Kent’s Korner – August 30, 2019

Rarely, throughout the coastal southeast, are surprises that suddenly appear in late summer pleasant. Coinciding with hurricane season, in late August and throughout September, hurricane lilies, Lycoris spp., defy this conventional wisdom. These bulbs in the amaryllis family seemingly appear out of nowhere, shooting leafless flower stalks 12 to 24″ from the ground. Adorned with delicate tubular flowers, they provide a delightful presence in the late summer garden. Generally appearing following late season rains, each bulb sprouts between one and four stems that produce 8″ clusters of flowers that have a spidery appearance. Hurricane lilies don’t require fertilization or irrigation, but they prefer partial shade and benefit from rich, moist soils. In the Lowcountry it is best to amend the soil with compost prior to planting. Use caution when planting these flowers in the presence of pets and small children. All Lycoris species contain the alkaloid poison, lycorine, which makes the plant resistant to damage from deer and rodents but can be harmful if consumed. While enjoying the community this fall, keep an eye out for this delightful surprise popping up where you might least expect it.

Lycoris radiata at the Nicklaus Clubhouse Porte-cochère

Around the Table – August 29, 2019

A TOUCH OF REGIONAL RECIPE HISTORY

There is a difference of opinion as to what exactly the Lowcountry encompasses. The term is most frequently used to describe the coastal area of South Carolina to the Savannah River at the Georgia state line. But there is one belief I think we can all agree on, the Lowcountry enjoys a very diverse and rich culinary history. From the commencement of time, the Lowcountry locals had to make do with what was around them, and with over hundreds of thousands acres of wetlands, marshes, and lakes, it’s easy to understand the Lowcountry philosophy, “If you got it, you cook it.” Still to this day, the philosophy remains true.

WE ARE STUCK IN THE MIDDLE
There was, and maybe still is, a strong sense of rivalry between the cities and people of Charleston and Savannah. They rivaled for hospitability, social graces, and which city was founded first. We, the true Lowcountry, can lay claim to them both, and enjoy the resources, the lifestyles and the histories of the Holy and Hostess cities. One of the most valuable assets of being ‘caught in the middle’ is that we get the opportunity to enjoy the cuisine both cities offer. The costal locations of both Charleston and Savannah provide a soul food inspiration, with foods as rich in history and they are in flavor, and although the Holy and Hostess City have grown and evolved in recent years, classic southern Lowcountry foods like shrimp and grits and she-crab soup remain staples of the food scene.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY

  • Seasonality: There’s a focus on good, locally used ingredients, and luckily for the Lowcountry that means using what we already have. For centuries local cooks have turned to the water for culinary inspiration. Crab, shrimp, fish, and oysters form the basis of any traditional menu. Rice, grits and the produce of the coastal plain also play an instrumental role in the Lowcountry cooking. Cooks and chefs here have always been focused on good quality, and seasonal ingredients.
  • Condiments: Because of the climate in the Lowcountry, canning evolved as a ways to preserve the bounty of produce. It’s still true to this day, most dining venues provide some type of condiment at every table.
  • Seafood Culture: It is strong and continues to flourish with the popularity of recreational offshore fishing. For convenience, and certainly for flavor, grilling seafood is the preferred cooking method for fish in the Lowcountry.
  • Comfort Food: Like most southern cuisine, Lowcountry food is comfort food, best eaten at home and centered around large, one-pot meals.

WHAT LOWCOUNTRY CUISINE MEANS AT COLLETON RIVER

Reflecting on the history and tradition of the Lowcountry allows our team to focus on:
 
  • Variety and quality of the season’s ingredients
  • Traditional cooking methods, keeps us true to our roots as cooks
  • The world’s best seafood and the abundance we enjoy
  • Unique products found right here in our backyard (or marsh)
  • Making your dining experience in the Lowcountry memorable and fun
Everyday I consider myself fortunate to be a lifetime student of the cooking and hospitality of the Lowcountry.
 
—Chef Robert

Kent’s Korner – Sands of Time

As discussed in last week’s Agronomy newsletter, during the Nicklaus course closure, we have begun redistributing the sand in the dunes on holes fifteen through eighteen. Years of erosion have moved the sand from the peaks of the mounds and have deposited it along the base of the dunes. While the cordgrass, Spartina patens, and sea oats help reduce erosion, the exposed slopes are especially prone to run-off. Over the next few weeks, our teams will be mining the sand from the lower edges of the dunes and redistributing it to conceal the exposed subsoil on the mounds. In the event an errant shot enters an area where equipment is working, please play the area as required in Rule 16.1b, Abnormal Course Conditions -Relief in General Area, by taking complete free relief from the ground under repair. For your safety, don’t attempt to retrieve the ball. Thank you for your understanding as we complete this much needed improvement project.

Replacing sand that has eroded from the peaks of the dunes

Around the Table – August 21, 2019

What It Means to Be A Club Member

I certainly don’t have to tell you what it means to be a Club member. Some of you have been members longer than …well, let’s just agree it’s been a long time. I can, however, give perspective on what it means to be a Club Culinary Team.
 
The world of private clubs has long been associated with drinks and food. This should not be terribly surprising given the simple fact that more people eat than swing a golf club and tennis racket. Providing a popular member amenity such as club dining, we frequently discuss being a service team, or a team in service. We discuss the types of service we provide, and how we can refine it. We exchange ideas on how to make the dining experience more enjoyable for you. Lastly, we discuss how our services are different from other restaurants and dining establishments, and what makes us better.
 
YOU HAVE OPTIONS
There’s no denying that dining in the Lowcountry is a culinary excursion on its own. I, of course, have a few favorites. But, when it comes to celebrating, entertaining friends, or just enjoying a casual night with your loved ones, we want to be your first consideration when it comes time to dining.
 
As a Club Culinary Team we’re prepared for your culinary requests, and we will welcome and manage those request to the best of our abilities. This includes the understanding that your request may change as your requirements and preferences evolve.
ITS PERSONAL
Our industry is seemingly one of the most susceptible to changing trends. If you are still obsessing over Quinoa when the rest of the world has moved onto cauliflower pizza, we want to know. Tell us your preferences, as well as your likes and dislikes. Whether it’s dietary, lifestyle, or you just don’t like anchovies, the more we know about you, the better we can serve you.
ACCESS TO QUALITY
Below you will find services we provide to you as Colleton River Club members:
 
  • In-home catering opportunities
  • Catering carry-out options (order a party dish and pick up on the way!)
  • Order pre-cut steaks, meats, and fish items, cut to your specifications!
  • Last, but certainly not least, the finest quality steaks available from our Nebraska Beef Program.
Feel free to get personal with the Club Culinary Team at Colleton! We may be reached through the Nicklaus Front Desk! We’ll be expecting your call.
 
—Chef Robert

Kent’s Korner – Healthy Competition

On good teams, competition becomes a catalyst for innovation and improvement. Last week’s positive changes on the Dye Course certainly stoked the fires on the Nicklaus Course. During the Nicklaus Course closure superintendent Kevin Dugger and his team have several other improvement projects well underway. They are expanding the cart parking area at the range and halfway café, resurfacing the walk bridge on hole four, standardizing the Borland collars, refurbishing landscaping at the eleventh tee complex, and aggressively controlling weeds and redistributing sand in the dunes on holes fifteen through eighteen. While course aeration is the top priority, these additional enhancements help further our goal to continually improve while providing an unencumbered golf experience. Thank you for your patience during this process, and we look forward to completing these projects and reopening the course soon.   

Expanded parking area under construction at the Halfway Café and Range

Refurbished walk-bridge on the Nicklaus hole four with PE matting

Around the Table – August 14, 2019

Summer Salads – Dressed to Kill

Salad can be a nice plate of leaves and vegetables, but lately they are becoming so much more. During the heat of the summer, salad becomes more important and more frequent, especially at my place. Because the grill is running more, it allows me to get creative with my salads. One or two nights a week I am grilling vegetables that will be used on my summer salads, vegetables such as; roasted corn, lengths of zucchini, long green onions, tomatoes brushed with olive oil and lightly charred, seasoned carefully and dusted with chopped herbs.
 
The grilled vegetables really livens the taste and texture of the typical summer salad of greens. Salads are meant to be flavorful, refreshing, interesting and nutritious. However, there is one last ingredient that turns a simple summer salad into a bowl of creativity, a pure mouthwatering dish, and is probably the most important component to me: the dressing.
DRESSING IS EVERYTHING
A summer salad only deserves the best dressing. I’ll be the first to admit there are some great dressings out there, but for me it’s all about homemade.
 
Great, but simple ingredients are a must. Your access to wonderful, flavorful, unique ingredients is limitless. This is where I don’t skimp; when I’m buying red wine vinegar or olive oil- quality doesn’t have to mean fancy. I also stress the balance of richness, spiciness, sour & sweet when blending dressing and tasting. And don’t forget, seasoning is a must! I prefer, and obviously enjoy fresh herbs but don’t ignore dried oregano- there’s always a home for the spice in a robust red wine vinaigrette.
 
Homemade dressings are so easy to make and infinitely better tasting and better for you. I hope you’re making dressings at home. If you are and could use (or want) some further inspiration, here are a few great summertime examples to try!
 
Bonus, both recipes work as a dressing or quick marinade!
 
THE FAMOUS LEMON-THYME
Ingredients
  • 1 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Thyme, stemmed & finely minced
  • 1 tbsp White Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tb Minced Shallot
  • 3 cups Light salad oil, canola or light olive oil
  • Salt & pepper for taste
Directions
  • Mince shallot & fresh thyme
  • Combine all, except oil
  • Incorporate oil by whisking to create an emulsion
  • Taste, season, taste again

SHERRY ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients
  • 2 Oranges, peeled, segmented, squeezed, reserve
  • 2 tb Dijon mustard
  • 2 tb Honey
  • 3 oz Sherry Vinegar
  • 6 oz Olive Oil or oil of choice
 
Directions
  • Select the best oranges of the season
  • Carefully peel with a knife, leave whole
  • Segment with a sharp paring knife into your mixing bowl
  • Squeeze the juice from the membrane over the orange segments
  • Add the mustard, honey & vinegar
  • Incorporate oil by whisking to create an emulsion
  • Taste, season, taste again
Regarding our dressings here at Colleton, every drop is house made, with only the best ingredients available. We don’t use stabilizers or flavorings in the production of these recipes, just fresh and simple ingredients.
 
Enjoy your craft!
 
 
—Chef Robert
 

Around the Table – 90th American Culinary Federation Convention

Greetings from the 2019 American Culinary Federation’s National Convention!
The ACF events are convention conferences featuring educations and networking for culinary students, cooks, industry professionals, vendors, educators, and the worlds chefs. The ACF hosts more than 1,000 chefs and culinary professionals for five days of hands-on workshops, national and international competitions, live demonstrations, and educational seminars on the latest industry trends.
 
This conference truly includes the Who’s Who of the culinary industry, and allows us to gather to learn, share, taste, celebrate, and did I mention taste? The 2019 ACF marks the 90th year, which adds even more excitement!
A few of my favorite events from the conference so far:
 
  • Informative session on the fundamentals of Dashi, which became the intricacies of Dashi by the end of the presentation. Chef Ivan Orkin not only demonstrated the preparation of Dashi, he shared his philosophy on the cooking broth’s various applications in Japanese and Western Cuisines.
 
  •  During the afternoon Tradeshows, attendees spent hours of excitement watching regional student teams vie for their chance to become the ACF National Student Team Champions!
 
  • Chefs Rico Torres and Diego Galicia, co-owners of Mixtli in San Antonio, TX who were recognized by Food & Wine Magazine in 2017 as “Best New Chefs” opened Monday morning with their inspirations on the use of chilis of Mexico, and continued expressing their passion for the history and place in Mexican cooking and culture.
 
  •  I had the opportunity to hear famed Chef and TV personality Pierre White describe challenging the odds to be the youngest chef to acquire three Michelin stars in England for his groundbreaking restaurant. Chef White has trained notable chefs such as Gordan Ramsay, Curtis Stone and Shannon Bennett.

Pictured: Chef White and Chef Wysong

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from the contemporary cold food salon. As I hope you notice, this is very distinct work that demonstrates the highest art form and skills.

I look forward to the remaining days of the conference. To say it has been an inspiring time to be here in Orlando among so many colleagues and friends is an understatement!
 
 
I’ll see you all very soon!
 
—Chef Robert
Read more about Chef Robert’s Convention Experience ACF National Convention 2019 Summary

Kent’s Korner – Dye Course Improvements

“The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection,” is a catchy Lexus slogan that the Dye golf maintenance team put into practice this past week. Along with all the benefits gained from the aeration and verticutting of the playing surfaces, Dye Course superintendent Jake Williams and his team completed a laundry list of worthwhile projects on the golf course. These enhancements included: drainage improvements to alleviate chronically wet catch basins on holes nine and sixteen, adjustments to the cart drive-off area on the left of one fairway, improvements to the walk-off at six green, the regrassing of the egress from the white tee on hole ten, and the leveling of the black tee on hole twelve. These projects addressed important weak points in the Dye Course presentation. When we reopen the course on Tuesday, expect the Dye greens to be slightly slower than their pre-aeration conditions. Within seven to ten days we expect things to be back to normal. Thank you for your patience during this process, and I’ll see you on the course.  

Adding drainage around the catch basin in sixteen fairway

Widening and irrigating the walk-off to six green

Leveling the black tee on twelve