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the bluff Spring/Summer 2014


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RIVER ROAD IDEA HOMES

Now open for inspiration, the River Road

Idea Homes showcase Lowcountry architecture, creativity, and design

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FROM THE GROUND UP

Chef Brandon Carter dons his overalls and spends a day on the farm

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SOUTHERN LIVING IDEA HOUSE

The 25th Southern Living Idea House finds its home right here at Palmetto Bluff

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GOOD MUSIC

Kristian Bush of Sugarland gives us the

secret sauce of songwriting and music-making

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LO CAL CHARACT ER

We catch up with Boo Harrel, on dry land

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MIXING IT UP

A trek to Charleston to check in with

High Wire Distilling reveals the beauty of small-batch distilling

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

J Banks Retail Shop on Hilton Head fills our head (and homes) with springtime entertaining must-haves

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HIP TO BE SQUARE

A quick stroll through the history of Savannah’s historic squares

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The Music To Your Mouth team reveals the

CharBar Co. is really cookin’

the show on the road

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H AV E F O O D, W I LL T R AV E L

B U R G E R I N PA R A D I S E

2014 calendar of events, including taking

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H I S T O R Y : U N I T E D S TAT E S B O TA N I C G A R D E N

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The U.S. Botanic Garden and its tie to the Bluff

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD

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Meet Alan Fuerstman, Founder & CEO of Montage Hotels & Resorts

W H AT ’ S H A P P E N I N G

Calendar of events

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LEX LU THIER

Cover image: griddled pastured chicken with butternut squash and hot pepper relish from Chef Steven Satterfield (Miller Union, Atlanta). Music To Your Mouth Festival. November 2013. Photo by Bonjwing Lee.

Bluffton’s Brooks Cobb explores the fine art of guitar-making

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11 CREATED BY & FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THIS SPECIAL LOWCOUNTRY IDYLL

EDITOR

Courtney Hampson, Marketing Manager, Palmetto Bluff PHOTOGRAPHY

Anne Caufmann Jason Hazel Rob Kaufman Bonjwing Lee WRITERS

Alyssa Bushey Courtney Hampson Barry Kaufman Dylan Patrick Sell Ellen Shumaker Dr. Mary Socci Tim White Christine Wrobel R E A L E S TAT E S A L E S

800.501.7405

I N N R E S E R VA T I O N S

866.706.6565

www.palmettobluff.com

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IDEA HOMES By Courtney Hampson

T

he River Road Idea Homes opened Thanksgiving week, and a steady pace of

traffic has kept the real estate sales team on their toes. As building continues to boom in the Bluff, the River Road neighborhood leads the pace with 13 built-forsale homes under construction.

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The Idea Homes showcase sophisticated variations on Palmetto Bluff ’s architectural theme, with some fresh concepts added to the mix. With 33 home designs in River Road, the homes vary widely, from metal-roofed bungalows to stately mansions. Some have classical elements, from the casual, single-story bungalow to the more stately homes with two-level porches. Some borrow from historical styles seen in Charleston and Beaufort, while others borrow from the more relaxed styles found in the tropical islands of the Caribbean.

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Louvered shutters regulate sunlight and airflow. Double-hung windows allow residents to slightly raise the bottom sash and to lower the top sash. This allows cooler air to enter below and warmer air to exit above. Homes are on raised foundations to capture breezes, and overhangs help protect from the elements. With seemingly endless variations on the architectural theme, each home can be unique without looking out of place. This dynamic unites the community in a way that’s difficult to describe, but wonderful to experience.

RIVER ROAD IDEA HOMES TOUR SCHEDULE: Wednesday - Saturday...........................................................10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday..................................................................................12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

In partnership with

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RIVER ROAD AMENITIES River Road offers a sense of community and authenticity, as natural as its surroundings. River Road, Palmetto Bluff ’s Garden District, has been designed around a collection of parks, walkways, the River Road Preserve, an inland waterway, and a future recreation center. All of these are places where residents can gather and enjoy the Lowcountry setting. Overall, River Road feels like a village that reflects the perfect blend of ‘town’ and ‘country.’ www.palmettobluffideahomes.com

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1 1 FLOATING DOCK

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MAIL KIOSK

2 2 INLAND WATERWAY LAWN

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GATHERING HALL

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FITNESS CENTER

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CHANGING ROOM/ POOL RESTROOMS

3 3 PAVILION LAWN 4 4 DOG PARK

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By Barry Kau

fman

DOWN ON THE FARM with The Bluff’s executive chef, Brandon Carter

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The stately Mercedes convertible prowled the

out of the (apparently borrowed) luxury machine.

back roads of Bluffton, rolling with a smooth turn

It’s said with an affable, self-deprecating smile,

into the farmhouse driveway. Were it not for the

and followed with an explanation about Palmetto

sudden dip into a surprisingly deep mud puddle,

Bluff’s generous loaner program. Dressed in a

this could have been a commercial. As it stands,

sweater and vest in deference to the slow retreat of

the car has a nice coat of mud on it by the time it

a freakish winter cold snap, Carter had arrived at

rolls to a stop.

Utley Acres intent on showing us where the fresh

“Please don’t make the mistake of thinking this is

vegetables come from for the upscale menus at

my car,” said Chef Brandon Carter as he stepped

Palmetto Bluff’s restaurants.


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It was a fad that became a trend and now teeters on the edge of

like to prepare for guests at Palmetto Bluff, and Utley starts

cliché, but there’s no denying the appeal of farm-to-table dining.

planting. But, as with every relationship, it’s a two-way street.

From the soil of two farms just past the gates of Palmetto

“I’ll tell you what; I come out here, and Babs puts me to work,”

Bluff, Carter has found a cornucopia of leafy greens, rich root

Carter said with a laugh.

vegetables, and a seasonal array of possibilities. When he talks

“I made him pick his own okra!” she said, sharing in the

about the produce he discovered at Utley Acres, Carter almost

laughter. “I wanted to show him a few things about okra.”

can’t find the words to describe them.

“Some people think if it’s that big, it will be tough.” Two fingers

“It just tastes so much better,” he said, walking the muddy

held apart several inches show how big a tough okra can be.

tracks between rows. “Even the big turnips you get here. A lot of

“But it can be this big (the fingers come close together) and be

times large turnips get bitter, but the ones that come out of this

tough, or it can be this big (the fingers fly apart) and be tender.

garden are sweet, and…”

It just depends on how quickly it grew.”

The thought flew away on the cold breeze, lost in Carter’s

“It’s important to see the life span,” Carter said. “I can’t wait

contemplation of whatever magnificent dish these turnips

until the okra is in season. We drizzle it with a little olive oil,

would become under his care. For the record, he was thinking

add a little salt and pepper and grill it. It’s just so damn good.”

about scalloped turnips, and to hear Carter describe them, they

Our tour continued over to the farthest row of Utley’s three

sounded amazing. As we approached the farm, two large hounds

gardens, where a row of mustard greens had survived the

bounded toward us in greeting. Babs Utley, decked in long johns

unusually cold winter.

and a warm smile, approached from the farmhouse around

“These just have such great tender leaves. I put them in salads,

which three planting fields and a chicken coop could be seen.

braise them, lightly sauté them like spinach; I love mustard

The dogs were carefully shooed away. Greetings were passed

greens. They have a really nice texture and a sharp flavor,” he

around. Shoes were quickly muddied as we walked the grounds.

said, reaching down and plucking a leaf.

It’s a good thing the Mercedes was borrowed. It already showed

The leaf was consumed with gusto. He wasn’t lying. Just in

a light patina of dirt, and our tour of farms was just beginning.

a simple leaf, there is a subtle layering of different flavors, from an earthy undertone to a sharp, fiery mustard bite. As he

UTLEY ACRES

sampled, Carter nodded his approval. “Imagine this with a light honey vinaigrette. You’d have that

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Carter discovered Utley Acres six months ago during a

honey mustard flavor; this will be great.”

pleasure drive through the many back roads around Bluffton.

The tour continued through the farm, with each plant inspiring

“I saw a sign that said, ‘Utley Acres,’ and I thought, ‘Well that

new gourmet possibilities. Napa cabbage, pulled from the

sounds like a farm,’” Carter said. “At the time, as always, we

ground just before the frost hit, became kimchi. Collard greens,

were looking for good quality stuff, whether it’s produce, hogs,

battered but surviving, awaited their date with a sauté pan.

chickens, or whatever. So we took down the number, came out

Carter sighed slightly as he pulled a leaf, feeling that the cold

here, and the rest is history.”

weather may have made them too tough for his guests.

The result has been a harmonious relationship with Utley in

“It’s good to know how picky he is,” Utley said with a chuckle.

which Carter masterminds a list of ingredients for menus he’d

“It shows they really are eating good food at his place.”


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LOW COUNTRY FARMS After navigating a few more muddy roads, Carter pulled the Mercedes into the driveway at the small, but surprisingly wellplanted, farm of Ryan Williamson. Williamson was already hard at work, lugging a basket full of turnips, atomic red and cosmic purple carrots, and lush purple-and-green-spotted Bibb lettuce. Low Country Farms shares a border with the community, but that’s hardly Williamson’s only connection to Palmetto Bluff. He and his wife were married here in 2008, and it’s been a perennial favorite destination since. A search for a family farm a year and a half ago brought him back, where he set down metaphysical roots just beyond the gate.

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“When I was planning to start up this farm, I contacted Brandon

one another’s craft. Carter extolled the possibilities of what

to see what we could put in the ground. He told me, ‘We have four

Williamson can grow. Williamson enthused about what Carter

restaurants. We can buy pretty much anything you can grow.’”

does with the produce. It’s the start of a beautiful relationship.

What he can grow belies the tiny amount of land it’s grown

“Most chefs don’t have the opportunity to select produce with

on: mini beets, radishes, head lettuce, roots, Brussels sprouts,

the level of ripeness they want,” said Williamson. “There’s a day-

and so much more. And he’s just getting started. As we walked,

to-day taste difference in a tomato, for example.”

Williamson rattled off what he’s planning to grow and where.

The conversation thus turned to tomatoes, of the area just

A length of fence along one patch, he said, will mark off where

beyond the shed where Williamson will plant pear tomatoes, and

Satsuma oranges will soon grow.

a Russian gypsy varietal he’s discovered with a dark purple color.

“I love Satsuma oranges,” said Carter. “I do ceviches with

“This past year we took a bunch of tomatoes and food-milled

Satsumas, and it’s just insane.”

them to incorporate some air then laid them out and dried them

Williamson dug into his basket producing a fistful of breakfast

overnight to do a conserva,” Carter said, spurred by the potential

radishes, and Carter’s excitement grew. The promise of parsnips

for these tomatoes. “It’s like the best tomato paste you’ve ever

sent him over the edge.

had. A spoonful of that with white wine and garlic over some

“Parsnip puree is one of my favorite things in the world,” he

clams? Forget about it. I’d put that over some homemade linguini

said. “It just gets so velvety and smooth, and carries the flavor

and… I’m getting hungry.”

of whatever you put them on.”

At that point, we were all getting hungry, and it didn’t help

Because it’s winter, the root vegetables are pushing through.

that the pair kept throwing back and forth delicious ideas

Watermelon radishes, Spanish black radishes, beets in red, gold

for Williamson’s produce. Gazpacho with brunoised shallots,

and Chioggia. A set of windows perched on hay bales served as

Georgia olive oil and a cracking of pepper. Freshly-pressed

a makeshift greenhouse to incubate spaghetti squash.

olives. Housemade benne seed oil. Toasted sunflower seeds.

The most fertile things growing at Low Country Farms are

The merits of farm-to-table dining have been extolled at length

plans. While we walked, Williamson and Carter discussed what

in any manner of stories like this one. But one facet that often

will be planted next as the farm grows.

goes unexamined is this mutual respect and challenge between

“We have three-quarters of an acre planted now. Next year, it will turn into a traditional working farm, with perennials, asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish, ginger…” Williamson began.

chef and farmer. Farmers farm, but a farmer growing for a restaurant must have one foot in the kitchen, eyeing his crop as ingredients and respecting the delicious bounty they will become. Likewise, chefs cook, but a chef pulling his components

“You ever think about wasabi?” Carter asked.

right from the farm must get down to the soil, see how his

Thus was launched a dialogue between friends about the

produce is nurtured through dry spells and cold snaps, and

difficulties of growing wasabi in South Carolina’s climate, the

respect how that perfect ingredient is taken from humble seed to

possibilities of a lakeside wasabi patch, and the promise of

main course.

a head-to-head wasabi-tasting contest. While they talk, the

And sure, a Mercedes may get muddy along the way. But any

impression emerges that the farmer and the chef clearly respect

chef will tell you that it’s a small price to pay for that perfect dish.

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By Courtney Hampson

O P E N I N G SU M M ER 2014

A COMMUNITY INVE S T M E NT

This year, Southern Living celebrates its 25th year of

The Idea House will be open for tours five days a week.

bringing the latest in architectural design and interior

Proceeds from the $15 entrance fees will benefit Bluffton

inspirations to the South. Over the years, the magazine

Self Help and the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton to

has built 58 stunning residences – from brownstones to

help support their missions in the Bluffton community.

beach houses – each with a style and a story of its own.

Volunteers from each organization will staff the house,

The 2014 project, located in the River Road neighborhood

acting as hospitality docents. For more information on

of Palmetto Bluff, promises to deliver engaging ideas for

how to volunteer, visit:

building, updating, or refreshing your own home. Stop by

www.blufftonselfhelp.com or

this summer when the Southern Living Idea House opens

www.supportachildbluffton.com

its doors for tours. You’ll discover innovative Lowcountry style, from the garden to the kitchen and more.

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Artist rendering of the 2014 Southern Living Idea House

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A note from Ken Pursley, Pursley Dixon Architecture:

The Lowcountry style has, to me, always been a dance between the

antebellum home. The clerestory windows allow ample light from above,

understated and the elegant. In the house we have conceived for Southern

while still connecting the living space with the porch beyond. A 'clutter

Living and Palmetto Bluff, we have tried to bring this waltz to life. The

room' provides a backstage space, allowing the kitchen, living, and dining

simple materials of brick, board-and-batten, and tin roofing are humble, yet

spaces to be easily kept tidy while the host entertains guests. A mess can be

configured to create spaces with gracious proportions. A large wraparound

hidden away until one is ready to tackle it. The floating loft space creates a

rear porch provides ample space for sipping cocktails, viewing the water

wonderful retreat to read a book or steal a nap. In short, this is a home for

and contemplating life. The two-story interior core of the house is planked

all to relax, unwind, and feel glamorous.

in wood, a material usually reserved for the less important rooms of an

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Checking out the progress: David Sewell, Palmetto Bluff; Molly Smith, Boys & Girls Club; Misty Chandler, Southern Living; Chris Dalzell, Shoreline Construction & Development; Courtney Hampson, Palmetto Bluff; Michael Garcia, Boys & Girls Club; Tray Hunter, Bluffton Self Help

Inspiration from Suzanne Kasler, Suzanne Kasler Interiors:

Editor’s note:

The lifestyle in Palmetto Bluff is very connected to nature. I like to use

Palmetto Bluff exemplifies Lowcountry living in the Carolinas. The

colors and materials that recall what you see outside on the water. Blues,

preserved surroundings set the standard in conscientious development.

whites, and warm neutrals repeat throughout the house. It’s important to

It is the perfect setting to reveal our 2014 Idea House this summer.

think about how people like to live…to make the home comfortable and

The marriage of the clean lines of Pursley Dixon Architecture and the

easy for entertaining and family so when one walks through the door it

sophisticated interior design by Suzanne Kasler will offer a fresh look that

feels like a warm, welcoming home.

we can’t wait to reveal here at Southern Living. - Lindsay Bierman, Southern Living Editor

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GOOD MUSIC KRI ST I A N BUS H By Courtney Hampson

As one-half of the award-winning, multi-platinum duo, Sugarland, Kristian Bush has seen his star rise exponentially over the past decade. But, at the end of the day, he is a dad, managing the personalities of his 8-year-old daughter, Camille, and 11-year-old son, Tucker.

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And no, it’s not weird that this story would start with

enclosure, in Sevierville, TN. Our fate was to run

his kids. After all, Bush’s entire story is about family,

the family business. Everyone else worked in the

really. And by “family,” I mean the Bush family. Not the

cannery. You could have hobbies, but the cannery

White House Bushes, the Baked Beans Bushes. I kid

machines were pretty space-shuttle-esque…”

you not. Interesting tidbit, right?

Despite the assumed baked beans path, there was

Bush has an interesting attitude toward his kids’

always music in the house. In fact, at age three,

interest in music. Admittedly, they have access to

Bush’s mom would drive him to the University

instruments and equipment (and people) that their

of Tennessee in Knoxville once a week for music

peers don’t have. “They also see it as an acceptable

lessons, specifically the Suzuki Method. Taught

career path,” Bush says.

by ear alone, this method is built on the idea that

But wait? Does that mean music wasn’t an acceptable

children can learn music as a language if it is

option for the Bush brothers? (Kristian’s brother,

taught when their primary language skills are

Brandon, was a member of the multi-platinum-selling

being developed. And so it began, with violin in

rock band, Train, and has performed with John

hand. And so it remained until his mid-teens when

Mayer, Sugarland, and Shawn Mullins.) “We were a

Bush had a musical awakening and bargained

food family. We grew up in a small-town mountain

with his Mom so he could switch to guitar.


That eureka moment came when Bush first discovered college radio. Sevierville is in a valley, so good radio there was something of an oxymoron, but Bush soon found that when tuning in for Tennessee basketball scores, he found music too. Music he had never heard, like REM and The Clash. “Alternative music; it blew my mind. I’d been listening to AM radio and to my parents’ record collection 'til then. Now I knew I needed a guitar.” “I was picked on in middle school; I was definitely not cool, not getting any girls. So my Mom made a deal with me. If I played for one year in the

WHAT KRISTIAN BUSH IS LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW Maybe not this very second while you are reading… but, it is possible.

youth symphony, I could get a guitar.” Challenge accepted, but Bush was terrified. He had learned music by ear, thus he didn’t know how to read sheet music as the rest of the symphony kids did. So, he’d go to practice

• Lucy Hale • Talking Heads

every Wednesday and record the rehearsal with his Sony Walkman. He would go home, learn it by listening and perform on Saturday. For a year. And, after a year, he got his guitar. “It only took me five lessons to figure

• The Beatles • Will Hoge

out the guitar. If it has strings, give me an hour, and I can play it,” Bush quips. “There came a time when I realized that there were too many guitar players, so I switched to mandolin… I’m really terrible at things you blow into.” So, when does a 'tween with a guitar decide music might be his career? “I was alive at a particular time in technology, in the early 80s, when there

• Keith Urban • Wild Feathers • Elvis Costello • Jason Isbell

was a movement to bring recording equipment into your home to keep the hobby alive.” He made his first record at 13, after he had received a Christmas gift of one hour in a Knoxville recording studio. He has made 37 more in the 30 years since. So, you might say he knows a thing or two about the secret sauce of record-making. (Not to be confused with the Bush’s Baked Beans secret recipe.)

• Bob Dylan • Imagine Dragons • The Police • Lou Reed • Patty Griffin • Hunter Hayes • Miley Cyrus

“What an interesting job I have. I mean, the people I meet are rock stars, but my kids are the coolest people I know.”

I know, I know, but he says “That girl is just spanking me with her intelligence. She’s telling the story about what it feels like to be her age.” OK, we won’t judge.

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“Of course, there is a formula for the perfect record. First, you have to

the next album is going and hints to the first song that will be on that

respect the listener. People are usually listening in 40-60-minute blocks

next album.” So, putting together an album is part science and part art?

of time while driving, running, or preparing their Friday or Saturday night

“Oh yeah, we geek out on it,” Bush said.

meal.” (Is he following me?) “They’re looking for their mojo…”

Clearly, Bush feels strongly about the process. And

To Bush, an album is a body of work. Each is unique

now I feel guilty for hitting shuffle when I listen to

in the story it tells, but each is pieced together in a

music. Even the Sugarland station on Pandora now

similar fashion to hook the audience, make them feel

feels like a sin. Halfway through my apology, Bush

something, and ensure that they will play it again.

interrupts me to simply say, “Respect the producer.

“You get your first song for free. But, if they don’t like

Don’t use the shuffle button. It’s like eating food in

it, they’re not going to hang in there…”

the wrong order or reading the middle of a book

Despite the move from vinyl to cassette to CD to

before chapter one.”

iTunes, Bush still creates in his mind an album with

(OK, OK. I’ll do it his way from now on, when driving,

a side one and a side two. Two complete thoughts.

running, and cooking Saturday supper. Promise.)

“Side one was always longer. Remember how you’d

Music isn’t always easy. There wasn’t really a point at

always have extra tape on side two of a cassette?” he

which Bush thought music wasn’t the path. He stayed

asked with a chuckle.

true to his passion. His college graduation present

Bush says, “The first song is the song you open

was a check for $3000 from his dad. His plan: to play

your shows with; it defines the album, the tour. The

music until the money ran out. He had a record deal

second or third song is your single; it’s going to be

before that ever happened. Why? Well, according to

the biggest hit. Song five closes out side one or your first set. And, song

Bush, “Hard work will outpace talent every time. Every vocation rewards

six starts a new story. The last song; this is poignant. It points to where

the people who work hard and are nice.” And a nice guy, he is.

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

Grab your friends and lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of live music on the Village Green!

Gates open

MAY

JUNE

5:00pm

JUNE

6:30pm

Showtime

JULY

JULY

AUG

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BOO L O C A L

C H A R A C T E R

HARREL BY CHRISTINE WROBEL

TAKE A GUIDED TOUR ON THE MAY RIVER, STOP FOR A SPELL IN THE SHIP’S STORE, OR BUMP INTO BOO HARRELL ON A BIKE, AND YOU’LL DISCOVER A FAST FRIEND.

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Boo, whose formal name is Andrew, is a master storyteller. Just

tides of the May River lured him back to Bluffton. After graduation

ask him about his name, there is indeed a story. In fact, there is no

from USC with his degree in tourism, he became a wind-surfing

island, creature, historical figure, or Lowcountry tidbit that Boo can’t

instructor with Outside Hilton Head. Over the years he shifted his

weave into a tale, in a way that excites anyone aged five to 85.

focus to real estate, but always kept one foot in the water, literally.

Born in Savannah, his father’s career in the Army took the family from

When the opportunity arose for Outside Hilton Head to provide

Hawaii to Germany, returning regularly to the Lowcountry for visits

services at Palmetto Bluff, Boo enthusiastically stepped up to the

with his grandparents who had settled on Myrtle Island (Bluffton)

plate. At the time, he was living on Myrtle Island and would make the

in the 1940s. Upon retiring from the military in the seventies, Boo’s

seven-minute commute via kayak. His enthusiasm and joy of life are

father made Myrtle Island their home as well. And Boo has fond

contagious; it is clear that he found his passion and followed it, and

memories, reminiscent of a Conroy novel, of a childhood spent

now we are all the beneficiaries of this gift.

exploring the May, from sunup to sundown, on his jon boat. For a brief while during his college years, Boo ventured back to

We asked Boo a few questions, and while his tales tend to be grand and detailed, he was surprisingly succinct when asked about himself.

Hawaii and gained certification as a wind-surfing instructor, but the

Q: WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS?

Q: WHAT IS YOUR MOST MARKED CHARACTERISTIC?

A: Being able to wear flip-flops every day, and when the river is above 80 degrees.

A: Generosity. I always want to help others in need.

Q: WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND AS YOU DRIVE TO WORK EACH MORNING? A: I feel blessed every day to work at such a beautiful property. Driving in, I am always imagining what the river is going to look like and hoping it is going to be a perfect day with just the right amount of cloud coverage and a slight breeze. I also try to figure out what I am going to do to exceed the expectations of the group that is going out on the river with me. Q: AND, ON THE WAY HOME? A: After a long day, I find it nice to just zone out, relax, and listen to NPR. Q: WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE? A: Stopping at RT’s Market and picking up a delicious pastry! Q: MOST RECENT MOVIE THAT YOU’D RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS? A: Senna. It is a documentary about Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian F1 driver. I feel anyone who has raced anything will truly appreciate this movie. Q: IF THERE WERE A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED? AND, WHICH ACTOR WOULD PLAY YOU? A: Huck Finn on the May… and Kevin Costner would play me because I think of Waterworld and the cool catamaran he sailed. Q: WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? A: Easy question: my daughters, Sydney Leigh, 16, and Drew Covington, 11.

Q: WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? A: Comeback by Dennis Conner. He lost The America’s Cup in 1983 to the Australians and tells his story of winning it back in 1987. Q: IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE “SUPER POWER” WHAT WOULD IT BE? AND, HOW WOULD YOU USE IT AT WORK? A: I would like to be able to control the weather. Every day would be 85 degrees with a nice breeze in the afternoon. Q: WHEN YOU’RE NOT HERE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? A: I enjoy windsurfing, however, I haven’t been out much. Q: WHAT WORD DO YOU USE MOST? A: Aloha. Q: WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? A: Any Will Ferrell movie. Q: TOP FIVE SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST? A: Talking Heads – Naïve Melody; Beautiful Day – U2; Jet Airliner – Steve Miller Band; Pride (In the Name of Love) – U2; Every song on the CD Tropical Update by The Mundahs. Q: FAVORITE SPOT ON THE BLUFF? A: The tree house at Moreland. I never get tired of scanning the marsh and creeks from above. Q: BEST PALMETTO BLUFF MOMENT? A: One evening I was out on the river at sunset, and we could hear the Hallelujah Singers performing at Canoe Club. Priceless.

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MIXING IT UP High Wire Distilling reclaims craft and takes back small-batch. By Barry Kaufman

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Here’s a good drinking game if you hate your liver: head down the beer aisle of your local grocery store and take a drink every time you see the increasingly meaningless buzzwords “craft-brewed” or “small-batch.” For bonus points, chug if you see “locally-sourced.” After you’ve sufficiently recovered from what will most likely

for years, but he knew that the arcane chemistry and precise

be the hangover of your life, try the same thing at the liquor

science of distilling required a more seasoned hand than

store. Odds are good you’ll walk away sober as a judge in

his own. You or I might at this point Google “how to make

church. Your sobriety will be partially due to the fact that

bourbon” and do our best. Blackwell hired Dave Pickerell,

the tenants of small-batch distilling haven’t entered the spirit

former 17-year master distiller for Maker’s Mark.

realm with quite the same force as they’ve invaded the beer

“He helped with a lot of the chemistry stuff we could have

world. At least, not yet.

spent years stumbling around before finding out the right

But it is coming. As South Carolina relaxes its draconian

way to do it,” Blackwell said. With Pickerell’s guidance,

liquor laws and ushers in a land rush of craft distillers. Scott

Blackwell developed High Wire’s line of spirits. There’s

Blackwell, the tastemaker behind Charleston’s High Wire

Belonger’s Rum, aged six months in Woodford Reserve casks

Distilling, is at the forefront of this movement, planting his

to give it a strong rye whiskey undertone. There’s bourbon

flag in a cozy spot on King Street. Fortunately, Blackwell has

whiskey, distilled from heirloom corn grown in North

an immense respect for the importance of a term that has

Carolina. There’s also sorghum whiskey, sourced from a

come to mean so little: Craft.

Mennonite farm in Tennessee, the only sorghum spirit ever

“I do not want to take the cheap route,” he said. “I know we

produced in the South.

could produce something cliché like moonshine with pickled

And not to sound too buzzy, but there is, in fact, a locally-

pig ears, but I want to do something worth doing. I love what

sourced spirit: the rhum agricole. (Yes, armchair copy editors

I’m doing, and I’m proud of it.”

out there, that’s rum with an “h”.) The High Wire crew made

There’s plenty to be proud of. High Wire started distilling last

headlines around the country for their unique venture, which

March before officially opening (in the strictly legal sense) in

started in a sugar cane field in St. George, South Carolina.

September. Blackwell had been a home brewer and a baker

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“We were processing it right there in the field. We literally cut it from the ground and put it in the press. I put a cup under it, and it was just delicious,” Blackwell said. “When it came off the still, it was a little wild, a little grassy. Not like grass, like a green banana; a fruity kind of flavor. In the barrel, it will mellow and complement the oak and make it taste even. That would bring a hay-like quality to it, if you were talking to a wine guy. It will have a vegetal quality to it.” You’ll notice that Blackwell speaks about the flavor of the rhum more than its source. That’s deliberate.

I want to taste barley, corn, and rye. That’s the whole reason I’m buying the craft product. “Local’s great, but local has to taste good,” he said. “It has to be something interesting. There’s corn up the road. Great. Does it taste as good?” That dedication to flavor borders on the obsessive, and it is evident in every word Blackwell used in discussing his craft. Nutty. Caramel-y. Bitter. Peppery. Even something as pedestrian as gin gets the gourmet treatment at High Wire. “We used fresh botanicals, lemon, orange, and juniper, and we tried to expose as much surface area as possible without burning the botanicals. When we ran it through the still, it was… bright,” he said. “Bright” is one of the more ambiguous words in the foodie lexicon, but from Blackwell it just makes sense. “The flavors popped so much more than a compound gin where you just get that evergreen flavor.” This is a guy who grew up in Florida on orange juice straight from the orchards, introduced Ben & Jerry’s to South Carolina, and founded Immaculate Baking, taking home the “Most Outstanding Cookie in America” award for his Leapin’ Lemon cookie along the way. When he talks about flavor, brother, you’d better listen. Blackwell said, “A lot people use the term ‘grain to glass,’ but you should be able to taste it. I want to taste barley, corn, and rye. That’s the whole reason I’m buying the craft product.” Head to High Wire Distilling at 652 King Street, Charleston, and sample your own.

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Inspired by the interiors of the River Road Idea Homes, we hit the road for this issue to check out the J Banks Retail Shop on Hilton Head. We found fun!

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS

Fill this lemonade dispenser up for family sipping, or spike it for an afternoon soiree.

WE'VE GOT IT COVERED

Amp up your next Lowcountry Boil by replacing the newspaper with these snazzy, disposable paper table runners. (This has Music To Your Mouth written all over it!)

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DON'T BE CRABBY

Handcrafted, statement pottery pieces that’ll do double-duty in the dining room. Use them for serving or display simply as works of art.

NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S GLASSWARE

Serve your grandmother’s sweet tea in this eclectic alligatorhandle glass pitcher. HOME SWEET HOME

Our latitude and longitude pillows will lead you straight home. A Palmetto Bluff must!

UNDER THE SEA

HAAAY…

Take your table to new depths with these sea turtle

We’re loving these leather equestrian-themed napkin

salt and pepper shakers.

rings and coasters.

TRES CHIC! A CURRANT FAVORITE

We can’t stop eyeing this lightweight leather and canvas tote

We can’t quite explain how this Illuminazione red

from Graf & Lantz. It’s the perfect anytime accessory for

currant candle is a little bit Christmas and a little bit

village strolling, RT’s shopping, or an afternoon boat cruise.

spring, at the same time. But, we can say that it is a J Banks Retail favorite, and that their clients and shoppers buy them in multiples.

SPREAD OUT

This fun wool blanket is stylish and the perfect go-to prop for picnics, concerts (ahem, summer concert series at the Bluff!), and s’mores-making evenings around the fire pit.

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Oglethorpe Square, by Anne Caufmann 3photos 7


HIP TO BE

SQUARE BY TIM WHITE

SPEND AN AFTERNOON IN THE HISTORIC DISTRICT OF SAVANNAH, and you’ll notice that its planning is unlike most American cities. Arranged within the perpendicular streets of houses and buildings is a series of rectangular parks, each about two blocks apart. The squares give the downtown a more spacious, relaxed feel, causing traffic to move at a leisurely pace and providing a breath of fresh air amid the rush of the city. Today, each square is a unique and beautiful memorial to one of Savannah’s many historical figures and events, but they originally served a much more utilitarian purpose. Founded in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe, Savannah was the first city established in the new colony of Georgia. Oglethorpe was a methodical man, and, true to his nature, he made sure that his city was well-planned before any construction began. Rather than the tightly-packed rows of houses familiar in England, Oglethorpe designed the city like a military camp — squares of open space, surrounded by houses. Savannah’s squares were intended to provide an open area for military exercises and town gatherings. Additionally, the squares created spacing between buildings, which, the thought was, might prevent the devastating fires that had plagued London and other cities in the past. (This was only marginally successful, as Savannah suffered at least two catastrophic fires, in 1820 and 1865.)

38


TOP, FROM LEFT: Ellis Square, Telfair Square, Ellis Square

BOTTOM: Johnson Square

The original plan for the city called for a total of six squares. Johnson Square was the first to be constructed. Located between Bryan and Congress Streets and intersected by Bull Street, it is named after Robert Johnson, a friend of Oglethorpe’s and the governor of the Province of South Carolina in the early 1700s. In 1718, Governor Johnson gained fame and popularity among the colonists by personally organizing a ship to be led by Colonel William Rhett, a military hero, to find and eliminate the pirates plaguing the coast. Within weeks, Rhett captured Stede Bonnet, known as the “Gentleman Pirate” because of his semiaristocratic upbringing. Bonnet had begun his crime spree barely a year before, when he abandoned his life as a wealthy planter and purchased a ship (an unusual departure from conventional piratical hijacking), hired a crew, and set off to create havoc. After a drawn-out battle, Rhett’s crew managed to take Bonnet’s ship and returned to Charleston with Bonnet and his crew in shackles. Despite his pleas for leniency, Bonnet was eventually hanged, leaving Governor Johnson with a public relations coup and a more peaceful South Carolina. The second square to be constructed was Wright Square, rechristened in 1763 to honor a royal governor of Georgia. Wright Square bears the distinction of containing the remains of Tomochichi, a chief of the local Creek tribe, who became a staunch ally of Oglethorpe and who aided

39


the first settlers in Savannah. A granite boulder from Stone Mountain has replaced the pile of stones that at one time marked the grave of Tomochichi, but there is a more unusual memorial of the life of this great leader. A portrait of Tomochichi and his nephew, painted during their visit to London in 1734, preserves not only the likeness of a distinguished man but also a rare image of an early 18th century Native American. Ellis Square, the third of the original four squares and also named for a

FROM TOP: Wright Square, Reynolds Square

BOTTOM LEFT: Reynolds Square

BOTTOM RIGHT: Wright Square

royal governor, was constructed as the primary marketplace of the town of Savannah. In the 1950s, a brick market building that had occupied the square for a century was demolished, and a parking garage was erected in its place. The destruction of the Ellis Square market had a silver lining, though: it led to the start of the historic preservation movement in Savannah and ultimately the renovation and reopening of the square. Telfair Square, Reynolds Square, and Oglethorpe Square round out the six squares called for by General Oglethorpe’s plan. During the rest of the 18th century, six new squares were constructed, and 12 more were completed by 1851. Today, the charming and verdant squares are not only links to the past, but collectively are a vision for the future: Savannah’s city planners still refer to Oglethorpe’s designs and continue to incorporate green spaces wherever possible.

40


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Southern food, perhaps more than any other regional cuisine

opportunities for chefs, artisans, winemakers, and members

in America, has long been recognized for its rich diversity

of our community to experience the stories that surround food,

and history as the stewpot of cultural influences inherited

and the bonds forged when sharing a meal.

from authentic cultures of the region and across the world.

No matter where you are in the country, food is a natural

Through the Music To Your Mouth series, we create

community connector. What’s on your plate is just different ‌


MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH SERIES FOOD OF PLACE

BUFFALO’S FIRST FRIDAY DINNERS

Our 2014 Food of Place Cooking Classes offer members

Brilliantly – and in some cases hysterically – themed, the

and guests the opportunity to be in the kitchen –

First Friday Dinners come to life as the MTYM team

quite literally – with our chefs mixing things up and

sits around eating late night tacos at the Taco Truck in

sharpening skills.

Old Town Bluffton. No idea is a bad idea, but only so many can make the list and sustain three courses with

APRIL 17: GO FISH

wine pairings. And, the winners are…

MAY 15: SOUTHERN FRIED JUNE 19: YOU DON’T KNOW PIT

APRIL 4: LORD OF THE FRIES

JULY 17: SAVING THE SEASON

MAY 2: KISS MY GRITS!

AUGUST 21: HOME GROWN

JUNE 6: I COME FROM THE LAND DOWN UNDER

SEPTEMBER 18: HOG HEAVEN

JULY 4: STOP AND SMELL THE ROSÉ

OCTOBER 16: TIME TO MAKE THE DOUGHNUTS

AUGUST 1: IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME

DECEMBER 11: TIPSY TREATS

SEPTEMBER 5: PICKLE ME THIS, PICKLE ME THAT OCTOBER 3: THE BEST OF THE WURST

Reserve your spot in class by calling 843.706.6515.

NOVEMBER 7: RIGHTEOUS RAMEN

Reserve your spot at the table by calling 843.706.6630.

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WINE DINNER DUOS One winemaker. Two chefs. Endless possibilities.

MAY 18 & 19

JULY 25 & 26

OCTOBER 26 & 27

TABLE TO FARM

DIM SUM & THEN SUM

THESE ARE A FEW OF OUR

Winery: Neyers Vineyards

Winery: Terry Theise Selections

FAVORITE THINGS

Host: Tadeo Borchardt

Host: Kevin Pike

Sunday Dinner: $185++

Sunday Dinner: $200++

Friday Grace Cruise: $100++

Monday Grace Cruise: $100++

Monday Grace Cruise: $100++

Saturday Dinner: $185++

We’re keeping things fresh as we pair Neyers

The Austrian and German wines of Terry Theise

it. We reveal our favorite food f inds and guilty

Vineyards’ organically-grown Napa wines with

Estate Selections meet dim-sum-style dishes.

pleasures and invite you to our table.

locally-sourced ingredients.

Your MTYM team members pick it, pair it, share

AUGUST 22

DECEMBER 13

JUNE 15

HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME

CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE

A LITTLE DUST ON THE BOTTLE

Winery: Dunn Vineyards

Winery: Daniel Johnnes Selections

Winery: Arcadian Host: Joe Davis Sunday Dinner: $225++ You’ll f ind us raiding winemaker Joe Davis’ wine cellar and absconding with his older vintage bottles. Then, we’ll pair these rare f inds with our chef ’s take on old family recipes.

Host: Kristina Dunn

Host: Daniel Johnnes

Friday Dinner: $275++

Saturday Dinner: $200++

Settle in on the back porch for a dinner of your

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

summertime favorites and the Napa Valley cabernets of Dunn Vineyards.

Holiday indulgence is the theme for this f ivecourse dinner, pairing French wines and flavors of the season.

AUGUST 31 HOPS & HOGS BEER DINNER Sunday Dinner: $85++ Say goodbye to summer with some smoky treats

For reservations and details on accommodation packages, call 866.706.6565.

and brewskies.

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HIT THE ROAD! Music To Your Mouth Goes Global. (Actually, just national, but as our broker in charge Bryan Byrne likes to say, it is kind of a big deal!)

APRIL 24

JUNE 27 & 28

ROUGH HOLLOW

LAKE JAMES

AUSTIN, TX

MORGANTON, NC

Austin is a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. It’s

Life at the Lake is laid back, casual, and chock-full of spirited

cowboy boots, high heels, and flip-flops. The food scene is a

fun. We’re loading up the MTYM team and taking a road trip

panapoly of food trucks, fine dining, and quirky neighborhood

(RV not included). Along the way, we’re gathering our favorite

hot spots. We’re hitting the road with Palmetto Bluff ’s Executive

North Carolina artisans and chefs to create a weekend of

Chef Brandon Carter and Executive Pastry Chef Ashley Cope

camp-induced fun, including a gourmet s’mores social on Friday

to bring a little taste of the Lowcountry to Texas. There, we’ll

night, and a helluva paired dinner on Saturday night. We’re

discover the food of a new place, mix things up with a five-course

talking pits. And smoke. And craft beers. Oh, and an open-air

meal paired with the wines of Revana, and end with a

concert for dessert.

private concert. Visit musictoyourmouth.com for more.

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Get your belly ready for the eighth helping of Palmetto Bluff ’s Music To Your Mouth Festival. We’ve gathered the best and the brightest chefs on the southern food scene for a singular lip-smacking experience, right in the spectacular South Carolina Lowcountry. This is the place to flap your jaws with the culinary rock stars that just wowed your taste buds.

NOVEMBER 18-23, 2014 Festival Ticket Sales begin in June. Check the website for updates. www.musictoyourmouth.com

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to the

NEIGHBORHOOD By Alyssa Bushey

In late December, Crescent Communities announced an investment of more than $100 million to expand the prestigious Inn at Palmetto Bluff. Crescent also announced that luxury hotel management company, Montage Hotels & Resorts, will become the new operator of the expanded Inn. The expansion will add 150 luxury rooms to the Inn’s 50 individual cottages – in a collection of buildings – and feature a destination spa and fitness center, meeting and special event facilities, and expanded dining facilities for guests as well as Palmetto Bluff property owners. In addition, Montage-branded residences will be available. Importantly, the expansion will preserve the nationallylauded Lowcountry aesthetic and hospitality of the existing Inn.

MEET ALAN FUERSTMAN, FOUNDER & CEO, MONTAGE HOTELS & RESORTS

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When he created Montage Hotels & Resorts over a decade ago,

(2010), and coming soon, Montage Kapalua Bay, opening on the

Founder and CEO, Alan Fuerstman, sought to redefine luxury

northwest shores of Maui in Spring 2014.

from a perception of being pretentious and scripted to a more

Montage is writing another chapter in 2014 with the addition

gracious style of service with the same incredible attention to

of The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a Montage Resort, joining the

detail, craftsmanship, and quality.

collection, as well as the announcement of a $100 million

That vision turned into reality with the opening of the flagship

expansion to the resort.

resort, Montage Laguna Beach in early 2003, followed by Montage

Here, Fuerstman discusses his vision of luxury, guest service, and

Beverly Hills (2008), Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah

the future of the Montage brand.


Q: How did you find yourself in the hospitality field?

Q: How do you personally define “luxury?”

AF: I was never planning a career in the hospitality industry.

AF: For me, there are tangible components to luxury, and there

During my senior year in high school, I took a part-time job as

are intangible components. The things you touch and feel and the

a doorman at a Marriott hotel. I went off to college, and every

quality of the craftsmanship are important parts of the tangible

summer I came back and worked as a bellman at the hotel. Upon

luxury experience. The other dimensions, the intangible, are how

graduation, I had the opportunity to serve as bell captain at a new

the guest feels. It’s a style of service and an understanding of time,

resort. I soon realized that I had fallen in love with the complexity,

which is the most precious commodity to a busy luxury consumer.

excitement, and the kind of impact that we, as service providers,

Q: What influences your concept of luxury, particularly in

could make in the hospitality environment. I have been involved in the industry ever since. Q: How does the Montage brand now compare to your original concept, a little over ten years ago?

your profession? AF: I am most influenced by style of service. To me, it’s comfortable luxury. I’m influenced by the arts; they are an important component to luxury. In fact, the name “Montage”

AF: To explain where it stands now relative to my initial concept,

reflects not only Laguna Beach’s artistic history, but it is also a

it is important to understand how I initially envisioned the brand.

nod toward the marriage of luxury and art – the visual arts, music,

As I saw it at the time, there was room for a new ultra-luxury hotel

culinary arts – and how they blend together that creates an elevated

company, largely because of the needs and wants of a newly-

luxury experience.

emerging luxury lifestyle.

Q: How do you embrace luxury in your personal life?

We had an opportunity to create a concept centered on guest

AF: I love to travel. Probably the most relaxing for me are resort

service and culinary experiences. I wanted the feeling of Montage to be a humble one, one without the sense of pretension that seemed to have seeped into the older style of lavish hospitality. This new luxury guest would be seeking an experience that is more comfortable and more approachable. We would still be dedicated to the highest quality in everything we did; we would just do so in a more relationship-oriented way. I envisioned that our style of service would connect exceptionally well with the newer generation of luxury traveler, and what was pleasantly surprising was how well it has resonated with the previous generation as well. Q: How have you been able to maintain your standards across all Montage hotels and resorts? AF: With a passionate focus on our vision as a company and a determination never to compromise the brand, we have held steadfast to our core values. We have had many growth

destinations, whether here in Palmetto Bluff, or somewhere on the other side of the world, like Fiji. I find these places rejuvenating. I also love skiing, music, and staying active. Q: What memories do you hope guests will take away from Montage? AF: I hope guests take away feelings of connections with our associates. These connections create the most powerful, unforgettable memories. We encourage our associates to listen and learn from our guests and translate what they’ve learned into memorable experiences for our guests, members and residents. Q: Where do you see the brand 10 years from now? AF: I see strong and steady growth that is about quality rather than quantity. There are markets nationally and internationally in which we would do incredibly well, so we are continuing to look at locations that are a match for us.

opportunities that were not in line with our original vision, and

Additionally, we have a robust pipeline of projects in varying stages

we chose not to go in those directions so that we could maintain

of development.

our brand integrity. For us, it is about measured growth in order to remain true to our brand promise.

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WITH HIS BASEBALL CAP AND BLAZER ON, BROOKS COBB DOES NOT LOOK LIKE YOUR AVERAGE LUTHIER: A CRAFTSMAN OF STRINGED INSTRUMENTS. He shuns the lumberjack shirts and long, white beards, the typical trademarks of luthiers. And his custom guitars are anything but average or typical.

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A LIFELONG CRAFT

nitrocellulose lacquer

Brooks Cobb’s journey to become a luthier started early. Cobb recalls

finish that accentuates his

that in middle school, his wood shop teacher had a crude four-stringed

expert woodworking. The

instrument that he and his friends would play. “It wasn’t anything special.

result is a truly unique

It was something we’d mess around with during class.” Then, in high

combination that inspires

school, Cobb began with customizing his guitar, carving a rose into his

one to make music.

first bolt plate (now a meaningful keepsake he pulled out and showed me.) It was not until college in upstate New York that Cobb found his true calling, “I was majoring in music. I kept seeing kids finish their studies in the studio in as little as half an hour. They would get A's while I, who would slave for hours practicing, composing, and spending all night in the studio studying, would just get C's.” Rather than be disheartened, Cobb realized that these achievers simply had a natural “gift” for music. “I wanted to find my gift.” He embarked on his quest with independent study courses. One of his teachers happened to be a furniture-maker. “He would give me a couple slabs of wood, and I would teach myself from great books. Each time I made something, I found that the professors would be in awe of my work. I got straight A's from then on.” By the time his college career had ended, Cobb had already made two guitars. More importantly, he had found his gift and his calling.

Cobb works with each musician to craft a guitar, whether the individual has vague ideas or precise details about the instrument he wants. “I had a friend come to me once that wanted a guitar named Shere Khan, the tiger from the Jungle Book. That was all he knew about what he wanted.” From there, Cobb launched into an intimate process with the musician. Cobb started by drawing concept sketches and then transitioning into crafted wood prototypes. The two chose a curly maple wood for the body and neck. Because curly maple has figures, separate from the wood grain, it created a long, striped pattern all along the surface. This yielded an instrument that was organically-striped across the body. The stripes continued winding up the orange-finished guitar’s neck all along the black frets to the head of the guitar. Here, Cobb topped off the instrument by sealing an image of a tiger in the

QUALITY SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

guitar’s head.

Store-bought guitars left Cobb, the musician, wanting more. Mass-

Cobb created another unique guitar for an army veteran who served in

produced, their sound is dampened, rough, and diminished. Brooks

Iraq. “To honor his time served as well as his fighting unit, we came up

Cobb decided to build his guitars, first as acoustic instruments, then

with this idea for an instrument together with a few firmly-planted ideas

adding their electronic components. Rather than solid pieces of wood

in mind. The themes are clearly military-based with brass inlays of 11

with cavities made for electronics, Cobb’s premium models are almost-

Bravo and the cross rifles of his battalion to mark the headstock and

entirely hollow while still being electronically-capable. This allows for

the 12th fret. The finish was an obvious choice of a dark green

a resonant, cleaner sound; a quality sought by musicians, professionals,

stain on the figured maple top against the rich walnut body.

and newbies alike, and especially jazz players. Cobb’s guitars, however,

A lacquer finish gave it the depth and clarity while being

are also collaborative visual works of art. When one buys a Brooks

flexible and resilient. Top it all off with black hardware

Cobb guitar, one chooses the wood, the shape, and the look of the

and a set of Seymour Duncan blackouts, and this guitar is

guitar. The guitars can have signature inlays, using every material from

a ‘mouth-o-war.’”

mother-of-pearl to turquoise. Cobb even tops it off with a one-of-a-kind

51

FROM CONCEPT TO INSTRUMENT


A RESPONSIBLE CRAFTSMAN Not one to get carried away by profit, Cobb buys his wood strictly from sustainable wood farms around the world. “I always want to be able to offer what I’m making,” he said. The purchase of wood from environmentallyresponsible native groups creates a stable economy where the wood is grown. In accordance with law, Cobb imports certain woods from the

sponsorship and word-of-mouth are not the only ways Cobb promotes his guitars. You can find people raving about his instruments at guitar shows across the Southeast, where Cobb awes people with handsome guitars. One can even test them in Cobb’s sound isolation booth.

native populace. “It is better than having outsiders come in and clear-cut

Cobb still plays the first guitar he ever made.

their natural resources. It doesn’t have to be like the exploitation of the

“The musicians I make guitars for often cry

blood diamond trade.” Instead, Cobb makes sure to responsibly import and

when they see the custom creations I have made for them. I remember

to support native economies.

that feeling from back when I made my first guitar, that feeling of finally having my own personally-crafted piece to make music with. My passion

A WELL-LOVED NEWCOMER

is to give that feeling to whoever I can.”

A transplant from Alaska, Cobb only recently set up his climatecontrolled shop here in Bluffton. Cranford Hollow, the popular Hilton Head Island band formally known as Cranford and Sons, already swears by his guitars. With a bass in production for them, Cobb will soon have

For more information or to make an appointment, contact Brooks Cobb Guitars

all of the band’s musicians playing Brooks Cobb instruments. But band

at (843) 505-1426 or visit BROOKSCOBBGUITARS.COM.

52


N I R E G R BU

c

My childhood memories of summer always included

Luckily I am not the only one who feels this way. Enter

barbecue. It was a way of life at the “Jersey Shore.” And,

Hilton Head native and Executive Chef, Charles

barbecue still remains one of my great sensory stimulators.

Pejeau. He had cooked in some pretty sweet kitchens

Of course, it wasn’t until I moved to South Carolina that

(including the Inn at Palmetto Bluff) before he “took

I learned that barbecue is, in fact, a noun, not a verb. So,

the gamble” and jumped on board with his partners

these days I must clarify… when I want barbecue it means

at CharBar Co. (located in Park Plaza, just before the

I want to hear burgers and 'dogs sizzling on the grill. I

entrance to Sea Pines). And, it was a tough decision to

want to see smoke and flames. I want to smell a little

make the leap, he says.

grizzle burning on the grill grates.

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by

ha ney t r ou

mp

son


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55

“The first thing they tell you in culinary school is not to open a

Large booths and ample bar space make it easy to settle in and

restaurant in a space that has seen a lot of restaurant turnover.”

make a night of it. Here, many a reveler enjoys happy hour (every

But, that is exactly what he and his partners did, about ten months

day, 4 -7 p.m.). An outdoor bar and seating area play host to the

ago, and it looks like the gamble is paying off. “You know what I

live music that plays five to six nights a week. I hadn’t even had

love about Charles is that this is more than a job to him; it’s a way

anything to eat yet, and I was a happy camper.

of life. You can see it in the way he approaches his food and the

As we perused the menu, I was pleasantly surprised to find they

flavors he produces; this is a labor of love,” says Brandon Carter,

have local brew, River Dog, on tap. We started testing the IPA,

Executive Chef, Palmetto Bluff.

and we were on our way. For the good of this piece and my loyal

To tell the story, it was only fair that I taste-test my way through

readers, it only seemed appropriate that we try some of the

the menu to ensure accuracy. In fairness to my spouse, he came

starters, so that I could give you a true picture of what the menu

with me. Even before I ate anything, I was wooed by the wall of

has to offer. Alas, we couldn’t come to consensus (on purpose), so

vinyl. As in vintage musical discs bearing labels that tout the likes

we chose CharBar Cheese Fries and Buttermilk Chicken Wings.

of Crystal Gayle, Carly Simon, Your Favorite Christmas Carols,

The cheese fries are hand-cut, fried to perfection – crisp on the

and the North Carolina State College Symphonic Band, among

outside and soft in the center – and topped with cheddar, pimento,

the 179 (yes, we counted). I was also secretly digging the framed

huge (I mean huge!) chunks of bacon, chives, and a spicy ranch

Michael Jackson album cover across the way. Coincidentally, that

dressing. I probably don’t need to elaborate further, but I’ll tell

had been the inspiration for one of my pre-teen birthday parties.

you that these fries are why Idaho potato farmers become potato

(True story. Sadly.)

farmers. But, I don’t want to hurt the wings’ feelings; frankly, they


are pretty special on their own. Chef says they are simply battered

We had had quite a bit to eat at this point, but bless our waiter’s

in buttermilk, and dredged in flour with seasoning, but I’d swear

heart; Adam must be used to folks over-indulging. He didn’t even

there is a secret ingredient in there. They come out searing hot,

flinch when we toyed with the idea of dessert. I had planned that if

in a good way. You know these were made to order: the chicken

I had any room left in my belly, I would be gunning for the house-

is smoking, and the plate is not. They sit next to a cool side of

made ice cream sandwiches: a trio of homemade cookies stuffed

rosemary honey pepper vinegar. I wasn’t sure about the vinegar,

with ice cream (and inspired by Palmetto Bluff Pastry Chef, Ashley

but it was a surprisingly perfect complement. Cool. Crisp. Quite

Cope), and made to order. But alas, I gathered my wits about me

clever, actually.

and simply ordered a “kids’” root beer float, to go. The “adult”

Knowing I was on a mission to burger bliss, I saved room and packed up the extra starters to go. The “signatures” on the menu include a Portobello veggie option, a grilled chicken melt, and a

versions are spiked with Absolut Vanilla, and the menu tempts you with double chocolate, grasshopper, and Island vanilla options. Next time.

buttermilk chicken BLT. But, all I was thinking was “where is the

Adam’s final recommendation was a nap. He hadn’t steered us

beef?” Well, it hails from local farms in North and South Carolina

wrong yet. Well played, my friend, well played.

where cows are corn-fed. Pejeau and team grind fresh beef every day. Every day. And now I know why, but I am getting ahead of myself. We opted for the “build your own burger” options and proceeded to pick our protein (beef, veggie or shrimp), cheese, fixings, and bun (of which, there are six options). Even though I had heard from a good source (the photographer of this piece, who I guess was snacking on the job) that the shrimp burger was amazing, I

YOU CAN SEE IT IN THE WAY HE APPROACHES HIS FOOD AND THE FLAVORS HE PRODUCES; THIS IS A LABOR OF LOVE.

was there for the beef. I went old-school with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, extra pickles, on a sourdough bun, with a side of slaw (because I hadn’t had enough “sides” yet…) To say that this burger was juicy would be an understatement. This was dripdown-your-arms juicy. So much so that I was halfway through before I realized I hadn’t even put on any ketchup; it didn’t need it! According to Pejeau, “The burgers are so moist because they grind the meat fresh every day.” Juicy tidbit indeed. My dad always said that a good Italian restaurant can be judged on bread alone. I agree. I also believe that every other restaurant can be judged on its coleslaw. (I’m weird.) And, CharBar’s was spot on. Mayonnaise-based, but with enough vinegar to remind you that you’re in the South. Just how I like it. My hubby went for the beef too and added cheddar and crispy potatoes (thin slivers of potato, fried). For the bun, he chose a pretzel roll. Yup, a pretzel roll. Now, you know I ripped a piece of that baby off immediately. And, it was soft, and warm, and everything a New York street vendor pretzel is not. I had a momentary vision of just ordering the bun with a side of spicy mustard, and I may have to do just that on my next trip.

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EF HISTO I R B RY A of the

UNITED

STATES

botanic garden By Dr. Mary Socci, Palmetto Bluff Archaeologist

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GARDEN EXTERIOR AND CAPITOL, C. 1910

In the summer of 1838,

25-year-old Henry Hartstene, owner of

By 1842, when the expedition returned, an extraordinary amount of

Palmetto Bluff ’s Chinquapin and Greenleaf plantations, set sail with the

scientific information had been collected. Thousands of observations

U.S. Exploring Expedition. Hartstene had been in the navy for nearly ten

of temperature, winds, currents, and astronomical details would assist

years; he enlisted shortly after graduating from the American Literary,

navigators for decades. The detailed maps of the islands of the South

Scientific, and Military Academy in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1828.

Pacific would be used by military commanders in World War II. The

Other than a few months’ leave in 1836 to marry Martha Ann Roberts in

specimens brought back by the biologists and the ethnographers

Savannah, he had been at sea for most of those years. The U.S. Exploring

would become some of the greatest treasures of the collection of the

Expedition, however, was unlike any of Hartstene’s previous naval

Smithsonian’s natural history museum. But the live plants required an

assignments. The six ships of the expedition had minimal armaments as

immediate home, and they would become the foundation of the United

their mission was scientific and commercial rather than military.

States Botanic Garden.

The flotilla was to explore and map the South Pacific and Antarctic

The idea of a national botanical garden arose well before the return of

Oceans and assess the potential for economic enterprises such as whaling.

the explorers. In fact, George Washington had proposed including a

Nine scientists were to collect specimens and illustrate the flora, fauna,

botanical garden during the planning of the Capitol. Washington, like

and native cultures encountered during the voyage.

Jefferson and other leaders of the young nation, regarded plants as critical

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to the economic success of the United States. Washington believed

garden as they were by the expeditions that procured them. A Charleston

that the agricultural and medicinal value of plants from around the

newspaper in 1857 recommended that “Strangers in Washington as

world could be investigated at a botanical institution, and he suggested

well as our fellow-citizens should visit the conservatories of the general

several possible locations in the plans for the District of Columbia.

government. The inside of some of these buildings at this time presents

Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 1820 that Congress set aside land in the city

the appearance of an immense bouquet of every variety of rich and rare

of Washington for a botanical garden. Despite the initial enthusiasm,

flowers, and the odor which meets one on entering them is exquisitely

financial support proved fleeting and, in 1837, care and maintenance of

delicious. In the large building, besides the coffee tree, the tea plant, the

the garden ended.

cinnamon, and the clove trees, the visitor will find rare plants and flowers

The return of the U.S. Exploring Expedition with its thousands of

from almost every clime.” (Charleston Mercury, April 3, 1857).

pressed plants, 250 live plants, and numerous seeds, reawakened

Today, the United States Botanic Garden, open daily from 10 a.m. to

interest in a botanical garden, and the old garden was renovated and

5 p.m., welcomes over 750,000 visitors per year. In addition to preserving

expanded, and a new greenhouse was constructed. As other expeditions

and propagating rare and endangered plants from around the world,

brought back tropical plants from distant and mysterious locales, new

the Botanic Garden’s educational exhibits showcase the earth’s diverse

greenhouses were added.

ecosystems as well as new cultivars and innovations in garden design.

The United States Botanic Garden rapidly became a favorite destination

One display has a special significance to Palmetto Bluff: the sago palm

for residents and visitors, and an excursion to view the latest horticultural

in the Garden Court is the original plant brought back by the U.S.

novelty or resplendent blossom was especially popular. Americans

Exploring Expedition, a scientific voyage that included the Bluff ’s own

throughout the country were as fascinated by exotic additions to the

Henry Hartstene.

GARDEN EXTERIOR, C. 1910

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GARDEN ENTRANCE, C. 1917


EXOTIC BOTANICAL ENGRAVINGS, C. 1804

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what’s around the corner With dozens of diverse activities every day on the Bluff, your calendar can quickly fill. We’ve shared a few of our favorite on-property and off-property events worthy of a big circle on your calendar!

may

april 4

25

10

BUFFALO’S WINE DINNER

CONSERVANCY HISTORY HIKE

BLUFFTON VILLAGE FESTIVAL

Lord of the Fries, a three-course paired dinner of the chef’s interpretation of fried food faves.

Hike the Bluff’s Old Number Eight Field. Search for artifacts and pieces of PB history.

Commonly known as “Mayfest,” this outdoor festival in Old Town features art, music, food, and the inimitable Ugly Dog contest.

14-20 RBC HERITAGE PGA TOURNAMENT “Get your plaid on” at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head. rbcheritage.com

24 MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH IS ON THE ROAD IN AUSTIN, TX

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26&27 THE ART MARKET AT HISTORIC HONEY HORN Coastal Discovery Museum’s 14th annual Juried Fine Art and Craft Show features media that include clay, wood, fibers, metals, glass, jewelry, watercolors, oil, mixed media, and photography. All work will be on display and for sale. coastaldiscovery.org

15 FOOD OF PLACE “SOUTHERN FRIED” COOKING CLASS Learn how to cook up some Southern staples.

20 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Grab a lawn chair and blanket and head to the Village Green for a concert under the stars.


august 1 SAVANNAH FIREWORKS First Friday fireworks on the riverfront in historic Savannah.

june

july

6

4

BUFFALO’S WINE DINNER

4TH OF JULY CART PARADE

“I Come From the Land Down Under” dinner featuring three courses paired with Australian wines.

Creativity and competitive spirit reign supreme in this annual event. Decorate your golf cart, kids, pets, etc.

19

15

FOOD OF PLACE “YOU DON’T KNOW PIT” COOKING CLASS

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

Join the Conservancy Team for a visit to a few.

Mid-summer evening concert on the Village Green.

31

18

MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH BEER DINNER

Learn the fine art of Southern barbecue.

27&28 MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH IS ON THE ROAD AT LAKE JAMES, NC

27 EXPLORE PALMETTO BLUFF Hike the wilds of PB’s Long Island with the Conservancy Team.

MAY RIVER SHRIMP FEST Fresh local seafood, music, arts and crafts in Old Town Bluffton.

25 HIKE WITH YOUR HOUND

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This hike is going to the dogs, as you head for a stroll in the River Road Preserve with the Conservancy Crew and your favorite four-legged friend.

SOUTHERN LIVING IDEA HOUSE OPENS FOR TOURS

25&26 MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH WINE WEEKEND “Dim Sum & Then Sum” starring wines from Terry Theise Estate Selections.

15 DOG DAYS OF SUMMER SUNSET PARTY Enjoy Rock and Reggae, along with food and fun at Bluffton’s Oyster Factory Park.

29 CEMETERY WALK

“Hops & Hogs Dinner” designed with the beer-lover in mind.

september 18-20 MAY RIVER GOLF CLUB WILSON CUP

26 EXPLORE PBC Join the Conservancy staff on a hike through Pump Swamp and find out why it is so special to the team.

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the bluff spring/summer 2014