S.C. Slow Foodies Meet + Ark of Taste Week

The state's strong role in Slow Food Ark of Taste was clear when South Carolina chapter leaders met December 9 in Charleston to share ideas, hear from Slow Food USA leaders--and enjoy an incredible lunch featuring Ark of Taste ingredients grown in Low Country.

 Panel discussion on the rewards and challenges of raising Ark of Taste ingredients with (l to r) Nat Bradford, Greg Johnsman, and David Shields. And the menu for the Ark of Taste lunch, prepared by the team at The Watch rooftop restaurant at The Restoration Hotel in Charleston.

Panel discussion on the rewards and challenges of raising Ark of Taste ingredients with (l to r) Nat Bradford, Greg Johnsman, and David Shields. And the menu for the Ark of Taste lunch, prepared by the team at The Watch rooftop restaurant at The Restoration Hotel in Charleston.

During lunch, Ark of Taste national committee member David Shields first detailed the effort to revive production of Sapelo Island Purple Ribbon Sugar Cane syrup, a process that started with an eBay discovery. You can read his account here. Dr. Shields also brought a bottle of the cane syrup and passed it around for tasting.

 David Shields tells the story of Sapelo Purple Ribbon Cane Syrup, a bottle bearing the Slow Food Ark of Taste logo, and Nat Bradford giving it a try.

David Shields tells the story of Sapelo Purple Ribbon Cane Syrup, a bottle bearing the Slow Food Ark of Taste logo, and Nat Bradford giving it a try.

Next,  he moderated a discussion by a panel that included High Wire Distilling founder Ann Marshall, Geechie Boy Mill farmer Greg Johnsman, and Slow Food Columbia board member, farmer Nat Bradford. They talked about the challenges of growing heirloom ingredients and the rewards--including flavors and nutritional value not found in commerically-grown foods.

To learn more about their work, you can check out:

This video with Nat Bradford, as he talks about growing his largest crop ever of Bradford family collards.

This story from Southern Foodways Alliance about High Wire Distillery and how Ark of Taste ingredients bring unexpected terroir to their spirits.

Greg Johnsman's Instagram and this article about Columbia's Crouch Distilling working with Geechie Boy Mill to produce their Jimmy Red Corn Whiskey.