Behind the scenes at the Culinary House
I was transported to Charleston this week...just to eat.
I know I’ve been a bit MIA recently but that’s because I’ve been busy eating. No joke.
As a writer, I get on a lot of different PR lists for products and brands. It makes my inbox rather scary (will I tackle it next week? To be continued.), but every once in a while, I get on a dreamy list that makes me take a step back and realize that I do, in fact, have the coolest job ever. And the email this time was an invitation to CBC’s Culinary House.
If you’re wondering what the Culinary House is, it’s…exactly how it sounds. I flew to Charleston, South Carolina for the week to sit in a gorgeous house along the water and eat delicious food. Seriously. That’s the trip. It was dreamy beyond words.
The trip was sponsored by all different amazing food brands who cooked incredible meals for me and nine other food editors/writers. By the end of the week, we were so stuffed that it was comical, but we couldn’t help ourselves—every tasty bite was out worldly.
So, I thought it would be fun to take a break from our usual nutrition content and take you on a culinary journey to Charleston, showing you all of the delicious foods we tasted and the amazing new products you have to try.
Monday, March 13
The group of us arrive in Charleston and are taken to this absolutely stunning house right on the water along the Isle of Palms. The weather is depressingly cold for South Carolina, but that didn’t stop any of us from heading outside and taking pictures along the beach.
After we dropped our bags we went downtown to Herd Provisions for happy hour with Explore Charleston, which I would say is absolutely a go-to spot if you’re in the area. We snacked on the Graham Cracker Cornbread (swoon), LMF Beef Tartare, Beef Fat Roasted Olives, and Brussels Sprouts. We sipped on cocktails like the Solid Gold (tequila, mango, turmeric, carrot, ACV, lemon, lime, chili salt, yum).
We then scurried back over to the house where chefs from Barilla (yes, that Barilla) were waiting for us with a brand new product for us to try cooking with. I’m not allowed to announce it quite yet, but I promise you, this new item is about to be a staple in your household. Especially if you’re a fan of risotto or cold pasta salads.
Tuesday, March 14
After a long sunrise walk on the beach (dreamy), I joined the rest of the group in the kitchen with Vital Farms where we had what I think was the best meal all week. Which, I admit, is really hard to say, given that we ate incredible meals for four days straight. But I’m telling you right now…this meal was just it.
We had the absolute pleasure of experiencing a taste of Gullah Geechee with chefs and farmers Matthew & Tia Raiford, and it was a true southern-style breakfast experience. Sweet Cream Biscuits with Rosemary Compound Butter, Sweet Potato Hash, Olive Oil Grits, and Hibiscus Ginger Tea. Oh, and Nana’s Egg Pie—which is also available in Matthew’s new cookbook Bress ‘N’ Nyam, which I am 1000% excited to dive into.
Lunch was out in the sunshine, and yes, I did get sunburnt despite the cold weather. Smh.
We made single-serve pizzas with California Olive Ranch with their line of sauces and their brand new of olive oil bottles—stay tuned for more deets! For my pizza, I used their Roasted Garlic Sauce with dollops of ricotta, mushrooms, green peppers, red onion, mozzarella, and basil. I also brushed the dough with their olive oil to make it extra crispy and delicious.
Happy Hour was sponsored by Milo’s where we made cocktails with the Cocktail Bandits, where we made a spiced rum-based cocktail with Milo’s, honey syrup, lime juice, and fresh herbs. And of course, delicious southern bites from their chef—biscuits made with raspberry tea and lemonade-based jams, peanuts boiled in tea, and tea-soaked hard-boiled eggs.
And dinner, a magical evening with Butcher Box at Rodney Scott’s—named one of the best barbecue spots in the south by Southern Living. We had a private tour from Rodney himself smokers in the back as we saw our Butcher Box meats cooking—and yes, even saw his quintessential whole hog smoke as well. Dinner was a hodgepodge of all of the BBQ favorites—brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken, wings, beans, mac and cheese, hush puppies, coleslaw, and finished off with banana pudding and hand apple pies.
And as a side note, Butcher Box is offering some seriously incredible deals this spring, particularly for Father’s Day, so follow them and keep your eyes peeled.
Wednesday, March 15
Another day of eating! You thought that was it? Ha. It just keeps getting better.
The day started with a yoga session with Cortney Ostrosky hosted by egglife. Even though I do yoga pretty much every day my arms are still sore?
Breakfast was a make-your-own wrap bar using egglife’s wraps, made with cage-free egg whites and no flour. In particular, we had a taste of their everything bagel flavor and sweet cinnamon, both perfect for sweet and savory breakfast eaters. For my wraps, I made one with scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, cheese, salsa, and hot sauce on an everything bagel wrap. My second was on the sweet cinnamon wrap with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, fresh berries, chia seeds, and granola. I do plan on stocking up on some wraps ASAP.
And apparently, breakfast was so good I forgot to take a photo…
Lunch was great for me because it was hosted by Oatly, meaning nothing was made for dairy, and for the first time on that trip, I could eat a whole meal without taking a Lactaid, lol.
Everything on their menu was divine, but in particular, I loved their Chicken Fried Oyster Mushrooms & Waffles, topped with a Maple Sweet Chili Sauce and arugula. Will I try making this myself? You bet.
For happy hour we took another excursion into downtown Charleston and pretty much went all out with dessert. We did. tasting with See’s Candies, first at Off Track where we paired candy with ice cream (Lactaid needed, clearly), and then with wine over at the Grand Bohemian Hotel. While all of the pairings were expertly thought out (and I now have an obsession with their Dark Scotchmallows), I highly recommend pairing their Butterscotch Lollypops with port wine. Literally, dip it into the glass. Not joking, the sommelier told me to do it, and he was not wrong.
Dinner was a classic Charleston feast at Pearlz Oyster Bar, which evidently I forgot to take photos of again. But highly recommend ordering their fresh fish of the day, it was a vibe.
Thursday, March 16
The week ended with us trying to clear out what was stocked in the Culinary House, so I thought I would share some of the products we got to snack and sip on throughout the week:
Freshie: Organic tequila seltzers, highly recommend the Blood Orange Habanero
Bob’s Red Mill Instant Oatmeal Cups: Making it easy to eat breakfast on-the-go that morning.
See’s Candies: The house was stocked, but I couldn’t help but take a few bars Dark Chocolate Candy Bars home with me.
Mio Sparkling Sake: If you aren’t a sake person, try this. It’s really delicious. Checked my bag just so I could fly home with a bottle.
Oatly frozen desserts & yogurts: Oatly is seriously ramping up its product portfolio, including its ice cream line. Big fan of their Strawberry Swirl Dipped Bars, and I’m a bit bummed I didn’t get a chance to try their Fudge Brownie and Salted Caramel pints.
Patz & Hall Winery: We had different bottles at the house but the 2015 North Coast Brut Sparkling Wine was a crowd favorite.
And with that…I hope I made you sufficiently jealous as you enjoyed your trip to the Culinary House! What stood out to you, what product or meal do you want to try? Share it in the comments, would love to hear your thoughts. And thanks again to CBC for the invite!