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Daily Digest: SC residents eat chili, curry as they near finish line of 3,000-mile row

Dreamboat Practice Row Yacht Club.JPG (copy)

Ben Towill and Charlie Layton row their craft around the marina of Charleston Yacht Club to show the boat to Dr. Wally Renne and Dr. Michael DeFee, two sponsors of the project, on Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Charleston. File/Henry Taylor/Staff

This month, The Post and Courier’s Daily Digest series, in which one of our food reporters asks a local to describe a day of eating in detail, will follow Charleston residents Charlie Layton and Ben Towill.

Layton (Basic Kitchen executive chef) and Towill (co-owner of design and hospitality firm Basic Projects) are in the midst of a 3,000-mile row from La Gomera, Canary Islands, to English Harbour, Antigua, as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. For more information on their journey and to donate to their fundraising campaign, visit

Day 31: Thursday, Jan. 12

Charlie Layton: We started the day 83 nautical miles ahead of our closest rivals, so we decided to stop rowing and have breakfast together. Ben had blueberry walnut oatmeal with extra peanut butter and Nutella, and I had peanut banana oatmeal. Both of us were pretty elated with the results of what was a tough night of rowing. Our bodies are starting to hurt a lot more now that we are putting in the bigger shifts with the end in sight.

I took an hour to reorganize our snack packs as they had all come apart and been tucked into on late night shifts to quell hunger. Ben had eaten a lot more snacks over meals when he was seasick, so we had to do a quick reshuffle and build seven bumper snack packs for our final week.

Potato chips and a Cadbury candy bar were in order for both of us post snack re-packing.

For lunch, I had a Firepot Chili Non Carne, cold hydrated with added sweet chili sauce. Ben had a falafel pouch.

This was the first really hot and still day, with the wind dropping below eight knots for what felt like the first time, so we were both making sure each other was hydrating properly, adding electrolytes where needed.

I snacked on a CLIF Builders protein bar, Thai lime chili cashews, dried mango and some truffle almonds, while Ben had dried apple, peanut butter pretzels and a Nature's Bakery blueberry bar. Both of us had a Naked Mass vegan chocolate protein shake as well.

Dinner was spinach and walnut pasta for Ben and a Kathmandu curry for me.

Morale was overall very high, with lots of fun and banter throughout the day as well as some tough, hot rowing sessions. We checked on our makeshift adjustments to our replaced rudder and cleaned the hull of the boat to make sure we are going at optimum speed.

We are about eight days from the finish line and loving every moment! 

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Reach Parker Milner at 843-830-3911. Follow him on Twitter @parkermilner_. Subscribe to CHS Menu newsletter

Food & Dining Editor

Parker Milner is the Food Editor of The Post and Courier. He is a Boston College graduate and former professional hockey player who joined The Post and Courier after leading the Charleston City Paper's food section.

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