Memories and Musings

Celebrating Corn on Kiawah Island

Corn Celebration
Corn Celebration

The day has arrived…or actually the day and night. We are cooking on the Island known as Kiawah to raise money for cancer research at the Hollings Center of Charleston. It is one of the great things to be able to help in our way by cooking for appreciative folks who not only attend events like this one at The Sanctuary but those that put them on. The General Manager of The Sanctuary Mr. Vijay Singh contacted me about a year ago about doing this. He had become a fan of my cooking through my friend Charlie Trotter. Charlie cooked the first of these dinners three years ago and Patrick O’ Connell from the famed “Inn at Little Washington” did it last year. About 120 folks will be in “black tie” and “evening gown” wear. I’ll stick with my Chef’s Whites!

Florida sweet corn is in season now and I wanted to find a way of integrating into tonight’s menu. The guests don’t know it yet but there will be a “surprise” course featuring some local products that I won’t even mention here in that it might get out of the bag. But there will be an element of corn. My son Justin has an amazing girlfriend named Lourdes. She brought down a whole case of Florida sweet corn before coming to Key West on Monday night. We had to work quickly on Tuesday to make sure that corn stayed in great condition for various uses. We pickled some, froze some and dehydrated some. It will be the third way with corn that will make it into our menu this evening. Justin has the key part of the surprise course up his sleeve. Though I am a “proud Papa” I’m still sworn to secrecy!

Some years ago I did an entire Tasting Menu around corn. The menu is below. The Pueblan Indians revered corn. Tonight my family and I are on an island named for another tribe of The First Americans. We will celebrate similarly.

In Celebration Of Corn

Corn Vichyssoise with a Tiny Chipotle Spiced Flan

Popcorn Crusted Crispy Shrimp with Warm Citrus Mojo,
Shoots and Sprouts and a Pickled Corn Tartar Salsa

Seared Wafers of Foie Gras on Venezuelan Corn Cakes with
a Sugarcane Moonshine Chutney

Truffled Veal Cheek and Roasted Veal Loin on a Posole Ragout with
Cumin Scented Corn and Caramelized Pearl Onions

Corn, Toasted Hazelnut and Candied Pineapple Studded Pound Cake with
Single Batch Bourbon and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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