OUTDOORS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010
LOWCOUNTRY ACTIVE LIVING MAGAZINE
Hyde Park Farms
POLO CLUB BILLFISHING
2010 GOVERNOR’S CUP
PARKS & REC
EXPLORING THE LOWCOUNTRY’S NATURAL WONDERS
Relax Memberships & Tee Times Available Call Today. RiverTowneCountryClub.com 843.849.2400
CHARLESTON SC OUTDOORS SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2010
Destinations Seabrook Island
Keeper of the Water Hyde Park Polo Club
2010 Governorâ€™s Cup
Tristan Chef: Nate Whiting
Charleston Parks & Recreation
C H A R L E S T O N
OUTDOORS //LOWCOUNTRY ACTIVE LIVING
PUBLISHER JASON KIRBY email@example.com MARKETING/SALES DIRECTOR DAVID KIRBY firstname.lastname@example.org COPY EDITOR LINDA MOONEY email@example.com ASST. ART DIRECTOR GRIFFIN BLACKWELDER firstname.lastname@example.org IT DIRECTOR/WEBMASTER LARRY COLLETT email@example.com WRITERS LINDA MOONEY, MEREDITH SIEMENS firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com PHOTOGRAPHER JOHN LOTTERHOS firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE MANAGER/ACCOUNTING LYNN KIRBY email@example.com MARKETING/SOCIAL NETWORKING JULIE PARNELL firstname.lastname@example.org KRISTEN DIXON email@example.com SPECIAL THANKS: The crew of the Crystal Blue, Charleston County Parks & Recreation, Sarah Reynolds, Jessica Reid, Bliss, Ellin Stebbins, Low country Business Network, SC Chamber of Commerce. Published by Charleston SC Outdoors, LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Charleston SC Outdoors. Charleston SC Outdoors magazine does not endorse or guarantee any product, service, or vendor mentioned or pictured in this magazine in editorial or advertising space.
CALENDAR September 5th - Boone Hall BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Festival (843) 8844371 ext. 221 September 11th - Leslie McCravy Memorial 5K Run/ Walk, 8am Folly Beach Fishing Pier, fundraiser for Pet Helpers, www.active.com September 18th- Scottish Games and Highland Gathering at Boone Hall Plantation (843) 552-2563 www. boonehallplantation.com September 25th – An Evening of Jazz under the Stars, at The Cistern, 66 George St. www.mojafestival.com September 25th 8am- 7th annual Carolina Children’s Charity 8000 Meter Run/2 Mile Fun Walk, Hanahan
Recreational Center, (843) 554-6222 or www.carolinachildren.org October 1-30th – Charleston Corn Maze, Legare Farms, 2620 Hanscombe Point Rd, Johns Island October 2nd- Isle of Palms Connector Run for Children, 10K/5K, (843) 9715357 www.iopconnectorrun.com October 8-10th – Taste of Charleston, Boone Hall Plantation, The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association will feature some of Charleston’s finest, nationally renowned chefs. (843) 755-4030 October 16th – Komen Lowcountry Race for the
Cure, 7am Daniel Island, www.komenlowcountry.org October 25th-31st – Nationwide Tour Championship, Daniel Island, www.pgatour. com October 25th-31st – Nationwide Tour Championship, Daniel Island, www.pgatour. com October 30th – 5K Monster Dash & Goblin Gallop Kids Run, 9am, Sullivan’s Island firstname.lastname@example.org
CHECK US OUT @ facebook.com/charlestonscoutdoors twitter.com/chuckoutdoors
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Seabrook Island by Meredith Siemens
There are few places on earth that are still legitimately “tucked away.” The concept is used as a tagline for hotels just a mile off I-95 or for spots that have failed to provide proper signage. Seabrook Island, a mere 25 miles Southwest of downtown Charleston, however, embodies the evasive descriptor. Bohicket Road leads to the island and is shrouded by Live Oaks and billowy balls of Spanish Moss. It weaves and winds through a wealth of local attractions. The roadside shop for “Antiques and Neat Things,” fresh produce stands and the oft-
LOWCOUNTRY ACTIVE LIVING
Only 20 minutes from the heart of Charleston you will find one of the best places in the lowcountry to relax and undwind-- Seabrook
photographed Angel Oak. The Live Oak, which is thought to be over 1500 years old and have a circumference of 11.25 feet, is a worthwhile stop on the journey. Just before the island, Rosebank Farms offers a petting zoo, including Bab-ba-lu the talking Macaw, the Johns Island Museum and a fresh selection of seafood, flowers and the picks of the season. Across the street, Freshfields Village houses everything from chic boutiques and fine dining to the neighborhood sheriff and weeknight movies on the green.
A veer right at the roundabout slows you top-notch tennis facilities and oceanside pools, down both in speed and mindset, with reminders the focus of Seabrook is still on conservation and to “drive gently please.” There is something its lush landscape. inherently soothing about being The island is verdant, with homes Freshfields Village tucked into trees, reminiscent of greeted by the horses of the Seabrook equestrian facility, the a Swiss Family Robinson scene. houses everylast stop that is open to the public All of this is a product of nature thing from chic before the property. The brood of and design, with community 13 Seabrook regulars, including the members active in the Greenspace boutiques and famed Peanut & Lefty, is available Conservancy and their own for lessons, trail rides and a beach fine dining to the Seabrook Island Natural History ride for experienced equestrians. Club. The active community is also Access to Seabrook is restricted neighborhood reducing its carbon footprint, with and requires a pass called in by a sheriff and week- cyclists and leisure riders covering resident or for visitors to be staying the trails. at one of the many rental properties night movies on The island is relaxing, but on the island. Although the gates certainly not sleepy. Just back the green. can sometimes be seen as an outside the gates, Bohicket Marina inconvenience, the security does offers a range of options for sailing, offer a great sense of comfort and community fishing and charter trips. The new Red’s Ice House within this “Mayberry at the beach,” where serves up great views and brews from their neighbors are quick with a smile and greeting. decks, Fisher’s hosts Friday Night Karaoke and The Seabrook Island Club recently underwent Rosebank Farms restaurant has delicious comfort a $31 million dollar renovation and construction food covered. of the new Oceanside clubhouse, putting a fresh Make it out for a daytrip or a week’s vacation luster on the island lifestyle. Despite the bells and and it’s guaranteed you will be tucked and swept whistles of the two championship golf courses, away with its charm.
Charleston’s Best Hope for the Future
Keeper of the water
The shores of the Gulf Coast are littered with oily rags and diapers heaped into garbage bags by hazmat workers while nearly 4,000 birds, sea turtles and marine mammals have died and coastal towns have turned to ghost haunts as fishing and tourism have dried up. The aftermath of the now-infamous 4.9-million-barrel leak has left most of us feeling like we can do little more than hold a collective breath with our fingers crossed. We’re so overwhelmed; we don’t know where to start. Written by Linda Mooney
That’s where Cyrus Buffum comes in. He’s here to educate us, inspire us and remind us that that the waters don’t belong to companies but to “we the people;” that it is our responsibility to protect this inherited gift. In other words, get off your butt and do something. Of course, he says it more eloquently than that but his passion to motivate is still felt. The 26-year-old physicsmajor credits finding his own calling in January of 2008 after reading The Riverkeepers, a historical telling of the 1966 blue-collar fight for clean water on the Hudson River, which eventually forced polluting Goliaths to pay penalties that funded the patrolling of its waters. It was the same kind of power he had seen grassroots activism wield in Zimbabwe while working there for an educational nonprofit, the Elias Fund. Inspired, Buffum drafted a proposal to establish a Waterkeeper program in Charleston and submitted the plan to the Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit organization that formed in 1999 to unite the growing number of Waterkeepers worldwide that were largely influenced by the movement on the Hudson River. After a few months of revisions, in mid September, Buffum received the news he had been waiting for: the Waterkeeper Alliance unanimously approved the proposed program, and Buffum became Charleston’s very own Waterkeeper and one of the nearly 200 people worldwide to hold the title. That’s when the flood gates opened. The Alliance’s brand recognition and networking opportunities—a wealth of information sharing on various ecological problems and solutions—opened doors that transformed Buffum’s life, turning his passion into a full-time job. And one he’s doing so well that even GQ magazine tipped its hat recently to his hard work, selecting him as one of eight finalists—out of 122 nominees—for their “Better Man, Better World” contest.
It’s certainly a distinction he deserves. Since taking up the role, Buffum has become a perpetual presence on and around our waterways, responding to community feedback, tips and complaints while working on solutions. He has orchestrated nearly a half-dozen successful beach cleanups drawing over 500 volunteers and collecting nearly 20,000 pieces of trash. One of their YouTube videos highlights their cleanup efforts on Morris Island after it was trashed on the 4th of July last year (2009). The video has drawn over 2,000 views and the attention of local TV news stations. He’s interviewed with numerous magazines and newspapers, bringing water quality to the forefront of people’s minds. When he isn’t raising awareness, Buffum is patrolling the waters, documenting beach debris, researching and investigating known and potential polluters, or posting relevant links to his website, working with the City of Charleston’s Green Committee to draft water-quality recommendations and recruiting interns on the marketing, research and legal fronts to strengthen his cause. One such intern, Andy Lassiter, a recent graduate of the Masters of Environmental Studies Program at the College of Charleston, worked with Charleston Waterkeeper to research copper contamination in Charleston’s waterways. The research team retrieved 60 sediment samples that exposed dangerously high copper levels in local waterways near marinas and boat yards. The culprit, the copper-based paint used on boat bottoms to prevent rust and algae growth, has been poisoning the smallest of organisms, which in turn contaminate fish—sometimes even altering their gender--and can cause neurological problems in small children exposed to the toxin. In fact, a 30-foot boat can drip or leach about three pounds of copper into our waterways over the course of just one year. The study, which completed in April 2010, is the foundation behind Buffum’s newest campaign “Say No to Dirty Bottoms,” which encourages boaters to adopt environmentally safer alternatives.
Of course, all this time and energy requires funding especially since Buffum hopes to bring on a program director, staff scientist and lawyer one day so, in March 2010 he held the first annual Water Ball at the Aquarium, where hundreds showed up in support and contributed thousands of dollars to the cause. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Buffum recently travelled in a converted 1978 school bus with a Charleston group for a four-day trip to Alabama and Louisiana to shed light on the Save Our Gulf campaign, a program created by Buffum on behalf of the Waterkeeper Alliance. There, he witnessed eerie coastal ghost towns and neon booms channeling oil; he shot video, which he hopes to turn into a short documentary, and witnessed cleanup crews dressed in hazmat suits cleaning oil off ATVs just feet away from the Incident Command Center, where BP representatives, federal employees (i.e. the Coast Guard), and other stakeholders make decisions pertaining to response and cleanup efforts. He noted that some local leaders and nonprofits who represent the voice of the rivers, animals, fishermen and affected communities, have had dif-
LOWCOUNTRY ACTIVE LIVING
ficulty being heard by the decision makers. An example of this, he says, can be seen in the attempt by nonprofits to voice concern over the excessive use of toxic dispersants to break up the oil.
But Buffum is just one man and can’t do it all alone (though his full-time unpaid assistant, Natalie Taylor, has been nothing short of a miracle, he says). Still, he needs you. And while he quips that his greatest goal is to put himself and his team out of business, he also realizes that, sadly, “it’ll be a long time before that happens.” In the meantime, here’s what you can do to help.
Consider it a right. You are entitled to clean water just as you are
your freedom of speech. A Waterkeeper’s job is to enforce compliance with environmental laws - like the Clean Water Act - and to assure that the public’s right to clean water is protected. Reach out if you witness any person or business polluting our waterways. Educate yourself. Be aware of potential pollutants you yourself may be contributing. Know that spraying your yard with pesticides can release toxins and pollutants that wash into the road and collect oil and trash before running off into storm drains that flow, unfiltered, into rivers and harbors--and can eventually end up on your dinner plate. Also, think before you throw into the dumpster oil, anti-freeze, paint, varnish, solvents, lead batteries, pesticides or anything questionably toxic. Get involved. Attend meetings and permit hearings. Volunteer your time or services, such as photography or GIS (geographical information system) expertise. Donate equipment or items from Charleston Waterkeeper’s wish list. Spread the word and join them on Twitter or Facebook. Go to www.charlestonwaterkeeper.org and sign up for their free monthly e-newsletters so you can stay up to date. Their website also has informative links and an interactive map that lets viewers identify the location of abandoned boats littering Charleston’s waterways. Buffum then pressures municipalities to remove them. Become a member. Members are essential to the sustainability of this nonprofit organization, and in fact, were, for the first year of the organization’s existence, the only thing that kept Charleston Waterkeeper afloat. When you join, you receive discounts on fundraisers, the chance to join patrols and, yes, even a decal for your car, bike or surfboard. Memberships start at just $15 (for students under 21) and range from $25 for individuals to $50 for families. The able and generous can become Waterway Watchdogs for $100, Water Warriors for $250 or part of Poseidon’s Posse for $500. In less than two years, Charleston Waterkeeper has attracted more than 200 people, businesses and organizations as members. It’s time to stop holding your breath and worrying about the future and time to start creating the one you want. Live responsibly
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Hyde park polo The
PowerofPolo A Story by Linda Mooney
Arguably the most dangerous sport in the world,
Ravenel (25 minutes from downtown Charleston),
polo is an adrenaline-packed whirlwind of eight jock-
Hyde Park Farm and Polo Club boasts a manicured
eys mounted on horseback galloping up to 40 mph
field surrounded by verdant turnout pastures of Ber-
while swinging long-handled mallets at a solid PVC
muda grass, tall Oaks, Weeping Willows and lush flow-
pipe ball that can fly as quickly as 100 mph through
ers alongside picket fences, a fishing pond and an old
the air if hit by a pro. The quick turns and wayward
stone path that leads up to a renovated 19th century
hits, stinging horses and players alike, make it an
house with heated saltwater pool.
exhilarating game to watch as each team vies for the opponents’ goal, set 300 yards from their own over a
It has, in fact, all the makings for a premier polo club—except for the players. Well, sort of.
grassy field the size of three football fields. With origins dating as far back as the 5th century BC, polo is steeped in history and tradition and is now played in 77 countries but only professionally and prominently in about 15. While a few clubs have popped up over the years in Charleston, locally, polo has been primarily exclusive, played privately on the plots of a wealthy few, making it hard to find out about and even harder to become involved in. Amy Vann Flowers, however, plans to change that. The 41-year-old single mom defied naysayers and finally completed her own field last spring, in accordance with the U.S. Polo Association regulations. Set
With origins dating as far back as the 5th century BC, polo is steeped in history and tradition and is now played in 77 countries...
on her family’s 100-year-old property of 380 acres in
While the first season will be “by invitation only” for players, anyone interested in becoming a participant can polish his or her skills during the weekday practices. Until now, Vann Flowers has been calling Aiken, SC, her second home for the last seven years, making the 5-hour roundtrip trek three times a week, with horses in tow, to play the circuit alongside the pros that have congregated in the area. Her connections are strong enough that she can already count on a full roster of Aiken and international jocks for her first official matches this fall, set to kick off in October each Sunday. But it’s the local support she wants—participants and attendees alike. Her “if you build it, they will come” spirit already envisions Charleston as a community crying out for this. She can see it clearly: Eager learners and rusty jocks will turn up in numbers that will eventually lead to two games each Sunday, maybe even one on Saturday nights. Next spring, she might even bring in a team from Chile to host a women’s match and hopes to eventually see her arena lit up with a bar, food sponsors and halftime entertainment, including bands, raffles and fashion shows. Nearby Seabrook and Kiawah Islands might (fingers crossed) transport in visitors, and throngs of thrill-seekers will show up to tailgate with their Frisbees, wine and picnic baskets.
LOWCOUNTRY ACTIVE LIVING
The vision may seem grand, but it’s realistic for Vann Flowers, who has been nursing the dream since 2004 with hopes to build “the most fun polo club” in Charleston. “More than a spectator sport, polo is an attendance sport,” she says, encouraging future members to also use this venue as a platform for networking and offering their own products. While the first season will be “by invitation only” for players, anyone interested in becoming a participant can polish his or her skills during the weekday practices. Just show up with your boots. Hyde Park’s turnkey service provides everything else: expert grooms, farriers, mallets, safety gear, horses and transportation. Or you can bring your own horses and have them shod, groomed, worked and ready to play when you pick them up. For beginners, hour-long private lessons are available no matter what your age or level, even if you’ve never ridden a horse before. Professional instructors will play alongside you at a slower pace and focus their attention on offering tips for safe riding and horse control.
For the particularly enthusiastic, weekend packages are available with twice-daily lessons. You can stay at the farm’s centerpiece, Beech Hill House, a four-bedroom, three-bath masterpiece with an immense fireplace and Old Charleston furnishings. Built in 1865, Beech Hill House once served as the childhood home of Vann Flowers’s great-great-grandmother, who had lived in it for nearly 50 years outside of Summerville. After relocating the home to her family’s farm in Ravenel, Vann Flowers restored it with wood from a demolished Virginia mill and imported white pine. The large porch offers great views a short distance from the playing field. If you plan ahead, yoga can be scheduled with Dawn Hinshaw, owner of the Laughing Buddha Yoga Studio in Charlotte, NC, or a massage can be had with Frank Printz, nationally certified Thai Massage practitioner, also based in Charlotte. You might even consider throwing a wedding or corporate retreat onsite, as the renovated barn has a new brick floor, custom iron work, wooden stalls and a spacious center aisle that can hold up to 100 people.
So, come on out this October and enjoy one of the fastest-paced sports in the world while sipping some wine, scotch or sweet iced tea under the shady oaks. If you’re the sensitive type and feel a pang of pity for the horses, don’t. Vann Flowers, who has grown up around horses and polo since age 15, assures they are well cared for. Before playing, each horse’s legs are carefully wrapped and the groomsmen, who read horses like doctors, keep a vigilant eye on their four-legged friends, especially during hot summer afternoons. Referees and ambulances are on hand and no horse plays for more than 7 minutes, which is the length of each of the six chukkers, or plays, between which players change mounts. What’s best, says Vann Flowers, the horses love it and you can tell. For more information, check out HydeParkPoloClub. com or find them on Facebook. These online sites can keep you updated on game times and rainouts. Seasonal discounts will also be posted as well as details on sponsors, vendors, charities, art dealers, local bands and the like CHARLESTONSCOUTDOORS.COM
2010 Edisto Billfish The
Tournament* * Adventure Girl Meredith Siemens Takes the Reel
Few things short of international travel
and designer clearance sales can rouse me at 3:30 a.m., but the chance to try my hand at the 2010 South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series made the short list.
The locally infamous fishing competition, which began in May, rewards the team that catches (and releases) the greatest billfishfish- with elongated snouts, like marlin, sailfish and swordfish. Blue Marlin run 600 points; White Marlin 300 and Sailfish 200. If a Blue Marlin is 105 inches or longer, a point per pound accrues. The fifth and last tournament of the series was set to launch from the Edisto Marina the last weekend of July and I wanted a front-row seat to the excitement, alongside my photographer, John. And we got one, aboard Crystal Blue, a 40-foot Sportfish with her name emblazoned in sapphire lights that lit up the water. It was a muggy morning as we approached slip A2 and the banter of competitive men, who grew quiet when my presence was spotted. Around us boats sported sailfish images, Team DNR and Charleston Angler stickers and names like Rascal, Daymaker, Reel Passion and Game On. Crystal Blue’s owner, Jim, a recently retired veteran fisherman, had in tow Chevis, his Mexican guide from a winter trip to Isla Mujeres; Captain Jim, tan and soft-spoken with a salt-curled ponytail; Brett, the resident dock rat and grandson of the Edisto Marina’s store manager; and Sam. The team was busy loading ice and signing papers when a voice crackled over the radio, “30 minutes till lines in,” and the dance on deck began. The beanbag seats were thrown into the cabin, cooler tops popped open to reveal pans of ballyhoo and mullet ready to go on the line. A foreign fishing language took over, while they tried their best to explain the rigging system and how fish are pulled into the dredge. My interests, though, lay with the scoring and victor’s cup. I admit, the night before, I even Googled “lady angler” for proper tournament apparel, packed 11 types of SPF and ate copious quantities of ginger. Then it came. The Southern howler, “Hook ‘em up, ya’ll. Lines in, lines in… the 2010 Edisto Billfish Tournament Begins!” See ya back home!” Our engines kicked on and we motored out, leaving a fantail wake reflected in the moonlight. Neon green, yellow and blue lines went whisking out left to right and overhead into the water. The eight rods I had counted became 14 and the smell of baitfish wafted about. The men scanned the water, waiting for any ripple or abnormality. They paced the deck, cocking their heads and squinting through polarized glasses. Before long, a spin and squeal of a pulled line drew my attention and each set of eyes landed on the angler closest to the chosen line. They watched his form, movements, instinct, throwing in bits of advice like “make sure he’s hooked,” “not too fast,” or “take her easy,” as it was determined whether or not this one was coming home.
If it looked like a good hookup, the other hands scurried like marionettes to pull in all of the other lines and prevent tangled nets. This time it was Sam who reeled in the first catch, a respectable dolphin. From there, blood was in the water and everyone was hungry. Each zip of a line sent eyes and arms racing to the reels. The empathy pain when “one got away” was tangible.
After a dry spell, Sam shared a secret for how to kill the slow time. “We bless the fish,” he said, pulling out a Michelob Ultra and splashing each reel and a sip or two into the water for potential suitors. Perhaps there’s something to the trick, as not too long afterward we found ourselves in a school of dolphin. One after the other, lines flicked and each angler took to his post. The buzz of excitement had the whole boat at attention. Sam yelled for me to come over and handed me a rod, complete with what seemed to be a pretty decent-size fish on the end. I reeled and pulled, remembering “not too fast; let him fight back” and watched my line bob and weave through the water. I’d like to say I was just being fair and giving that sea devil a chance, but it was definitely
a workout. That fish didn’t want the least bit to do with me and if I wanted him in the boat, I was going to have to sweat. The whole exchange took only about 20 minutes. In the end, I reeled him in and saw all the glory of his vivid yellow, green and blue scales. I thanked him for the challenge and, based on prior bad experience, decided against naming him. He will simply be known as my larger-than-life tournament half-catch (thank you, Sam). Should anyone ask, he was probably record setting. After my great moment of sportsmanship, I retired myself to sit back as the heat increased in the pursuit of the sailfish. Other boats were calling in hookups over the radio and each fueled the mounting flame aboard Crystal Blue. Just after another round of beer had been offered to the reels and fish, Brett took it upon himself to call a sailfish, standing on the stern and squealing “suuuuuey, suuuuuey.” Perhaps that too worked. Because not more than 20 minutes later, the line raced out and all eyes went to the water. “You know you’ve hooked a sailfish,” they told me, “if it jumps,” which is why each line pull for the past three hours had gotten the command “jump” in a range of politeness from the crew onboard. This time though,
before the suggestion could even be given, a glistening silver spine came somersaulting out of the water. Just like an aquatic bronco, he kicked and flipped his way across the water. The caught sailfish are not kept, so a picture is necessary proof for tournament points. The entire crew’s focus was on getting a camera and keeping the fish on the line. John saved the day, securing a photo. The tug of war continued for 25 minutes. After one last rather triumphant whip, the sailfish popped the hook and the boat went silent. The mood, though, was light overall. Chevis had hooked his first gringo sailfish, Capt. Jim radioed back success, Sam hoisted the sailfish flag and Brett tried a new call. We put out a few more lines before time was officially called and enjoyed some beers through the last of the hunt. The day came to a close with a cooler of dolphin and one elegant sailfish. The motor gave out a high-pitched hum, letting the fish know they were safe until tomorrow, and we hit a full run back to the marina. I curled up on a blue and white bean bag, listened to fisherman’s tales and watched the blue and white clouds overhead. Mission Sailfish complete. Now onto the next adventure.
Out of the Kitchen Fresh Face, Fresh Feel for
An Interview with Chef Nate Whiting
By Meredith Siemens
Q: “Simple. Modern. Unexpected.” is the new logo. Break that down for me, what does it mean for the new Tristan? A: Simple as far as the dishes go – it’s one main ingredient with others to accent it. I want my tomatoes to taste like tomatoes. Simplicity is deceiving because we do a lot to the ingredients, but we still want them to be as approachable as possible. Modern is in the unexpected flavor profiles. Like for a Risotto Milanese, we make the classic risotto from scratch with the saffron and parmesan, but then add Chinese five spice to complete and connect every element of the plant. Unexpected is people’s surprise in how great the cooking is for the value. The added extras; an amuse bouche every day and little, fun treats that appear throughout your meal. That’s the new Tristan. Q: You are pretty new as well, when did you make the move from The Woodlands to Tristan? A: Let’s see, October of last year, so 10 months ago. Q: What’s the biggest lesson you have learned in that time? A: Respect is the sum of every interaction. You’ve got to earn it. I promised Ms. Zucker, our owner; Steve, our General Manager and Dave, our Director of Operations, that I could deliver what I promise. Respect at the back of the house, in the kitchen – it’s all one. Q: So, I realize the atmosphere is a little different too, but I am having trouble putting my finger on it. What’s changed? A: We have closed the Market Street entrance, so people can better pull in and access the free valet parking. The curtains were replaced with glass so it is open at the restaurant and the bar. We want it to be approachable. We can offer the ultimate dining experience or something for people that just want to come in, have a snack or drink and hang out for a while. Q: With all these changes, what can we count on remaining the same? A: The best ingredients. You are only as good as they are and I have always thought of myself as a great ingredients talent scout.
Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of working at Tristan? A: The opportunity to succeed. It’s good to be with an organization that wants to win. Q: I understand you have your wingman here from your last gig at the Woodlands, Jesse Sutton. What’s the secret to your mojo in the kitchen? A: He was a line cook when I was the sous chef and we hit it off (insert snap and chuckle here) just like that. We both love collecting cookbooks. He may have more, but I have quality. Getting him was my first move when I got to Tristan. As long as we are together, we’ve got a good thing. My wife calls him my work wife; we see each other more than our real spouses.
“I’m not here to educate the guests. I am here to please them. If they are intimidated, they aren’t enjoying it.” - Chef Nate Whiting
Q: If you were having three courses at Tristan any given night – what would be on your plate? A: I’d start with the Lowcountry Carbonara quail dish, then the New England scallops and finish with the Chocolate Pot de Crème. Q: Is there added pressure cooking with the open kitchen?
A: We’re Modern-day sailors – foul-mouthed and a little scruffy. We have to make sure we are presentable and watch our language. Q: Does the visibility bring more people to mill around while you’re cooking? A: We encourage people to come up and look. I try to come out and go to the tables. It’s not my strength – that’s why I’m always in the kitchen. I think it is not about me, it’s about the restaurant, but I am working on it. Q: What is the best and worst aspect of being a chef? A: I just love to teach the cooks. I think that is the first job of a chef. It makes me really proud to see people that have worked with me go on to be a rock star in the next kitchen. That makes me feel great. The downside is that I work all the time. I love my cooking, but I love my wife more. I just have to work on making time for other people that are important to me.
By Linda Mooney Summer’s ending but your chance to
what to plant and when to harvest.
ded leaves, which allow air and moisture
garden certainly isn’t. In fact, late Sep-
There are plenty of vegetables that
tember and mid October are, in many
prefer cooler conditions and can thrive
the winter. Remember to remove the
ways, the prime time to grow your own
well into December. Hardy winter
cloth or mulch come spring so light can
vegetables. Not only is it cooler out and
veggies to plant are spinach, broccoli,
stimulate their growth once more.
less humid but gnats, mosquitoes and
cauliflower, turnips, shallots, rutabagas,
Once you’ve completed your fall har-
beets, garlic, Brussels sprouts, car-
vest, till generous amounts of compost
rots, mustard, Swiss chard, Chinese
into the ground for richer soil and a
cabbage, leeks, endives and certain
more fruitful springtime garden. You can
varieties of lettuce like arugula.
create your own compost by chopping
Leafy greens can be harvested in
up leaves with your lawnmower, as long
stages, a leaf or two as needed,
as it has a bag to catch the diced foliage.
leaving the core of the plant alive
Or chop up flowers and leaves from
to produce new growth. Or leave
healthy, pest-free plants in your garden.
them in the ground and reap all of
When you’re all done for the season, dis-
the rewards at once at the end of
infect your tools with soapy water and
the season. Some greens, such as
apply a light coat of oil for protection.
leafy kale and collards, benefit from
Start sowing now to allow plenty of time for the crops to reach maturity before winter. The plants will grow rapidly at first but as the weather cools and days shorten, their growth slows. For tender crops, plant them where they will be most protected from the cold and wind, such as above a septic tank or up against the south or west side of your house or a rock foundation that retains heat from the sun.
a touch of frost, which can enhance flavor and sweetness.
to pass, keeping the plants alive through
For more information, take one of Blizard’s “green thumb” workshops he
You can even grow tomatoes
teaches at the Caw Caw Interpretive
late into the fall as long as you pull
Center for $7, or $9 for nonresidents.
destructive insects are not as prominent,
the fruited vines before a frost comes
Topics include container gardening,
and the typically increased rain means
and hang them inside upside-down
easy organic herbs, outstanding orchids,
fewer trips dragging around the water
while they continue to ripen. In fact, by
gardening 101 and soil structure, which
hose. In short, this can be the most
the time it’s feeling too chilly for you to
covers analyzing and cultivating your
pleasant—and easiest—time to grow
enjoy gardening anymore, pull up all
soil’s pH for earth-friendly, organic veg-
your own food.
your vegetables to prevent crop dam-
gies and blooms.
The key, according to Tommy Blizard, the
resident garden expert for Charleston
Perennials, which live for more than two
795-4FUN (4386) or the Interpretive Cen-
County Parks, hinges on crop choice and
years, can be covered up outdoors with
ter at 843-889-8898
timing. Below, he shares his expertise on
landscape cloth, straw mulch or shred-
Call Charleston County Parks at 843-
James Parker tells you how to get ready for the chilly weather ahead
An outdoor fireplace can be a nice addition to your outdoor living space. It is very versatile and useful when entertaining especially when the cool evening breezes start coming into Charleston. The fireplace itself is usually built as a work of art as well as for functionality. You should enjoy looking at it as much as using it. Fireplaces are usually divided into two different categories. One being wood burning and the other would run off gas. Gas fireplaces often make it very convenient to light and use. In certain parts
LOWCOUNTRY ACTIVE LIVING
of the Lowcountry natural gas is available. Natural gas is lighter than air and is a cleaner burning fuel. It is also piped directly into the home and runs off a meter. The benefit of this is that you never run out of gas. The alternative to natural gas is LP (liquid petroleum or propane) is usually stored in containers that range from 10 lbs up to 500 lbs. When building an LP fire pit, one needs to realize that LP is heavier than air and has the potential of filling the fire pit with gas and causing an explosion or flare up when ignited.
With LP gas fireplaces they usually consist of a fire ring, a metal plate for the fire ring to sit on, an air mixer valve (which helps burn the LP cleaner by mixing air with it), and vents on the bottom to allow clean air in and or the heavier gases out. They also have a small layer of lava rock or glass beads are used to cover the fire ring from view. Either one of these types of gas fireplaces will allow for easier cleaning of the unit. A porous bottom pit is made with either sand or gravel or if built in an area that doesnâ€™t drain well, use of a drainage pipe is placed to allow the flushing of sediments and debris to come out of the fire pit. Automatic or manual gas igniters can easily start these fires and stop them for hassle-free use. Gas fire pits have the ability to burn water-soaked wood chips which gives a more authentic smell and taste to foods prepared on it. The smoke that comes off these wood soaked chips may help suppress mosquitoes and nats. If you donâ€™t want smoke just discontinue the use of the chips. The alternative to a gas fire pit is to construct a wood fire pit. When building a wood fire pit there are several things one must take into account during the construction phase. When burning real wood in the fireplace you may see much higher temperatures produced. These higher temperatures require the interior of the fire pit to be lined with a special heat tolerant fire brick. A fire proofing agent is mixed in with the mortar to prevent cracking of the concrete when under high temperatures. I have seen many wood fireplaces that were improperly constructed crack and crumble under the intense heat. In many cities wood fireplaces are also required to have a spark arrester (which is a fine screen that will go
Depending on the shape of the pit you can also smoke meats and foods and in some cases a pig.
over it) to prevent an ember from flying up and starting a fire. These embers have been known to travel far distances and start fires. Wood fireplaces are also inconvenient when it comes to starting the fire as well as trying to extinguish the fire at the end. We often construct these fireplaces with a drain pipe that will flush out the ash and soot. This helps reduce cleaning over a period of time. Rainwater itself will often provide enough water to keep the fire pit moderately clean. After constructing the fire pit of your choice and beginning to use the pit you will find many activities that work well with it. First, you will find you enjoy the
ambient lighting produced in your outdoor living area. Families often enjoy after dinner treats like cooking Smoars over the fire. It also provides a nice area to warm up after an autumn or springtime swim in the pool. Some fire pits can put out as much as 450 BTUs. You can also prepare various types of meals that are especially enjoyable during the fall. Oyster roasts are very popular in the coastal areas of South Carolina. You can also get an iron kettle on a tripod and make soups and shrimp boils. Depending on the shape of the pit you can also smoke meats and foods and in some cases a pig. The ability to cook large meals on your fire pit adds a great atmosphere for entertaining large groups. As daylight saving time slowly erodes our daylight hours the added light is a nice bonus Contact James Parker and Pleasant Landscapes at 843-886-9314 or online at pleasantlandscapes.com
Gas fire pits have the ability to burn water soaked wood chips which gives a more authentic smell and taste to foods prepared on it. CHARLESTONSCOUTDOORS.COM
James Island-Folly Beach-Mt. Pleasant
Adventure in your County Parks
Most locals have been a patron of their Charleston County
scope. With the mission of improving life in Charleston County
Parks â€“ maybe youâ€™ve marveled at the Holiday Festival of Lights,
by offering diverse parks and program services, the commission
brought your pup to a dog park, or cooled off at the waterparks.
emphasizes high standards in the delivery of passive activities,
But what some residents may not know is that the Charleston
outdoor recreation, public beach access, and environmental
County Park and Recreation Commission offers many more op-
education. The agency recently adopted eleven core values:
portunities for fun and adventure throughout the year.
Community Enrichment, Stewardship, Fun, Diversity, Accessibil-
Born in 1968 as the Charleston County Park, Recreation and Tourism Commission, the agency was created by state legislature as a special purpose district. The tourism function was
ity, Quality, Health and Wellness, Exceptional Customer Service, Safety, Leadership, and Building a Legacy. Last year, CCPRC parks and events hosted approximately 2
transferred to the Charleston Trident Chamber of Commerce in
million people. Each park offers programming geared toward
1985, thus creating the Charleston County Park and Recreation
the natural features of its site. The 643-acre James Island County
Park contains marshlands, meadows, and a lake, and hosts a
Today, it represents one of the most unique agencies of its
number of events and concerts annually, plus features a 125-site
kind in the state. While not duplicating recreation services pro-
campground and ten vacation cottages, a climbing wall, a chal-
vided by other municipalities or districts, CCPRC also develops
lenge course, a dog park, events including the Holiday Festival of
a countywide park system containing parks of a large size and
Lights, and a seasonal waterpark.
North Charleston Wannamaker County Park boasts 1015 acres of
cies of birds. Historically, the property was once used as cultivated
woodlands and wetlands. Part of the historic Elms Plantation and
rice fields and a tea plantation. Today, the site features an exhibit
originally owned by the Izard family in the late 17th century, CCPRC
center, plus a variety of interpretive programs and bird walks.
purchased the land and opened it to the public in 1998. Today, the park is home to Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, a dog park, and events including the Latin American Festival. Open since 1979, Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant is a 947-acre gem of wetlands and marsh, including 17 islands. Palmetto Islands is also home to Pet Fest, a dog park, and Splash Island Waterpark. In addition to these “day parks,” CCPRC operates three beach parks that offer parking, beach access, seasonal lifeguards and other amenities. The oldest park maintained by CCPRC, Kiawah Beachwalker Park opened in 1976 to offer Charleston County the only public beach access on Kiawah Island. Folly Beach County Park then opened in 1982, followed by Isle of Palms County Park in 1996. CCPRC also maintains a number of “special facili-
Home to fishing tournaments and Moonlight
The oldest park maintained by CCPRC, Kiawah Beachwalker Park opened in 1976 to offer Charleston County the only public beach access on Kiawah Island.
ties.” Ravenel’s Caw Caw Interpretive Center is a
Mixers, CCPRC’s Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier opened in 1995 and is one of the longest fishing piers on the East Coast. The Mount Pleasant Pier, which opened in 2009, extends roughly ¼ mile out into Charleston Harbor at the foot of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. Part of the Memorial Waterfront Park Complex, the pier was built on old pilings of the Grace Memorial Bridge and was finished with tabby concrete, a historic Southern brick substitute. Both piers boast breathtaking views and year-round special events, including fishing tournaments and concerts. On Johns Island is the Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, a 60-acre facility that hosts a variety of equestrian shows and 20 miles of riding trails, plus the Harvest Festival on November 6. CCPRC’s Cooper River Marina, featuring deep water transient slips, was originally built by the
654-acre preservation of natural and cultural resources with seven
U.S. Navy and opened to the public in 2005. CCPRC also maintains
miles of interpretive trails through eight habitats and over 250 spe-
19 public boat landings throughout Charleston County.
Entry fees for many CCPRC parks are nominal; admission to the day parks is simply $1 per person. The smart purchase for regular visitors is the county parks membership called the Gold Pass. With the Gold Pass, the whole family can enjoy the parks and many special events throughout the year, for a mere 15 cents per day. It’s a great value at just $55 for Charleston County residents, plus it covers a car of up to 15 people. CCPRC also offers passes for the individual parks, for the Climbing Wall, the waterparks, pier fishing and the equestrian center. Want to try out the county parks without paying admission? Get a sneak peek of CCPRC’s parks for free during Customer Appreciation Day in March.
In addition to operating park facilities, CCPRC specializes in events and recreational programming. Check out ccprc.com or the quarterly program guide for a wide variety of courses, natural and cultural history programs, recreational activities, camps, festivals, and more throughout the year. Looking for a challenge? Scale to new heights on James Island County Park’s climbing wall. Young beginners are invited to join CCPRC’s new Climbing Club, or the competitive youth Climbing Team. For a serious adventure, hit the water at your county parks through kayaking, canoeing or Stand Up Paddleboarding programs, available for all experience levels. Or, venture outside of the parks on a paddling excursion. Throughout the year, CCPRC hosts sea kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard trips around the Lowcountry’s backyard waterways. Plus, if paddle sports are your passion, don’t miss April’s East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival at James Island County Park. Other adventurous recreational activities at Charleston County Park’s include hiking, backpacking, and kayak rolling and rescue programs. And the newest program taking the parks by storm is a modern-day treasure hunting activity known as geocaching. Cultural celebrations, concerts, recreational events for humans and pets, and much more are offered at various facilities throughout the year as part of CCPRC’s special events. The popular new Folly Beach Challenge is the ultimate recreational opportunity – a beachside triathlon featuring kayaking! Spanning a full weekend at Folly Beach County Park, this year’s Challenge will be held October 16-17 and includes an optional Saturday Stand Up Paddleboard or kayak race in addition to Sunday’s triathlon. Sign up by calling 795-4FUN.
Other upcoming events this fall: • Dog Day Afternoon – September 12, Whirlin’ Waters, Wannamaker County Park • Yappy Hour – September 23, James Island County Park • Latin American Festival – October 3, Wannamaker County Park • Holiday Festival of Lights Fun Run – November 11, James Island County Park What does the future hold for Charleston County Parks? The commission has obtained properties for park sites in Awendaw, McClellanville, Meggett, and West Ashley, as well as beachfront property on Folly Beach. It has added to existing properties in Ravenel and North Charleston, and recently approved the construction of a downtown skate park facility. Stay tuned to ccprc.com for details. This is merely a taste of all the adventure you can find at your Charleston County Parks. Let yourself go today! To find out more, visit www.ccprc.com or call 843-795-4FUN (4386).
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