In September we shared that Chef Kevin Mitchell would be joined by some of Charleston's best and brightest to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the civil war and the iconic black chef Nat Fuller who helped to heal race relations through food at a seminal banquet held in 1865.

The details about the dinner and more information on Fuller can be read in the Post and Courier article and in the original post here, but what i wanted to share is about the spirit of the dinner that has led to an interesting twist on selecting the 80 or so diners. Nat Fuller didn't sell tickets to his reconciliation banquet, and the committee organizing the commemorative feast is following suit. In order to ensure a group of attendees that mirrors the group that Fuller assembled, seats will be allocated by invitation. But six of those invitations will be extended to winners of an essay contest administered by The Post and Courier.

If you'd like to attend the April 19 dinner, submit an essay of no more than 600 words outlining why you ought to be at the table. Persuasive writing matters most, but judges will look for essays referencing the ideals of hospitality, culinary community and social justice embodied by Fuller and his feast.

Entrants must be 16 years or older, and there are no joint entries: If both members of a couple wish to attend the event, they must apply separately. The invitation is non-transferable.

The deadline is Jan. 30. To enter, send your essay to hraskin@postandcourier.com. (No PDFs, please.) Please include your complete name, phone number and address.

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