Crew Take James Beard
September 10, 2007
Crew Carolina

Crew Carolina Takes on New York City

Southern Coastal CuisineDinner and
“Plantation to Plate” Harvest from Kensington Plantation

Crew Carolina was the toast of the town. The town was New York City. The venue was the James Beard House, a national center promoting culinary heritage in the US. All 5 of Crew Carolina’s culinary institutes (The Boathouse at Brach Inlet, The Boathouse on East Bay and The Boathouse on Lake Julian, Carolina’s and Carolina Catering) were invited to cook a Southern Coastal Seafood Dinner for the members of the esteemed James Beard House. Our chef’s did not disappoint.

The menu, A Southern Coastal Seafood Dinner, prominently featured fresh local produce, seafood – and classic Southern preparations. Participating chefs included Ryan Herrmann, Executive Chef of the Boathouse on East Bay; Charles Arena, Executive Chef from the Boathouse at Breach Inlet; Jeremiah Bacon, Executive Chef of Carolina’s Restaurant; Craig Ashman, Chef – Carolina Catering; and Jeff Lanzaro, Executive Chef of the Boathouse on Lake Julian in Asheville, NC.

The dinner was inspired by the Crew Carolina’s “Plantation-to-Plate” initiative, which supplies fresh produce grown at Kensington Plantation (a 670-acre ancestral site north of Charleston, SC) to the company’s restaurant group. The initiative’s principal purpose is to “literally offer fresh local flavors” and to maintain the integrity of South Carolina soil, farming and culinary traditions. Richard Stoney, President of Crew Carolina and part owner of Kensington Plantation, is spearheading the effort, which includes not only a sustainable and heirloom variety rice crop (from organic seedstock), but also a vegetable and spice garden.

The debut harvest from the Kensington gardens was served at The James Beard House dinner– including figs, mixed greens, cowpeas, black eyed peas, snap beans, squash and several spices from the gardens.

THE MENU:

A Southern Coastal Seafood Dinner

Prepared by: Crew Carolina, Charleston, SC

The James Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, NYC

September 10, 2007 – 7pm

Passed Hors D’Oeuvres

Kensington Plantation “Tomato Pies”
Clemson blue cheese mini tart shells Heirloom tomatoes Micro Arugula salad with Wadmalaw sweet onion vinaigrette
Grilled Manchester Farm Quail Legs
Wrapped in Caw Caw Creek house-cured Prosciutto, Finished with Kensington brown turkey fig gastrique
Breach Inlet Littleneck Clams
Served “Casino” style with crispy tobacco shallots
Jumbo Lump Crab Beignets
With horseradish chive crème fraiche

with Tori Mor Reserve Pinot Gris 2005

FirstCourse

Cold-Smoked Rainbow Trout
Mixed fresh Kensington greens and North Carolina apple port vinaigrette
with Trimbach Reserve Reisling 2002

Second Course

Braised Caw Caw Pork Belly
with late summer vegetables
Kensington black-eyed pea consommé
with Tegernseerhof Rosé-Zweigelt 2005

Third Course

Reconstructed Low Country Shrimp & Grits
Grits soufflé with tasso-wrapped shrimp
Kensington peppers
with Trevor Jones Virgin Chardonnay 2004

Fourth Course

Roasted Local Grouper
With Carolina gold rice cake
Cippolini onions and country ham jus
with Chehalem Pinot Noir 2003

Dessert

North Carolina Apple Tart Tatin
Homemade buttermilk ice cream
with Neige Apple Icewine

About the Chefs

CHARLES ARENA, Executive Chef, Boathouse at Breach Inlet CHARLES ARENA, Executive Chef at the Boathouse at Breach Inlet since September 2005, is a 1998 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. The 28-year-old Brooklyn, New York, native also earned a degree in business from the College of Charleston in 2002. He performed his CIA externship at La Cote Basque in New York City. Prior to joining the Boathouse at Breach Inlet, Arena was Executive Sous Chef at Kiawah Island Beach Club on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Arena relies heavily on his background in classical French technique to create “straightforward, simple dishes with a modern edge,” such as Roasted Scallops with Sweet Corn and Asparagus Risotto with a Truffle Butter Beurre Blanc and Bacon-Wrapped Grouper.

RYAN M. HERRMANN, Executive Chef, The Boathouse on East Bay

After working at some of Charleston’s finest restaurants, Chef Herrmann brings more than 12 years of experience in the industry with him as he takes the helm at The Boathouse on East Bay. His stellar performance record at Fish, Coast and Rue de Jean have earned him high praise with customers and co-workers.

Most recently, Ryan Herrmann served as Executive Chef of Fish, The American Theater, The William Aiken House in Charleston. During that period business at Fish improved dramatically. He previously was Chef de Cuisine at Coast and Sous Chef at Rue de Jean. Before he moved to Charleston, Chef Herrmann was located in Boston, where he served as Sous Chef at Pho Pasteur, Euno and Pignoli – 3 of the city’s top dining establishments. Ryan Herrmann is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Essex Vermont.

JEFF LANZARO, Executive Chef, Boathouse on Lake Julian, Asheville, NC Jeff Lanzaro, Executive Chef at the Boathouse on Lake Julian in Asheville, North Carolina, has an eight-year history working with Crew Carolina and served as the original Executive Chef at the Boathouse at Breach Inlet. While there, he played an instrumental role in developing the original Boathouse menu and the style and ingredients that resonate in the menus to this day. The 1989 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, is a native of Brooklyn and describes his style as “more comfort than fine dining.”

One of his signature dishes on the current menu is Local Pecan Trout with Brown Butter. Lanzaro has worked as a chef and consultant at numerous restaurants, including Luca’s in New York City, and has worked as Executive Chef at Heron Park Grill on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Prior to his current post at the Boathouse on Lake Julian, Lanzaro was Executive Chef at Thoroughbreds in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

JEREMIAH BACON, Executive Chef, Carolina’s

After 7 years spent honing his skills in some of the finest kitchens throughout the Northeast -including the River Cafe, ILO, Le Bernardin and Per Se in New York City – Bacon has returned to the Lowcountry to take the helm as Executive Chef at Carolina’s. Bacon is a Charleston native who graduated with a degree in philosophy from the College of Charleston and attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park before setting off for New York City.

From his calm, respectful nature to his passionate approach toward his work “classically rooted, contemporary, and creative,” Bacon is a unique voice – and figure – in Charleston. And he’s enthusiastically embracing his latest challenge.

While historic specialties on the Carolina’s menu includes the beloved Perdita’s Fruit de Mer (which dates back to the original Perdita’s restaurant, circa 1953), Shrimp & Crabmeat Wonton’s and Carolina’s Shrimp & Grits, Bacon is enthusiastic about creating “new classics” from the produce specially grown for the restaurant at nearby Kensington Plantation.

Craig Ashman, Chef, Carolina Catering Chef Ashman is dedicating himself to two new initiatives with Crew Carolina. He is taking on a larger operating role in Carolina Catering, with a new initiative prompted by the acquisition of major new event facilities at one of Charleston’s historic plantations. In that capacity he is taking his talent for the small plate, to larger catering events.

Chef Ashman is also deeply involved in the major launch of a new line of retail products based on highly popular entrée items from the Boathouse Restaurant and Carolina’s. He has worked in product testing and development as well as laying the groundwork for future production. His commitment to Crew Carolina runs deep. He joined the company after graduating Summa Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University in 2000.

Crew Carolina

From the beginning, in 1996, with the conversion of a ramshackle bait shop into the first Boathouse Restaurant at Breach Inlet, Charleston native and former attorney Richard Stoney has worked to connect plate to past.

Crew Carolina has grown from that dream. Reaching into history and into what he calls his “food memories,” (those childhood memories of first oyster, wild duck or shrimp and grits, those early loves that have lasted a lifetime, the love of the food that makes us Southern) Stoney has woven a connection of restaurants and products that is still reaching to serve the greatest part of our Southern heritage: our foods.

Crew Carolina now forms the managing structure for the Boathouse Restaurants, Carolina’s, Carolina Catering, Simply Southern Products and our new alliances providing catering and event planning for two of Charleston’s jewels, Boone Hall Plantation and Magnolia Plantation. For further information please see www.crewcarolina.com.

Kensington Plantation

A 670-acre estate off the Cooper River, Kensington Plantation is a privately owned working estate featuring gardens and rice fields – which supply heirloom Carolina Gold Rice, specialty herbs and baby vegetables to Carolina’s restaurant. The estate was first settled by Elias O. Ball Jr. as a rice plantation in 1740. In the mid-19th century, the land was acquired by Dr. John B. Irving, author of A Day on the Cooper River and The South Carolina Jockey Club. Thomas Porcher Stoney, grandfather to the siblings who own the site today, purchased the plantation – alongside several others– during his lifetime. But his favorite was always Kensington. Today, an archaeology site, the 1745 “oak allee” and the overseer’s house built in 1830, are all noted on the National Register of Historic Places – and an easement for 224 acres has been granted to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust.

The James Beard Foundation is a national non-for-profit organization based in New York City dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary experience. Dinners at the James Beard House showcase culinary artists from around the world. For further information, see www.jamesbeard.org