I had the pleasure of attending the Stir the Pot event at Poole’s Diner a couple of months ago that featured the cooking of Charleston chef and wonderboy Sean Brock, and what a great event it was. It was great because Brock and Chef Ashley Christensen put together some fantastic food, mixing the traditional and the contemporary. It was great because Matt Fern hooked us up with some incredible wines. It was great because I got to eat and mingle with chefs, food writers, and folks like me who love food.
But it was truly great because this event supported the Southern Foodways Alliance. I’ve written about the SFA a number of times, but this is an organization that truly understands what food is all about. It isn’t about adding notches to your restaurant belt, showing how many of the hottest places you eaten. It isn’t about the hottest or latest trend. What it is about is the role of food in our society. It’s about the camaraderie of individuals who care about food. It’s about what food — and particularly Southern food — means to me and you and anyone else who cares about what he or she eats. I’ve made dozens of great friends through the SFA. I know so much more about food because of the SFA. I’ve convinced chefs that they need to get involved in the SFA, and once they did, they haven’t stopped thanking me. And even though I’m not a chef or food writer or TV producer, I’m still accepted by those who are. It’s a non-judgmental organization.
And this Sunday and Monday, you can help the SFA while having some incredible food. Ashley Christensen and Poole’s Diner will be having their second round of Stir the Pot, featuring the talents of Alex Raij and Eder Montero, the wife and husband owners of New York’s Txikito, the city’s only Basque restaurant and El Quinto Pino, the city’s best tapas place. These are big-time New York chefs, and just because you haven’t seen their faces all over the Food Network, they’re the real deal. And we’re lucky to have them.
On Sunday, Poole’s will be hosting Raij and Montero for a wonderful dinner, which will start at 6:30 PM with lots of sparkling wine (Spanish, I’m betting) and creative Spanish finger foods. This will be followed by a 5 course dinner, with wine accompaniments. The cost is $150, plus tax and tip. I know our dining budgets are tight these days, but remember, you’re also supporting an incredible organization with the SFA. You’ll also get to have discussions with the chefs.
On Monday evening from 6-9, Ashley Christensen will be hosting a potluck at her home. The potluck is for everyone–restaurant industry folks, writers, beverage enthusiasts, home cooks and people who with a general love for food and its history. A main course of black cherry smoked beer can-roasted chicken and wine to match will be provided, along with some fantastic beer from my buddies at Fullsteam Brewery and signature cocktails from the mixologists at Foundation. Just bring a dish for the potluck (I’m bringing some vodka that has been steeping in blackberries for 2 months) and a check for $35 payable to the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Please call Poole’s at 832-477 to make reservations for either or both of these great events.