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Country 22/08/2013

Chef Craig Deihl, Chef Rj Cooper, Chef Kelly Liken, Pastry Chef Claire Chapman & Doemens Beer Sommelier Gary Valentine Join Chef Rusty Hamlin At Southern Ground Music & Food Festival Charleston, Oct. 19/20

Chef Craig Deihl, Chef Rj Cooper, Chef Kelly Liken, Pastry Chef Claire Chapman & Doemens Beer Sommelier Gary Valentine Join Chef Rusty Hamlin At Southern Ground Music & Food Festival Charleston, Oct. 19/20

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Shore Fire Media) Zac Brown Band's Southern Ground Music & Food Festival in Charleston, SC will unite Southern Ground Executive Chef Rusty Hamlin with some of today's biggest culinary personalities - Chefs Craig Deihl, RJ Cooper, and Kelly Liken, plus Pastry Chef Claire Chapman - to prepare the ultimate in gourmet Southern cuisine. The festival will also feature beer pairings as recommended by Doemens Beer Sommelier Gary Valentine. Single-day tickets for the event, presented by Landshark Lager and held at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island on October 19 and 20, will go on sale on August 24, while two-day passes are currently available: (www.ticketfly.comlinktext or 1-877-435-9849).

The festival's musical lineup includes Willie Nelson & Family, Band of Horses, The Head & The Heart, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dawes, Kacey Musgraves, Natalie Maines, Fitz & The Tantrums, Blackberry Smoke, The Wood Brothers, and other national touring acts. Zac Brown Band's nightly Super Sets will feature sit-in performances by Kenny Rogers and Clare Bowen (from the hit ABC show Nashville), with other iconic names to be announced soon.

Chef Rusty Hamlin, whose Eat & Greets with Zac Brown Band have been featured on the Today Show and in the New York Times, takes the culinary lead as he and his handpicked guest chefs offer their unique interpretations of Southern cuisine for ticket holders in the Front Porch Stage Boxes.

Chef RJ Cooper, after working in award-winning kitchens across the East Coast over two decades, opened the high-concept Rogue 24 in Washington, DC in 2011. A winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic and an advocate for child-hunger relief, he's no stranger to music festivals, having recently cooked at DC's Sweetlife Festival as well as at the two previous Southern Ground Festivals in Charleston. As he told Eater DC this year, "My food is Southern rock, mixed with a bit of punk — and throw in some hipster."

Chef Craig Deihl, chef at Charleston's own Cypress, is renown for his housemade charcuterie and his tireless advocacy for sustainable meat production. Deihl was a semi-finalist for a prestigious James Beard Foundation award for best chef Southeast in 2010 and 2013, and a nominee for the award in 2011 and 2012. The Danville, PA native describes his cuisine as "Southern food with a Pennsylvania accent."

Chef Kelly Liken, a finalist on Top Chef DC, an Iron Chef competitor and a three-time James Beard semi-finalist, is chef and owner of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, CO, where she's committed to seasonal American cuisine with locally sourced, organic ingredients. A crusader for teaching children about gardening and nutrition, she was invited to the White House in 2011 after First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters dined at her restaurant.

Pastry Chef Claire Chapman of Charleston's legendary Peninsula Grill has earned a reputation for her "show-stopping" (Charleston Magazine) confections — including the restaurant's iconic coconut cake, which has been praised by outlets including The New York Times, Vogue and The TODAY Show.

All festival attendees will have access to gourmet concessions, including fare from RJ Cooper's new project Gypsy Soul, Charleston Favorite Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ as well as from Southern Ground Social Club (Zac Brown's pork-and-greens sandwich) and Zac Brown Band's mobile kitchen Cookie (Hamlin's jambalaya).

The Charleston event will welcome Doemens Beer Sommelier Gary Valentine, who will suggest beer pairings for all festival food. Said Valentine, "There's an incredible selection of dishes from all of the chefs at this festival, and I want to help them bring the whole culinary experience to another level with the perfect beer pairings." Valentine studied at the World Brewing Academy and Munich's Doemens Academy and served as the first U.S. representative in the Beer Sommelier World Championship. He will also curate the festival's Craft Beer Tent featuring a diverse assortment of today's most unique brews.

Southern Ground Music & Food Festival is promoted by JAM, Outback Concerts, and Sound Events and is produced by JAM, Outback Concerts, and ROAR.

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