Each year Cook it Raw brings a small group of select chefs to a different corner of the world to study the rich cultural and culinary heritage of that region. Past events have explored the remote regions of Denmark, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and Poland and this year we travel to the New World to explore the scarred and emotional history of Charleston, South Carolina. It’s an opportunity for today’s culinary leaders to embrace the history of food in a social and cultural sense, and in the spirit of collaboration, move forward and perpetuate the advancement of the future of cuisine.
Unless you’re as serious about food as the people that represent and participate in these Cook it Raw events, there’s a good chance that the very existence of this organization may or may not have slipped under your radar. The reason being, that these events have never been open to the public. That is, until now.
In celebration of their 6th annual gathering, this year’s Cook it Raw, Charleston Edition is working in collaboration with Food Day 2013 in hosting an inaugural public event - Cook it Raw BBQ Perspectives with Sean Brock and Friends. In addition to our select group of Cook it Raw chefs, the event will also feature more than 40 local and internationally acclaimed chefs who have been asked to come equipped to prepare and present their interpretation of Lowcountry cuisine in a celebration of all things BBQ.
The history of Lowcountry cuisine dates back to the time before the Civil War during the antebellum era of the region. It was the early colonial rice production of the region and subsequent plantation life that helped shape the culinary heritage and traditions of the Lowcountry. The imminent confluence of the New World and West African Gullah cultures resulted in the evolution of the culturally distinct Lowcountry cuisine.
Today, the quintessence of cuisine in America’s deep south is breathing new life into the current culinary trends of the Carolina Lowcountry. Sean Brock, chef of McCrady’s and Husk in Charleston, South Carolina, is championing this southern food revival and generating a fetching and cosmopolitan air around the tenet of tradition that he maintains.
There is no better representation of Southern expression and hospitality than that of a Lowcountry BBQ, and this event will celebrate the regional ingredients native to Charleston with a focus on healthy and whole foods, vegetables and grains. Participating chefs have been asked to prepare foods that will showcase the bounty of the local harvest together with fish, wild game, and cultural staples like Carolina rice. The collaborative efforts of the Cook it Raw team and local community of chefs will be presenting their creations to over 500 food enthusiasts from around the world. A party, if you will. Now, anyone who has been around the industry long enough knows that chefs are prone to having a good time. That said; it’s sure to be as fun as it is inspiring.
The ultimate goal in gathering today’s culinary leaders to work together in a common effort is to create a comprehensive global network of chefs committed to Cook it Raw’s guiding principles – environment, tradition, creativity, and collaboration.
For further information on Cook it Raw and for tickets to the BBQ Perspectives with Sean Brock and Friends visit www.cookitraw.org
Erin Turcke joined the Cook it Raw organization as staff writer in the early summer of 2013.
Photo Credits: Anton Sucksdorff