rollisonCHAMBER GALA BRINGS TOP CHEFS TO HILTON HEAD

The stars of the culinary world will be out in force on Feb. 1 for the 2020 Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Ball, to be held at the Marriott Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa. The nationally recognized chefs will prepare tapas-style dishes alongside Lowcountry chefs. 

Some of the notable names that will be on hand include Marc Murphy, executive chef of Landmarc restaurant in New York who also is a judge on the TV show “Chopped” and the former chef of Windows on the World; Florian Bellanger, the former pastry chef at Le Bernardin in New York and a judge on the TV show “Cupcake Wars;” and George Masraff, a Michelin-starred chef and the former culinary director at Windows on the World. Other top chefs in attendance: Arnaud Briand, Instant Eats owner and former Windows on the World chef; and Martin Doyle, chef at Suilan at the Borgata and former Windows on the World chef. 

PLANT-BASED DIETS GROWING IN POPULARITY

Who isn’t familiar with the old trope that pre-agricultural humans — cavemen, in casual parlance — were big meat eaters? You know, hairy men spearing mammoths and gnawing on half-raw haunches while huddled over flickering fires.

But it turns out that our grunting predecessors might not have been as meat-obsessed as once thought. That theory likely originated because animal bones are better preserved at most paleolithic dig sites than the remains of edible plants, but researchers at the Gesher Benot Ya’aqov archaeological site in northern Israel and others are discovering that many of our ancestors ate mostly plants. Nuts, fruits, seeds, roots, leaves and other plants made up as much as 90% of their diet, in fact.

siglers

Sigler’s Rotisserie and Seafood is now under the ownership of Chef Anthony Alessi, in partnership with Frank and Laura Gibson. Chef Alessi’s wife and daughter will also oversee restaurant operations. Chef Alessi brings over 40 years of culinary experience to the table. The new menu will include the same items, plus tasty new dishes like Veal Cordon Bleu. 

Joes Ice Cream

Old Town Bluffton’s newest ice cream shop has traditional flavors and ice cream flavored with wine. Joe’s Ice Cream and Beverage Co., located at 15 Bruin Road in Old Town, is offering four wine-based ice cream flavors: Cherry Merlot; Peach White Zinfandel; Chocolate Cabernet; and Spice, a red mulled wine with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Patrons must be 21 to enjoy these flavors, which are up to 5% alcohol by volume. The new ice cream shop has an outdoor seating area and is pet-friendly. 

Geist UsseryChef Geist Ussery is now collaborating with SERG Restaurant Group to bring his unique and creative culinary talent to the organization. Chef Ussery is an exclusive private chef, event organizer and caterer. He is a native of Bluffton with a Latin and Caribbean background, which he has embraced and extended within his profession. Chef Ussery will specialize in social and private events for the SERG Group. 

Peekaboo CookiesThis recipe is inspired by Eastern European jam-filled cookies. | Makes 12-14 cookies

These cookies are fun for children to make with adult help because decorations can be placed inside the circular “Peekaboo” opening in the top layer of the cookie. Young bakers also will learn to use a rolling pin. If possible, use a standing mixer with a flat beater attachment — the best attachment for making cookie dough. A wire whisk works best for lighter jobs like whipping cream and frothing egg whites. A dough hook works best for heavier jobs like pizza and pasta doughs.

Merry Mini MeringuesMakes approximately 32 mini meringues

There are two secrets to making successful meringues: egg whites won’t whip up if there is any moisture or residue at all on your equipment, so make sure everything is completely clean and dry. Also, take extra care when separating the egg yolks from the egg whites so that no yolk breaks and mixes with the egg whites – if this happens, make an omelet and start over! 

HHM XmasCHRISTMAS COOKIES ARE A WORLDWIDE TRADITION

Christmas cookies are traditional in many cultures, are fun to make ahead of time and give as gifts at cookie swaps. Depending on the recipe, cookie doughs can be either pressed, rolled, molded, dropped, baked, cut into bars or deep fried. 

Some cookie swaps have a theme — one fun event is the Ugly Sweater Cookie Swap. Guests are encouraged to not only decorate their cookies with the tackiest, gaudiest sweater designs but to wear their ugliest, decoration-laden sweater as well, all the better with blinking lights. Hosting a cookie swap, unlike a diner party with a long to-do list, is a great way to bring together friends with much less effort. All you need to stage a casual get-together is to send out invitations, decorate a table for displaying the cookies, then prepare hot cocoa or coffee or serve wine. 

CATCH 22 CAPTURES THE TRUE ESSENCE OF LAND, SEA AND SERVICE

Catch 22 1

The doomsday phrase “catch-22” doesn’t apply to the Hilton Head Island restaurant of the same name. The mission of restaurant Catch 22 is pretty straightforward: To serve the best seafood, chops and USDA prime steaks to its loyal band of customers, just as it’s been doing since 2001. Always fresh, nothing frozen.

Penny and Gary Duren, owners since the beginning, have created a comfortable culture for their customers and staff. The staff stays on for years and the patrons — locals and repeat tourists — keep coming back. Catch 22 exceeds expectations for its excellent service, delicious food, innovative menu, eclectic ambiance and superb dining experience.