I recently was able to take a trip up to Charleston for a couple of days (it worked out that my 2 days off for each week connected Mon and Tues, and Wed Thurs... Thanks Chef) and absolutely love everything about that whole area. The city itself, the history, the cuisine, the passion for everything they do, southern traditions, the towns surrounding Charleston,.... you get the point.
The first time that I traveled to Charleston was for my anniversary. My wife and I took a few days and went in to eat at McCradys restaurant. I guy that used to work at Bluezoo (Chris) had worked there and I had heard nothing but great things about it. We did the Chefs tasting menu, and it was one of the best meals I have had. All of the flavors married well together. Southern inspired dishes with local ingredients (most of which are grown by the restaurant), simple plates with such depth in flavor, and a mixture of classical and modern avant garde techniques. However, the one thing that I really wanted to try, the Charcuterie plate, i did not get the chance....
So, back to current times.... I was able to put a couple of days together to stage in the Kitchen with Chef Sean Brock and his team. They were very hospitable and I was able to learn a lot just in the two days I was there. I would love to be able to spend at least a week straight with them, just to take in all that they have to teach me. The amount of knowledge and resources in the kitchen is ridiculous. I thank them for having me and putting up with me for those couple of days and if you are ever in the area, you MUST check it out. The charcuterie program there is freakin awesome thanks to the Sous Chef Travis and one of the cooks Jeremiah. They really know what they are doing and have a tremendous passion for it. And YES, this time I did have the charcuterie plate and some of their bar snack menu items. This is what we had that I can remember. Fried Bologna with beer mustard, duck rillettes with cranberry ketchup, coppa, duck mortadella, a couple of different kinds of salamis, pickled cauliflower, house pickles, pickled green beans, and more duck rillettes (they are amazing!!!). Unfortunately I was only able to snap a couple of photos.
This is a pic of the kitchen setting up for service.
And here is a pic of some of their country hams. Had to weigh close to 40 pounds each
I almost forgot to take a pic of the fried bologna.... I was killing it!
We also have a country ham going and will be putting a couple of more in the cure when we get our next big delivery of Mangalitsa from Torm. This was cured with a mixture of salt, cane sugar, red pepper flakes, black and white pepper. I can't wait to taste this one. It will cure for at least a day per pound, then we'll smoke it and age for at least six months. Wish I had started one of these six months ago. Oh well.