Postcards

Southland Cooking Report

We worked our asses off last night in South Carolina doing a “black tie dinner”. (See the previous posts on Kiawah). But we had a good time and made our food pretty darn close to the way I hoped it would be. The Ocean Room team led by Chef Nate Thurston did…

Celebrating Corn on Kiawah Island

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…

Sauce Sketching

Part of the bounty from a recent trip up to Homestead was a large box of plum tomatoes. I went to work preserving them in a variety of ways. Since we have a new smoker I went in that direction with many of them. For the majority of the tomatoes I kept…

If You Want To Get To Heaven…

I arrived in Key West near Easter a long time ago. It was long before ‘Margaritaville’, (the song, the place, the conglomerate) and the year-round festivals that keep Duval Street packed with revelers. It might be hard to imagine for some what Key West was like back then. But if you go…

Easter Awaits Us Again

Falling in love with Key West was one of the most natural events of my life. I was freezing in the so called Spring of 1971 and I had arrived after hitchhiking from near the Wisconsin-Illinois border to a party my friends were having in Champaign, Illinois and then taking a ride…

Bollitos Go To Kiawah Island

I’m happy to be going to the beautiful Kiawah Resort about 30 mile south of Charleston to cook with the team there to raise money for the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. Kiawah is located along 10 miles of pristine beach and their golf resort is rated…

Charlie Trotter Walks His Own Road

In 1985 my wife, Janet and our son, Justin were living in a rented home in Key West. I had recently taken over as Chef of Louie’s Backyard. The setting of that restaurant was heavenly to me. The hours inside that kitchen were some of the most physically punishing of my life….

Boat of Hope

A few times a week we head past the boat you see and into the ‘indoor-outdoor’ building behind it called “Fishbusterz”. It is a commercial and retail fish house on Stock Island. The folks who own it are having a tough time, as many are in this economy, that is doing better…

Louie’s Backyard Remembering

Part of the reason we were able to prevail, (see the last quote in the story), was due to the fact that the three owners of Louie’s Backyard were gutsy enough to back my wild notions. One of them, Ms. Pat Tenney passed away this week at the too young age of…

Cooking Old Key West

I walked into shack of a restaurant (even by Key West standards) on a late morning in the spring of 1971 and was handed a sea-water damp menu with items like Turtle Steak, Jewfish Chowder, Fried Bollos, Tostones, Guava Milkshakes, a meat dish that translated as “old clothes”, (Ropa Vieja). Coffee was…

 
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