Charleston food scene in magazine

Charleston's culinary scene starts off with a bang in the January issue of Southern Living magazine.

Michelle Weaver, executive chef of Charleston Grill, is one of 10 chefs included in a "Comfort Food Cook-Off" challenge. Each of the 10 paired off in a category, such as chicken-fried steak or shrimp and grits.

Weaver put forth her recipe for Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits, flavored with bacon, poblano pepper and Madeira, against a Gulf Coast version from chef Wesley True of Mobile, Ala.

The chefs were asked to feature their dishes on Jan. 14 -- this Saturday. Weaver says her shrimp and grits also will be on Charleston Grill's menu for the duration of Charleston Restaurant Week through Jan. 22.

Meanwhile, two Charleston bakeries also got plugs in the issue. "The South's Best Bakeries" article highlighted Sugar Bakeshop on Cannon Street, run by Bill Bowick and David Bouffard, and WildFlour Pastry on Spring Street, operated by Lauren Mitterer.

Last but not least: Don't forget to vote for Charleston in the magazine's South's Tastiest Towns contest. We're hanging in at No. 4, but voting continues until Jan. 31, and you can vote daily. Visit www.southernliving.com.