From A Hot dog eating contest to A cocktail competition to an oyster shuck-Off, 2019 taste of Folly did not Disappoint

By Jessica cobb | Contributing Writer

Folly Beach hosts multiple festivals and events throughout the year to entertain and involve the community and businesses, but it’s no surprise that the favorite of many is the foodie’s paradise that is Taste of Folly Beach which was on Saturday January 19. Hosted every January on the island, this festival allowed guests to stroll down Center St. and enjoy delicious food put out by the local restaurants and food trucks while jamming to live local music on various stages.

This year there were also multiple cooking demos set up for the budding chef to be able to re-create some of these dishes at home. New restaurant Lowlife hosted Chef Nicholas Pfannerstill as he returned from New York to showcase their much-loved Tuna Poke dish from their menu. Side note- Eater Charleston just voted Lowlife as one of the Hottest Restaurants to try in 2019, so make sure to go grab a seat at the bar and order this ASAP.

Rita’s Seaside Grille’s Chef Ben Keanes-Eames joined the line-up to whip up their famous Fish & Shrimp tacos, along with Chef Marty Smith from the Washout and their Shrimp & Grits.

Along with the dozens of booths lining the streets to choose from were the crowd-loving eating competitions. Bert’s Hot Dog Eating Contest winners were as follows: 1st Place – Reese Motley, 12 hot dogs; 2nd Place – Terry Brown, 11 hot dogs; and 3rd Place – Lark Ruthbone, 8 hot dogs. That’s a whole lotta dogs! The Chili Cook Off was as always easy for the judges to taste-test, but hard to pick a winner. 1st Place — Thomas Beck’s Leprechaun Chili; 2nd Place ­— Folly Best Rentals; 3rd Place — Bacon Olt So Good Chili.

Last but not least, the oyster shucking contest was certainly a sight to see, with Randy Moody taking first place with 26 raw oysters shucked in 5 minutes! Let’s hope he had a manicure scheduled for the next day… A big thank you to the Washout for providing the local Folly oysters. Thank you also to Bert’s Market and Toadfish for providing prizes to all the winners.

Kicking things off on the Friday night before the festivities was the popular Cocktail Competition, sponsored by Cannon Distillery. Each bar entry was provided with their choice of locally made Cannon vodka, including Early Bird Coffee vodka, 100 precent Corn Grit vodka, and Chai Noon Chai Tea vodka. Participants were encouraged to come up with their own concoction to win over the masses, as judging was left up to the public. Just like the drinks, the competition was stiff.

Coming in 1st Place for the 3rd year in a row was St. James Gate with their High Chai cocktail: Chai Noon, fresh espresso, Disaronno Amaretto, house-made dairy-free almond-cinnamon creamer, and CBD oil.

Second Place went to newcomers Wiki Wiki Sandbar and their drink, Aloha from Avondale: Grit Vodka, bitter almond Orgeat syrup, Velvet Falernum liqueur, Passionfruit vanilla syrup, and Brandied cherries.

The spot was super close for 3rd place, with Surf Bar squeezing in for the win over Taco Boy by one vote! Surf Bar’s win was with the Hibiscus and Maybe…: Grit Vodka, hibiscus flower puree, fresh lemon juice, and soda water.

Creative cocktails, amazing food, good music, and beautiful weather came together that weekend to provide for a fantastic time. All in all the weekend was a huge success, with locals and tourists alike leaving full and happy!

Jessica Cobb is a Folly Beach resident with years of culinary experience tucked into her apron pocket. Classically trained chef and owner of local catering company, Some Like it Hot, she joins the Folly Current as a contributing writer to the Food and Dining section in hopes of sparking new interest, cravings, and insight from our eclectic bunch of restaurants.

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