“Taste of South Carolina,” is a special reception to be held Wednesday evening, January 17, 2018, from 6:15pm to 8:00pm. The reception serves to showcase key agribusiness companies, leaders, award winners, and advocates. “Taste of South Carolina” is an invitation engagement with limited tickets for $25 each. There is always lots of great fun, food, beverage, entertainment and fellowship with the entire SC Agribusiness community. The reception spotlights South Carolina Agriculture and Agribusiness as one voice. Invited guests include agriculture leaders and organizations, political leaders, commodity groups, commodity boards, exhibitors, producers, and additional special guests. This is a wonderful opportunity to sample some great food and beverage pairings, as well as showcase SC Agriculture-based commodities, commodity organizations, farms and companies.
For the sixth year, the South Carolina Chef Ambassador Program will be a apart of this special event. The Ambassador Chef Program is a program former Governor Nikki Haley along with SC Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers and South Carolina of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) Director Duane Parrish introduced in June of 2014. Each year, a Chef Ambassador is selected from the state’s four regions: the Upstate, the Midlands, the Pee Dee, and the Lowcountry. The Chef Ambassadors serve for one year and participate in a number of culinary and tourism specific events, hosting cooking demonstrations, conducting educational seminars and discussing the offerings found in the cities in which their establishments are based.
We anxiously await the 2018 SC Chef Ambassadors which will be announced in December. See below for highlights of the 2017 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors.
We look forward to an outstanding Taste spotlight the finest chefs showcasing foods produced in South Carolina. Listed below are the 2017 Ambassadors.
The 2017 SC Chef Ambassadors are: William Cribbs of Cribbs Kitchen in Spartanburg; Amy Fortes of Flipside Café in Fort Mill; Adam Kirby of Bistro 217 in Pawleys Island; and Sean Mendes of Roadside Seafood in Charleston.
CHEF WILLIAM CRIBB – Cribbs Kitchen, Willy Taco
Early on, Chef William Cribb knew he was destined for a career in the kitchen. With an ultimate goal of owning his own restaurant by his 30th birthday, now at 32, Chef Cribb is the executive chef of two popular establishments in Spartanburg Cribbs Kitchen, which was recently awarded the 2016 Small Business of the Year by the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce, and Willy Taco, as well as one highly sought after business, Cribbs Catering. Having spent a number of years out in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and North Carolina, learning and honing his culinary skills, Chef Cribb strives to always incorporate fresh, flavorful, seasonal and sustainable fare into his menus items.
CHEF AMY FORTES – The Flipside Restaurant, The Flipside Café and The Flipside Catering Company
Once a trauma surgeon student, Chef Amy Fortes, eventually learned that her true passion was not in the OR, but in the kitchen. After taking a break from studying medicine, Fortes began working at a few restaurants in her hometown of Lockport, New York – just outside of Buffalo. Quickly falling in love with the camaraderie within the culinary industry, Chef Fortes changed her major, and the rest is history. Now the co-owner and chef of The Flipside Restaurant, The Flipside Café and The Flipside Catering Company in Rock Hill and Fort Mill, she thrives on the relationships between great food and great people.
CHEF ADAM KIRBY – Bistro 217
A graduate from Le Cordon Bleu of the Western Culinary Institute, Chef Adam Kirby, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is the chef and co-owner of Bistro 217 on Pawleys Island – an establishment he’s been with since it opened in 2004. Pulling inspiration from both his Southern roots – both his mother and grandmother where fantastic home cooks – and time spent in Hawaii, Portland and San Francisco, Chef Kirby’s regularly changing menu incorporates locally sourced eclectic elements, making his dishes exciting, flavorful, and most of all, memorable.
CHEF SEAN MENDES – Roadside Seafood, Blues Burger Joint
Having parents who both served our country in the United States Air Force, Chef Sean Mendes was exposed at an early age to distinctive cuisines and cultures from all over the world. With a father who hailed from Portugal, Spain and a mother from South Carolina, soulful, authentic, interesting and unique culinary experiences were a regular part of his life growing up. In 2012 Chef Mendes opened and operated the wildly popular and successful food truck, Roadside Seafood in Charleston. A year and a half later, he opened a full-fledge restaurant under the same name. In 2016, Chef Mendes decided to venture into the gourmet burger world, opened Blues Burger Joint in Charleston – a hot spot that has been one of the go-to places since opening for “top shelf” burgers.
The 2018 Taste of South Carolina is sponsored by AgSouth Farm Credit and supported by the SC Commodity Groups and many SC Ag Organizations. Thank you to AgSouth Farm Credit for their sponsorship, the organizations listed below and their members for supporting the “Taste of South Carolina”. The 2017 participants are listed below:
Carolina Fresh Foods
Carolina Plantation Rice
Chef Cecil Dry Rubs
Clemson Blue Cheese
Coastal Coffee Roasters
Happy Cow Creamery, Inc.
Jimbo’s Lowcountry Foods
SC Agricultural Council
SC Beef Council
SC Greenhouse Growers Association
SC Horsemen’s Council
SC Nursery and Landscape Association
SC Peach Council
SC Peanut Board
SC Pork Board
SC Poultry Federation
SC Seafood Alliance
SC Soybean Board
SC Specialty Foods Association
Split Creek Farm, LLC
State Street Snacks
Tonya’s Gourmet Creations
Walter P. Rawl & Sons, Inc.