Construction on the new Burnt Church Distillery began in January. The 20,000-square-foot facility will include a tasting room, a pizza restaurant, a manufacturing building and a rick house to store whiskey barrels. Owners Billy and Sean Watterson expect the facility to create around 27 new jobs.

South-end Italian restaurant Trattoria Divina closed its doors permanently in January. Owners Harry Morales and Tamara Bream posted the announcement to the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages. In the post, they thanked the restaurant’s staff and patrons for seven years in business. 

RLB Distillery will open this spring in a 5,000-square-foot space on Boundary Street. The business will produce rum, vodka, moonshine and bourbon on site at the former K-Mart site in Beaufort Town Center. Visitors will be able to sample the spirits from a room overlooking stills and towers where the process will unfold. The business will include retail sales of merchandise such as shirts and shot glasses and the bottled products. Owners are Lady’s Island residents Brigid and Brian Fackrell. Grain will come from Orangeburg and sugar cane from Hampton.

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.