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Party Scene

April 13, 2017

The Party: Upon arrival to the American Theater for the 2017 Slow Food Snail Awards guests were greeted with specially crafted cocktails from High Wire Distilling. The program opened with a presentation on the Slow Food movement, which advocates the use of locally sourced ingredients and the preservation of regional cuisine traditions. Best-selling cookbook author Nathalie Dupree received “The Legend” award—a custom-made iron trophy forged by blacksmith Robert Thomas—for her dedication to food education and activism. The event also recognized Lindsey Barrow and Kate Dewitt of Lowcountry Street Grocery, Mark and Kerry Marhefka of Abundant Seafood, Chris Stewart of The Glass Onion, Jaime Tenny and David Marritt of Coast Brewing Company, Middleton Place, and Spade and Clover Gardens. Following the award ceremony, attendees headed to the William Aiken House courtyard for tasty bites including cumin-spiced pork with peanut sambal from chef Bob Cook of Artisan Meat Share and Pure Celeste ice cream sandwiches from Wich Cream.

Highlight: Nathalie Dupree’s speech on why she loves snails

Overheard: “Have you tried the whipped feta dip from Feast? It’s to die for!”

Beneficiary: Slow Food Charleston

March 1, 2017

The Party: Culinary fans from near and far gathered in Marion Square to kick off this year’s Charleston Wine + Food. Thirty-five chefs and their teams did not disappoint, cooking up Lowcountry-inspired dishes including everything from she-crab soup to pork belly and grits. Several South Carolina Chef Ambassadors joined the restaurants in preparing the flavorful fare. As guests feasted on the offerings and sipped the signature rum cocktail, the rockabilly stylings of JD McPherson and the band got the party started.

Highlight: Banana pudding ice cream tacos created by Circa 1886 executive pastry chef Scott Lovorn

Overheard: “I’ve never eaten from this many restaurants in just one night!”

Beneficiary: Charleston Wine + Food

April 7, 2017

The Party: On a beautiful afternoon, attendees headed to the Governor Thomas Bennett House for the sixth annual Mary Ramsay Civic Award Luncheon honoring Mr. Joseph H. McGee and Mrs. Evelyn McGee for their philanthropic work in the community. Before the presentation, guests mingled and sipped on wine beneath grand oaks in the lush garden. Salthouse Catering served a delectable lunch of chilled corn bisque and pan-seared local fish over risotto at elegant tables decked with springtime floral and citrus centerpieces. Following the meal, president of the board of directors William Medich commenced the ceremony with a speech before Paula Robison granted the McGee’s with the distinguished award.

The Highlight: A video montage of family and friends offering congratulatory sentiments, including clips from Yo-Yo Ma, Tom Brokaw, and Jane Pauley

Overheard: “It’s truly incredible what they’ve accomplished together!”

Beneficiary: Spoleto Festival USA

March 25, 2017

Party: For its eighth year running, Goat Island Gatherings hosted Hope On Goat—a seafood and produce celebration to raise funds for Fresh Future Farm, a nonprofit farm that grows and sells fresh produce to communities in North Charleston. The intimate event (tickets were limited to 175) took place on the sandy beach of Goat Island, a boat-access-only island off the shore of Isle of Palms. Guests boarded a ferry to reach the scenic hideaway where they were invited to participate in a silent auction for Charleston-made goods and services, listen to live music from local bluegrass bands, and get their hands dirty while shucking fire-grilled oysters. Steaming bowls of fish stew and hot dogs were offered along with the bivalves, which guests could top with their choice of fresh cilantro, lettuce, or salsa. While children swung from the low-hanging palms and played in the sand, parents and friends kicked back with picnic spreads and enjoyed the Lowcountry bounty.

Highlight: Fresh Future Farm owner Germaine Jenkins's inspiring speech about her mission to teach others how to grow produce and make healthy foods available for North Charleston communities

Overhead: "This is hands-down the best fish stew I've ever had."

Beneficiary: Fresh Future Farm

March 24, 2017

The Party: Guests were dressed to the nines for the American Lung Association’s Oxygen Ball with this year's theme, A Night at the Oscars. Local dancers Liz Arviv, Alicia Gregory, Virginia Lee, Dan McQueeny, and Joey Welling showed off their moves at the Gaillard Center during the Lowcountry Celebrity Dance Competition, while familiar faces got down during the alumni dance exhibition. Attendees were dazzled by the talented stars and enjoyed a gourmet sit-down dinner provided by Duvall Catering. Throughout the night, people placed bids in the live and silent auctions. Among the many offerings were celeb-worthy prizes including four tickets to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, a Western North Carolina mountain getaway, and a one-week stay in Turks and Caicos.

Highlight: Watching celebs whirl across the dance floor with professional dancers to compete for the title of Lowcountry Dancing with the Stars Champion

Overheard: “Red carpet selfie!”

Beneficiary: American Lung Association

February 4, 2017

The Party: With everything from whimsical board game-inspired centerpieces to delectable fare served by Hamby Catering, this year’s Chase After A Cure Gala was a grand time for all attendees. Trapeze artists dazzled guests as renowned local vocalist Quiana Parler performed on stage, followed by DJ Daniel Seltzer. Before the evening’s live auction began, Chase After A Cure founder Whitney Ringler and her son, Chase, were joined by Morgan Pierce, a young girl battling cancer, to speak about the organization’s efforts to research cancer treatments and support families of those with the disease.

Highlight: The extensive candy buffet complete with take-home bags for guests

Overheard: “Just look at those flips!”

Beneficiary: Chase After A Cure

February 10, 2017

The Party: Funky ultraviolet lights and metallic confetti greeted partygoers upon arrival at the Gibbes Museum of Art for Society 1858’s annual Winter Party. In honor of internationally acclaimed muralist Sergio Odeith, the main hall and Lenhardt Garden were adorned with street art-themed dêcor and auction items (including unique skateboard decks painted by local artists). Throughout the evening, guests took a break from the dance floor to sneak peeks at Odeith in action as he completed his newest artwork. The night concluded with an interactive break-dancing performance.

Highlight: Catching the first glimpse of Odeith’s onsite 10-by-12-foot mural, Charleston Strong

Overheard: “I love Camela Guevara’s use of knotted cording on her piece, Harness!”

Beneficiary: Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art award

March 1, 2017

The Party: 

Culinary fans from near and far gathered in Marion Square to kick off this year’s Charleston Wine + Food. Thirty-five chefs and their teams did not disappoint, cooking up Lowcountry-inspired dishes including everything from she-crab soup to pork belly and grits. Several South Carolina Chef Ambassadors joined the restaurants in preparing the flavorful fare. As guests feasted on the offerings and sipped the signature rum cocktail, the rockabilly stylings of JD McPherson and the band got the party started.

Highlight: 

Banana pudding ice cream tacos created by Circa 1886’s executive pastry chef, Scott Lovorn

Overheard: 

“I’ve never eaten from this many restaurants in just one night!”

Beneficiary: 

Charleston Wine + Food

February 18, 2017

The Party: In honor of the 35th annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE), partygoers donned their cowboy boots and jeans for a classic Southern style party under the bus shed at the Vistor Center. Fresh, local oysters were ready for the shuckin', and Nick's Bar-B-Q provided plenty of Lowcountry fare including fried quail over stone-ground grits, tried and true barbecue, and their famous cheese biscuits. As guests sipped on the signature drink of the evening, Dixie Mint Vodka, the South Carolina-based band Second Nature kept everybody shimmying to beach music all night long. Proceeds from the event benefit SEWE in its continued mission to provide educational programs on nature conversation, raise awareness about wildlife and preserving their natural habitats, and celebrate our collective appreciation for these animals.

Highlight: Dancing the night away to the lively band, Second Nature

Overheard: "Bring on the cheese biscuits!"

Beneficiary: Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

 

 

January 29, 2017

The Party: Came for the delicious food, stayed for the experience. This year’s event provided no shortage of tasty fare including dishes from O-Ku, Indaco, Mercantile and Mash, and The Macintosh, plus freshly steamed oysters. Hosted in the adjoining outdoor spaces behind PURE and The Macintosh, the party allowed plenty of room for guests to groove to live music by The Very Hypnotic Soul Band and Minimum Wage. Attendees placed bids on auction items such as a Crab Rock kayaking ecotour and original works from artists Paul Cristina, Nathan Durfee, Tim Hussey, Sara Pittman, and Fletcher Williams.

Highlight: Fresh oysters ready for the shucking paired perfectly with The Cocktail Club’s signature drink, the “Double Standard.”

Overheard: “Today, we are all on stage.”

Beneficiary: PURE Theatre

January 27, 2017

The Party: The champagne was flowing at this black-tie gala at Trident Technical College’s Main Campus. Guests mingled around tables piled high with shrimp, oysters, and a delectable array of cheeses before sitting down to an extravagant three-course meal prepared by Culinary Institute of Charleston students and instructors. During dinner, the bidding began on big-ticket items such as a Kennedy Space Center astronaut adventure, dinner with Gullah chef Benjamin Dennis, a private historian’s tour of the United States Capitol, and a week-long stay in the Bahamas.

Highlight: The three-course dinner consisting of winter panzanella, roasted grouper, and coffee-rubbed beef short rib

Overheard: “Look at us all dolled up!”

Beneficiary: Trident Technical College Foundation

February 9, 2017

The Party: Guests donned sea-themed masks and accessories in the aquatic photo booth as live music set the mood at this fundraiser for the Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Sipping on Cathead vodka cocktails and Sweetwater brews, people enjoyed a delicious spread from Middleton Place Restaurant while bidding on unique silent auction items including ocean-inspired artwork and handcrafted jewelry. A video presentation discussed the non-profit organization’s dedication to protecting the world’s oceans, beaches, and waterways. Proceeds benefitted their programs including Rise Above Plastics and Ocean Friendly Restaurants—campaigns aimed at eliminating plastic waste from marine environments.

Highlight: The cuisine, provided by Middleton Place Restaurant, was served with compostable plates, utensils, and napkins to support the initiative of the Ocean Friendly Restaurant program.

Overheard: “We wanted this to be a super low-key event where you can meet and talk with like-minded people who care about the same cause.” –Kate Dittloff, Chair of Charleston Surfrider and event coordinator for Love Your Ocean

Beneficiary: Surfrider Foundation Charleston Chapter

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Party: Funky ultraviolet lights and metallic confetti curtains greeted partygoers upon arrival to Society 1858’s annual Winter Party—Graffiti in the Garden—at the Gibbes Museum of Art. In honor of special guest and internationally acclaimed graffiti artist Sergio Odeith, the main hall and Lenhardt Garden were fashioned with street art-themed dêcor and auction items (including unique skateboard decks designed by local artists). While dining on hors d’oeuvres, guests had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at Odeith’s newest anamorphic mural as it was created. Throughout the night, New York City’s DJ Wolf bumped tunes in the garden while a breakdancing group gave an impressive, interactive performance.

Highlight: Catching the first glimpse of Odeith’s onsite 10’x12’ anamorphic artwork.

Overheard: “Camela Guevara’s Harness is my favorite!”

Beneficiary: Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art award

February 4, 2017

The Party: With everything from whimsical board game-inspired centerpieces to Elevate trapeze artists, this year’s Chase After A Cure Gala: A Kid At Heart was a grand time for all attendees. Hamby Catering served up delectable fare, including braised short rib, smoked chicken, and a mac and cheese bar, as the aerial performers, decked out in sparkling attire, dazzled guests. To keep everyone shimmying through the night, former American Idol contestant Quiana Parler provided live music before setting the stage for DJ Daniel Seltzer. Before the evening's live auction began, Chase After A Cure founder Whitney Ringler and her son Chase were joined by Morgan Pierce, a young girl battling cancer, to speak about the organization's mission. All proceeds benefit the foundation’s efforts to research and implement clinical trials for childhood cancer treatments.

Highlight: The endless candy bar complete with take home bags for guests

Overheard: “Look at those flips!”

Beneficiary: Chase After a Cure

November 10, 2016

The Party: Charleston Recipes, a cookbook first published in 1949, was recently discovered in an attic by Josephine Humphreys, daughter of the original editor, Martha Lynch Humphreys. The predecessor to the Junior League of Charleston’s (JLC) famous Charleston Receipts, this rereleased publication includes Southern recipes created with inexpensive ingredients. JLC members and foodie fans gathered at the William Aiken House to celebrate this discovery, enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres inspired by the book, a raffle, and an open bar.

Highlight: Pimiento cheese crostinis served with the signature drink, a spiced citrus Russian tea

Overheard: “I have a lot of cooking to do!”

Beneficiary: Junior League of Charleston

December 3, 2016

The Party: Guests, some donning flapper dresses, fedoras, or patent leather shoes, had a blast at the Jazz Age-themed Sea Life by Starlight fête at the South Carolina Aquarium. The Boathouse, Fleet Landing, Fuel Charleston, and Sesame Burgers and Beer served up tasty bites while partygoers sipped on drinks from the open bar and shimmied to tunes by Charleston-based band Two 3 Ways. A silent auction included high-end items such as tickets to the 
2017 Masters Tournament and Charleston Wine + Food.

Highlight: A holiday-themed dive show in the Great Ocean Tank

Overheard: “I’m glad so many people participated in tonight’s theme. I feel like I’m in the 1920s, and it’s the bees knees.”

Beneficiary: The South Carolina Aquarium

November 12, 2016

The Party: As part of November’s Buy Local Month, more than 40 area makers set up shop at the third annual Lowcountry Local First Buy Local Block Party. From jewelry to home goods to pet products, there were handcrafted items for everyone. After perusing the vendors, attendees could grab food from one (or more!) of the nine food trucks, a cold brew from the beer garden, or a Bloody Mary from the bar. Charleston-based bands The Hadleys and Malandro Soul played throughout the afternoon.

Highlight: Lowcountry Street Grocery sold herbs and veggies out of their mobile market.

Overheard: “I don’t think I have enough hands...but I want one of  everything!”

Beneficiary: Lowcountry Local First

October 21, 2016

The Party: After 80 years, pieces from Solomon R. Guggenheim’s modern art collection made their way back to the South’s oldest art museum, where they were first exhibited in 1936. Gibbes Museum of Art members, the Guggenheim family, and curators from the institution in New York City came together to celebrate the opening of the collaborative exhibit, “The Realm of the Spirit.” Guests mingled, enjoying sparkling wine and passed hors d’oeuvres before heading upstairs to view the striking abstract pieces by artists such as Picasso and Kandinsky.

Highlight: Solomon R. Guggenheim’s grandson, Peter Lawson-Johnston, spoke about first seeing his grandfather’s exhibit at the Gibbes as a nine-year-old boy.

Overheard: “Do you think they remember being here?” —Angela Mack on pieces from the Guggenheim collection

Beneficiary: The Gibbes Museum of Art

December 3, 2016

The Party: Philanthropists and animal lovers poured into the main hall of the Gaillard Center to attend the 12th annual Fur Ball dinner and auction, benefitting local rescue and adoption center Pet Helpers. The venue was adorned with festive holiday decor, including a wonderfully large and dazzling Christmas tree. While perusing the selection of silent auction items, attendees enjoyed beer, wine, cocktails, and passed hors d’oeuvres—crab cakes and house-made potato chips with zucchini and herb-infused sour cream—before filing into the Ball Room for a three-course dinner and live auction.

Highlight: After being greeted by two handsome Citadel cadets, guests entered the Gaillard Center on a red velvet carpet, which was fastened to the waist of the Living Red Carpet Dress.

Overheard: “I love this event! I’m so glad it’s been so successful!”

Beneficiary: Pet Helpers

December 3, 2016

The Party: Guests, donning flapper dresses, suspenders, and patent leather shoes, celebrated the sixth annual Sea Life by Starlight Jazz Age-themed fete at the South Carolina Aquarium. The Boathouse, Fleet Landing, Fuel Charleston, and Sesame Burgers and Beer served up tasty bites while party-goers sipped on drinks from the open bar and shimmied to tunes by Charleston-based band Two 3 Ways. A silent auction included big-ticket items such as tickets to the 2017 Masters Tournament and the 2017 Charleston Wine + Food Festival. 

Highlight: A holiday-themed dive show in the Great Ocean Tank

Overheard: ”I'm so glad everyone participated in tonight’s theme. I feel like I'm in the 1920s and it’s the bees knees.” — guest Conor Maginn

Beneficiary: The South Carolina Aquarium