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the bluff Fall / Winter 2018


C O N T E N T S ON TH E COVER: P HOTOGR AP H Y BY KRISZ TIAN LON YAI

28 LIVING PRIMITIVE

James Parker perfects ancient skills to produce beautiful heirloom bows, striking arrows, and primitive hunting tools.

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34

C O C K TA I L B A R S O F S AVA N N A H

A D O N U T S TO R Y

An insider's guide to the most refined

A fairytale story complete with fairy

watering holes in Savannah.

houses—get to know the Ellis family of Alljoy Donut Co.

16 U N IO N SO L D I ERS FRO M T H E B LU FF

Meet the men from Palmetto Bluff who

05

T H E FA R M : PA L M E T TO B L U F F

39 B I K I N G T H E B LU FF

fought for the Union army in the Civil War

Our new editor’s firsthand account of

and learn how their stories are rooted in

the trials and tribulations of Palmetto

the Lowcountry.

Bluff’s trails.

23 FROM THE SHORE

42 T H E FA M I LY B U S I N E S S

Learn how we're growing our connection

Mandy Mathis takes the plunge into the art

A generations-old tomato farm makes

to the foodways of the South—the story

of candlemaking and entrepreneurship with

the natural evolution to Bloody Mary

of Ike and Fox.

her newly born company, Salt & Shore.

mix purveyor.


C O N T E N T S

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64

12 YE ARS AN D COU N TI NG

LO C A L C H A R A C T E R : D AV I D S A M P S O N

Check out the chefs, brewers, vintners,

Learn more about the man behind the

distillers, and sommes of the 12 th helping

most delightful part of the menu (in our

of Music to Your Mouth.

humble opinion).

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69

82

T H E W H I T E -TA I L E D D E E R

H U N T I N G A N T I Q U E S I N T H E LO W C O U N T R Y

T H E A RT O F M A RY W HY T E

See how we are preserving the beauty

Take a tour through antique shops and

Portraits and plein air are Mary Whyte’s

and majesty of the white-tailed deer at

vintage stores filled with treasures of

preferred subject and method. Find out why.

the Bluff.

the Lowcountry.

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R E TA I L T H E R A P Y

A- LIST ICE CRE AM

CA L EN DA R O F E V EN TS

Take a look inside our newest retail

Only in Savannah do Hollywood producers

Mark your calendars for all the fun we

addition: Provisions by Palmetto Bluff.

moonlight as ice cream experts. Meet the

have planned this fall. See what’s going

man behind Leopold’s Ice Cream.

on at the Bluff.

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T H I S S P EC I A L LOWCO U N T RY I DY L L

{

{

C R E AT E D BY & FO R T H O S E W H O LOV E

WRITERS

PUBLISHER

P H OTO G R A P H E R S

Jesse Blanco

Courtney Hampson

Attic Fire Photography Asyln Beringer

Molly Clancy Amanda Baran Cutrer

E D I TO R S

Jessica Farthing

Molly Clancy

Sarah Grubbs

Anna Jones

Anna Jones Barry Kaufman Ellie O'Donoghue Dr. Mary Socci

Chia Chong Daniel Eastwood Photography Jessica Farthing

Courtney Hampson Justin Hardy

Kelli Boyd

DESIGN ERS Amanda Davis Heather Dumford Katie Gates Kayla Kogelnik Brandon Scharr

Michael Foster Jade + Matthew Take Pictures Bonjwing Lee Krisztian Lonyai Michelle Lynn Morris Ellie O'Donoghue Rod Pasibe Pamela Pena John Roberts Aman Shakya Ben Whiteside

PA L M E T TO B LU F F. CO M R E A L E S TAT E SA L E S 8 0 0 - 5 0 1 -74 0 5 I N N R E S E RVAT I O N S 8 5 5 -74 0 - 3 2 7 2 2

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


welcome PA L M E T T O B L U F F R E A L E S TAT E C O M PA N Y 8 0 0 - 5 0 1 - 74 0 5

|

PA L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

Obtain the Property Report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy where prohibited by law. The complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from sponsor. File no. H-110005


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w r i t t e n by : Co u rtn ey Hampso n

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Th e Ame r i can Farme r

Ike Hill is a fi fth-generation farmer. His son Fox makes the sixth. Their

George twice a day. Let’s do some quick math. He gets to Palmetto Bluff

1,300-acre family farm in St. George, South Carolina, holds more than

around 7:30 a.m. That means he leaves his house at 6:00 a.m., which

a century of their family’s history. Pre-Depression, their family land

means he was up hours before that working on his farm. So, when the

surpassed 6,000 acres, and Hill candidly shares it was their bootlegging

Palmetto Bluff Development team reached out last summer and asked

business that allowed them to hold onto those last 1,300 acres.

for the father-son duo’s tutelage on a potential farm at the Bluff , one must wonder—for just a second—why in the world they said yes.

“Our farm has always been row crops—corn, tobacco, cotton, soy beans—diversified with livestock. Just enough pigs to butcher and sell

A full-time job. A full-time farm. Plus, launching the Palmetto Bluff

to the neighbors. Grandma sold eggs. We’ve always had cows. And,

farm. Few would agree to that challenge.

we’ve always been a sustainable needs farm—meaning all cash. We’ve never borrowed any money for that farm. In the good years, we build.

“We like to work, at least that is what my wife says,” jokes Fox, his smile

In the slow years, we scale back,” Hill says.

shaded by his cowboy hat. “The American farmer is dying, but if I can evolve the thinking of just a few people through this farm, convince

Every family has a story. And theirs is rich, marked with long days, dirt

people to support their local farmers, well . . . I’ve done my job.”

under their fi ngernails, and little rest. None of which matters when you have a love for the land. And that is where the Hills’ story intersects

For Ike too, it is personal, almost biblical, “I want the best for the Bluff .

with the Bluff . Ike fi rst stepped foot on Palmetto Bluff in 2000. Fox

It needs to be the perfect place. Before I die, I want to contribute to

followed about a decade ago, working summers in high school and

that in any way I can.”

college and joining the team of The Lindsay Company (one of the Bluff ’s contractors) two years ago. In 2000, Ike was responsible for

So, for four hours a day, five to six days a week, either Fox or Ike is at the

moving the mountains of dirt it took to begin turning the Bluff into

Palmetto Bluff farm overseeing the plantings, the watering, the bee

what you see today. (And mountain is no exaggeration. The 1 million

pollination, and the harvesting. They’re meeting with the Palmetto

cubic yards of dirt that Ike has moved would easily overflow the largest

Bluff chefs to understand what produce they’d like to feature on the

college football stadium.)

menu and educating each other. For Ike and Fox, it is understanding how the chefs want to feature produce and herbs on their menus. For

Ike’s love for the place came quick. And, he’s been at the Bluff in

the chefs, they are developing an understanding of what grows well in

various roles ever since, making the 90-minute commute from St.

this region. And, all parties are embracing the art of patience.

THE AMERICAN FARMER IS DYING, DYING , BUT IF I CAN EVOLVE THE THINKING OF JUST A FEW PEOPLE THROUGH THIS FARM, CO CO NVINCE PEOPLE TO SUPPORT THEIR LOCAL FARMERS, WELL . . . I’VE DONE MY JOB.

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


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Pa l m e t to B lu f F

A history of eating well Southern food, perhaps more than any other regional cuisine in America, has long been recognized for its diversity and history and for the stew pot of cultural influences which that history has brought to it. Its primary influence has undoubtedly been African. From the early Colonial period, beginning with the rum and sugarcane plantations of the West Indies and the Creole French and Spanish inhabitants of the Deep South, food was interpreted through African hands. They harvested the fields, cleaned the game, ground the spices, and cooked the meals. They brought with them staples such as peanuts and okra and immediately adapted to the Native American’s predilection to corn. Thus, a tradition of food selection and preparation evolved that has withstood 400 years of cultural assault. Moreover, though it has clung tenaciously to the underpinnings of its heritage, Southern food has adapted gracefully to new and creative interpretations of its time-tested methods and ingredients. A quick review of the history of Palmetto Bluff shows that people have eaten well here for a very long time. The earliest Native Americans, the Altamaha and Yemassee, found sustenance in the remarkable bounty of fish and game. Their shell middens on the high bluffs are a testament to the first oyster roasts—a social and culinary tradition still carried on with great relish here today.

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


Pa l m e t to B lu f f ’ s

farm vi s i o n

Aspirationally, the plan for Palmetto Bluff always included a farm. We

who share our vision and goals and help capture and promote their

knew that as this place evolved, we would set aside land for farmed

efforts as a part of our broader cultural mission.

agricultural plots to enhance the visual landscape and the community’s sustainability. Now, a guiding principle defi ned more than a decade

We will supply the dining outlets on property to allow people to taste

ago is bearing fruit (sorry, I couldn’t help it) and vegetables.

the food that is produced locally and authentically. We will celebrate great local cuisine and promote its visibility and success.

“Food and foodways are at the core of any culture,” says David O’Donoghue, Palmetto Bluff president. “For Palmetto Bluff to be an

But, above all, our mission is simple: the food must taste good. U

ambassador of the foodways of the Lowcountry, it requires that we look not just at presenting food (via our restaurants), but at food production. We want to understand how food is tied to this place, so we must ask what fits the geography, environment, and history of the place.”

Spri n g 2018 Planti n g List

Given the resonance of the story of food and where it comes from, both in terms of geography and history, we saw an opportunity to recapture farming practices. This does not mean that we are focused on recreating an overly romanticized nostalgic vision of the past. It means we are seeking authenticity, and authenticity means it is something real and viable in today’s world. Authenticity means that when you plant your fi rst crop in the fall and it snows in January, you add your newfound knowledge of potential weather patterns to the story and you pick up where Mother Nature left you.

Today, we have a small but productive working farm. In 2019, we will add a full-time farmer who will look to understand and document the traditional means of farming the most viable and best-tasting varieties of food that are indigenous to the Lowcountry environment.

Focusing on outreach and education, the farm will work with the Conservancy. This will start with the members and guests of Palmetto Bluff and ultimately reach well beyond our gates. We endeavor to be a thought leader and model that helps promote the long-term sustainability of natural, local food production. This will include fi nding additional partner organizations to carry our learnings to a broader audience, bringing promising students to our farm, and making it possible for interested novices to learn how to both grow and prepare food in a fashion consistent with our best practices.

Additionally, as a promoter of the foodways of the Lowcountry, the Palmetto Bluff farm should be a center for excellence and

Produce: Okra Burgundy Okra Black Crowder Peas Pink-Eye peaS pUrplE kNuckle Peas Sugar Peas hardeE PeAS tExAs LonGhORN pEaS lOuIsiAnA pUrPlE pOd Beans rEveRend tAylOr Butterbeans LoUdErmIlK buTtEr BEAns SilVEr QueEn cOrN zucChIni ChArLeStOn GrAy WatErMeLon cRimSon sWeEt wAtERmelON yelLoW watErmelon IchabAn EgGpLanT PURpLE eGgplANt BradshAw SwEet pOtAToEs beAurEGaRd sWeET PotAToeS Canteloupe cuCumBeR Blue HubBarD SquAsH Straightneck sQUaSh

tomatoes: San MarzAnO jUlIeT Roma Parks WhopPer CherokeE cArving YelLoW PEar CherRy Bradley Indigo ROse Purple Dog CreEk TenNEsSeE BritcheS DepP’S Pink FIreflY Big ZebRa lUcKy CrOsS IsiS Candy gOlD mEdAl bIg RaInBoW MatT’s Wild CherRy bluE RiDgE MountAin inDIGO BlueberRy BlacK IciCle Red TomMy tOE IndiaN Stripe Green Zebra Sweet 10O YelLow PeAr AdelaiDE Festival Wild barReD BoaR

pepPers: FriaRIeLlO di Thai HOt PurplE JalApeno napoli SwEeT hoT MexibelL faTaliI Ghost yELlow bElL Yum yUM Orange Scotch BonNeT GypseY SwEeT yum YUM red CarolinA ReaPer puRpLE BeLl Candy cANE RED OdesSa Market garden SalsA CAJUN BELl ChineSE fIve CoLOr CombaHeE rEd Devil PoblanO Orange CarRot ShisHItO

documentation and celebration of other food producers in the region. We will seek out farmers, hunters, fi shermen, and other craftspeople

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

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Cocktail Bars ×

of Savannah WRITTEN BY: Molly Clancy

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Savannah’s drinking culture is robust and well-established. Legend has it that George Washington had such a hangover after drinking our Chatham Artillery Punch that he vowed he would never return to Savannah. And he never did. When Georgia passed anti-liquor laws in 1908, Savannahians revolted. They pushed to secede from the state. Had it been born, The State of Chatham would have been a bastion of booze in the

Written By:

Photographydry By: South, at least until prohibition passed nationwide. When

ELLIE O’DONOGHUE

K E L L I B Osecession YD failed, naturally Savannah became a center for the underground alcohol trade. Today, the tradition continues. Savannah is a mecca for bachelorette parties and 21st birthday bashes. Fortunately for the more sophisticated drinker, there is no dearth of fi ne cocktail bars and modern-day speakeasies to choose from where one can enjoy a well-crafted cocktail in a civilized setting. After biking through the South Carolina wilderness (see page 39), it was my pleasure and privilege as one of my fi rst assignments to sample some of the best liquid delights this city has to offer. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. With my trusty drinking and life partner—my husband, Kevin—by my side, I did. Here’s an insider’s guide to the best cocktail bars in Savannah.

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Alley Cat Nearly every bartender we spoke with mentioned

history, and bartender lingo. Each page features a

Alley Cat when we asked them about how Savannah’s

different spirit with accompanying cocktails that

cocktail culture is evolving. It may not have been the

showcase its character.

Classic Daiquiri • 2 oz. white rum

• 1 oz. fresh lime juice

fi rst cocktail bar in Savannah, but it is certainly the standard by which all new cocktail bars measure

They have a selection of manhattans, old-fashioneds,

themselves. They are true cocktail connoisseurs.

and martinis that would put Frank Sinatra to shame.

• ½ oz. simple syrup

You really can’t go wrong with any drink on the menu,

Shake with ice and strain

In the alley behind Broughton Street between

but, in a moment of decision paralysis, I ordered a

into a chilled glass.

Jefferson and Barnard, under a subtle sign, behind

personal go-to: the Negroni. Bitter-forward, this drink

its nondescript door, and down a plain stairwell,

is not for the faint of heart. But if that’s up your alley

the cool basement is a welcome sanctuary where

(pun intended), Alley Cat does it right. Kevin also

the craft and history of liquor is exalted as gospel.

went for a favorite: the Penicillin. The smoky Scotch

Its menu, The Alley Cat Quarterly Rag, is printed

base is balanced out by citrus, sugar, and ginger—

like a newspaper and filled with excerpts, tidbits,

everything one needs to stay healthy, so we were told

quotes, and ruminations on drinks, drinking,

by our bartender, Jason Owenby (also of Wayward).

pro tip: They offer a complimentary charcuterie board that is not to be missed.

If you like a side of history with your aperitif,

themselves as a classy establishment in the

Congress Street Up is for you. Located above

heart of the rowdy and raucous City Market.

the American Prohibition Museum, which opened in Savannah in 2017, Congress Street

More than a few of the bartenders we talked

Up slings some seriously legitimate history-

to across the city named the daiquiri as

based libations. From the décor to the music to

their personal favorite—the true “bartenders

the bartenders’ attire, and, more important, the

handshake” as Congress Street Up calls it. I had

drinks, the place feels like a scene out of The

to try it. The daquiri is simple, refreshing, and

Great Gatsby.

perfect for a hot Savannah day. Try your own

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Congress Street Up

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hand(shake) with the recipe above. The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the bar is open as part of the museum

For something a little more exotic, order the Mr.

experience, where classic cocktails are on offer.

Dillinger, Kevin’s choice. Made with Cynar 70—

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, the

an artichoke-based amaro—gin, lemon, sugar,

bar reopens at 6:30 and serves the old standbys

and dill, this cocktail leads with citrus and follows

alongside more creative concoctions dreamed

with a light, clean bitterness. The dill enhances

up by the bartenders. A museum by day and

the Cynar and is not pickley in the least.

modern speakeasy by night, they distinguish

photo: Asyln Beringer

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


photo: Attic Fire Photography

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BARTENDER

QΠA WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COCKTAIL? jason owenby, Alley Cat, Wayward: A daiquiri because it’s 102 degrees right now, an old-fashioned if I’m in air conditioning, but I’m really a beer and a shot guy. cal momyer, Artillery: The Doc. It’s just a very tasty drink! kayla black, Congress Street Up: During the day, a French 75. At night, one of our punch bowls. They are so far removed from the jungle juice people might expect—very boozy, but delicious.

Artillery

sidney lance, Ghost Coast: Because it’s so

Artillery offers the height of refined cocktail

a delight. Sweet, but not cloying. Citrusy, but not

hot outside, a mezcal daiquiri—high citrus,

culture. The facade is columned and gilded. The

sour. It was well-balanced, bubbly, and fresh.

light sugar, very refreshing.

bar space is backed in marble. And each table has a little button you can press to discretely call your

After loosening up a bit, we admitted that we are

server for your next drink. The tall ceilings and

sharers, and the drinks got passed around. Joe’s

large windows at the front give an airy feel to the

favorite was the General’s Garden, a bourbon,

polished space, making it the perfect spot for both

blueberry, and ginger concoction, but he started

an early evening, predinner drink, or late nightcap.

with the Bit of a Pickle, which he noted was tangy with a not-so-subtle hint of pickle.

The menu is large, but not overwhelmingly so.

miles ray, Prohibition: A plain daiquiri with Lemon Hart rum, take down the simple.

HOW IS THE COCKTAIL CULTURE EVOLVING IN SAVANNAH? jason owenby, Alley Cat, Wayward:

Their signature cocktail is The Doc made with

Sarah started with La Nina Fresa, a simple, three-

It is expanding. Wayward is progressive

rye, bitters, spearmint, and smoked pipe tobacco.

ingredient cocktail, which she said was fresh, yet

for a hotel bar, and, with the other great

Yes, tobacco. Named after the bar manager Cal

interesting for the warm-weather months. Joe then

cocktail bars in the city, it makes for a

Momyer’s father-in-law, the tobacco used is the

ordered the Chatham Artillery Punch in the name of

really diverse scene.

same brand he has smoked forever.

tradition. It came in a cheeky gold pineapple-shaped goblet. A treasure to look at, but one that packs a

cal momyer, Artillery: I think the culture

With my trusty drinking partner out of town for

mighty punch. After trying our respective selections,

has

the weekend, I visited with a new colleague, Sarah,

Joe stuck to his guns, claiming the General’s Garden

watering hole to people realizing they have

and her boyfriend, Joe. Stepping out of my bitter-

was still his drink of choice. There’s something to be

to up their game a bit to stand out.

and booze-heavy comfort zone, I ordered All the

said for consistency. Sarah and I both agreed that All

Pretty Horses, a pink champagne cocktail. It was

the Pretty Horses won the day.

evolved

from

your

neighborhood

(Continued on next page)

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Wayward Located in the new Perry Lane Hotel, Wayward sets itself apart with a very un-hotel-bar vibe. There’s a Skee-Ball machine, a popcorn machine, a motorcycle hanging from the ceiling, and a portrait of Bill Murray on the wall. Let’s just say that if I were visiting Savannah and staying at Perry Lane, I would not be upset to find Wayward after a fantastic meal at Emporium, their wine market and dinner space. As for the menu, they have a whole page of Boilermakers, that is, a beer with a shot in it. But my recommendation is to order the bartender’s choice from the “Shaken or Stirred” page. Pick your spirit, your style, and your flavor profile and let the bartender do the hard part. Jason Owenby (also of Alley Cat) crafted a drink for me called the Refined Speech, a take on a classic cocktail known as the Last Word. The Refined Speech swaps out the green chartreuse and lime typical of the Last Word for yellow chartreuse and lemon. The ingredients are equally portioned, making it easy to mix up a big batch for your next cocktail party. Check out the recipe below. Attracted to the evocative name, Kevin ordered the Death or Glory, a boozy mix of Granddaddy Mimm’s corn whiskey, green chartreuse, lime, and pineapple gomme served over ice. He doesn’t mess around. Now that I think about it, the drinks we each ordered at Wayward say photo: Pamela Pena

everything you need to know about the two of us.

Refined Speech • ¾ oz. gin

• ¾ oz. yellow chartreuse • ¾ oz. maraschino liqueur, like Luxardo

Prohibition

• ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice • Twist of lime for

If you like your cocktails with a side of dinner, this

bringing the fusion trend seen in cuisine to

is the place for you. The food menu at Prohibition

mixology. Kevin ordered the Ballysillan, essentially

is outstanding, featuring foodie-approved items

a Penicillin made with Connemara peated single-

that please the snobby gourmand in me like bone

malt Irish whiskey instead of Scotch. The owners

marrow and duck liver. Their beer selection is the

are Irish, thus the loyalty to Irish spirits.

best of any of the cocktail bars on the list. And their wine menu is half-off on Mondays. Their cocktails

Miles Ray, the beverage manager, let me in on some

aren’t too bad either.

insider info. By the time of publication, the bar will be rolling out a menu with 50-plus classic drink recipes

I tried the Queen of Siam, essentially a margarita

in addition to the specialty craft cocktails already

with a Southeast Asian twist. Made with Thai chili

on offer. With a strong beer and wine selection,

pineapple syrup and garnished with a pickled

Prohibition is a well-rounded, crowd-pleasing choice

watermelon, this cocktail adds interest to a classic,

for happy hour, dinner, or a grown-up beer and a bite.

garnish Shake with ice. Serve up.


kayla black, Congress Street Up: Eight years ago, it was shots and beer. Now, people are maturing. People want refinement, comfort. sidney lance, Ghost Coast: Savannah is getting noticed for its food scene. Because of that, we want to push the envelope in the cocktail scene. miles ray, Prohibition: There are so many great options now, and everyone is trying to find their place. It is a nice problem to have!

WHAT IS THE MOST UNDERRATED LIQUOR? jason owenby, Alley Cat, Wayward: I think it used to be rum, but I would say brandy now. It’s made from fruit. How could it be bad? cal momyer, Artillery: That’s a hard question. I would have to say rum as of now. There are plenty of other things that are underrated, but as a classic base spirit, I feel that rum has been pushed to the back burner for quite some time and is starting photo: Courtesy of Ghost Coast Distillery

to make a comeback in a good way. kayla black, Congress Street Up: I think people have an aversion to gin. It gets a bad rap because people drink lower-end gin

Ghost Coast Distillery

that tastes like pine trees, but gin is very refreshing.

If you’re more of a brewery hopper, Ghost Coast is

From the soda to the bitters to the simple syrup,

the place to expand your palate. The first distillery

all of the ingredients are made in-house. When

sidney lance, Ghost Coast: Amaros

in Savannah since the Prohibition era, they offer

Sidney says, “I wish I had a lychee simple syrup

or

tours Tuesday through Sunday, explaining the

to mix with a coconut Pouchong tea,” the distillers

People either love them or hate them.

distillation process and the nuances of making

get to work, testing and crafting to come up with

We are educating people about them and

a quality liquor. But the cocktail room—the main

the perfect ingredients to realize Sidney’s vision.

introducing them back into the mainstream.

event, let’s be real here—is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday

I went with the Cucumber Collins, a new take on a

from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

traditional Tom Collins. It is another cool cocktail to bring the heat down on those steamy Savannah

Spend any time with Sidney Lance, the beverage

nights. Kevin tried the Oglethorpe’s Mule made

director, and you’ll understand the passion

with Ghost Coast’s vodka and housemade ginger

behind this pursuit. Due to an arcane Georgia law,

beer, an easy sipper that brings forth memories

everything they serve in the cocktail room must be

of sitting on a sailboat somewhere off the

made on premise, which is a boon for you and me.

Lowcountry coast.

digestifs

are

the

most

unknown.

miles ray, Prohibition: It’s a tie—gin and rum. Gin has a sordid history. People think of bathtub gin, but the botanicals are very contemporary today. Rum, too. People think of Captain Morgan, but rum is the true American spirit, not bourbon.

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16

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


hen South Carolina seceded from the United States of America in December 1860, the plantation owners at Palmetto Bluff were unanimous in their support of the Confederacy. Barely two weeks after the Ordinance of Secession was ratified, Henry J. Hartstene, owner of Greenleaf and Chinquapin plantations, resigned his commission in the federal navy and enlisted in the Confederate navy. In the following months, in the spring of 1861, Nathaniel S. Crowell, whose family owned Pettigrew (also known as Walnut Grove) Plantation, gave up his position as a US Army surgeon and became director of the military hospitals in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Thomas F. Drayton, owner of Rephraim Plantation and who had been in Jefferson Davis’s class at West Point, left civilian life in late summer 1861 to lead the Confederate forces at Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island. That fall, Joseph L. Crowell, older brother of Nathaniel, joined the cavalry regiment under Drayton’s command too. But beginning in 1862, the Union army also saw an influx of recruits from the Southern states, including some from the plantations of Palmetto Bluff.

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17


In a short, decisive battle on the morning of November 7, 1861, federal

would have on border states. Racial discrimination and prejudice

forces took control of Hilton Head Island, a position they would

made many leaders unwilling to accept African American soldiers,

maintain throughout the war. For the enslaved people on the mainland,

but the Militia Act did allow the men to enter the military as support

the island became a beacon of freedom and hundreds fled to the Union

personnel, albeit at a lower wage than their white counterparts.

encampment. Many of those enslaved on the plantations of Palmetto Bluff made the perilous journey to Hilton Head, perhaps traveling by

Less than six months later, the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1,

boat to elude the Confederate pickets in Bluffton. Within a month of the

1863, declared that “. . . such persons of suitable condition, will be

fall of Hilton Head, Joseph L. Crowell of Pettigrew Plantation claimed

received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts,

that more than 30 of those whom he had enslaved, ranging in age

positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in

from 1 to 60, were now on the island with the “enemy.” It seems quite

said service,” and the first United States Colored Troops were allowed

likely that other plantations at the Bluff were similarly abandoned by

to enter combat.

the enslaved workers who knew that liberty lay only a few miles away. The Third Regiment United States Colored Infantry (later combined Joining the federal forces was not an option for the earliest arrivals

with the Fourth Regiment to form the 21 st Regiment) was organized

at the new Union-controlled fort on Hilton Head Island. A federal law

on Hilton Head in June 1863. Among the enlistees was Abram Grant,

from 1792 prohibited enlisting African Americans in the army.

a man who may have been enslaved on Theus Plantation at Palmetto Bluff. A year later, when Company G of the Second Regiment United States Colored Light Artillery was formed, Samuel Drayton, who had been enslaved by Thomas Drayton, enlisted. In late summer 1864, Brutus Ferguson, also at one time enslaved by Thomas Drayton, became the bugler for Company G, 21 st Regiment United States Colored Troops.

In July of 1862, however, that changed when Congress issued the Confiscation Act of 1862 and the Militia Act, acts that freed enslaved

Abram Grant, the oldest of the three soldiers when he enlisted at 45, was

people held by anyone who was supporting or serving in the

promoted to corporal in 1865 before being mustered out and returning

Confederate forces or government and also allowed the president to

to civilian life. Sometime after the Civil War, Grant rented and later

“employ as many persons of African descent as he may deem necessary

purchased 40 acres on the south end of Palmetto Bluff, where he grew

and proper for the suppression of this rebellion, and for this purpose

corn, cotton, rice, and sweet potatoes and raised pigs and poultry.

he may organize and use them in such manner as he may judge best

Although there are no records that confirm Grant’s

for the public welfare.”

residency at Palmetto Bluff (details of the lives of enslaved people are

antebellum

often impossible to find), the fact that his wife, Lucy, and daughter,

18

Though “public welfare” did not include serving in battle, there were

Rinah, are buried in the River Road cemetery is strong circumstantial

still concerns in the North about the effect arming the freed blacks

evidence of a pre-Civil War connection.

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


“Emancipation Day in South Carolina” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, January 24, 1863 Courtesy of Library of Congress. FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


The River Road cemetery’s five extant headstones all date to the early

records his Civil War service, evidence that nearly 60 years after the end of

20 th century but numerous depressions reveal that the cemetery is much

the war, Ferguson was proud of his time in the Union army.

larger. Many of the unmarked graves probably date to the antebellum period when the cemetery was the burial ground used by the enslaved people on

Samuel Drayton was about 30 years old when he enlisted on May 6, 1864,

Theus Plantation. It is also likely that Lucy is buried there because she was

for a term of three years, and he was discharged in June 1865 for medical

born at Theus and because her parents are buried in the cemetery. Abram

reasons (severe rheumatism). At the time of his death in 1890, the federal

Grant may also be buried there, although there is no headstone. (Abram died

government provided headstones for those who had served in the Union

around 1887, when Lucy filed as a widow for his pension for military service;

army. Drayton’s headstone is unique in that it is the only headstone in

Lucy died in 1915 at the age of 85.) The Grants’ antebellum connection to

Rephraim Cemetery that was part of this program.

Theus may explain why they chose to live there after the war.

Brutus Ferguson, Samuel Drayton, and their families were enslaved by

Grant, Ferguson, and Drayton were lucky to survive the Civil War. Of

Thomas Drayton, and both Ferguson and Drayton are buried in Rephraim

the approximately 200,000 men who served in the United States Colored

Cemetery, the burial ground for Rephraim Plantation.

Troops, 40,000 did not return. Thousands of these men died bravely fighting for freedom (the movie Glory tells the story of the heroism of the

Ferguson, at 18 years old, was the youngest of the known Union soldiers

54 th Massachusetts Infantry, one of the all-black regiments of the Union

from Palmetto Bluff. When Ferguson enlisted in August 1864, he gave his

army); others succumbed to diseases that plagued both sides.

occupation as “waiter,” indicating, perhaps, that he was working for the federal army on Hilton Head Island or in one of the businesses that had

Rephraim Cemetery is on private property and can only be accessed with

sprung up around the Union encampment. Ferguson returned to Bluffton

members of the Conservancy team. Join us on Monday, November 12, 2018,

after the war where he, too, farmed a few acres before finding work selling

in honor of Veterans Day for a trip to Rephraim Cemetery and a visit to the

insurance in the 1920s. His headstone (he died in 1924) in Rephraim

graves of the two Union soldiers buried there. Q

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

21


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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


FROM the 8 8 SHORE Written By:

Photography By:

ELLIE O’DONOGHUE

KELLI BOYD

Pouring candles in an industrial storage unit, Mandy Mathis, creator of Salt & Shore, turned her interest into an industry through confidence in herself and in her brand. Based in Savannah, Mandy’s quaint workspace embodies the charm and love that her candles emit. With the specific combination of ounces, melt points, and percentages that is involved in creating a single small batch of candles, what stands out the most is the fact that Mandy is completely self-made. From the logo to branding to placing the wick at the center of each glass container by hand before she pours the wax, every piece of Salt & Shore has been created by Mandy herself.

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23


Mandy Mathis, Salt & Shore Company

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


Fresh off her resignation from her corporate career, Mandy decided to pursue Salt & Shore full time—a decision that was not easy. “I had to rip the security blanket away to really dive into it and let my fear be my motivation to be successful,” Mandy said. The ability to channel her fear is something Mandy learned at the young age of 23. After losing her job, Mandy made an impulse decision to move from a small Southern town to Chicago. Selling everything she owned, Mandy flew to the big city with $400 in her pocket and no place to live, knowing no one. After applying to hundreds of jobs a day using a community computer at her local Starbucks, Mandy landed a job with one of the largest marketing agencies in Chicago. “I found that if I really wanted something, I had to do it with full confidence and belief in myself,” Mandy said. Her corporate success followed her back to the South a couple years later, but she found herself stuck in a position where her ingenuity was stunted. In need of a creative hobby, Mandy enrolled in a candlemaking class to see what it would take to craft a long-lasting and enjoyable everyday candle. After realizing that she could make candles on her own, Mandy did some online research and purchased supplies to create a scent for her first batch of candles as a gift to her friends who were bridesmaids in a wedding. The candle, called Midnight Oaks, was an instant hit, gaining accolades and requests for more, but Mandy insisted that her candles were just a side project. It wasn’t until she received the same response for the scent of her second batch of candles, Splendid Savannah, that she realized her hobby could become a full-time business. With encouragement from her friends and family, Mandy started Salt & Shore with no investors, no loans, and no credit cards. From from how to get a business license to how to use Adobe to build her own website. After a full day’s work, Mandy spent weekends and nights hand-pouring beautifully scented candles. Locally sourced and eco-friendly, Mandy’s products contain no toxins, no carcinogens, and no pollutants. Her scents, inspired by nostalgia, first came by accident and playing around with natural oils. As Mandy says, “I want the candle lines to represent these great memories that you can light every day and can relax you.”

I found that if I really wanted

the ground up, she built her business, teaching herself everything

something, I had to do it with full confidence and belief in myself.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

25


With a full-time job and her candle business growing by the day,

With a desire to expand her brand along the Southeast, Mandy

Mandy felt like she was sitting on the fence between pursuing

plans to build her company into something big. The future of

her dream full time or continuing to be stressed out and burning

Salt & Shore is just a matter of when, which is an exciting part

at both ends. That’s when Palmetto Bluff called, asking Mandy

for Mandy. Engaged to be married next year, Mandy’s personal

to help create a candle for their Palmetto Bluff signature scent

life and career have been filled with blessings that signal the

“Maritime Forest.” With oil curated by Palmetto Bluff from One

direction she is headed is where she is meant to be. Whether it

Love Organics’ Suzanne LeRoux, Mandy made a test batch to

be creating diffusers or a new candle line, Mandy knows that

see how the oil would take in the candle. “It was beautiful,”

with a love and confidence in her product, inspiration can be

Mandy said, stating that the curing process was the easiest she

found (and smelled) anywhere. Q

had seen in a long time with a scent that captures you before you even have the candle lit. When Mandy brought in the tester and Palmetto Bluff decided to order a large batch of her product, she confessed that after the meeting she got in the car and started crying. “Every time I’ve turned around, I’ve been given the opportunity to work with amazing people and contribute to great products. This was my sign and the moment I knew that this was what I am supposed to do.” The following Monday, Mandy resigned from her 9-to-5 job, went to her workspace, and started pouring the Maritime Forest candles for Palmetto Bluff. Having complete control and navigating the future of Salt & Shore is a little scary to Mandy, but all the while extremely exciting. Alongside her three candle lines, Mandy also expanded her With all of her products, Mandy is dedicated to making her brand one that gives back to the community and values the importance of supporting women. Her jewelry line is handcrafted by women escaping human trafficking with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting International Sanctuary, a non-profit that provides care and counseling to these young women. Additionally, Salt & Shore has a partnership with the Save the Manatee Club, where one dollar from every Sweetgrass candle purchase goes directly toward preserving the future of manatees.

26

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

I had to rip the security blanket away

website to include jewelry, accessories, home goods, and interiors.

to really dive into it and let my fear be my motivation to be successful.


Warm up to coastal sunsets, and gracious Southern hospitality.

Retreat to a coastal sanctuary where special moments are as natural as the surroundings. Where lawn games and scavenger hunts never compete with short hikes and easy bike rides. Where kayaking and beachcombing blend with the sunrise. And horseback rides go hand in hand with toasting s’mores under a star-filled sky. Where time disappears but the memories never fade. Welcome to Montage Palmetto Bluff.

(855) 774-1286

Mon tagePalmet toBluff.com

B E V E R LY H I L L S | D E E R VA L L E Y | K A PA L U A B AY | L A G U N A B E A C H PA L M E T T O B L U F F | L O S C A B O S


WRITTEN BY: BARRY KAUFMAN

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY: K R I S ZT I A N LO N YA I

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


DALLAS, NORTH CAROLINA, IS A SLEEPY TOWN OF A FEW THOUSAND PEOPLE BETWEEN GASTONIA AND CHARLOTTE. IN 1977, IT DIDN’T HAVE MUCH. BUT WHAT IT DID HAVE WAS ARROWHEADS—THOUSANDS OF THEM—SCATTERED IN THE SOIL AND TREES OF ITS FORESTS, TINY REMINDERS OF A LONG-GONE TRADITION OF NATIVE HUNTING. AS A CHILD, THAT’S ALL JAMES PARKER NEEDED.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

29


e gathered them where he could, and before too long, he was making his own. Of course, you can’t do much with an arrowhead on its own, so young Parker started making his own bows and arrows, soaking up ancient knowledge from every book he could get his hands on. From Time Life’s series on the emergence of man, he learned flintknapping. “That’s the layman’s term for the scientific phrase ‘lithic reduction continuum,’” he said, “which is the making of stone tools.” If you ask him where he learned to make a bow, he’ll list off books written by J. B. Hunt, Jim Hamm, Dr. Charles Grayson, Adam Karpowicz, and more.

It’s a decidedly intellectual path to take toward a way of life that perished around the time such intellectual pursuits were born. But Parker soon realized he could only go so far on natural ability alone. “The first bow I made, my teacher still has that thing. I begged her for it back,” he said. “It’s pretty pitiful.”

Parker’s teachers encouraged his interest in primitive technology, with one history teacher even basing an entire lesson on it for the sole benefit of one student. As part of the lesson, the teacher showed a film on French flintknapper Francois Bordes plying his trade. “It was the first time I ever saw someone flintknapping,” Parker said. “When I saw that, I knew I was doing it wrong.”

His research would put him in the company of some of the leading

mastery of producing bows, arrows, quivers, and more using

the grandfathers of primitive technology, was an early mentor. It

methods from the earliest of mankind.

was during his workshops that Parker encountered a whole world of techniques for crafting everything from axes to knives using materials pulled from the ground. Another mentor was Steve Watts, who served as a prop maker on the film Cast Away and has written several books on how primitive man lived. He not only shepherded Parker through his journey from student to teacher, but he also introduced him to an entire way of life that harkens back to man’s roots.“He taught me everything that you would have to know to live in a primitive setting. It takes hundreds of skills,” he said. “Just making bows and arrows you’re going to starve. You have to know plant identification; how to

30

An assortment of James Parker’s creations demonstrates his

experts in primitive living. Dr. Errett Callahan, considered one of

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


The fletching of Parker’s handcrafted arrows comes from white turkey feathers, set into shafts of river cane using ancient techniques.

Parker painstakingly weaves pieces of foraged trees to create a basket for his arrows, which he can carry over his shoulder with a handmade piece of grasscloth.

Parker creates bows in a variety of lengths and sizes, each one a piece of art in its own right.

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“ Y O U ’ R E AT T H E T O P O F Y O U R G A M E W H E N

Y O U M A K E Y O U R OW N B OW, A R R OW, A N D A R R OW H E A D A N D TA K E G A M E W I T H I T. Y O U C A N ’ T T O P I T.”

— JA M E S PA R K E R —

One of Parker’s knives fashioned from stone and wood.

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


make friction fires, baskets, clothes, and medicine; how to find water;

would stand until the single-fire cartridge was invented. But that’s just

how to hunt and trap. . . . This is how we lived for thousands of years,

how he preaches the gospel of man’s forgotten skills one person at a

and then we just messed it up.”

time. Beyond leading workshops like the one at Field + Fire, he teaches primitive living classes, guiding students through the basic survival

Today, Parker is trying to bring back these old ways. Those who

skills we all once shared. He also teaches classes on making your

attended Palmetto Bluff ’s Field + Fire will recall the large clutch of

own bow, giving hunters a chance to reconnect with that primitive

men standing off to one corner of the River House’s expansive lawn.

euphoria that has been diminished by firearms technology.

They were there in awe of Parker and the array of historical bows and arrows at his table. There was the stick bow, the simple bent piece

“You’re at the top of your game when you make your own bow, arrow,

of wood employed by both Native Americans and English bowmen.

and arrowhead and take game with it. You can’t top it,” he said, adding

Then there were horn composite bows, the next great leap in weapons

with a laugh. “The only way to top it is to jump on its back and knife

technology pioneered by the nomads of the Asiatic steppe. Crab bows,

it or bite it.”

which look like curls of wood until contorted into deadly form by a rope. Bows from Egypt, Mongolia, and Greece, each with a different

And with each student who passes through his class, he helps preserve

take on the design as the weapon marched toward modernity.

a way of life we’ve left behind.

And with each piece, he told the story of how mankind’s march to

“These skills used to be passed from family to family, from group to

modernity was defined by the weapons we used to hunt.

group,” he said. “Some of these skills were lost because they weren’t passed down, and now they’re long forgotten.”

“Without this technology, there would be no compound bow. There would be no rifle,” he said. As his audience eyed the bows in rapt

But for those that remain, Parker is here to pass them on. Q

silence, he told of how these weapons evolved. How a Turkish prince once shot an arrow half a mile, a record for the longest projectile that

———————

THE for

D AT E ———————

FIELD+FIRE F E B R UA R Y 1 – 3 , 2 0 1 9

—————————————————————

S AV E

M O R E D ETA I L S CO M I N G S O O N.

F O L L O W P A L M E T T O B L U F F on

FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM f a c e b o o k . c o m /p a l m e t t o b l u f f | @ p a l m e t t o b l u f f FO R M O R E I N FO R M AT I O N.

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


W R I T T E N B Y: B a r r y K a u f m a n

I f yo u as k B i l l a n d D o n n a E l l i s,

e v e ryo n e h a s a d o n u t s to ry. F r o m t h e i r t i n y s t o r e f r o n t, t h e y ’ r e t e l l i n g B l u f f t o n ’ s . It’s shortly after midnight, and the lights have just come on at Alljoy Donut Co., the squat, colorful little cinder block structure surrounded by pint-size tables and fairy houses on Heyward Street. Within a few hours, Bill Ellis will be engulfed in a light dusting of flour, the hard-earned uniform of a baker at work. Cranking on a stand mixer nearly as tall as he is, he’ll churn up globs of dough, 60 pounds at a time, that he’ll proof in a tall, steamy rack and then roll out on a broad butcher-block table that dominates the cramped quarters of the 500-square-foot bakery kitchen.

P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y: K R I S Z T I A N L O N YA I

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Around 3:00 a.m., after he’s pulled a few hundred of his creations from the

That social media love is also a natural extension of the guerrilla marketing

fryer and coated them with a lip-smacking sugary glaze, his wife, Donna,

that Bill used to launch this latest restaurant endeavor. In fact, he’ll be the

will arrive at the shop ready to do her part in making what have become

first to tell you that Alljoy Donut Co. was born on Facebook.

Bluffton’s favorite donuts. A trained cake decorator and artist, her own corner of the kitchen bursts at the seams with tubes of frosting, bins of

“When we first started getting production going, I just went around to

cereal and candy, and sprinkles of every color of the rainbow.

businesses, fire departments, anywhere there were people, and gave away donuts,” he said. Without a website or a phone number, the couple launched

The pair will settle into their routine of getting the bakery ready for the

a Facebook page to field orders, primarily from people whom they’d visited

day, an effortless chemistry born of years in the kitchen together. They met

with free donuts. “I probably went around to about 100 businesses.”

at a restaurant, and together they’ve made the industry their home. Alljoy Donut Co. marks their fourth restaurant venture together. But there is

One of those businesses happened to be Bluffton Jewel Box, whose owners

one big difference with their latest restaurant. “Our schedule shifted from

knew of a retail spot that would be perfect for the couple’s bootstrap donut

going to bed at two in the morning to getting up at two in the morning,”

operation to flourish. If not perfect, then at least in a state to eventually

said Donna with a laugh. “It’s been an adjustment.”

achieve perfection. A former auto shop, the building had actually been “cut down” when part of it turned out to be encroaching

Adjustments to circadian rhythm aside, the pair has hit on something huge with Alljoy Donut Co. On foot, in a golf cart, or by car, Bluffton has been flocking to their doors

on a nearby property line. “On top of that, it had never been used for food production. Everything had to be upgraded,” Bill said.

to sample the ever-changing array of inspired donuts the couple creates every day before dawn. “It’s been

With upgrades in place and the building no longer

amazing,” Donna said. “The support we’ve had and

partially located on someone else’s property, it was

the response to it is phenomenal.”

time to decorate. The picture of Bill as a child, smiling as he rolls dough in his grandfather’s bakery, went up

It’s hard to argue with the drawing power this shop has already demonstrated in its first few months of business. Local Instagram feeds have been flooded since they opened with mouth-

on the front wall. And everywhere, a whimsical sense of childlike wonder informs what may be Alljoy Donut Co.’s main raison d’etre: creating stories. “Everyone has their own donut story,

watering shots of the couple’s colorful creations—sprinkled and glazed and

how they used to get donuts with their parents or grandparents as a kid,”

decorated in a rainbow of colors. The massive outpouring of social media

Bill said. “I talk to people about donuts a lot, and everyone has one.”

love is a natural side effect of the artistically brilliant designs Donna creates. To help fuel those stories, the Ellises decorated with kids in mind. The tables

36

In addition to the 30 to 40 mainstay varieties in the store’s glass case, from

out front are just a little too small for adults, but perfect for the kids. And

donuts to bear claws and éclairs, there are the flashier, Instagram-ready

throughout the grounds, Donna has tucked away six small “fairy houses,”

items. Here, there are items such as the Froot Loops donuts. The special “hole

which she challenges kids to find. And just when they think they have the

in one” donuts that arrived during the Royal Bank of Canada Heritage golf

whole place figured out, she moves them. “The kids are my favorite part.

tournament. The Yoda donuts that celebrated Star Wars Day on May 4th.

They get really excited,” Donna said. “When they come in with families,

“People were lined up here at 6:30 in the morning for those,” Donna said.

you feel like you’re making a memory.” Q

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


The kids are my fav o r i t e pa r t. They get really excited. When they come in with families, you feel like you’re making a memory.

— donna ellis —

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www.pscottarch.com // 843.837.5700 // Bluffton, South Carolina


FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

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It’s the end of my second week on the job as the marketing manager for palmetto bluff, and i’m careening down a dirt path, white knuckles gripping the handlebars of a felt off-road bike.... okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. the biking paths on palmetto bluff are very easy to ride. just bear with me for the sake of the story.

“All levels can enjoy the trails at palmetto bluff. they are flat and wide–easy riding–but more experienced off-road bikers have a place to escape for a 5-, 10-, even 20-mile adventure.” — PHILIP BALVOCIUS it all started innocently enough. i was brainstorming ideas for articles for the bluff with my new boss, the incomparable courtney hampson. we were at a bit of a loss for an article to finish out this issue. “have you ever been mountain biking?” she asks. was there a hint of a smirk in her question? i wonder. “they just put in a new offroad biking trail in moreland. why don’t you go out there and write about it?” try it, she says. it’ll be fun, she says.

Is this some kind of test? Never one to shy away from an adventure or a challenge,

get out on the trails. “All levels can enjoy the trails at Palmetto Bluff ,” he says. “They

I took the bait. And so I fi nd myself sweating in the Lowcountry heat on a June day,

are flat and wide—easy riding—but more experienced off-road bikers have a place to

digging into the turns, flying over jumps and bumps in the trail, and fighting off an

escape for a 5-, 10-, even 20-mile adventure.”

all-out attack by a swarm of beefed-up kamikaze mosquito top guns. Exaggerations aside, the off-road biking trails are very enjoyable. Most of the I can’t say I wasn’t warned. I had asked vice president of development, Dallas Wood,

trails are under the tree canopy, making them a cool and shady alternative to

who is responsible for all of the roads and trails that crisscross the property, for some

the paved paths. The Maritime Loop is an easy 1-mile track where riders can get

guidance prior to heading out. Bring water and bug spray was his only missive.

their feet wet and stretch their legs a bit before tackling the longer River Road

Sound advice, but bug spray has nothing on these monsters.

or Long Leaf Pine trails. The Maritime Loop crosses a small creek and skirts the inland waterway. The River Road Trail connects both Moreland Village and

The only solution at this point? Go faster.

Wilson Village. It runs for a little more than 5 miles along Cauley’s Creek and the May River. It’s wide enough for a car to drive through, but there are narrower side

I start pedaling like my life and my poor skin depend on it. . . . Okay, okay, all of that is

trails and spurs that are woodsier and make for endless exploring. The side trails

a bit of an exaggeration, too. It was a casual ride where my tires never left the ground

give riders an opportunity for close-up views of the waterways and potentially a

and I lazily swatted away some bugs, but that doesn’t make for a great story, does it?

glimpse of the local American alligators. The Long Leaf Pine Trail is also wide

This is my fi rst assignment, and I’m taking some poetic license here.

and flat. It is freshly cut and ready for riders to enjoy.

Leading me is Philip Balvocius from Outside Palmetto Bluff , manager of the new

Philip and I are both riding the bike shop’s off-road rental bikes made by Felt. The Felt

bike shop in Moreland Village. Philip has been a bike geek since age 12 when he

bikes feature an aluminum frame and responsive shocks. They also have a weight-

started racing road bikes every weekend. As an adult, he became more interested in

saving single front gear and offer a wider range of back gears than most bikes. The

off-road biking, and he is happy to help everyone, from beginners to advanced riders,

stars of the show in the bike shop, though, are the Pedego Electric Bikes. The shop


has a wide range of styles from the Interceptor, a basic cruiser, to the Range Rider, an off-road bike. The Boomerang model, another cruiser, has a low step-through frame and a shorter wheel base, making it easy to get on even for people with limited mobility. They also have a tandem bike, a stretch bike with a seat on the back, trikes, and even a foldable bike on offer in the shop.

Set the pedal assist on the Pedego to a three or four, and don’t be surprised when it takes off from under you—these things have some juice. Pedal assist helps riders pick up speed when they are stopped at an intersection and need to accelerate quickly to cross, for example, or just for the thrill of it. The bikes also have a throttle that allows riders to power the bike without pedaling at all, reaching speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. (The shop uses governors to cap their top speeds for safety, though the bikes can reach up to 25 mph.) “The biggest benefit of the added speed is that it allows riders to see more of Palmetto Bluff in a shorter time with less effort,” Philip says.

The shop opened this past July and offers a full menu of biking excursions, a fully equipped repair shop, and bikes for sale and rent. The shop techs will fit both the Pedego bikes and the Felt off-road bikes to the rider and fi ne-tune them for rentals lasting longer than a day. It features a fit station with a stationary trainer to make adjustments, and the staff can dial the bike in quickly to get riders on the road in just a few minutes. In keeping with Palmetto Bluff ’s focus on conservation, the shop uses mineral oil instead of brake fluid in the braking systems of their bikes, making them more environmentally friendly out on the trails. All bikes feature rear racks and handlebar-mounted phone holders with an optional wireless speaker. And all rentals come with a take-home water bottle.

Hyperbole might defi ne this story, but it’s no exaggeration to say that the bikes and trails at Palmetto Bluff are just plain old fun. “Who doesn’t like to ride a bike?” Philip asks. “You don’t even have to pedal some of them. Just sit down and hold on.” After surviving my fi rst assignment, I couldn’t agree more. Q

1

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3

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2

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9 4

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6 8

7 5


THE BUSINESS 42

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


WRITTEN BY: COURTNEY HAMPSON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ROD PASIBE & MICHELLE LYNN MORRIS

It was the summer of 2006 when I fi rst met Jimmy Taylor. We

Bluff , on St. Helena Island, the Sanders family has been growing

bumped into each other (literally) in the kitchen at my office as

Sea Island Tomatoes for six generations. Over a century ago, Gus

he was dropping off two huge brown paper bags full of Sea Island

Sanders discovered that the soil on St. Helena Island was just right

Tomatoes. As a lifelong New Jersey tomato consumer advocate

for producing plump and juicy tomatoes. That’s because the soil

(they are my measuring stick for all other tomatoes), it took a bit of

is just a tad bit warmer than that of inland farms, which makes it

convincing before I conceded and tried a Sea Island Tomato. The

perfect for harvesting the best tomatoes.

next day, I was introduced to Duke’s mayonnaise, and suddenly, in 24 hours’ time, I was eating tomato sandwiches, and the allure of

On a morning in late June, I stood in the “Back Field,” named

the South grew even more interesting for me.

because, well, it is behind the house. The house in front of the Back Field belongs to Jimmy Taylor and his wife, Lee Sanders Taylor.

One doesn’t necessarily picture tomato fields growing thick on

Their son Ross is my tour guide today.

a sea island, but that happens here. Just 40 miles from Palmetto

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

43


44

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


BEFORE A SEA ISLAND TOMATO MAKES IT INTO A BOX TO BE SOLD, IT MUST HAVE THE PERFECT COLOR, UNIFORMITY OF THAT COLOR, NO CREASES, AND NO CRACKS.

We agreed to meet at the Macdonald MarketPlace. Unsure if I was in

since 1810. The all-tabby barn on the property has been standing

the right spot, I gave Ross a quick ring, and he was kicking up dust

since the late 1700s. This is where the history of Sea Island

in his white pickup truck (license plate “5Tomato”) a minute later.

Tomatoes began, 115 years ago, with a nice Hollywood kicker to

We (two photographers and me) piled into the truck, and we were

spice up the story.

off on a three-hour tour of what I thought was a “little tomato farm.” I was wrong. The farm is 2,000 acres—1,000 of which are farmed.

Before a Sea Island Tomato makes it into a box to be sold, it must

If we’re measuring the actual dirt occupied by a tomato plant, we’re

have the perfect color, uniformity of that color, no creases, and no

talking 400 acres of tomatoes. It takes about 2 acres of land to grow

cracks. Ripe tomatoes don’t make the cut, because they’ll be past

1 acre of tomatoes. (There was a lot of math this morning.) Ross

their prime before they arrive at their destination. For a company

tells us, “Beginning this week, 300 people will handpick, pack, and

that holds 65 percent of the tomato market on the East Coast, they

ship 24 million pounds of tomatoes. And they’ll get all that done in

cannot afford to get it wrong.

four weeks. We’re gonna get started in about 45 minutes. . . .” Standing among the rows of tomatoes in the Back Field, lines of But before we get to the fields, we make our fi rst stop at Taylor’s aunt

pickers are poised to get to work. The June sun is already beating

and uncle’s house, also known as the house where Forrest Gump was

down at 9:00 a.m., dust caking everyone’s feet and face. The

fi lmed. We ambled up the back lawn as Taylor’s Uncle Bill came out

workers are part of the H-2A government work visa program, under

onto his porch, never fl inching at a camera crew setting up tripods

contract for this specific task. From these tomato fields, they will

in his backyard. Soon, his dogs joined the party, obviously used to

move on to other farms, where they work for eight months in the

visitors. And so began 30 minutes of running Forrest Gump one-

United States. Here they are paid by the piece, making speed and

liners between our photographer and me. How is this part of the

precision paramount.

story you may ask? That plantation house has been in the family


46

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


At the start of each day, the crew leader presents a deck of cards, the lowest card gets the spot closest to the truck, which means less walking, more picking. The literal luck of the draw. At the crew leader’s “go,” the workers are fi lling buckets, tossing the full buckets to the crew leaders on the truck, and getting their empty buckets back with a token. That token becomes the currency by which progress is tracked. In under one minute, a bucket is easily fi lled and tossed and the worker is on to the next bucket. I’m already wiping the sweat from my brow and feeling it trickle down my back, simply from standing in the sun. Yet, these field workers will do this for the next four weeks until the sun goes down. An afternoon thunderstorm is welcomed, if only for the relief from the heat, because when production stalls, tokens don’t fall.

Not every descendant of the Sanders family ends up at the farm, though. Taylor is quite frank about the reason, “Family politics,” he says. “I am an entrepreneur at heart. I love the family and I love the business.” Five of the nine cousins from the Sanders’ sixth generation work for the family business. Taylor’s parents and their generation own the business today. As this sixth generation begins making their families, some—Taylor included—have a desire for the business to grow. “As we start having kids, the family has more mouths to feed. We need to expand the business.” And that is how Seaside Grown Bloody Mary Mix was born. Taylor wanted to create another use for the 20 percent of tomatoes that ripen on the vine and don’t make it into a box. Once Taylor got to talking to a college buddy (with whom he discovered Bloody Marys and hangovers), the idea was born. In 2018, Seaside Grown will produce 12,000 cases of Bloody Mary mix. Their projections for 2019 are more than double that. A partnership with Tito’s Vodka, developed via a mutual friend, has Seaside Grown dubbed the “Official Bloody Mary Mix of Tito’s Vodka,” which has helped kickstart the brand. “It all goes to show it is who you know, not what you know,” Taylor says. Relationships being paramount in this family—and this business— Taylor continues to seek ways to further connect with the customer. When you get a bottle of Seaside Grown, you’ll know from what field and what day the tomatoes were picked for that bottle. Proof that a family business can grow and still celebrate its roots.


12

YEARS

& COUNTING Music Music to to your your mouth mouth

48

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


music music written by: anna jones & Ellie O’Donoghue

to to your your

mouth mouth

Photography By: bonjwing lee

returns for its

1 2 th h e l p i n g

To us at Palmetto Bluff, Music to Your Mouth is the gold

Washington, DC, and David Bancroft from Acre in Auburn,

standard when it comes to events. We plan for it year-round

Alabama, will sharpen their knives at their inaugural Music

and meticulously pore over each detail to outdo whatever we

to Your Mouth. New vintners and distillers will join the ranks

did the year prior. A tall order indeed, since each year we cook

too, like Geoff Labitzke of Kistler Vineyards and James Beard

up crazier ideas than the year before.

Award-winning writers Jordan Mackay and Rajat Parr.

The recipe that makes Music to Your Mouth so special has

And, of course, we’ve baked in

been tested, adjusted, and tweaked over 12 years, but we’ve got

a few surprises in between.

it down pat. And it all starts with the people. This year, we’ve invited back our favorite chefs and added a few fresh faces

Check out our bench of chefs, vintners, brewers, and distillers

to the roster too. Veteran MTYM chefs like Rodney Scott,

in the next pages to get a taste of the bites and sips in store for

Rob McDaniel, and Jeremiah Bacon are guaranteed to put on

our 12 th helping. One thing is for sure—it’s going to be good.

a show, and newbies like Annie Coleman of The Dabney in

meet the talent FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

49


jeremiah bacon

chefs

DAVID BANCROFT

allan benton

The Macintosh

Acre

Charleston, SC

Auburn, AL

Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams

With sizzling-hot technique

Executive chef and partner

and a “true food” philosophy,

of Acre, David Bancroft’s

Owner of Benton’s Smoky

Jeremiah Bacon shows

sustainable and savory

Mountain Country Hams,

off his fi nely tuned talents

cuisine has earned him

Allan Benton’s Tennessee

as the executive chef of

recognition on local,

hams and bacons are praised

The Macintosh. Hailing

regional, and national

for their characteristic fl avor.

from Johns Island, South

platforms. A self-taught

Slow cured using salt, brown

Carolina, Jeremiah’s locally

chef, farmer, and forager,

sugar, and sodium nitrate,

sourced, seasonally inspired

David is committed to his

Allan’s time-honored dry-

culinary creations reflect his

Alabama community and

curing practice produces

is a two-time James Beard-

world-class country hams

nominated chef.

and bacon.

Madisonville, TN

technique-driven style.

nathan beriau

jean-paul bourgeois

tyler brown

brandon carter

Montage Palmetto Bluff

Blue Smoke

Southall Farms

FARM

The Dabney

Bluff ton, SC

New York, NY

Franklin, TN

Bluff ton, SC

Washington, DC

A New England native,

Where there’s smoke,

Recently named one of

Renowned executive chef

Get ready for the best carboload in your life with Pastry Chef Annie Coleman’s

Chef Nathan Beriau started

there’s fi re . . . and usually

Esquire’s Four New Chefs

and partner at FARM,

his career working for top

there’s Jean-Paul Bourgeois,

to Watch, Executive Chef

Brandon Carter’s locally

pure patisserie creations. From Beaufort to Paris, and

restaurants in his home

executive chef of Blue

Tyler Brown leads Capitol

inspired cuisine represents

region and around the

Smoke. Raised in the

Grille, one of Nashville’s

what it really means to be

country. Now the executive

small town of Thibodaux,

highly praised restaurants.

chef at Montage Palmetto

Louisiana, and classically

Tyler is also a farmer,

Bluff , Nate’s expertise and

trained at Chef John Folse

overseeing the Land Trust

dedication make him a

Culinary Institute and Paul

for Tennessee’s Glen Leven

perfect match to lead the

Bocuse Institute, Jean-Paul’s

Farm and using sustainable

of seasonality and

and the challenges of

culinary team.

soulful cooking brings

farming practices to create

availability of ingredients

seasonal cooking.

Southern culinary traditions

classic and delicious

enable him to craft ever-

to New York City.

Southern dishes.

evolving and regionally

farm-to-table. Raised in Georgia and now based in Bluff ton, South Carolina, Carter’s incredible experience and cognizance

inspired menus.

50

annie coleman

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

now in Washington, DC, Annie’s passion for pastry is inspired by old family recipes, classic techniques,


aaron deal

justin devillier

Chris chris dickerson

drew dzejak

kelly fields

The River and Rail

La Petite Grocery & Balise

Corner Taco

Alys Beach

Willa Jean

Roanoke, VA

New Orleans, LA

Jacksonville, FL

Panama City, FL

New Orleans, LA

Aaron Deal, executive chef

From the West Coast to

With national acclaim

After gaining inspiration

As chef partner of Willa

of The River and Rail in

the Gulf Coast, Executive

and invitations to cook

to become a chef from

Jean, Kelly Fields’s cooking

Roanoke, Virginia, developed

Chef Justin Devillier has

with numerous notable

his grandmother, Drew

celebrates sense and

the culinary program for the

been servin’ up traditional

chefs, Florida-based chef

Dzejak went on to hone his

Southern sensibility. Based

restaurant from the ground

dishes with a creative twist.

Chris Dickerson’s culinary

skills at some of the best

in New Orleans, Louisiana,

up. James Beard-nominated

Owner of La Petite Grocery

creations are defi nitely

establishments in the South.

Kelly has been hailed as a top

and repeatedly recognized,

and Balise, Justin’s creole

something to taco ’bout.

Now the executive chef of

pastry chef in America while

Aaron makes an impact

New Orleans-based

Chef and owner of Corner

Alys Beach in Panama City,

also serving as a mentor

outside the kitchen as well,

cooking has earned him

Taco, Chris’s Mexcletic

Florida, Drew is taking the

to inspire, encourage, and

leading discussions on

numerous awards including

cooking has been repeatedly

dining program to new

educate the next generation

sustainable food culture and

being named a James

recognized as some of the

heights with each culinary

of female chefs by launching

Beard Award finalist for

best tacos in Florida.

offering providing a sense of

the Yes Ma’am Foundation.

cooking techniques.

Best Chef: South for five

place and lifelong memories.

consecutive years.

megan & colby garrelts

kenny gilbert

Steven steven Greene greene

Kay kay heritage

Bluestem & Rye

Gilbert’s Social, Gilbert’s Hot Chicken, Fish + Shrimp & Seachaser’s Lounge

The Umstead Hotel and Spa

Big Bon Pizza

1540 Room

Kansas City, MO

Cary, NC

Savannah, GA

Savannah, GA

A husband and wife duo,

Jacksonville, FL

With a passion for regionally

Dynamic mother-daughter

After working for some of

inspired, progressive cuisine,

duo Kay and Anna

the top restaurants along the

James Beard-nominated chef

Heritage are changing

East Coast and spending six

Steven Greene’s culinary

the pizza game, one

months studying traditional

creations make all others

slice at a time. Founder

cooking in Italy, Chef Kyle

Megan and Colby Garrelts are the chefs and owners of Rye and Bluestem, a James Beard semifi nalist for Outstanding Restaurant three years running, in Kansas City. Showcasing Megan’s new American desserts and Colby’s progressive cuisine, the Garrelts have a marriage of outstanding culinary skills.

A Top Chef favorite, Kenny Gilbert, owner of numerous hot-spot eateries, was born to be a chef. With 20 years of professional experience in every aspect of the food and beverage industry, Kenny’s passion for fi ne fare is complemented by his vast experience across the entire spectrum of the

kyle jacovino

green with envy. Executive

of Savannah-based Big

Jacovino set his sights on

chef of The Umstead Hotel

Bon Pizza, Kay Heritage

Savannah. Partnering with a

and Spa in Cary, North

infuses classic Italian

colleague, Kyle opened The

Carolina, Steven is one the

fl avors with a Korean fl air

Florence and then went on

country’s youngest executive

into a delicious and raved

to open the 1540 Room in

chefs to helm the kitchen of a

about handcrafted

the newly renovated DeSoto

Forbes Five-Star establishment.

wood-fi red pizza.

Hotel as the chef proprietor.

culinary industry.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

51


matt Matt jording

raymond lammers

jamie lynch

ryan Ryan mCcarthy

The Sage Room

Montage Palmetto Bluff

5Church

Downtown Catering Company

SpringHouse

Hilton Head Island, SC

Bluff ton, SC

Charlotte, NC

Bluff ton, SC

Alexander City, AL

A self-taught chef who

A native of the Netherlands,

After fi nding an affi nity

Owner of Downtown

A five-time James

began traveling to define his

Raymond Lammers is the

for the restaurant business

Catering Company—voted

Beard Best Chef: South

own way of cooking, Matt

executive sous chef at

when he was only 16 years

“Best Deli,” “Best Lunch,”

semifinalist, Rob McDaniel

Jording moved to Hilton

Montage Palmetto Bluff

old, Jamie Lynch went on

and “Best Sandwiches” by

is the general manager

Head Island in 1995 and

overseeing all day-to-day

to hone his skills training

resort culinary operations.

under the highest caliber of

numerous publications

and executive chef of

With nearly three decades

chefs. Now the executive chef

every year since 2002—Ryan

SpringHouse in Alexander

of culinary experience,

and partner of 5Church with

McCarthy and his wife

City, Alabama. After

Raymond holds a high

locations in Charlotte, North

(he’s the chef and she’s the

training under prestigious

concentration in pastry and

Carolina, and Charleston,

planner) have been bringing

chefs, Rob’s passion for

has been honored as one of

South Carolina, Jamie

world-class catering to the

Southern foods, foraging, and sustainability evolved into the culinary style he

worked at local restaurants until he opened The Sage Room in 2002. Building his kitchen in the middle of the restaurant, Matt gives his customer a one-on-one

the country’s Top 10 Pastry

creates signature dishes that

Lowcountry for more

dining experience.

Chefs in America by Dessert

speak to each city’s character.

than 16 years.

is known for today.

Professional magazine.

russ moore

kevin nashan

erik niel

Slightly North of Broad

Sidney Street Café

Charleston, SC

St. Louis, MO

The executive chef of

Chef and owner of

Orchid orchid paulmeier

Rodney rodney Scott scott

Easy Bistro & Bar

One Hot Mama’s

Rodney Scott’s BBQ

Chattanooga, TN

Hilton Head Island, SC

Charleston, SC

Born and raised in Louisiana,

A fan and judge favorite on

The man, the myth, and the

Slightly North of Broad

Sidney Street Café, Kevin

Erik Niel’s upbringing

Season 7 of Food Network

legend of Southern BBQ,

(SNOB, of course), Russ

Nashan has been pivotal

strongly influenced his

Star, Orchid Paulmeier

Rodney Scott incorporates

Moore spearheads the

in putting St. Louis,

cooking of Southern-

always envisioned owning

his life experiences into the

Missouri, on the map as

inspired French classics.

a restaurant as being part

A two-time James Beard

of her American dream.

Southern-comfort cuisine

Award semifi nalist for Best

The chef and owner of One

Chef: Southeast, Erik Niel is

Hot Mama’s in Hilton Head

the executive chef of Easy

Island, South Carolina,

menu development that has delighted patrons since

a dining destination. A

the restaurant’s opening

2017 James Beard Award

in 1993. In addition to his

winner for Best Chef:

position at SNOB, Russ

Midwest, Kevin crafts his

is an active mentor at

dishes with an eclectic

the Culinary Institute of

mix of influences from

Charleston and the Art

Spanish to Southern.

Institute of Charleston.

52

rob mCdaniel

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

that he loves to eat. Chef and owner of Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston, South Carolina, Rodney’s fl avorful

Bistro & Bar, one of the most

Orchid offers comfort

well-regarded restaurants in

food cuisine with a kick,

menu showcases his food

Chattanooga, Tennessee’s

combining Southern

philosophy and a Southern-

burgeoning food scene.

favorites with her own

comfort cuisine that people

Filipino family recipes.

drive hours to eat.


aaron siegel

Michael Toscano

alysia casebeer

Home Team BBQ

Le Farfalle

Peter Michael Winery

VINTUS

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

Calistoga, CA

Pleasantville, KY

Slow and steady wins the

Chef and owner of Le

A true wine psychic,

After becoming enamored

BBQ race for Chef Aaron

Farfalle in Charleston,

Alysia Casebeer knows the

with wine while working at

Siegel. Operating partner

South Carolina, Michael

importance of quality-driven

a winery as an undergrad,

of Charleston-based Home

Toscano opened the modern

and small-production wines.

Craig Collins worked his

Team BBQ, Aaron combines

Italian osteria with his wife,

Hailing from Oklahoma

way to becoming a Master

traditional processes and techniques with the simplicity of comfort food, BBQ, and Southern fare.

Caitlin, in 2016. Before La

City, Oklahoma, Alysia has

Farfalle, Michael worked

traveled the world forging

under some of the best in

relationships with wineries

the industry and opened

and now leads the industry

his fi rst restaurant, Perla, in

After developing his passion for sustainable agriculture and farm-to-table restaurants working in North Carolina, Chef Karl Worley began Biscuit Love with his wife, Sarah. A food truck that soon became a Nashville

based import company VINTUS. Representing some of the most pedigreed wines from Italy, Craig’s

Greenwich Village, gaining

veteran vintner skills are

him accolades as a James

for Peter Michael Winery in

why he sits on the Board of

Beard Rising Star Chef of the

Calistoga, California.

Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers.

(And more!)

SOMMES

Biscuit Love Nashville, TN

Sommelier of New York-

as the global sales manager

Year semifi nalist.

karl worley

craig collins

desmond Echavarrie echavarrie

jason heller

Scale Wine Group

Scale Wine Group

Napa, CA

Napa, CA

A true wine prodigy, Master

One of the most respected

Sommelier Desmond

sommeliers and wine

Echavarrie knew he wanted

educators in the world,

to dedicate his life to wine

Jason Heller has years of

before he was even legal to

experience working with

drink. After years of success

some of the world’s most

in the wine industry and

highly regarded California

national acclaim as a US

producers. Now the newest

and brunch, Biscuit Love is

Top New Somm, Desmond

partner of Scale Wine Group

known for creating dishes

founded Scale Wine Group

and a partner in Band of

that honor the deep-rooted

in 2016 with a mission to

Vintners, Jason continues to

traditions of the South.

help small wineries elevate

lead the industry through his

their brands.

experience and passion.

breakfast staple for biscuits

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

53


geoff labitzke

jordan mackay

parker marvin

David david M mCcarus

andrew mCnamara

Kistler Vineyards Sebastopol, CA

James Beard Award-Winning Writer

Attaboy

McCarus Beverage Company

Breakthru Beverage Group

Napa, CA

New York, NY

Charleston, SC

Tampa, FL

Dedicated to the world

Jordan Mackay’s work

A culinary arts and nutrition

Founder of the McCarus

One of only 13 individuals to pass the Master Sommelier

of wine, Geoff Labitzke is

has appeared in Food &

graduate of Johnson &

Beverage Company with

one of only 35 Masters of

Wine, New York Times,

Wales, Parker Marvin is a

his brother, Matt, David

exam on the fi rst attempt— and with the highest score—

Wine in the United States.

Los Angeles Times, and

Level 2 Certified Sommelier.

McCarus is focused on

Now the director of sales

many others. Based

After working in restaurants

representing a cohesive

and marketing for Kistler

in Napa, California,

around San Diego,

family of wine producers.

Vineyards, Geoff mentors

Jordan’s James Beard

California, Parker moved

With wines being imported

sommeliers nationally and

Award-winning book,

to New York City, where he

and distributed from top

assists in their professional

Secrets of the Sommelier,

now works as a bartender

producers in California,

him a top sommelier. As vice president of wine development and Master Sommelier for Breakthru Beverage Group

development while also

was co-written with

at Attaboy in Manhattan’s

France, Spain, and Italy,

directing national and

MTYM talent Rajat Parr.

Lower East Side, a bar that is

David ensures his producers

works to strengthen

international business

currently ranked No. 8 in the

share a strong respect

relationships between

for Kistler.

world by World’s Best Bars.

for producing precise

suppliers and customers.

regional wines.

sponsors

54

McNamara’s achievements in the wine industry have made

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

in Tampa, Florida, Andrew


Joe + MariElena Raya

jesse rodriguez

Spire Collection

Bittermilk

Montage Palmetto Bluff

Virgil Kaine

Calistoga, CA

Charleston, SC

Bluff ton, SC

North Charleston, SC

Partner and proprietor of

The Wonder Woman of

For five years, Bittermilk has

Regarded as one of America’s

Founder and CEO of Virgil

Rajat rajat Parr parr

Emily emily Pickral pickral

Domaine de la Côte Lompoc, CA

david David szlam Szlam

Domaine de la Côte, Rajat

wine, Emily Pickral was

made creating a classic and

top sommeliers, Jesse

Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey

Parr is a three-time James

the 19 th woman in the

quality cocktail as easy as

Rodriquez is an Advanced

Co., David Szlam holds a

Beard Award winner and is

world to earn the Master

just adding booze. The king

Sommelier and the director

true wisdom of whiskey and

regarded as one of the world’s

Sommelier Diploma.

and queen of quintessential

of wine at Montage Palmetto

brilliance in bourbon. After

foremost experts on wine. A

The region manager and

cocktails, Joe Raya and

Bluff . Prior to joining

years of experience in the

native of Kolkata, India, Rajat

Master Sommelier of Spire

his wife, MariElena, joined

Montage’s team, Jesse

food and beverage industry,

trained in the United States

Collection, Emily recently

their beverage and culinary

led numerous beverage

David created Virgil Kaine

at The Culinary Institute

moved back to the East Coast

expertise to tweak ideas and

programs to success and

by applying his culinary

of America, beginning his

to share her love of some of

test recipes in order to create

helped The French Laundry

experience to the process of

career as an immensely

Napa’s and Sonoma’s best

Bittermilk mixers that have

become the only dining

blending and creating unique

celebrated sommelier.

wineries here in

been nationally recognized

venue in California to receive

whiskey fl avor profi les.

the Southeast.

and regarded.

a three-star Michelin rating.

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The mere m conjures up e a familiar m ntion of white-tailed d eer ental image. mature buck I t is a bitter co stands proud ld winter mo l y skyward. Hi w i t h a rning. A tall, heavy s breath mat s et of antlers erializes into which has be reaching a thick mist in en slowly ma the light of king its debu (females) f the sun, t eeds around behind him. H him in quiet is harem of frosted field c does o m f ort. They st of lush, leaf a y nd in the ed turnips and rounded by ge of a tall green o an untouche a d, magnifice ts.The field nt maritime this is a com forest. At P is sur mon scene. H almetto Blu ere,the deer managed by ff, herd is stud the Palmetto i e d and Bluff Cons e r v ancy at a lev cannot be fo el that und at most places.

57


THE

WHITE - TAILED DEER

fig.18 | ANTLER EXAMPLES

fig.17 | HEADS OF DEER SHOWING ANTLERS

fig.19 | TRACK EXAMPLE

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58


THE

T

WHITE - TAILED DEER

he Conservancy uses a wide variety of tools to manage

free, healthier alternative to store-bought beef, and it’s cheaper

and study the deer herd that lives at the Bluff. Nighttime

too. A pound of ground beef averages $3.50; whereas, a pound of

spotlight surveys and trail camera censuses are utilized to

fully processed ground deer meat costs roughly $1.50 depending

estimate population and density in specific areas. Deer nutrition

on the processor. Cheaper and healthier? Those two words are

is supplemented with cultivated food plots that are scattered

seldom used to describe other foods. (My preferred recipe for

property-wide. Every May, the Conservancy conducts the

preparing and cooking delicious deer meat is on the next page.)

summer planting, which consists of Alyce clover, Aeschynomene, and buckwheat, to ensure the deer on property are well-fed with

The fact that deer are a major game species in the United States is

food that has real nutritional value. Another planting occurs

not the only interesting aspect of their existence. The intricacies

in October. This crop is a mix of wheat, naked oats, rape, rye,

of the life they live is a spectacle of its own. Deer belong to a

and turnips. Over 40 automatic corn feeders supply deer with a

family of species known as Cervidae. The members of this family

quick and easy meal. These extra food sources are great for other

include white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, caribou, elk, and

wildlife as well. Birds of all kinds are visitors to Palmetto Bluff ’s

several others. What all of these species share is that the male

nutrient-rich food plots.

of the species grows and sheds a new pair of antlers every year. This trait sets the tone for their entire year. Let’s take a look at the

White-tailed deer are an iconic American wildlife species,

stages each deer undergoes throughout the year.

and they are the state animal for nine states, including South Carolina. The pursuit of the white-tailed deer generates

—————— S U M M E R ——————

billions of dollars annually, but hunting is also a beneficial practice for healthy herd production. Since deer have very few

There are several events occurring within the deer community

limiting factors, their numbers can quickly exceed the carrying

during the summer months. Does are giving birth to offspring

capacity of the land upon which they reside. The Palmetto Bluff

known as fawns, which are covered in white spots that serve as a

Conservancy hosts guided deer hunts for property owners,

type of camouflage. The fawns will spend their days hiding and

which help form a deep bond between owners and this special

the mother will return to them periodically so they may nurse.

land they live on while also maintaining the local herd below

(If a fawn is found alone, it is important to leave it undisturbed.

carrying capacity. Their antlers serve as trophies for hunters and

The mother has not abandoned it; she is simply feeding and will

their meat fills freezers. Meat from a white-tailed deer is second

return soon.)

to none. Like beef, it is crimson red in color but much leaner. The deer’s all-natural diet provides a hunter with a hormone-

23

59


THE

WHITE - TAILED DEER

Bucks also begin growing their antlers for the year at this point.

females that they are oblivious to their surroundings, and for

Their rack size and shape are directly related to the amount of

this reason, the rut is time of year when most deer are struck by

minerals available for consumption. As the antlers grow, they are

cars. Their preoccupation with females causes them to forget an

encased in a layer of skin and blood vessels known as velvet.

important rule—look both ways before you cross the street!

During the summer, does and bucks spend very little time together. Instead, bucks often hang together in a bachelor group.

—— L AT E W I N T E R / E A R LY S P R I N G ——

——————— FA L L ———————

Breeding season comes to a close. Bucks, worn down by the rigors of the rut, are visibly thinner. With no receptive females left, they

Antler growth slows down, and soon, bucks will leave their

begin to return to their bachelor groups. The antlers that have

bachelor groups to seek solitude. While they are alone, they eat

served them throughout the rut loosen and fall off . From here, the

as much as possible to build fat reserves, causing their antlers to

annual cycle starts over just as it has done for 3 million years since

“harden out.” After their antlers have hardened, the bucks will

deer fi rst evolved.

rub them on branches and saplings. This removes the velvet and polishes the antlers.

White-tailed deer live a unique lifestyle. By studying their behaviors and population dynamics, a deep appreciation for

Fawns have now learned to feed on their own. They still hang close

them is formed. There is no doubt why they are one of the most

to their mothers but can survive without them, and the spots that

recognizable American species, and they certainly make great

once covered their backs have faded or disappeared completely.

wild neighbors at Palmetto Bluff. Q

——— L AT E FA L L / E A R LY W I N T E R ———

Females enter estrus and “the rut” ensues. The rut is the season when deer breed, which brings about major changes in their behavior. Bucks establish a hierarchy by fighting and use the

———————

antlers grown over the last few months as weapons. The biggest, strongest bucks earn the right to breed with the female, but many of the females didn’t sign up for this. The bucks chase the females around and give them little rest. Bucks are often so focused on

24

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———————


Justin’s Favorite Deer Grilled, Marinated Ba Meat Recipe ckstrap or Loins 1.

Marinate backstrap or lo overnight in the followin ins g. 1 Tbsp – Olive O il 4 Tbsp – Worcest ershire Sauce 1 Tbsp – Soy Sau ce 2 Tbsp – Honey Fresh minced garlic Half a lemon, juiced Lots of black pepper 2. Grill on high heat until medium rare. Using a thermom

* 3.

temperature reacheetser until the 135°F

* Allow meat to rest befo re sl icing. 4. Slice thin an d serve.

For best results, have m ore of your choosing bethfoanreonhae ice-cold beer nd. 61


RETAIL THER APY W R I T T E N BY: S A R A H G R U B B S

|

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY: K R I S Z T I A N LO N YA I & J O H N R O B E R T S

Tucked away on Boat House Row, overlooking the May River,

Talent from across the South brings this thoughtful collection

Provisions by Palmetto Bluff is the newest retail addition to the

to life. Emily McCarthy from Savannah, Georgia, marries her

community. As an idea cultivated from seed to fruit by the very

personal style with the Lowcountry landscape in her custom-

people who love the Bluff, Provisions by Palmetto Bluff brings

designed cocktail napkins and stationery featuring a historic

together the goods and curios of Southern makers and artisans

Palmetto Bluff map. Bright colors and carefully crafted needlepoint

with curated merchandise and Palmetto Bluff-signature apparel,

belts from Matthias Kaupermann of Charleston, South Carolina,

stationery, and scents all in one place.

pop off the shelves. Hand-strung antler necklaces and beaded bracelets from Twine & Twig of Charlotte, North Carolina, add an earthy touch, while hand-painted watercolor maps from New

“Provisions brings together the goods and curios of Southern makers and artisans with curated merchandise.�

World Cartography give a sense of place (and direction). Even the furniture, designed by our own executive sous chef, Ray Lammers, is available for purchase. From handcrafted jewelry to housewares, leather goods, and artwork, you can find that perfect little something to bring a bit of the Bluff home with you.

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


FO R H I M Brackish Assorted Bowties $195.00

FO R T H E CO F F E E TA B L E Garden & Gun The Southerner’s Handbook $28.99

FO R YO U R H O M E

FO R YO U R H O M E

New World Cartography Maps

Salt & Shore

Palmetto Bluff Historic Plantations

Maritime Forest Candle

$348.00

$60.00

New World Cartography Maps Savannah Historic Wards and Squares $424.00

New World Cartography Maps Oysters of America $95.00

FO R T H E CO F F E E TA B L E Garden & Gun The Southerner’s Cookbook $40.00

FO R H E R Twine & Twig Cowrie Collar Necklace $295.00

FO R YO U R B E E R Smathers & Branson Camouflage Dog Koozie $29.50

Smathers & Branson Crab Koozie $29.50

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

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LOCAL CHARACTER

DAVID SAMPSON EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF

64

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


WRITTEN BY:

PHOTOGRAPHY BY:

A M A NDA BAR A N CUTRER

K RISZTIA N LON YAI

Executive Pastry Chef DAVID SAMPSON’s taste for the sweeter things in life began as a child. Growing up in the small town of Bliss, New York, he recalls many a night when his parents played cards with his aunt and uncle, munching on store-bought desserts as they competed. With his parents occupied, he needed to fi nd a way to keep himself entertained too—and he started with dessert. He began making sweets that his family could eat while playing cards, easy recipes like chocolate cake from the Duncan Hines mix and chocolate oatmeal cookies that required no baking. As David continued to bake, he graduated to more advanced recipes such as buttermilk panna cotta and chocolate marquise—and he also found out that he was quite good at it.

What started out as a way to bide his time turned into his hobby, which he eventually turned into a career. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and graduated in 2000. After graduation, he worked in many well-known resorts including Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania and Sea Island Resort in Georgia.

In June 2016, David moved his wife, Bianca, and kids (Isabella, 10, and Wesley, six months) to Palmetto Bluff to lead the pastry and dessert execution on property. He leads a 10-person team that prepares every tasty treat served at restaurants and events at Palmetto Bluff .

Creativity is key in his position, and David is continuously presented with new challenges to pair desserts with specific menus. He enjoys using his favorite traditional recipes and adding his own personal flair to them, like his take on a classic strawberry shortcake that he debuted at the fi rst Palmetto Bluff Farm to Fork dinner in March 2018. And, lucky for all of us, he’s willing to share—check out the original sticky note on the next page for his not-so-secret recipe. P

“ I love to scare people at every opportunity!

Executive Pastry Chef David Sampson prepares his favorite dessert to date, a riff on a traditional strawberry shortcake.

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

65


Q & A

Q: WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS?

Q: WHEN YOU’RE NOT HERE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

A: Being on a beach in Rio de Janeiro with my wife and kids

A: Watching TV, playing with my son, or baking with my daughter.

playing in the sand. Q: WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND AS YOU DRIVE TO WORK EACH MORNING? A: I love the drive in. The trees are amazing. And I also go through

I also enjoy fi shing, gardening, and bike riding. Q: WHAT WORD/PHRASE DO YOU USE THE MOST? A: When talking to my team: “Do you have any questions,

thoughts, or concerns?”

my list of things to do for the day while singing along with the radio. Oh! And I also always look to see if I can spot an alligator after coming through the main gate. Q: AND ON THE WAY HOME? A: Well, my hours are crazy, so it’s usually, “Please don’t let me hit a deer.”

Q: WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE? A: Tech stuff , new gadgets, chef knives, and artisan chocolate.

Q: MOVIE THAT YOU WOULD RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS? A: Any of the Avenger and James Bond movies.

Q: IF THERE WAS A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED AND WHICH ACTOR WOULD PLAY YOU? A: The actor would defi nitely be Anthony Edwards. And the movie

would probably be called Yankee in the South. Q: WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? A: My bench test at Sea Island. It was a very difficult exam.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR MOST MARKED CHARACTERISTIC? A: I love to scare people at every opportunity!

Q: WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? A: Humble Pie by Gordon Ramsey.

Q: IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE “SUPER POWER,” WHAT WOULD IT BE? HOW WOULD YOU USE IT AT WORK? A: I would want to see the future, and I’d fi x problems before they arose.

Q: WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? A: Relatable parent/child funny stories.

Q: TOP FIVE SONGS/BANDS ON YOUR PLAYLIST? A: Golden oldies all the way—or classic rock.

Q: FAVORITE SPOT ON THE BLUFF? A: The area surrounding Cole’s and Canteen in Moreland Village.

Q: BEST PALMETTO BLUFF MOMENT? A: The Donut Truck at Music to Your Mouth in 2017. Everyone was

happy and mingling together. There was so much interaction between the owners and chefs—you couldn’t tell who was working the event and who was there simply to enjoy it.


The way home.

PO Box 1928 | Bluffton, SC 29910 | (843) 247-5452 | csthomasconstruction.com FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

67


Charleston • 843-243-0790

www.waynewindhamarchitect.com

Palmetto Bluff • 843-815-3266


69


written by:

Jessica Farthing

ntiquing has long been considered a challenge

coffee in the air, provided by locally owned Savannah Coffee

involving much skill, a revered Southern sport.

Roasters in a signature Kenyan blend made especially for

With a nose for a good deal, antique hunters

Picker Joe’s. The streaming songs in the background are World

scour markets, estate sales, and stores across the region, taking

War II-era staples like Sentimental Journey or In the Mood.

pride in their ability to haggle and walk away with a prized

The collective experience has guests raving about the store,

collectible. Every piece they fi nd seems to have a story, and

so much so that they have attracted the attention of American

the more colorful the history of the artifact, the more fodder for

Pickers, the Discovery Channel’s antiques reality show. Indeed,

dinner party tales. Say, for instance, that you didn’t inherit the

this antique emporium seems to mix truly valuable pieces,

family silver—visit your local antique store and you might just

collectibles, and well-displayed novelties like a Victorian

fi nd the missing pieces. From cucumber servers to forks made

shower or jewelry made from recycled guitar strings.

specifically for chipped beef, you never have to worry about what Grandma may or may not have left behind. The Lowcountry

Owner Jim Plumlee couldn’t be more pleased with the path

boasts a bevy of opportunities to window-shop for quality

the store has taken and he doesn’t seem to regret his career

pieces from the past. A quick tour of our area from Savannah

change from air show pilot to antique curator at all. In fact, as

to Beaufort can yield a history lesson of the region or the next

Jim was cleaning out his hangar one afternoon, he found he

unique item, able to be passed down through future generations.

didn’t want to throw away the old airplane gauges. A friend suggested that he look at an antique booth, which led him to

Walking into Picker Joe’s in the Starland District of Savannah

treat his antiquing as a hobby. When a bad back and shoulder

is stimulating for all the senses. The store is neat and tidy—no

influenced him to retire from the physical demands of being a

jumble or dusty piles to sort through here. Instead, there is a

stunt pilot, he looked at what he enjoyed, made the investment

thematically arranged walking path winding through aviation

in a location, and opened Picker Joe’s doing what he loved. “I

ephemera—a Delta attendant serving cart, 20 mm bullets fi red

love going to work every day. You follow your dreams. I didn’t

from an F-16 Falcon, a vintage fl ight helmet—past wall-to-ceiling

realize this was my dream. I found the calling.”

shelves with single and series history and children’s books, and culminating in the architectural room with salvaged doors,

Crossing state lines into Bluff ton, South Carolina, Stock Farm

windows, and Victorian fi replaces ready to be repurposed. And

Antiques is a small store reflecting the worldly style of its

that is only the front part of the store.

owners, Teddy and Emmett McCracken. Emmett’s mother, Naomi McCracken, started the store in the early 1950s with two other

70

Quickly, visitors realize there is an enormous amount of space

ladies. She moved the shop to an upstairs room in her home in the

beyond what they fi rst see—a “pickers” paradise, as its name

1960s, calling it Stock Farm Antiques after their property. Teddy

would suggest. The vintage feel is punctuated by the scent of

remembers merging into the business with her mother-in-law, “In

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


1996, my husband and I moved into the house with her and moved the shop to its current location. From then on, we’ve been running the shop or it’s been running us.”

Emmett was stationed in Korea shortly after the Korean confl ict in

Every piece they find seems to have a story, and the more colorful the history of the artifact, the more fodder for dinner party tales.

1962 and Teddy incorporates this global influence in her picks for the store. “We had lived in Asia and went on trips to Hong Kong, Japan, and Seoul, Korea, which is an influence.” The Swillington Bridge

If cluttered antique stores aren’t your taste, Southern estate sales

opaque granite china and other choice porcelain bowls, plates, and

have long been a chance to score a fi nd—an upscale, more elegant

teacups nestle in an ornate cupboard up against the front wall, and

version of their Saturday garage sale cousins. Savannah business

Teddy can tell you the origin of each piece. A variety of consignment

The Mint Green Tag Sale Company saw a need in the Lowcountry

goods is flanked by curios and china cabinets of undeniable quality

community to serve a growing population of downsizers, and what

from the 18 and 19 centuries, the burled wood and inlay polished

started out as just an idea blossomed into a desirable service for

to a neat and tidy sheen. There are figurines, statuary, and glass, but

anyone needing to sell their surplus in the area. Owners Cody and

the customers seem most interested in cases of silver and porcelain,

AJ Hetzel provide a complete service for downsizing a household,

asking the knowledgeable Teddy about the particular background of

pricing and placing items strategically and hosting well-attended

each object. She is a fountain of information, giving a history lesson

sales advertised on their popular Facebook page. They are extremely

along with each sale. The quiet store is a small respite from the humid

cognizant of creating income for their clients and resistant to any

summer outside, providing a chance to buy furniture from the past.

attempt to purchase items for less than a fair price.

th

th

below: Antique china set

Still, collectors and dealers rub elbows at the sales with the curious public to get a chance at one-of-a-kind items available from area homes. Cody says the typical buyer comes prepared, “Many shoppers come to the sale with a list in hand, or in their head, of the items they want.” Some of the more unique finds are surprising— evacuation plans for Chatham County during World War II in the event of an attack, old coins from area drawbridge services that are now defunct, and at one home, two original life jackets from the Queen Mary. The company also finds itself selling modern items such as a new sofa, a lawn mower, or even a car. Most of the sales

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


essica phy by J Photogra

Farthing

ing

rth ica Fa

y Jess phy b togra

Pho

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

73


previous page: Map of antique store locations

In the Lowcountry, there are so many opportunities for the perfect antique to find a home. Whether it is a trip down memory lane or a quest for a specific need, part of the experience is the hunt.

are held in Savannah, an area that Cody finds fruitful for quality

glass, estate jewelry, and even elegant lace nightgowns

antiques, “Dining rooms are teeming with large sets of china,

from the 1950s. With such a large space, any person coming

crystal, and sterling flatware and serving pieces. Savannah

through the doors should be prepared to spend some quality

earned its moniker as the ‘Hostess City’ and these homes will

time in the store.

show you how.” In the Lowcountry, there are so many opportunities for In Beaufort, a large mall of independent vendors offers an

the perfect antique to find a home. Whether it is a trip

eclectic mix of items, some old and some new. The Collectors

down memory lane or a quest for a specific item, part of

Antique Market is a sprawling store, the kind that can

the experience is the hunt. The popularity of antiques

easily and happily convince someone to waste an entire afternoon on a treasure hunt for that perfect addition to a house. The readers of Beaufort’s visitor’s blog, eatsleepplaybeaufort.com, voted it the Best Antique Shop of 2018 in the area, and

“Savannah earned its moniker as the ‘Hostess City’ and these homes will show you how.”

Island News added to the accolades with the title

74

“Favorite Antique Shop.” Owner Jane Woods

proves what Jim Plumlee terms “P.F.T.P.” or

Tarrance organizes the space. Each private seller

“Passion for the Past,” an appreciation for the

she accepts brings their own assortment of goods

times when items were purposeful and well-

in a cohesive display for their designated area. “I

made, not disposable or temporary. As families

have 30 different people in here, so it’s not just

have passed these items through generation

my taste. They collect different things for their

after generation, they are recognized for their

booths, which makes it more entertaining.” The

history and craftsmanship as well as the

offerings are constantly changing, ranging from

functionality they bring. There is something

true antiques to crafted items to new items with a vintage feel. There

satisfying about having a connection to the past that makes

are classic tourist postcards from area beaches, pink depression

the antiquing experience a lifelong pursuit.

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


You— Only Better

D e s t i n a t i o n a n d Tr a v e l P a c k a g e s Av a i l a b l e Board Certified, Frederick G. Weniger, M.D., F.A.C.S. has 19 years of experience providing cosmetic plastic surgery and is a member of American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Author of Facial Rejuvenation: Surgical and Non-Surgical Procedures for a Younger-Looking You.

Fa ce - B o d y - B re a st 350 Fording Island road, Suite 200

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843-757-0123

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D R EAM. DESIGN. DELI G HT.

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BLUFFTON

courtatkins.com | 843.815.2557 RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL ARCHITECTURE • INTERIOR DESIGN 76

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M

|

S AVA N N A H


ice cream A-LIST

W RI T T EN BY: JESSE B L AN CO & EL L IE O’ DON OG H UE

P HOTO GRA P H Y BY: E LLI E O’ DON OG H UE & P ROVIDED BY: CH IA CH ON G VIA L EOP OLD ’S ICE CREAM

S

avannah has been called many things over the years—

The A-list to roll through town in the last few years is significant.

beautiful, quaint, friendly. If you are at all familiar with the city,

Robert De Niro, John Travolta, Meg Ryan, Will Smith, and Salma

its natural charm is likely the fi rst thing you think of when someone

Hayek Pinault are just a few we can toss out for conversation.

mentions Savannah to you.

Sometimes they stop in for a scoop, but it isn’t uncommon for Stratton to send a few dozen gallons to a movie set somewhere. “We sent some

What you probably don’t realize about America’s most beautiful

to Tom Cruise in London Thanksgiving before last,” he says.

small city is its Hollywood star power. It is substantial, and there is one man at the center of it. His name is Stratton Leopold. His side gig

His experiences in fi lm are on the walls of his ice cream shop.

happens to be churning out some of the best ice cream in the South.

Movie posters and fi lm production equipment are the décor. As are the 8-by-10-inch photos of the countless guests, big and small, who

The story starts in Mr. Leopold’s days growing up in an apartment

have enjoyed the creamy goodness on location. Jennifer Lopez,

above the original Leopold’s Ice Cream shop in Savannah’s Victorian

Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Smits, and Ben Affleck are but four. You might

District. His father and two uncles immigrated to Savannah from

just nickname that wall the “wow wall.”

Greece and opened the shop. Before long, it was a hub of activity sitting at the intersection of two different streetcar lines that would

At the center of it all is a man who likes to make other people happy.

shuttle residents to and from the heart of downtown Savannah.

Ice cream is a good start, but it is and always has been so much more. “Yes, the product. Of course. My father’s ice cream,” Stratton

“It’s where I learned to soda jerk,” Mr. Leopold says. “Everything

says. “But it’s more than that. There’s an empathy we have for every

I learned about the ice cream business was right there in that

one of our guests. It’s old-fashioned. It’s wholesome.”

building.” Years later, there was a greater calling. Stratton wanted to make movies. He left for New York, worked his way up the ladder, and became a respected producer in the Hollywood community. Today, he is a vice president at Paramount Pictures. You know, the day job.

Stratton truly personifies his hometown. Unassuming, quiet, and charming, but also progressive and influential, especially when it comes to how Hollywood has “taken up shop” in Savannah. That’s what happens when you can get any number of Hollywood names on the phone within an hour or two.

Tom Cruise and Stratton Leopold on the set of Mission: Impossible III.


78

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


Leopold’s all lit up on a summer evening.

Leopold’s original location on the corner of Gwinnett and Habersham streets.

The shop is run in many ways like a Hollywood production. “It

“I love being here,” he says. “I love talking to people and making

is important that we cast our employees to be in a position to

them smile.”

succeed,” he says. “For example, our ambassadors. They need to have outgoing personalities and enjoy talking to people.”

It’s also why you can fi nd Stratton being a little selective about his next movie project. The offers for work come, but it’s not like it

Fascinating choice of words: “Cast our employees.” The only place

used to be when a phone call could mean he was on the next fl ight

you might see employees referred to as cast members is Walt Disney

out only to return months later. He passed on one opportunity not

World. Certainly good company to keep. But it underscores the

long ago because he didn’t want to spend two months or more in

importance of doing things well every single day in his ice cream

China. He has fi lm projects he’d like to put together himself. He

shop. Yes, the ice cream sells itself these days, but the production

has scripts he’d love to see make it to the big screen one day. But he

around it needs to hold its own. It’s a large part of the reason it isn’t

fully understands that he isn’t alone in that regard. Putting together

at all uncommon to see Stratton Leopold working late, doing only

a motion picture is easier said than done. But he still works on that

what he asks his employees to do: make their guests happy.

nearly every day. In the meantime, he has one of the best side jobs anyone could ever ask for.

“I had a gentleman recently ask me what all of the movie stuff was about. He had no idea who I was. I said, ‘Well, these are all fi lms I’ve

“I LOVE BEING HERE. I LOVE TALKING TO PEOPLE AND MAKING THEM SMILE.”

helped make.’ The man looked around and said, ‘Yeah right, and those are my Nobel Prizes on the shelf.’”

That gentleman got a guided tour of the restaurant, Stratton says with a laugh. “That’s my name there. And there. And there.” Then, they made it to the “wow wall,” where he saw Stratton with some of the biggest names in fi lm. “I never ever do that,” Stratton said.

You can’t help but think the ice cream tasted a little more spectacular that day. Q

FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

79


Try one or try all, each and every fl avor at Leopold’s will tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your sweet tooth.

honey almond & cream Made using local honey from the Savannah Bee Company and roasted almonds, Honey Almond and Cream draws inspiration from SCAD’s mascot, Art the Bee, with each bite providing sweet and fresh almonds chilled in a cream base.

savannah socialite The sole chocolate-based flavor on this list, this mix of milk and dark chocolates with roasted Georgia pecans is swirled with bourbon-infused caramel. With a little kick in each spoonful, Savannah Socialite represents everything a good chocolate ice cream and a lady who lunches should be: decadent and divine.

butter pecan A Leopold’s classic and customer favorite, Butter Pecan presents a dense and creamy base infused and

follow the shimmering Savannah College of Art and Design marquee down the south side of Broughton Street and you’ll fi nd Leopold’s, an ice cream parlor serving what many people call “the best ice cream in the world.” With an old-fashioned black marble soda fountain and a retro neon window sign, Leopold’s transports you

loaded with roasted Georgia pecans. Having an ideal mix of salty and sweet flavors, this treat is the perfect appetite-satisfier for any Savannah afternoon.

chocolate chewies & cream

back in time to a classic soda-fountain shop from the 1920s. Visitors,

With crispy and chewy chocolate cookies paired

locals, and celebrities alike line up from open to close to grab a scoop

with Georgia pecans and folded in classic vanilla,

or two of Leopold’s to beat the Savannah heat and humidity.

this flavor is filled with scrumptious chunks of chocolate surprises. My personal favorite from this

Getting to Leopold’s early in the day will give you the best opportunity

list, Chocolate Chewies and Cream provides a crunch

to skip the crowd—it’s packed even on a Tuesday. If you do run into

and a flavor that marries chocolate and vanilla with a

a line, though, Leopold’s tantalizing treats are worth the wait. The

nutty twist in one scrumptious spoonful.

dense and rich handcrafted ice cream is made from secret recipes and techniques that have been handed down for over a century. A

caramel swirl

decadence in each bite, Leopold’s heavenly ice cream leaves your

After a little debate between the soda jerks, Caramel

mouth savoring the fl avors and then craving the next spoonful. After

Swirl captured the final spot on this list of Leopold’s

enlisting a few of Leopold’s soda jerks sporting classic white retro

favorites. With homemade caramel swirled in a

diner uniforms and paper caps, we undertook the task of fi nding and

creamy caramel ice cream, your spoon will carve out

tasting the top five favorite fl avors to create a delicious go-to list for

ribbons of the sweet stuff, leaving your mouth watering

your next stop at Leopold’s.

for another bite.


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THE ART OF

W R I T T E N B Y: S A R A H G R U B B S P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y: B E N W H I T E S I D E

You can travel the world and meet thousands of interesting people,

Originally from Ohio, Mary began her painting career as a child,

but there’s something special about the Lowcountry and the people

selling her fi rst painting when she was in eighth grade. During her

who call it home according to professional artist Mary Whyte. She

sophomore year of high school, Mary took out an ad in the local

has traveled the world and met thousands of people, but she always

newspaper to sell commissioned pencil portraits for $20 each. When

feels the pull of the Lowcountry.

Mary learned how to paint, she was intrigued by watercolor, but no one around her taught in this medium—so she taught herself.

“As an artist, you meet a hog farmer one day and have coffee with the president the next,” Mary said. However, her favorite people to paint

She went to museums whenever she could to observe the works of the

are not the celebrities of the world. Instead, she paints the average,

masters and borrowed dozens of books from the library, studying the

everyday person who lives life under the radar. “I fi nd them endlessly

works of John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, and Andrew Wyeth.

interesting,” she said.

All three figurative painters are known for their ability to garner

There’s something special about the Lowcountry and the people who call it home.

left: Cloudbreak

different textures with watercolor, and Mary studied their pieces carefully to understand their technique.

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After going to college in Philadelphia, she spent a year abroad in Rome,

Mary’s travels have also given her the opportunity to fi ne-tune her

where she studied painting and traveled across Europe. Mary has also

plein air painting skills, a technique where the artist paints outside in

traveled throughout the United States and the world—from the heart

the landscape they want to capture. When she comes upon a scene that

of the Midwest to the historic cities of Europe and the busy streets of

inspires her, instead of pulling out her camera, Mary sets up an easel.

China. After her time abroad, Mary worked as a graphic designer creating

“You have to be fast,” she said. “Painting these scenes has to be concise

logos and then as an illustrator for children’s books. As her career and

since the light changes roughly every hour and a half.” It forces Mary to

passion for watercolor painting grew, Mary began painting full-time. Just

focus on what is essential in a scene—sometimes she depicts landscapes

like the artists she studied, her favorite thing to paint was people, and

and other times she paints perfect strangers. One of her favorite places

commissioned portraits gave her the opportunity to continue her travels

to do plein air painting is in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her portrait of the

throughout the country and the world. “My favorite portraits are the ones of

famous Café du Monde is like a window into the French Quarter of New

people I have become lifelong friends with,” she said.

Orleans—you can almost hear the trumpets playing and smell the scent of freshly powdered beignets fi lling the hot, muggy air.

above: The News at Café du Monde left: Fifteen Minute Break

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Get Painting Mary believes when you’re given a gift—painting, writing, or anything else—there’s a responsibility to pass that on. Mary hosts painting workshops to pass along the knowledge and expertise she has in watercolors to a new group of artists. These adult classes are for anyone regardless of experience and are held across the United States. If you’re interested in hosting or participating in a workshop, visit marywhyte.com for all the details.

above: Sweet Margaret right: Aspen Leaf

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P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


Twenty-seven years ago, Mary took the plunge and moved to the Lowcountry.

cheery red dress, a strand of pearls, and a white hat with her dark hair

“Quite by accident,” she says. She met an amazing group of Gullah women from

sneaking out of the back. The textured white walls behind her make

Johns Island who forever changed Mary’s focus in her career. Every Wednesday,

Margaret pop off the canvas while her studious look places you right

this group of women gathers at the senior center on Johns Island for fellowship—

next to her during Bible study at the senior center.

they study the Bible, sew quilts, or simply enjoy each other’s company. When Mary met this group of women, she was struck by how special this group was and

In 2016, Mary was the recipient of the Gold Medal from the Portrait

the beauty of their time spent together. She was compelled to tell their story and

Society of America, the highest honor awarded by the society. Mary

began painting their portraits one by one, and she continues to do so to this day.

has written a book called Down Bohicket Road that shares two decades of her work. She has also written Working South and Painting Portraits

Her portraits of these influential women strike the perfect balance between

and Figures in Watercolor as well as Alfreda’s World. A special trip to

boldness and elegance, a reflection of the women themselves. One painting

see Mary’s paintings is worth the drive. Mary’s paintings can be found

in particular, Sweet Margaret, shows a Gullah woman in her Sunday best—a

in Bluffton at the Red Piano Art Gallery in Old Town. Q FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

87


September 7

8

F I R ST F R I DAY L ECT U R E : T H E M AY R I V E R Kim Jones, head of the Town of Bluffton’s environmental

October 5

F I R ST F R I DAY L ECT U R E : H O R S ES H O E C R A B S Horseshoe crabs are a little different from their ancestors

team, explains how the water quality of the May River is

of 200 million years ago. Come find out why these animals

monitored and what steps are being taken to keep the

have been so successful and how they are important to

estuary healthy. Reservations are not required.

modern medicine. Reservations are not required.

R I S E A N D RU N

5-6

Join us for a morning run through the streets of Palmetto

B E AU FO RT S H R I M P F EST I VA L Head over to Waterfront Park in Beaufort, South Carolina, for the Beaufort Shrimp Festival. Delicious food, great

Bluff. It’s the perfect way to train for the Buff alo Run or to just

music, and arts and crafts come together to create

start your Saturday off right. Reservations are not required.

the perfect family day. For more information, visit downtownbeaufort.com/beaufort-shrimp-festival.

12

B ROW N BAG LU N C H L ECT U R E : T H E W I LSO N FA M I LY The Conservancy’s archaeologist Dr. Mary Socci reveals

13-21

the rags to riches story of the Wilson family. Reservations

B LU F F TO N A RTS & S E A FOO D F EST I VA L The 14 th annual Bluf f ton Ar ts & Seafood Festival celebrates locally sourced seafood, Lowcountr y

are not required.

cuisine, unique ar t, and the rich histor y of the charming town of Bluf f ton. For more information, visit

19

B ROW N BAG LU N C H L ECT U R E : M I TC H E LV I L L E

bluf f tonar tsandseafoodfestival.com.

Ahmad Ward, executive director of the Mitchelville Preservation Project, shares the history of this remarkable site, the first community of freed people in the South, and

17

the plans for its future. Reservations are not required.

B ROWN BAG LU NCH LECTU RE: GHOSTS OF TH E B LU FF October is the perfect month for ghost stories and the Conservancy team is here to share eerie tales of the Bluff. Reservations are not required.

20

C H A PE L CO N C E RT S E R I ES Join us for an acoustic concert with Cranford Hollow in the picturesque May River Chapel.

22-27

A RT I ST I N R ES I D E N C E Sandy and Steve Schoettle share a vision of creating a line of masterfully crafted legacy pieces that focus on bringing

24-27

A RT I ST I N R ES I D E N C E

family and friends together. And thus became Sea Island Forge. Stop by the Artist Cottage to meet Sandy and Steve

Meet Colin O’ Reilly of Terrane Glass Designs as he visits

as they move in as the October Artists in Residence. To

the Artist Cottage as the September Artist in Residence.

purchase tickets, visit palmettobluffartist.com/october.

Swing by the cottage this week to meet Colin and learn more about his refined and elemental glass designs. To purchase tickets, visit palmettobluffartist.com/september.

23

B US H C R A F T: F I R E The Conservancy’s Bushcraft program is designed to give you the skills you need to survive in the wild. Each session focuses on one of the keys to survival, and this week it is how to build a fire without matches or a lighter. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. RSVP to info@pbconservancy.org.

26

E XPLO R E PB C : LOW E R PO N DS Take a step back in time on a hike along the Lower Ponds, once fields of the famous Carolina Gold Rice. RSVP to info@pbconservancy.org.

88

P A L M E T T O B L U F F. C O M


November 2

F I R ST F R I DAY L ECT U R E : BATS Come learn about the bats of the Lowcountry and the

December 1

B U R N F EST Tonight, we dine outdoors—in the real outdoors. In a field.

research on them happening in Palmetto Bluff. We’ve

Under the stars. And by the light of the fire. Family-style.

caught and tracked northern yellow bats and you might be

We’ll listen to stories, enjoy music, and share a meal with

surprised to find out where they like to spend their days.

fellow outdoor enthusiasts and the Conservancy team.

Reservations are not required.

Reservations open on November 1 and can be made through info@pbconservancy.org.

5-10

A RT I ST I N R ES I D E N C E Hailing from northern Virginia, Brian Noyes of Red Truck Bakery will visit the Artist Cottage as the November Artist

6

in Residence. Swing by the Artist Cottage to meet Brian

C H A PE L CO N C E RT S E R I ES Join us for an acoustic concert with the Chatham Rabbits in the picturesque May River Chapel.

and learn more about the 1954 Ford pickup truck and the passion for baking that started it all. To purchase tickets, visit palmettobluffartist.com/november.

9

B U F FA LO RU N Join us for the 5 th annual Buffalo Run benefiting the

6

Palmetto Bluff Conservancy on Sunday, December 9. This

B US H C R A F T: S H E LT E R

10K, 30K, and 50K race is a tree-shaded combination of

The Conservancy’s Bushcraft program is designed to give

single track, dirt, and gravel road trails that traverse the

you the skills you need to survive in the wild. Each session

maritime forest and marsh edge for a portion of the loop.

focuses on one of the keys to survival, and this week will

Visit palmettobluffbuffalorun.com for more information.

focus on how to build a shelter to protect you from Mother Nature’s whims. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. RSVP to info@pbconservancy.org.

14

B ROW N BAG LU N C H L ECT U R E : T U R PE N T I N E

10 -15

Cottage as the December Artist in Residence. Her delicious chocolates blend imported cacao with local

from Palmetto Bluff ’s archaeologist Dr. Mary Socci how

ingredients to create these unqiue treats. To purchase

turpentine was made. Reservations are not required. M US I C TO YO U R M O U T H Get ready to dig in to the 12 th helping of Palmetto Bluff ’s Music to Your Mouth festival. We’ve corralled the best

Meet Jael Rattigan of French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, North Carolina, while she visits the Artist

Moonshiners weren’t the only ones with stills in the woods of Beaufort County. Come to the Conservancy and find out

14-18

A RT I ST I N R ES I D E N C E

tickets, visit palmettobluffartist.com/december.

12

B ROW N BAG LU N C H L ECT U R E : F U R B E A R E R S O F T H E B LU F F

Bring your lunch and join the Conservancy team for a talk

and the brightest of the South’s culinarians to celebrate

about the otters and minks at Palmetto Bluff. We’ll discuss

the delectable cuisine of the South. Plus, we’ve added in

the habitats they prefer as well as some surprising facts

all-star musical talent and vintners, brewers, distillers,

about these curious creatures. Reservations are not required.

and mixologists from around the world to create the perfect pairings for your Southern palates. Check out musictoyourmouth.com for more details.


Profile for Palmetto Bluff

The Bluff Magazine Fall/Winter 2018  

The Bluff Magazine Fall/Winter 2018