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No More Excuses

Lee Manigault

Haute To Go, Holly G.-style. 1961.

Haute To Go, Holly G.-style. 1961.

The Charleston Wine & Food fest begins today! In the midst of all action, the Charleston Academy has found ways to celebrate our loved local chefs from the comfort of home.

In the space of 20 hours, the Dean once attended two totally different parties with a single brilliant solution: takeout food that went far beyond just calling for a pizza.  At one, the host was expecting a James Beard award-winning chef and called the Academy all aquiver about what to serve.  We had an immediate answer, not only innovative but it was also humorous. We told her to order the entire meal from one of the OTHER James Beard Award-winning chefs in town's restaurant. This would keep everyone on their toes while the hostess received all the credit (and all she had to do was make a phone call.)  We realize this is a very expensive dinner party, but it is one that also astounds with its originality and cheekiness.  

The other event benefited from takeout, but for a totally different reason.  Anybody with toddlers knows that taking them to restaurants results in a huge bill and not one moment of peace.  Even the Dean gets tired of cooking but never of seeing her favorite people; so if toddlers are part of the event, even if there is just one, then at-home entertaining is a must.  You can put your toddler down for a nap and enjoy your guests because the food is taken care of.  One partner can go get the food while the other puts out the plates, silverware and napkins.  When the guests arrive, down goes Jr. and the party begins! 

Most restaurants that serve food will let you order and take it home with you.  Pizza is delicious, no question, and there will always be a time and place for Chinese food, but don't limit yourself to these old war horses.  Charleston has a variety of local favorite options to choose from: Artisan Meat Share, goat.sheep.cow, Ted's Butcher Shop, Butcher & Bee, Chick's Fry House, plus most of the finer dining restaurants in town (if you call, perhaps not at the last minute or at the height of an 8PM dinner rush, and ask nicely.) 

The show must go on, folks, even when you don't feel like cooking or going out at all. The Academy eliminates that option with a friendly reminder that Charleston's world-class chefs and restaurants are always just a moment away.