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Culinary tag sale downtown Saturday

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Ever wondered what treasures hide in the cupboards, pantries and attics of local chefs, restaurateurs, caterers and other members of the gastronomic elite?

Find out Saturday at the Les Dames d'Escoffier International annual Culinary Tag Sale and Raffle, which benefits the Charleston chapter's scholarship fund.

Les Dames d'Escoffier is a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality.

Les Dames Charleston began in 2006 and hopes to award its first culinary scholarship in the coming year.

Charleston chapter members were asked to rummage through their kitchens and attics, as well as those of friends and family, to "bring in gently used culinary-related items, food or serving pieces" for the sale, says Linn Lesesne, treasurer of Les Dames Charleston and director of marketing and public relations for Charming Inns and Circa 1886.

Unlike that Bloomin' Onion Kit, Pasta Express and other kitchen tools purchased with good intentions but now collecting dust in your cupboard, these hand-selected pieces include items such as rare and vintage cookbooks, serving platters, fine linens, kitchen appliances and collectibles that could make a contribution to your repertoire of kitchen gadgets and dinnerware.

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The sale is open to the public and will be 9 a.m. to noon at the Real Estate Gallery, 214 King St. Coffee and home-baked cookies, brownies and muffins prepared by Les Dames will also be available for purchase and snacking while wandering through the culinary yard sale.

In addition to the sale, Les Dames will be raffling off groupings of gifts. Raffle tickets are $5.

Prizes include a gift certificate for dinner for four at Circa 1886, a catered dinner for six at the winner's home, cooking classes by Nathalie Dupree, bottles of wine, a gift certificate for a one-week kids' cooking camp from Janet Gaffney, an autographed copy of "Charleston at Home" by Cathy Forrester, lunch for two at the Art Institute dining room and more.

Les Dames members will be at the sale to give information about the history of the organization.

Reach Rene Smith at 937-5906 or


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