My good friend Bobby Baird scored me a couple of tickets for last Wednesday’s Summer Solstice Dinner at Weeks Bay Plantation. It was a farm-to-table soiree under the stars featuring the talents of chef Tyler Kean of the Fairhope Inn. If I have my way I’ll not miss another event at this beautiful venue.

The farm itself is the vision of Tynes Stringfellow, a local businessman and lifelong area resident. The idea was to create an organic plantation as a venue open to anyone who can find his way there. At the plantation they “celebrate the bounty the land provides, the arts, family and friends, organic delicacies and adventure.” Now the vision has come to life, and the results are stellar.

Speaking of the arts, entertainment was provided by the incomparable Molly Thomas and Rick Hirsch in the corner of a rustic barn shielding guests and musicians alike from the elements. The rain let up just in time and the evening went swimmingly.

Friends were made, fun was had and bellies were filled. To learn more about Stringfellow and his beautiful venue, visit I’ll be looking forward to more events like this one. Thanks for the tickets, Baird. You’re a class act.

Cammie’s Old Dutch expanding
Our little gal at the corner of Florida and Old Shell is always taking steps toward the big time. Of course I’m talking about Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream. We first told you of her intent to open a creamery on Halls Mill Road months ago. It’s now up and running — and growing.

The new creamery is affording Cammie the ability to expand into Mississippi and Florida Greer’s markets. Keeping up with the tri-state demand comes at a price, though: Her latest addition to the team is her husband, who after 29 years with Wal-Mart decided to come on board to help his wife manage the business’ growth. The only downside (according to Cammie) is that she has to pay him.

Keep up the good work, girls and boys. This is the ice cream I dream of when I’m away.

Distinguished young oyster slurpers
It’s quite refreshing to see a young lady set aside her manners for a few minutes and dive right into our favorite dish that is best attempted when manners are left at the door.

At Wintzell’s Oyster House’s annual raw oyster-eating contest for Distinguished Young Women (formerly called Junior Miss), the competition was fierce but Olivia Pelton of Milledgeville, Georgia, took home the gold after tackling 57 nudes in five minutes, a four-oyster lead over her nearest competitor.

The all-time record is 80, so for you young ladies hoping to make your mark at next year’s Distinguished Young Women, training starts now. I’ll be training this week, too.