Southern Food Revolution


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From the farm-to-table movement, to the incorporation of nontraditional ingredients in classic, southern dishes, the south is finally reverting back to grandma’s way of cookin’ in an entirely new menu and movement known as the Southern Food Revolution.

Deep in the heart of Dixie, beyond the white linen tablecloths and deep fried chicken, a revolution is on the cusp. But this revolution isn’t being televised; it’s being devoured. With the sudden resurgence of using all natural, locally sourced ingredients comes a reminder that a successful restaurant relies on skill and talent.

The South has seen a food revolution in recent years—or perhaps it’s better characterized as a renaissance, as an influx of innovative chefs have refocused their efforts on showcasing strictly Southern ingredients and adding a modern touch to the region’s traditional dishes. And in a world that promotes celebrity chefs, the renaissance is disregarding the common belief that a famous name can keep a restaurant afloat.

No one has been more influential to this epicurean uprising than the Neighborhood Dining Group, and more specifically the group’s franchise (if one can really call it that) of Husk restaurants, which now have four locations, located in Charleston, Greenville, Nashville and Savannah. While the four locations share a name and a philosophy—if it isn’t from the South, it isn’t entering the restaurant—each has a distinct menu and style that suits its locale.

And in the remnants of the departure of Sean Brock, a major force behind Husk and renowned chef who has been one of the leaders of the rebirth of Southern comfort food as haute cuisine, Husk is proving that their longevity can be attributed to the quality of their product and dedication to returning to a classic way of cooking.

David Howard, president of the Neighborhood Dining Group, says Brock’s departure after 12 years is a natural step in his pursuit of the American dream and presents an opportunity for Husk to grow within its strict self-imposed constraints.

“With Sean’s departure on to the next chapter in his life, there’s a new chapter for the chefs in our restaurants,” Howard says. “We’re fortunate to have chefs and chefs de cuisines in our restaurants that are more than capable of standing on their own two feet and continuing the legacy that is Husk.”

Brock isn’t the first popular chef to vacate the South. Hugh Acheson, “Top Chef” judge, closed down his Savannah restaurant The Florence in 2017, while celebrity chef Robert Irvine shuttered up two restaurants—one on Hilton Head Island, the other in Bluffton—in the past five years.

Leading the charge at Husk Savannah is the new Executive Chef Chris Hathcock, a Georgia native who was raised in Savannah and most recently worked as executive sous chef at Husk Greenville. Hathcock, who looks forward to returning to his roots and reconnecting with the rich culinary traditions of coastal Georgia, was inspired by a recent trip to Thailand, where the lack of refrigeration results in the ample use of fresh produce and proteins and ingredients are typically found within a bike ride of the kitchen where they are prepared.

“That’s kind of what we’re doing here. We’re doing things that are at arm’s length and bringing them in and executing the best dishes possible using what is right near us,” Hathcock says.

That’s the overriding philosophy, not only at Husk, but across the landscape of the Southern food revolution. It’s often referred to as “farm-to-table” and considered a new trend, but it’s really a return to the most original cooking concept there is: building a menu around the ingredients that are readily available, rather than the use of processed foods.

And not only does it result in better food, it’s a boost to creators throughout the community.

 

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Greatest Kids 2019

Nominate your kid this year and tell us why he or she has to be the winner of our South's Greatest Kids contest. Don't be shy — this could be your year!

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Events Calendar

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

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  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

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  • "Portrait of the Artist" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

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    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Jepson Center

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  • The Original Star Wars Trilogy Marathon

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    12:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Lucas Theatre

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  • Jax Taco Fest 2019

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    1:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Hemming Park

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  • Cruise In “On The Square”

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    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Downtown on the Square

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  • MAGNUM OPUS - 2019 ARTS ON THE COAST ANNUAL EXHIBIT

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  • Charleston Summer Wine Festival

    Aug 17, 2019
    6:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Memminger Auditorium

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  • Tribute to Legendary Songwriters

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    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

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  • Georgia Bridal Show

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    12:30 PM - 5:00 PM @ Savannah Civic Center

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  • Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince

    Aug 18, 2019
    2:00 PM - 3:30 PM @ Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts

    The Little Prince: A Magical Opera is in two acts based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. After being forced to land his plane in the...

  • Oak Island Farmers and Artisans' Market

    Jul 15, 2019
    8:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Middleton Park, Oak Island

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  • ENCORE: Santiago Ballerini in Concert

    Aug 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM @ Charles H. Morris Center

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  • Yappy Hour Event

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    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Peacock Subaru

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  • Brews for a Cause

    Aug 22, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM @ Husk Savannah

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  • Forgotten Victims Support Group

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  • Girls' Night Out: "Poms"

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    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

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  • Chuck Courtenay at Coach's Corner

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  • Friday Concert Series

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Scenes of the South

Savannah Downtown Business Association Luncheon

The Savannah Downtown Business Association held its monthly luncheon on Aug. 14

Brews for a Cause in July at Churchill's

This Thursday, Churchill's was packed as we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause ! We joined Southern Eagle and The Ronald McDonald House of The Coastal Empire. Southern Eagle provided great craft beer and the silent auction was a huge success. All the proceeds from the silent auction benefited The Ronald McDonald House of The Coastal Empire.

Bohemian Hotel 10th Anniversary

The Bohemian Hotel celebrated their 10th year in business with an incredible night of cocktails and appetizers. Guests ventured up to the stunning rooftop deck overlooking the Savannah River to celebrate the hotel's decennial anniversary — reveling in the scenery with a glass of champagne.

Stonewall50 - A Legendary Block Party

The Stonewall 50 block party, held on June 28th outside the LGBTQ Center on Bull Street, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Protest — one of the most important moments in LGBTQ history and the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Pelindaba Lavender Savannah Grand Opening

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Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Exhibit

The Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Event in Hilton Head displayed several paintings featuring the culture and heritage of the African-American Lowcountry. Sonja Griffin Evans paints with bright vibrant colors — while also incorporating materials such as tin and wood — to emphasize the traditional Gullah style, evoking an emotional response by bringing to life historical and cultural events.

JCB MudRun 2019

Participants hit the ground running at this year's JCB Mud Fest, climbing through tough obstacles in either the 5k or the 5 mile run. At the end of the race was a long slide where, upon finishing, contestants found themselves in the Party Pit. Winners from various age groups were presented with trophies, and all the proceeds from the JCB Mud Fest benefited the Lady Bamford Center for Early Childhood Development.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum's 200th Anniversary!

This past Wednesday, May 22, we celebrated with Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum for for the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's historic trans-Atlantic crossing — the WORLD'S FIRST oceanic voyage under steam! On this year's Maritime Day, Ships of the Sea celebrated the Savannah's 200th anniversary with a commemorative ceremony provided by the PROPELLER CLUB, where Robert Morris unveiled two eight-foot paintings. The evening also included an amazing performance by the Parris Island MARINE BAND, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and celebratory beverages!

Brews For A Cause at Top Deck

This past Tuesday, May 21 we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Top Deck Bar! We joined up with Southern Eagle and a great group of like minded people to benefit Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire in their efforts to provide financial assistance to the surviving families of local law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty. It was another memorable night in the South filled with great people and even greater crafted beer! This month's Featured Craft Beer: Island Coastal Lager Sponsors: Island Coastal Lager, Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, Southern Eagle, South Magazine

Brews for a Cause at Churchill's

This Thursday, Churchill's was pack as we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Churchill's! We joined Southern Eagle and The Coastal Heritage Society. Southern Eagle provided great craft beer, Sista Rae Rae performed live, and the silent auction was a huge success. All the proceeds from the silent auction — including a diamond necklace from International Diamond — benefitted the Coastal Heritage Society.