Ground zero for foodies this weekend is the 2014 BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
If you go
What: Manchester Farms + Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine present at Home with Celebrity Tastemakers
When: 2:30-4:30 p.m. Friday
Where: William Aiken House, 456 King St., about 0.3 miles from Marion Square.
more info: http://bit.ly/1dExZlX
The city will roll out the red carpet for outstanding array of culinary celebrities: vintners and chefs bringing wines and foods to sip and savor, pastry chefs offering tastes of the sweet kitchen, pit masters plating up slow-roasted pigs, and authors opening up their cookbooks.
While book signings take place in the Culinary Village throughout the festival, the opportunity for up close and personal time with its guest authors happens Friday afternoon when Manchester Farms + Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine present "At Home With Celebrity Tastemakers."
Attendees will be able to meander through the rooms and gardens of the historic William Aiken House, chatting with the authors and noshing on samples from their cookbooks. (Three winemakers will provide selections from their vineyards.)
All of these authors have been featured in or written for many stellar publications and nominated for or received the highest culinary awards.
You can find that information on the festival's website, charlestonwineandfood.com, so we won't repeat it all here. Instead, these sketches are intended to give some insight into their cookbooks.
Reach Marion Sullivan at mbs firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book: "Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand"
Chef Andy Ricker has wildly popular restaurants in both New York and Portland. No houses of tourist Thai these, Ricker focuses on the cuisine of the north. New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote: "With a wealth of ingredients and an abundance of pork and firewood, the region developed a cuisine that is less incendiary than other Thai cooking, contains almost no coconut milk and makes great use of the grill."
Ricker visits Thailand yearly, traveling, eating, cooking and studying the food culture.
Book: "Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating With Southern Hospitality"
Anne Quatrano and her husband, chef Clifford Harrison, operate four of Atlanta's most celebrated restaurants: Bacchanalia, Quinones at Bacchanalia, Floataway Cafe, and Abattoir as well as a cook's market, Star Provisions.
Summerland, Quatrano's family farm near Cartersville, Ga., serves as their home, the source of much of the produce for their restaurants, and the setting for many of the outdoor events in her cookbook. Quatrano serves up entertaining menus for each month and photographs that suggest ways to stage them, such as the August chapter "Dog Days of Summer: A Fig Feed."
Book: "The New Southern Table: Classic Ingredients Revisited"
Brys Stephens is an internationally traveled writer and photographer based in Charleston and founder of the food and cooking website Cookthink.com.
He was the recipe editor for "Cool Inside: Hank's Seafood Restaurant" and co-writer for "Peninsula Grill: Served With Style." Stephens' book shares his love of travel and food by showcasing classic Southern ingredients in 100 recipes that reflect French, Mediterranean, Asian and Latin cuisines. Each chapter takes one ingredient, which Stephens then reinterprets based on these diverse world traditions, such as Greek-inspired okra with tomatoes and feta, Caribbean-infused coconut Hoppin' John and Sicilian watermelon pudding.
Book: "Callie's Biscuits and Southern Traditions: Heirloom Recipes from Our Family Kitchen"
Carrie Morey founded Callie's Charleston Biscuits in 2005 with the goal of making her mother's lauded biscuits accessible across the country. She succeeded, and steadily added her family's favorite pimiento cheese, cheese crisps and shortcakes to the Callie's collection.
Morey's cookbook delivers the famous biscuit recipe, but a marvelous cook in her own right, she doesn't stop there. Paired with stories of Southern, and personal, culinary customs are recipes Morey learned in her family's kitchens and created in her own.
Cast-iron skillet and stovetop dishes, salads and sandwiches, roasting and slow-cooking techniques make preparing daily meals easy work. The baking and entertaining chapters take things to the next level with panache.
Book: "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking"
Cynthia Stevens Graubart is the co-author with Nathalie Dupree of the James Beard award-winning "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking," as well as the best-selling "Southern Biscuits."
Graubart produced Dupree's first national public television series, "New Southern Cooking," and continued for more than 10 years producing and consulting for television cooking programs, chefs and authors known around the world. Her most recent solo work is "Slow Cooking for Two: Basics, Techniques, and Recipes."
Book: "Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen"
Chef Edward Lee is a Korean-American who grew up in Brooklyn, trained in New York City kitchens, and has spent the better part of a decade honing his vision at 610 Magnolia restaurant in Louisville, Ky. Additionally, Lee operates a dining room and cooking class venue called The Wine Studio, where he features intimate casual-style dinners, and MilkWood restaurant, located in the basement of Louisville's Actor's Theater, Lee's interpretation of a Southern Speakeasy with an Asian Pantry. As exemplified in his cookbook, Lee's culinary style draws inspiration from his Asian heritage, his New York training, and his embrace of the American South, coupled with the best ingredients from local farms.
Book: "Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird"
Chef and co-owner of Le Pigeon and Little Bird in Portland, Ore., Gabriel Rucker began his culinary career in California. His first Portland gig was at Paley's Place, a pioneer in that city for its use of fresh, local ingredients. His dishes are edgy, highly original and recipe-free, evocative of French bistro signatures and classic American fare. Rucker's cookbook is a serious yet playful collection of 150 recipes celebrating Rucker's high-low inventions, where duck confit is turned into "nuggets," lamb belly makes the B in a BLT, and foie gras-and-jelly combine in "sandwiches."
Book: "The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs"
Holly Herrick studied at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, where she earned Le Grande Diplome in cuisine and pastry. A resident of Charleston and former restaurant critic for The Post and Courier, Herrick just published her sixth cookbook, "The French Cook: Cream Puffs and Eclairs," the second in a series on French Cooking. Wall Street Journal's Gastronomy columnist Aram Bakshian Jr. called it a "slender tome about a fattening yet exquisitely airy and oh-so-French dessert genre: cream puffs and eclairs."
He went on: "Ms. Herrick, an award-winning pastry chef herself, is the ideal docent for this classic gallery of French desserts, and her recipes, for even the most complicated items, are concise and clear."
Book: "Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories"
Joanne Chang is the chef-owner of Flour Bakery + Cafe, which has four locations in Boston. She has a degree in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard University and was a pastry chef at Rialto, Payard Patisserie and Mistral restaurants. She co-owns Myers + Chang, a modern Asian restaurant, with her husband, Christopher Myers. Her first cookbook, "Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe," focused on baking. While it includes some desserts, "Flour, Too," primarily centers on the culinary side: creative soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas.
Book: "Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups"
Chef John Currence was born and raised in New Orleans in a family that loved food, travel, hunting and fishing. He spent three years, starting as a dishwasher, at Bill Neal's Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill, N.C. His Oxford, Miss., City Grocery Restaurant Group includes five restaurants as well as his flagship City Grocery. The recipes in "Pickles, Pigs, and Whiskey," says Currence, "reference points all over the globe, but they all reflect influences that have formed the food of the South." Look for libations in the chapter Stirring, Shaking, & Muddling; putting-up in Pickling & Canning; spreads and sauces in Slathering, Squirting & Smearing; pork, fowl and meat pies in Curing, Preserving & Stuffing; and almost everything in Frying, Sauteing & Searing, Roasting & Braising, and Brining.
Book: "The New California Wine : A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste"
As The San Francisco Chronicle's wine editor, Jon Bonne is responsible for the paper's wine and spirits coverage and the annual Top 100 Wines. Previously, Bonne was lifestyle editor and wine columnist for MSNBC.com and wine columnist for Seattle magazine.
His book tells the story of the California wine industry: the young, innovative producers who are rewriting the rules of contemporary winemaking and their quest to express the uniqueness of California terroir. It includes an authoritative purchasing reference.
Book: "A Passion for Bread: Lessons from a Master Baker"
Lionel Vatinet was the founding instructor of the prestigious San Francisco Baking Institute. He studied with the Les Compagnons du Devoir bakers' guild in France for seven years.
In 1999 he opened La Farm Bakery in Cary, N.C., named one of the "Top Bread Bakeries in America" by Saveur, where he makes artisan breads from organic locally grown and milled flour. Vatinet shares his bread-making techniques in "A Passion for Bread," breaking them down into step-by step practical instructions supported by photographs.
Book: "The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat"
Michael Ruhlman is an influential food writer and teacher. He has collaborated on cookbooks with such top chefs as Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert. "The Book of Schmaltz" makes the case for rendered chicken fat, using it in both traditional dishes such as kreplach ("Jewish potstickers") and contemporary dishes, such as Parisienne gnocchi, sauteed in schmaltz and served with wilted spinach and poached egg.
Book: "The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes from Los Angeles's Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria"
With Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. Silverton also founded the world-renowned La Brea Bakery and Campanile Restaurant. Two of her well-known earlier cookbooks focused on baking. "The Mozza Cookbook" takes you through the restaurant's most desired dishes, including its famous pizzas, and accompanies them with primers on the ingredients you'll need.
Book: "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking"
Nathalie Dupree, the founding chairwoman of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, is a best-selling author with 13 hardback and two softback cookbooks and more than 300 television shows for The Food Network, PBS, and The Learning Channel. Her best-selling book, "New Southern Cooking" started an entire culinary movement. Three of her cookbooks have won James Beard Awards.
Through more than 600 recipes and step-by-step photographs, Dupree and co-author Cynthia Graubart teach the techniques of Southern cuisine. From basics such as cleaning vegetables and scrubbing a country ham, to show-off skills like making a souffle and turning out the perfect biscuit, all are explained with clarity and plenty of entertaining stories.