Lights, camera – food?

Published on February 3, 2023

Students and staff from the Culinary Institute of the South cater movie set

The Culinary Institute of the South at the Technical College of the Lowcountry was recently asked to cater the set of a movie being filmed in the Lowcountry and the college’s students and staff were more than happy to step up.

Led by instructor Chef Sam Carpenter, students at the Culinary Institute of the South have been catering the movie set of ‘Final Load.’

“This is experiential learning,” said Chef Sam Carpenter, culinary instructor and procurement manager with the culinary school as he set up lunch recently for the cast and crew of the film “Final Load.”

The movie – loosely based on a real-life, Lowcountry drug smuggling ring and the FBI sting that followed – is being filmed at locations around Beaufort County, according to local news reports.

But all that was only of passing interest to Carpenter who was more excited about the menus he and his students have been coming up with for the meals, and the opportunity for them to learn more about catering.

On this day, the meal featured marinated chicken breast, fresh salad greens and red velvet cupcakes (prepared by the college’s baking students).

The food, as he explained, not only has to travel well and be prepared and packaged correctly, it also has to appeal to a broad range of dietary preferences.

“So the students are learning about allergens and how to prepare vegetarian and gluten-free dishes,” he said. “You have to be able to produce food that appeals to a lot of people.”

Dishes such as marinated flank steaks or chicken breasts, polenta, ratatouille and of course desserts have been prepared by students from both the culinary and baking tracks and at least one or two students and interns have accompanied him to the movie’s various locations to help with set up.

So what did the “movie folks” think?

“The food has been amazing and everyone from the college has been wonderful,” said Drew Waters, of Argentum Entertainment, one of the film’s producers. “It’s been so much fun for us and it seems like everyone is having a great time interacting with the students and staff.”