Volunteers enjoy good time, food

Terry Newman and Beth Kiger

This is for certain, the Charleston Wine + Food Festival could not carry on without the many volunteers who put in hours of work and become defacto ambassadors for the city as they help everyone navigate the events.

Today, we raise a toast to two of those volunteers who have been giving their time to the festival for 10 years. Cheers!

Name: Beth Kiger & Terry Newman

Ages: 70+

Residence: Crowfield Plantation, Goose Creek

Occupation: Beth, retired from Price Waterhouse; Terry, retired from Xerox Corp.

Family: Beth, two married sons, both in Charlotte, and four grandchildren, two girls and two boys; Terry, two sons, one in Springfield, Mo., and one in Wenonah, N.J. , with his wife and daughter.

Q. What is the most memorable festival moment for each of you?

Beth: For me it was the 2009 festival working with Bobby Flay as he was preparing for his “Flay Down South Luncheon” in the Main Tent. Everyone was hustling and bustling and then as the guests started lining up to be served, he called us up to help him plate his creations! Quite the moment for someone who had enjoyed watching Bobby Flay for years on the Food Channel!

Terry: At the 2010 event, we were assigned to a wine tasting at a yacht party at the City Marina. Specifically, we were to pour for MacMurray Ranch Wines from the Sonoma Russian River Valley. This winery is operated by Kate MacMurray, daughter of the late Hollywood actor Fred MacMurray. Kate was late in arriving, cases of wine were there, and Beth and I, armed with some history about the winery, began pouring their specialty, Pinot Noir. We had a blast!

Q. What stoked your interest in food generally?

Beth: My dear mother was a Southern lady and a great cook. It was from her that I learned the celebration of food and great combinations of flavors. But my entertaining was really stoked by British friends in Asheville, N.C., whom I met in the early ’70s. They turned every meal into a work of art, from a beautiful table setting with fresh flowers and rows of Waterford crystal, to many courses of food, each with creative presentation and eye appeal. Sadly, she passed away a couple of years ago, but I think of her every time I start to plan a dinner party.

Terry: That would be Beth Kiger herself. She loves to host small dinner parties and I am always impressed with her menus and presentation style. Eventually I added a few recipes of my own that became main entrees for us. (See accompanying Pork Tenderloin with a Maple-Mustard Sauce recipe.)

Q. You like to entertain friends by throwing small dinner parties. What was the theme and on the menu of your most recent one?

A. We had a Mardi Gras dinner party (two weeks ago), and of course, we served New Orleans cuisine. For hors d’oeuvres with our cocktails, we served Creole deviled eggs along with artisan cheeses and crackers. Our appetizer was shrimp with remoulade sauce over spinach. We followed with chicken and andouille jambalaya, yellow rice, tasso okra gumbo, corn maque choux, and mini-muffulettas with Creole mustard and olive salad tapenade dressing. For dessert, one of our guests volunteered to make the King’s Cake, baby included, and I added lemon cream topped with toasted pecans on the side.

Q. Name three of your favorite places to eat in Charleston.

A. For elegant dining, meticulous service and great food, hands down, we go to Halls Chophouse. We have never been disappointed.

For very casual dining, we especially enjoy eating outside on the water. Fleet Landing has a fun al fresco, waterside bar which is always full of energy, and their food is tasty as well.

And third, while shopping or enjoying downtown, our newest find is Minero, a taqueria on East Bay. Really interesting tastes and combination of flavors, very lively atmosphere, and an inexpensive Sean Brock experience! What is not to love about that? And we highly recommend their margaritas with heat!

Q. Describe how you two work together in the kitchen and the best dish you make as a team?

A. In general, we don’t collaborate on the food, but we work together as a team in every aspect. I plan the menu and do most of the actual cooking, but Terry helps immensely with prep work and keeping all the areas clean. For the meal, I plate, he serves, explains the dish (if necessary) and keeps the wine glasses filled. After the guests are gone, we do a complete clean-up together. The whole evening is somewhat of a ballet, in that we work in sync and know our roles. But when our dinner party entree choice is Terry’s pork tenderloin with a maple-mustard sauce, then he is the featured chef, and I serve his creation.

Q. So, to someone who’s never been to Charleston, what Lowcountry food/dish would you tell them not to miss?

Beth: For me, it is an oyster roast, which celebrates our delicious local oysters and the ritual that surrounds enjoying them. Good salty oysters dumped in front of you, you shuck and dip in melted butter and then horseradish sauce, you top with a squeeze from a fresh lemon half and a dash of hot sauce, add an ice cold beer on the side: pure Lowcountry at its best. If you should be in town when our local oysters are not in season, not to worry. Go to The Ordinary on Upper King or Amen Street on East Bay, sit at the seafood bar, and have the oysters shucked for you. Entertaining to watch and equally delicious!

Terry: My sweet tooth dictates my answer: the coconut cake at Peninsula Grill or any one of Kaminsky’s desserts tops off the perfect evening for me.

I use this generally as an appetizer but it also works well as a side dish with beef or for a brunch. It is easy to prepare and can be made days ahead and frozen until the day you are serving.

Serves 6 or 7 as an appetizer

Ingredients

2 ears fresh, sweet corn

1 cup canned or fresh flaked crab meat. If using canned meat, drain well.

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard

2 eggs, beaten

Directions

Into a bowl, cut corn off the cob and then scrape any liquid remaining from the cob. Add the crab meat, cream, milk, salt, nutmeg and cayenne. Stir in butter and mustard. Whisk in the eggs. Pour mixture into sprayed custard or ramekin cups, place in a baking pan filled with 1 inch hot water. Add a slight shake of nutmeg on top of each and bake at 350 degrees, for about an hour. Remove from oven, and then remove from water bath. Set aside for 10 minutes for custard to settle.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (crushed)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried basil (crushed)

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1 pound pork tenderloin

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

In a small dish stir together all dry spices. Pierce the meat on all sides with a fork. Rub the dry mixture into all sides of the pork with fingers. Place bay leaves on the bottom side of the loin, then wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to cooking.

When ready to cook, remove the plastic wrap and place loin with bay leaves in a shallow pan that has been brushed with olive oil. Use remaining oil to brush top of loin. Roast in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

If using a meat thermometer, it should read 160 to 170. When done, discard bay leaves. Bias slice the loin into thick slices and serve with maple/mustard sauce. Pour the cooking juices over the loin before serving.

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

Wire whisk together. Serve at room temperature with pork.

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