A Community United

CPH_1732_ACommunityUnited_Jul15_Logo_FB_HeaderThe sounds of Charleston during the summer time are unique and easily recognized by tourists and locals. You can often hear the distinct hum of cicadas, the clop, clop of horse’s hooves on the pavement as they carry tourists through the historic district of our beloved Holy City, and the ringing of church bells on almost every corner. However, on the night of June 17th, all those sounds seemed to stop. Nine innocent men and women were shot during their regular Wednesday night bible study at the historic Emanuel AME Church. The church lost their senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney and nine families lost their loved ones. Would the Charleston community ever be the same?

Only time will tell but in the days after the tragedy, Charleston emerged as a strongly unified city. Grief and anger turned to love. The sounds of singing, prayer and encouragement filled the air. The community of Charleston had not backed down in fear; instead, they united in love, inspired to find ways to help those affected and make a change in our community.

Almost over night, more than 50 restaurateurs and beverage purveyors, under the direction of Mickey Bakst, General Manager of Charleston Grill, came together to donate food and beverage for a fundraising event for the families.

The event is already being described as unforgettable. Being held July 9th from 6:30-9:30pm in the Belmond Charleston Place Grand Ballroom, A Community United Event will donate 100% of the proceeds to the families of Emanuel AME. The event is also hosting an auction, available to supporters around the world. Beginning July 3rd at noon and ending July 9th at midnight, the more than 250 items are as varied as a VIP Grammy ticket package, 8-night Cape Town and Safari camp package and more than 100 pieces of art. Additional auction items will be available during the event. The evening will include music by The Mark Sterbank Group and the Lowcountry Voices gospel choir along with a program featuring Charleston and AME Church leaders. 100% of proceeds from the auction and the event will be donated directly to the nine families whose lives were forever changed that night.

Tickets for the event are $200 and can be purchased here.

If you are unable to attend the event, you can still support by participating in the auction online. All bids can be activated directly from your mobile phone.  View items and bid.

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Easy and Decadent Valentine’s Day Dessert

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Charleston Grill has the perfect recipe to sweeten up your Valentine’s Day. After a romantic day with someone special, top off your evening with this rich Chocolate Mousse recipe by Julia Child.

Egg Yolks 6 Instructions: Over a water bath, whisk yolks and 1 cup of sugar until warmed. Put on stand mixer and whip until pale yellow. Set the yolks aside. Melt butter and pour over chocolate. Whisk smooth, and then whisk in brewed coffee. Whip whites to a soft peak while slowly adding the remaining sugar and salt. Whisk the chocolate/butter mixture into the yolks and then fold in the whipped whites. Pour into serving container and let set overnight. Serve with whipped cream, fresh fruit or caramel.
Sugar 1 cup
Chocolate 9 oz
Butter 9 oz
Coffee 1/4 cup
Egg Whites 6
Sugar 11/2 tbsp
Salt pinch

 

Charleston Grill’s sommelier, Rick Rubel, suggests pairing a Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui Pineto 2012 to complement your romantic chocolate dessert. This frothy and lush dessert wine is incredibly versatile, not too heavy, but just the right accompaniment for chocolate and fresh berries.

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Holiday Recipes from Charleston Place

The holidays are a time of year when families are brought together around a dinner table covered in delicious family specialties. Here in Charleston, we have many holiday traditions involving food, including Oyster Dressing, Hoppin’ John and Collard Greens. It seems every family has their own version of a recipe and a story to go along with it.

We asked Chef Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill to share some of her recipes for holiday dishes that will be perfect for your family feast. Best wishes for a happy holiday and a prosperous new year from everyone at Charleston Place Hotel.

Chef Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill

Cornbread Oyster Dressing

Ingredients For Dressing
5 cups cornbread (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup small dice of bacon
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh sage
1 cup roughly chopped fresh baby spinach
1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups half-and-half
3 dozen oysters, shucked and liquor reserved
Ingredients For Cornbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup whole buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions
Make the cornbread, roughly crumble it and leave it out overnight to dry. You will need five cups.

When you’re ready to make the dressing, preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan. Add onions, celery and bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and fat has rendered from the bacon. Remove the pan from heat and add lemon juice and zest and herbs. Allow mixture to cool slightly.

Put crumbled cornbread in a large bowl. Pour the onion mixture over the cornbread and gently toss together. Add spinach and toss again. Add Parmesan cheese. In a separate bowl, mix eggs and half-and-half and pour over the cornbread mixture. Add oysters and their liquor and carefully stir together.

Place mixture into a buttered 8 x 12 x 2-inch baking dish. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove dressing from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Cornbread
Preheat oven to 400°F and place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet inside to heat.

Sift flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs just enough to break them up. Stir in sour cream, buttermilk and oil. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Pour mixture into hot skillet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Serves: 6

Charleston Grill Collards

Ingredients
2 bunches collard greens, washed and stemmed and chopped rough
1 tablespoon oil
1 large yellow onion, diced small
5 slices apple smoked bacon, chopped rough
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
7 cups chicken stock (or low-sodium chicken broth)
1 bottle beer (Chef Michelle suggests Palmetto Amber)
2 teaspoons Texas Pete hot sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, minced

Directions

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions and bacon. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add vinegar, Texas Pete, stock and beer. Bring to a boil, and add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the collards a few at a time (they will wilt, so you will have enough room to get them all into the pot). Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours or until tender.

Serves: 8

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