Dupree teaching weeklong class

The Post and Courier food section contributor Nathalie Dupree, author of three James Beard award-winning cookbooks, is next month offering a five-day cooking class at Southern Season.

The $1,000 program is limited to six participants, and includes a field trip and supper at Southerly Restaurant.

"(Dupree) is a pillar of the food community in the South, and this weeklong class provides the opportunity to share her stories, recipes, experiences and passion," the cooking school's culinary director, Marilyn Markel, is quoted as saying in a release.

The syllabus for the Friday-Tuesday class, which runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., includes brioche, rapid puff pastry, duckling a l'orange and potatoes Anna.

For more information, call 416-3951 or go to southernseason.com.

Museum spotlights S.C. nursery

"This is really interesting!" the only other person in the McKissick Museum gallery exclaimed, likely as surprised as I was that the story of wealthy 19th-century horticulturists could be so compelling.

The University of South Carolina museum last month mounted "Taking Root: The Summer Brothers and the History of Pomaria Nursery," an exhibit devoted to cultivating appreciation for the pioneering Newberry County plant nursery, considered the first major nursery in the lower and middle South. Although Pomaria is largely remembered as a developer of roses and supplier of decorative trees - one sales catalog offered giant Sequoias - William Summer was equally interested in coming up with fruit trees specifically designed to thrive in the Southeast.

"Pomaria had orchards with over 1,500 varieties of fruit trees, including pears, apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots, figs, pomegranates, different berries and nuts," according to an exhibit panel. "William Summer was an expert pomologist, and created 33 good varieties of apples, nine of which became widely known throughout the South."

In the mid-1800s, Pomaria's catalogs were hugely popular with Lowcountry planters. The Summers' trees still stand across the region, but their household-name status long ago faded away: Until exhibit co-curator James E. Kibler in 1993 published a paper about the nursery, Pomaria didn't exist in modern scholarship. (To get a sense of how little the situation has changed, try Googling "Pomaria" or "Summer brothers.")

Acknowledging most visitors' lack of familiarity with Pomaria, the McKissick show touches on the Summers' motivations (in addition to wanting to make their estate profitable, William Summer was something of an environmentalist), as well as the four brothers' schooling, methods, temperaments and achievements. The show is illustrated by ledger books, dried leaves and plant sketches, but the very best artifact in the room is a commemorative knife, likely awarded in the 1840s by the State Agricultural Society.

According to an accompanying label, a scene in O.B. Mayer's novel "John Punterick," set at Pomaria in 1847, features the four brothers, attacking a feast of apricots with their "silver fruit knives - the rewards of Agricultural Societies."

"Taking Root" runs through Sept. 20; admission is free. The museum is at 816 Bull St., Columbia.

For more information, go to artsandsciences.sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.

The Angel Oak releases new wines

Hobbies are supposed to be a respite from work, but there's always the talented hobbyist who ends up making a professional go of his leisure activity.

Charlestonian Nigel Cooper, for example, in 2007 bought 10 acres of Argentinian land so he and five Neighborhood Dining Group business partners could produce private-label wines for Husk and McCrady's (OK, so it's a very high-end hobby.)

Cooper moved to Buenos Aires to pursue the project, bottling the first of The Angel Oak wines in 2010.

He was so impressed with their quality that "his vision soon grew beyond Husk and McCrady's," according to a release announcing the latest additions to The Angel Oak line.

A 2011 Celestial, described as a "sublime and superlative" barrel-fermented Malbec; a 2012 Malbec Reserva; a 2012 Assemblage Reserva; a 2013 Torrontes; and a 2013 Rose last month debuted in Charleston. The 2011 Malbec Reserva and Assemblage Reserva received above-90 scores from Wine Enthusiast magazine.

The wines are sold at local retailers, including Goat Sheep Cow, Bottles, Southern Season and Accent on Wine.

For more information, go to angeloakwine.com.

Gilligan's reopens on Johns Island

Nearly five months after a fire tore through Gilligan's, the Johns Island seafood restaurant is again open for business.

"Hallelujah," says area supervisor Tasha Eady. "We're so glad to be back."

Gilligan's retained 90 percent of its staff, but made significant changes to its decor during the closure.

In addition to swapping the placement of the bar and dining room, the restaurant installed new ironwork and flat-screen TVs, constructed an outdoor seating area, suspended boats from the ceiling and set up seven aquariums, including one tank populated exclusively by local fish. Eady says the restaurant's working with a cast-netter to supply the shrimp, crawfish and other seafood that will call the tank home.

Since the restaurant had a major new menu rollout prior to the fire, the menu is largely unchanged, but Eady says the cocktail list and children's menu have been tweaked slightly.

The fire at 160 Main Road was reported in the early morning of Feb. 18. Initial estimates called for the restaurant to reopen after one month.

St. Andrew's Fire Department chief Ken Fischer says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

To reach Gilligan's, call 766-2244.