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Twenty Six Divine Really Lives Up To Name

Gwen Fowler Gwen Fowler

A friend recommended I try Twenty Six Divine on my next visit to Charleston, saying the food is fantastic.

I tried it, and I agree. The restaurant is aptly named because the food is divine, and I especially enjoyed visiting with the chefs who own it, Enan and Jennifer Parezo.

A cold gazpacho was the perfect beginning for my lunch on a hot day. It was very creamy, but there was no cream in it. Enan said the creaminess came from white beans, and it was loaded with lots of vegetables. Like many of the dishes at Twenty Six Divine, it was very tasty and very good for me.

Next I had the trio of frittatas: broccoli and cheddar; tomato and mozzarella with fresh basil; brie and carmelized onions. All were drizzled with roasted red pepper coulis. They were served with the Divine house salad, which had greens with radishes, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, and a vinaigrette dressing.

I sat at the community table inside that seats six and got to chat with several others who stopped in for lunch. One woman told her friend that Twenty Six Divine's goat cheese-stuffed avocado was "the best thing I've ever had in my life." Guess I'll have to remember that for my next visit.

In addition to the community table, the restaurant has patio dining out back. The Parezos are working on plans to enlarge their dining room.

The restaurant's name comes from the role the number 26 plays in their lives. Both have birthdays on the 26th - Jennifer in December and Enan in May. They married on March 26. And once you try their food, there's no need to explain the significance of the word divine.

Enan is from Baltimore, and Jennifer is from Phoenix. They met on her third day in the Lowcountry, when both were working at Seabrook Island. Later, he was the chef de cuisine at The Charleston Place Hotel, and she was the assistant pastry chef there. Then she was the assistant pastry chef at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island while Enan was getting his personal chef business established.

Twenty Six Divine also has personal chef customers, and they offer a weekly dinner service of take-home dishes. The meals are fully prepared and then vacuum sealed, ready to be heated at home later.

Jennifer's talents as a pastry chef are evident in the beautiful selection of sweets in the display cases in the restaurant. She also does cakes for weddings and other special events.

The two enjoy combining their strengths to come up with creative dishes. For example, she said, "I'll make pizza dough and he comes up a savory topping."

Gwen Fowler
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