FLORENCE, S.C. – The Final Pour, the five-course finale highlighting the three-day 2019 Wine and Food Festival, will showcase two of Florence’s finest chefs.

Cooper Thomas of Victors was named the 2015 South Carolina Chef Ambassador.

Kelly Vogelheim of Town Hall is the 2019 South Carolina Chef Ambassador.

The festival will be held April 11-13 in downtown Florence.

Thomas will prepare hors d’oeuvres for the Final Pour. The charcuterie display will include specialty meats and cheeses from around the world and around the corner.

Vogelheim will prepare the first course: amuse-bouche, featuring duck confit croquette, local strawberry gastrique, smoked taleggio grits and candied bacon.

Today, for Morning News readers, Thomas and Vogelheim share one of their favorite recipes. …

Pecan Shrimp by Thomas


2 cups toasted pecans

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

½ teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt


>> Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend well.

>> If the mixture is too moist, add more panko a little at a time.

>> Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.

Fried pecan shrimp

1 cup flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup pecan breading

24 shrimp (peeled, tail on)

2 cups canola oil


>> Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet until it just starts to smoke.

>> Dredge the shrimp (one at a time) in the flour, then dip in the buttermilk, and then dredge in the pecan breading.

>> Once all of the shrimp are breaded, carefully add half of them to the hot oil.

>> Fry the shrimp on both sides until the breading is a deep golden brown.

>> Remove the shrimp to a towel-lined plate and then cook the second half.

Lowcountry Bouillabaisse by Vogelheim

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 tablespoon fresh Garlic, minced

½ cup dry white wine

2 tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

1 tablespoon cajun/creole seasoning

4 quarts fish stock or broth

1 sachet of 2 sprigs thyme, 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, ½ lemon. (Take all of these ingredients and tie them into a bundle using cheesecloth and butchers twine.)

1 dozen fresh mussels

¼ pound local shrimp

6-8 oz. fresh fish of your choice, cubed

(Get creative! Use any seafood of your liking. Clams, scallops, crab, or prawns will all pair very nicely with this dish.)


>> Heat oil in a large sauce pot and add the vegetables and garlic, stirring until translucent and aromatic.

>> Season with creole and Old Bay.

>> While pan is hot, add the white wine, deglazing the pan by gently scraping the bottom with a spoon.

>> Allow this mixture to simmer approximately two minutes and slowly pour in the fish stock.

>> Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a nice simmer.

>> Add the sachet and tomatoes, and let the stew simmer until reduced by nearly half. This could take a couple hours.

>> To finish the bouillabaisse, remove the sachet and add your seafood, simmering until shellfish is opened and shrimp are pink. Season with salt and pepper, taste and enjoy.

Serves four and is great served with a crusty piece of bread.

The second annual Wine and Food Festival will benefit Help 4 Kids Florence. It will feature three events:

>> Meat and Meander, 6 to 9 p.m. April 11, $85. This event is all about the meat. It will include cooking demonstrations and tastings, including sides and desserts paired with wines from the Kysela Pere et Fils Ltd. and craft beers from Local Motive and Seminar Brewing.

>> Sip and Savor, 6 to 9 p.m. April 12, $50. This event in downtown Florence along Dargan and Evans streets will feature wine and beer tastings and hors d’oeuvres. Participants can stroll to and through many boutiques. There will be an option for wine purchase that evening with pick up from the Micky Finn’s on Pamplico Highway beginning the day after the event.

>> The Final Pour, 6:30 p.m. April 13, $125. An elegant evening of fine wines from Laetitia Winery from California’s Central Coast will be paired perfectly with a five-course, locally sourced, impeccable feast prepared by award winning chefs that is sure to delight the palate.

To purchase tickets, visit FlorenceWineandFood.com.