Monday, September 26, 2011

Returning to My Roots...for the first time

Birthdays are funny things.  For me, no other day is filled with as wide a spectrum of feelings as September 24th.  Obviously there is excitement.  I think I will always feel that childlike bubbling over of "It's my birthday!  Did you know tomorrow is my birthday?!"  But then, reality sinks in and that big black rainy cloud moves over and bursts those "yay, its my birthday" bubbles and replaces them with "oh, yeah.  it's my birthday".  wow.  another year has gone by, and am I really that much closer to my life long goals...whatever they may be?  But alas, as fast as those dark clouds moved in, they are swept away and replaced with warm calming rays of sunlight.  Another year is ahead of me.  Another year that is untouched, and ripe with possibilities.

This year, I went back to my roots by spending my birthday weekend with my parents.  We loaded up the car and headed to Charleston SC.  It was my first time visiting the historic city but I am confident it won't be my last.  From the moment I heard about Husk Restaurant, I knew I had to go.  My parents recommended we make a weekend of it and go for my birthday.  Sold!

Never heard of Husk, you say?  Please.  Do yourself a favor and keep reading.  Two words:  Sean Brock.  The Executive Chef, and mastermind behind the keystone restaurant.  My ears perked up a few years ago when I heard Chef Sean Brock's name casually thrown out on the Food Network.  Sean?  The same Sean who used to live across the street from me during high school?  With cooking being one of my greatest passions, I immediately tuned in and became a Sean Brock groupie.  It was quite an inspiration to realize that someone I had known, had become such a successful chef.

Before long, Sean's name was everywhere.  I couldn't believe my ears when I heard he was a James Beard nominee.   But the surprises kept on coming as I read a few weeks later, he won!  What really won me over, however, was when I read about the creation of his newest restaurant, Husk.  It was as if all of my philosophies about food were wrapped up, and put into a neat little package called Husk.  Here, Sean offers a new menu daily, celebrating traditional southern cuisine.  If that weren't enticing enough, he only uses ingredients he can find below the Mason-Dixon Line.  Something else that sets him apart from the crowd, is that on his website and even on each menu, he celebrates the hard working folks who have brought the food from the farm to the kitchen and ultimately to the table.  Sean lists the farmers, fishermen, millers, etc. by name, who provide their goods, as well as links to their websites.  This is a service that is almost unheard of in the restaurant business.

If you can't tell, I'm smitten.  There wasn't a doubt in my mind, I HAD to go.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

B L(icious) T

BLT's are truly one of life's simple pleasures.  There was a time in my life when I didn't like tomatoes.  I also didn't like mayonnaise.  With these being two major ingredients in a BLT you could place a pretty secure bet I would not like this southern classic.  Well my friend, you would be wrong.  I am not sure how it happens, but when the chewy bacon meets the tangy tomato, cool crisp lettuce, and smooth creamy mayo...OMG.  A little piece of heaven.