOCAL FOOD INITIATIVE! What they were doing at the fair was distributing their info while snapping professional pictures of fair-goers for free in their “photo booth” to show faces of those who promote local food. The location of the booth was what got me… we were in the corner of a huge white circus tent and front and center were three professional chefs, in a mock Iron Chef competition called the Famously Hot Chef Showdown (Columbia, SC is called “famously hot”). These chefs and their teams were given a box of local food that they had to assemble into a 3-course meal, and this was all hosted by the chef who served the royal family across the pond for 15 years! I met some incredible chefs that night, including the chef who cooks for the president of USC and the Gamecocks football team! I actually had a great conversation with him about how they should open up some more culinary courses at school and he gave me a few ideas about where to find culinary education elsewhere. It was AMAZING.

Here’s a clip of Ryan, the director of Sustainable Midlands, describing the local secret ingredients as well as a photo of the judges testing the dishes:

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