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Pawleys Island food festival will support local charities
By Jackie R. Broach
As an owner of Frank’s and Frank’s Outback restaurants, Elizabeth “Woofie” McClary spends most of the day surrounded by food.
It’s hard for her to imagine going hungry or not being able to put food on the table for her family. But, having helped out at Baskervill Food Pantry, she knows that’s reality for many in the area.
So when Tastes at Pawleys, a food festival that raises money to support charities that feed the hungry was introduced in 2007, Frank’s was among the first restaurants to sign on, and it has participated every year since.
This year, they’ll serve up tuna nachos — wonton chips topped with avocado, cream cheese, soy-miso aioli, siracha and pepper-seared ahi tuna — at the festival.
The fourth annual Tastes will be Sunday at Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church from 4-8 p.m., and many the 20 restaurants on the roster have been part of the festival since the beginning.
“It’s such a worthwhile thing to participate in,” said Annette Austin, manager and co-owner of Austin’s Ocean One restaurant, also an original participant.
Tastes has raised more than $210,000 for groups such as Baskervill, the Outreach Farm and Teach My People. Proceeds from this year’s event will go to Father Pat’s Lunch Kitchen, a project Precious Blood started with proceeds from the inaugural festival, and Friendship Place in Georgetown.
The good the festival does is more than enough reason for most restaurants to participate in the event, but it’s not the only reason, according to restaurateurs.
“It’s a way to give back to the community and support a good cause, but it’s also good advertisement,” said Heath Hanser, kitchen manager for Hanser House restaurant.
The festival gives restaurants a way to reach out to potential customers and prove what their chefs are capable of.
At last year’s festival, Hanser House served prime rib, something the restaurant offers on its menu every Friday night.
“It was a really big success,” Hanser said. “We ran out and the following week, people [who attended the festival] were coming in to get it.”
Hanser House will serve up prime rib again Sunday, along with she crab soup.
Austin said her business has also benefitted from having a presence at the festival, which draws about 2,000 people each year. She said first-time customers have told her they decided to come in after sampling some of the restaurant’s dishes at Tastes.
Austin’s always offers up rack of lamb, a customer favorite, at the festival, but other items vary. Deviled crab-stuffed shrimp will also be offered this year, along with a new creation from Austin’s husband, chef Bill Austin. The festival will be the debut of his chocolate praline pie, which will be added to the Austin’s menu after the event.
Along with old favorites, several new restaurants in the area will participate in the festival this weekend, including Indo Thai, which opened last month.
“We want to introduce ourselves and let people in Pawleys Island know we’re here and what we have to offer,” said owner Laura Heryadi. “Our place has friendly service and the food, we guarantee, is phenomenal.”
The festival will allow the restaurant to prove its claims, she said.
Indo Thai will serve grouper with curry and white rice, Thai spring rolls, and spicy tuna salad with house dressing.
Advance admission tickets for Tastes at Pawleys are $4 and can be purchased at Precious Blood’s Parish Life Center, the Pawleys Island branch of Conway National Bank and at Strand Spine Institute.
Tickets will also be available at the door for $5.
Food tickets will be sold during the event for $1 each, cash only. Tickets will also be sold for a chance to win one of four Nikon D3000 SLR digital cameras.
Tastes at Pawleys menu
Austin’s Ocean One: rosemary and Dijon crusted baby lamb with scallion whipped potatoes and mint pesto demi glace; deviled crab-stuffed shrimp with roasted red pepper coulis and Austin’s corn pudding; Godiva chocolate praline pie with crème anglais, praline sprinkles and whipped cream.
* Menus not available for Quigley's Pint & Plate and the Blue Crab.