JG’s Saturday Blog:Food, Wine, Music, Art….Need I say More?

Hey guys, I hope your first Saturday of Fall is good to you. There is so much going this weekend on the Scene. This blog post is just a few of the plethora of events and activities happening in the upstate of South Carolina. I hope you enjoy and get the opportunity to check some of these things out.

Edwin McCain makes an appearance at media brunch at The Roost.


This morning I attended the invite only media brunch for Euphoria—Greenville’s annual food, music, and wine festival in downtown Greenville. The event is the brainchild of local restaurant guru Carl Sobincinski and musician Edwin McCain. The upscale shindig which goes through Sunday combines all of the great things about life into one remarkable couple of days. Euphoria with its many sponsors raises money for charities in the area. I sat down with Carl to talk about what this festival means to him and this area.



The celebrity spotting was on at the media brunch—Edwin McCain was in the crowd…along with Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel. Nope there were no major storms to be chased….Jim apparently is a food and wine lover and says he comes to Greenville about two or three times a year. “I always come to Euphoria,”Jim said as he enjoyed a plate of grits from the bar. Cantore told me that he loved the downtown area and just walking down the main strip–he also professes to like really good wine. Jim will be participating in some of the wine and food discussions during the Euphoria event today—in a interactive event.

For more information and a complete Euphoria schedule:

The media brunch was held on the second floor of the Hyatt in Greenville at “Roost” which is currently under renovation and slated for opening the beginning of 2013. Roost General Manager tells the media that the restaurant is going to be an excellent addition to the already bustling downtown Scene and describes the spot as a “soil to table” type concept—working with a number of local farms to bring a fresh plate to the table. The construction of the restaurant is still 3 months from completion but it is expected to have an “open air” feel with diners getting the vibe as if they are eating on main street. I am also told there will be a cook demonstration area and an eternal flame illuminating the area with “lush” decor.
Members of the media was treated to some items from the Roost menu including: Mimosas, bloody marys, grits bar, fresh fruit, French toast bread pudding brioche, Southern Ham and Hominy Bar, and a superfoods Elixir station. The food was fresh, clean, and and super flavorful. I had the Suber Mills Grits Bar–shrimp and ham. I am accustomed to grits bars with a sauce—so this was different for me and could have used maybe a bit more hearth….but it allows the creator to add as much or little as you would like. I also tried the superfood elixir–with watermelon–wheatgrass–blackberry—avocado etc. It was unexpectedly delicious and from everything I have read..very good for you as well. The French toast bread pudding was moist, full of flavor, fluffy yet soft. I cant wait to see what  Roost adds to the foodie scene in downtown Greenville–from this experience I think it will have people buzzing for sure!






If you looking for something else to do this weekend in downtown Greenville–be sure to check out Art in the Park.

Tents are set up all down the lower end of main street between the Peace Center and Michelin on Main. Vendors are displaying amazing art pieces on Saturday and Sunday—from pottery to large scale works—its a cool opportunity to talk to the creators themselves or just walk through to browse. Its worth it to just grab a friend and walk downtown to enjoy Food. Music, Wine, Art, and just general Life is Good-ness. For more information on Art in the Park:http://www.artintheparkgreenville.com/

Finally when walking downtown I spied a new restaurant opening in the old Hot Dog King spot–near the Westin Poinsett. Marks Burgers–Shakes– and Bar says they will open on Monday. I really like the vibe of the space–has a bit of a modern flair–funky light fixtures–with an open air eating space–facing the sidewalk so diners can eat and people watch at the same time.


Behind the Scenes: Smokey Joe’s Cafe at Greenville Little Theatre.

I was absolutely blown away by the talent in the Greenville Little Theatre production of “Smoky Joe’s Cafe.”
The ensemble and individual performances were stunningly beautiful. I was there getting some footage for our morning show, Your Carolina with Jack and Kimberly. You can watch on Thursday 9/13 at 10am to hear the cast talk about the show. I also got some cell phone video to help you experience the incredible talent in this show.

JG’s Jams Week 1

Song 1 “Brick House” by The Commodores ( suggested by Deena Valley Spradlin)

Song 3 “Young Homie” by Chris Rene (suggested by Jason Erwin)

Song 4 “Someone I Used to Know” Pentatonix version(suggested by Andrea Smith)

Song 5 “Money Grabber” by Fitz and the Tantrums(suggested by Deborah Farr)

Song 6 “Truck Yeah.” by Tim McGraw (suggested by Lynn Brown)

JG’s Places You Oughta Know About!

Hey guys! I am going to start something new here on the blog: JG’s “Places You Oughta Know.” Each week I will post about a couple of local places I have visited here in the area that I feel are cool spots you should check out. None of these places know that I am writing about them—its just my personal faves and definitely ones you should visit.

If you live in the Greenville area then you probably know about Table 301 and their wonderful restaurants: Lazy Goat, Soby’s, Soby’s On the Side, Deveraux’s, and Nose Dive. (pardon me if I am missing some) I have recently fallen in love with Nose Dive, if you have ever had their bacon candied brownie then you know whats up! While i love their dessert selection—- I want to brag about their grits bar available only on Saturday mornings for brunch. It is absolutely the best thing ever invented! Think local grits Aduluh Mills (columbia, sc) with sauces ranging from cheese and sausage fondue, tomato and herbs, and they have even been known to have an oaxtail sauce that was ahhhhmazing!! They also have extra toppings like bacon, cheese, onions etc!!!

Nose Dive Grits Bar: Cheese and sausage fondue with bacon.

Not many people know about this Saturday sensation and part of me wants to keep it that way..but I guess I will share! I wish they would increase the grits bar to a couple more days! I know many of you are thinking that its probably expensive. Nope! The grits bar is about $6 on its own and only $4 if you want to add it as a side to their other great menu items: French toast, steak and cheese omelet, and the granola and fruit parfait to name a few. Its worth a trip downtown Greenville to experience the gastro pub’s grits bar! It dont get more southern than some grits! Yeee hawwww!
Want to see the menu?

The second place you outta know about is on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. I frequently run the Swamp Rabbit Trail around the Furman/ Travelers Rest area–but recently I ventured towards downtown Greenville and stopped in the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery. This place is awesome—filled with the spirit of local consumerism and flavor. They sell everything from organic produce, meats, to a muffins made from ingredients you will feel good about eating. Its great to see how Greenville is embracing the love for the trail by creating places that support local products and encouraging even more people to have a reason to use the trail. Great stuff. It is a great spot to stop off with a friend to enjoy a dessert or maybe a tasty piece of local produce before hopping back on the trail. Goooooood Stuff!
Note: You can also drive to the cafe if the running/walking/ biking thing isnt your forte.

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Sights and Sounds: Ringling Brothers “Dragons” show. Bi Lo Center.

The new Ringling Brother’s “Dragons” show is now showing at the Bi Lo Center through Sunday Feb 5th. Here are some sights and sounds from the production.

Tuesday on Scene on 7 at 7:30 CBS: A Local School of Rock!

As a child of the arts and a lover of music, I am a strong believer in not only the power of playing an instrument, but the ability of notes to transform lives. Tuesday night on Scene on 7 I am taking you on a visit to a local place where music knows no boundaries and no age— You have all probably seen the movie “School of Rock” with Jack Black—and the founder of this academy got the inspiration from that story. You guys wont believe how well spoken and thoughtful these young musicians are—-and wait until you hear how well they play!!! Here is a taste! See you Tuesday at 7:30 on CBS Channel 7.

What’s coming up on Scene on 7? Science meets Art!

I am working on a pretty cool story for Scene on 7 coming up in a couple of weeks–I know many of you have heard about the “Body Worlds” exhibit. The part art installation part science lesson has 14 actual human bodies, known as plastinates, which were donated to show the intricacies of the human form. They also serve as a lesson on what the good, bad, and ugly of what we put into our bodies. Here are some photos taken at the South Carolina State Museum to promote the upcoming story. Be sure to stay tuned to my facebook and twitter pages to get more information on when the story will air.

This is a visualization of a healthy body versus one with excess fat. Powerful image.

Gaston does the Globes! What will the stars grub on?

What’s for Dinner at the Golden Globes tonight? Via Huffington Post.

( Source: The Huffington Post)

Think of these dishes as the food that stars will almost choke on when they get an earful of Ricky Gervais’ edgy monologue during the Golden Globes.

Executive chef Suki Sugiura and pastry chef Thomas Henzi of the Beverly Hilton Hotel unveiled the 2012 Golden Globe Awards menu on Thursday to a kitchen packed with cameras and journalists. According to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the dishes took six months to conceptualize are centered on the theme of “Global Food Harmony” to reflect the “global nature” of the awards.

On the day of the event, it’ll take 40 chefs and 110 kitchen staffers to prepare dinner for 1,300 guests, according to BizBash. That’s a lot of blowtorches.

The 2012 Golden Globe Awards Menu

Appetizer: Pistachio crusted pistou ravioli with wild arugula served with smoked tomato, kabocha compote and burrata

Entree: Miso and sake lees marinated pacific sea bass with grilled king oyster mushroom and braised prime short rib of beef. To be served with porcini pine nut herb ragout in a light cream of sherry wine ginger tamari sauce and roasted fingerling potatoes, candy striped beets, baby bok choy and yellow baby carrots.

Dessert: A trio: chocolate delice almond crunch terrine and acacia honey, caramel and fresh berries, paired with a Moet & Changdon Grand Vintage 2002 magnum specially created for the event.

Consider the bar set for ambitious homecooks hosting an awards show viewing party. Here’s where to buy the edible gold flakes in Los Angeles.


For pictures of the dishes–visit:


The South Carolina International Auto Show.

If you are looking for something to do tomorrow, Sunday,  January 15th,  might I suggest the South Carolina International Auto Show at the TD Convention Center in Greenville.  The tickets are relatively inexpensive at on only $8– with discounts for kids and seniors. Sunday is actually “family day,” with kids getting in free. For more information on the show—- www.SouthCarolinaAutoShow.com

Here is a photo journal of some of my favorite cars at the show for those that aren’t able to make it to the TD Convention Center. Enjoy.






“A Village in Vermont”


One of my great friends from college, Colin, attends Vermont Law School and I had been anticipating a visit to Vermont for years—with the fall leaves in full effect, now appeared to be the best time.  Before we made it to his village—-(yes, the village of South Royalton….I am from a small town but a village…but with such an aristocratic nomenclature perhaps I was reading too much into it?) We took a stop off to eat  near Derry, New Hampshire. I am huge fan of restaurants with a story and when I saw the sign that read “ How’s Your Onion?” I knew this was the place to stop.

We were greeted by a middle aged woman with a strong accent and an even stronger maternal presence.  After looking over the menu I knew this was going to be the hearty meal that I needed—apparently, the onion phrase was a family thing—when all of the Italian family was gathered, laughing and having a great time over delicious food, someone would ask  “How’s Your Onion,” another family member would proclaim, “good enough to make you cry.”  This food was indeed good enough to make you cry—I had the delicious bowl of spaghetti  with three homemade meatballs and garlic bread. My friends had something called spiked potatoes which sounded like a recipe stolen from the south:  potatoes with bacon , cheese, jalapenos—crushed barbecue chips were thrown on top and then they were deep fried in beer batter. Whoa!  There were no empty plates or stomachs.

For more info on How’s your Onion: http://www.howsyouronion.com/


Another cool fact about this part of  NH  was that Robert Frost’s farm was a few miles down the street but much to my dismay we did not go for the photo opportunity.

South Royalton, Vermont was indeed a village—no Starbucks, large food chains, or even gas stations from what I saw. It was pretty refreshing.  The landscape was filled with greenery with remnants of Hurricane Irene who definitely left her mark here. We met some of Colin’s law school buddies for a bonfire under the very starry Vermont sky.  It was indeed a great time for new and old friends.

The next day after a delicious brunch of venison chilli with Vermont cheese at the Harrington House in Bethel—we got to see the vibrant foliage surrounding the area. Stunning beauty—we also got a tour around the Vermont Law School with its historic buildings and quaint atmosphere.  If you ever want to just get away from it all and get some clean air—I would suggest this Vermont—I think my blood pressure dropped -30- just by being here..that was about to change…



Venison Chilli with Vermont cheese at Harrington House Restaurant.

Be sure to check out Harrington House if you are ever near Bethel, VT!






Harrington House Restaurant

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