Food

A cooking class is typically hands-on, with participants prepping and cooking the recipes with instructions from the chef. A cooking demonstration, on the other hand, typically allows the participants to watch a chef prepare and cook the recipes, then either sample or enjoy a full meal of what was prepared. Many area restaurants offer cooking classes and demonstrations for groups. Contact the venue for more information.

BBQ Roll UpsIt's an elaborate picnic on wheels — though “elaborate” can mean anything from a beer-filled cooler and wings to to tents, music, grills, big-screen TVs and even swimming pools. But it all begins when a driver parks his or her vehicle in a sea of other vehicles ready to celebrate a sporting or special event where fans put the "fan" in "fanatic." No matter the head count — whether it’s 100 people to 10,000 — tailgating is truly one of the only American sports in which everybody is a winner … well, except the guy who forgot his cooler of beer in the garage.

Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 8 wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 package quinoa & wild rice mix (can substitute just quinoa or just rice)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Beating the summer heat requires nothing more than a blender, ice, and fruit — and, if you’re looking to kick things up, a little bit of alcohol. And good frozen drinks start with good ingredients, so here are a few suggestions to help make sure what goes into your blender is the best it can be:

Lowcountry boil goes by several other names, like Frogmore stew or Beaufort boil. But no matter what it’s called, it’s a local favorite made of four readily available ingredients: shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. Add a sprinkling of seasoning and you’re set. It’s not a dainty dish, but it appears everywhere — at food festivals, church fundraisers, family reunions and black-tie weddings. Often, it is served on newspaper and eaten by hand with cocktail sauce and melted butter for dipping, plus hot sauce for those who crave more heat. This version of a Lowcountry boil makes it a manageable meal on a smaller scale and alters the presentation just a bit. 

Michael and Lauren Cirafesi are the owners of OMBRA Cucina Rustica in The Village at Wexford. They are pictured here in their restaurant with their sons (from left to right): Paul, Kurdt, Tim, David, Laer and Salvatore.

VIVA LA FAMIGLIA!

For Lauren and Michael Cirafesi, running their award-winning restaurant OMBRA is all about family. And for them, family includes not only their six sons, but also their staff and guests.

An interview with host and chief executive foodie Jesse Blanco

QUESTION. What’s your take on the food scene on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton?
ANSWER. The food scene in Hilton Head Island has always been a few steps ahead of anything else in this area. It is a large part of what made the island so popular. It's nice to have a big beautiful house on the beach or a place to play golf, but unless there are great restaurants, then it’s just not the same. What is going on in Bluffton, meanwhile, is nothing short of amazing. So much good food popping up there. No surprise really with the number of people moving there. I'm even hearing about restaurants in Savannah expanding to Bluffton. That will tell you how they feel about the area.

salmon2ADD FRESH PRODUCE TO YOUR DIET AND COMMUNITY

Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”

“Most of my adult clients who are not veggie lovers usually had little exposure to them growing up, or they just weren’t cooked properly,” Forberg said. “It’s important for parents to get their children involved in cooking, shopping and even gardening so kids can understand the journey from seed to plate.”

Marinades are like flavor elves, working behind the scenes at boosting flavors and tenderizing while the cook is off doing other things. Typically, a marinade consists of oil, vinegar, acidic ingredients such as lemon or lime, and herbs and/or spices. Another type of marinade consists of tropical fruits such as papaya and pineapple and which have enzymes to break down tissues and add flavor. Ceviche (also spelled ‘seviche’) “cooks” the seafood without any heat – only the acidity of the juices used does the trick. The best way to marinate is by using either a glass, plastic or enamel bowl, covering it tightly with plastic wrap, and storing it in the refrigerator. Our parents used to let things sit out at room temperature but we know better now – dangerous bacteria can thrive in a warm environment. Also, avoid using metal bowls which may have a chemical reaction with the marinade and affect the taste.

Going out for ice cream in the Lowcountry? You’re in for a treat. At last count, Beaufort County had more than 20 places where those who love ice cream, gelato, sorbet, soft-serve or fro-yo could get their fix of creamy goodness. While frozen yogurt sold by the ounce is the newest addition to Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, other options abound to satisfy cravings for something cold and sweet on a hot summer day.