#TRFood: Furman professor to cook up farm-to-table Valentine's dinner at local bakery

By Nichole Livengood, Contributing Writer:

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – Furman University Professor Lori Nelsen will be the featured chef at Upcountry Provision’s Valentines Dinner Saturday, February 14, 2015.

The popular Travelers Rest bakery is calling the feast "An Upcountry Love Story" and will be featuring romantic farm-to-table inspirations from chef Nelson and Upcountry Provisions pastry chef Jamiee Park. The evening’s dishes will be paired with craft beer from Swamp Rabbit Brewery.

“We wanted to highlight local talent and local food at our Valentines Dinner. We’ve known Lori for a while and are excited to partner with her to showcase her talent,” said Upcountry Provisions co-owner Steve Kraus

Nelson has two master’s degrees, one in Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences from UC Berkeley and another in Analytical Chemistry from Furman University. She currently works in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Furman and manages the Biogeochemistry Lab where she works with undergraduate researchers.

Nelson says she always had a keen interest in cooking. Under her mother’s watchful eye, a young Nelson tackled the art of making homemade pies. Her first cherry pie was entered into the county fair for 4-H club where she won the grand prize. “It was probably the impetus I needed to keep active in the art of cooking and baking,” says Nelson.

She credits her work in environmental chemistry for launching her interest in the slow food, local and organic food movements. “There isn’t a whole lot of difference between the lab and the kitchen. The kitchen is one big chemistry experiment,” she says.

During the upcoming dinner at Upcountry Provisions, she will be using products from Greenbrier Farms, West End Coffee, Broken Oak Organic Farms, Adam’s Mobile Market to wield her magic in the kitchen.

There will be two seatings for An Upcountry Love Store, one at 6pm and one at 8pm. Tickets are $65 each or $130 per couple. Take out for two ($70, beer not available) will be offered for those who want to spend a romantic evening in.

(Menu: Fresh Artisan Bread with Happy Cow Compound Butter, Carrot Ginger Soup, Upcountry Provisions Ceaser's Head Salad, Seared Scallops and creamy kale,,Greenbrier Farms herb crusted pork and roasted romanesco, dessert flight for two: Chocolate Pecan Tart; Flourless Chocolate Cake; Cheese cake with fresh strawberries.)

For tickets, visit www.upcountryprovisions.com or call 864-834-8433. Upcountry Provisions is located at 6809 State Park Road in Travelers Rest.

Also from Nicole: Update: Sidewall Pizza now open in Travelers Rest

Read more from Nichole Livengood on her Gap Creek Gourmet blog here.