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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Events Calendar

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    Jan 24, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums hosts the first museum survey of the work of visionary videogame designer Keita Takahashi (Japanese, b. 1975). Takahashi is noted...

  • "The Prints of Dame Laura Knight" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Jan 19, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Telfair Museums' Jepson Center

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  • SBF Children's Tent

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    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM @ Reynolds Square

    Join Live Oak Public Libraries and Savannah Book Festival for the SBF Children’s Tent on Sunday, February 17 from 1-4 PM in Reynolds Square....

  • Hospice Savannah Oyster Roast

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  • Fundamentals of Salsa On2 (Mambo Style)

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    Feb 01, 2019
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    All Day @ Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

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  • Balletomane: Paintings by Spain’s Antonio Torres

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  • 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition

    Feb 18, 2019
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    The 2019 American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) will be held Feb. 18-22, 2019. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit...

  • Fashion Show & Luncheon

    Feb 20, 2019
    11:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ The Plantation Club, The Landings

    Vendor Fair Fun Runway Fashion Show with local celebrities including former Mayor Edna Jackson, Tina Tyus-Shaw, Dawn Baker, Cynthia DeLoach,...

  • 2019 Groundhog Day 2.2 Mile Virtual Race

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  • "A Star is Born"

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  • Opioid Alternatives & Resources Seminar

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  • World of Illusion at Savannah Theatre

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    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah Theatre

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Scenes of the South

Hearts for Healing Gala

The Faith Equestrian's Annual Hearts for Healing Gala at Tybee Wedding Chapel on Friday evening started out with a bang as the Free Spirit Orchestra' violin twins played their rendition of some of the greatest musical hits. The attendees were reminded what the event was all about as the founder Bonnie Rachael was recognized after story after story was shared to a room of teary eyed party-goers. Congrats to event director Bonnie Karr and her amazing team for a job well done!

The Cure Gala

Sisters on a journey sold out to a crowd of over 600 mainly female partygoers as they celebrated a night dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.This special dinner featured unique, individually-themed table decorations, a silent auction, live auction, and a room full of big generous hearts. The event was held at the beautiful trustees garden, Charlie Morris's masterpiece of a venue.

Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association's 22nd Annual Southern Heart Ball took place on February 2, 2019 and celebrated all the life-saving advances made so far while raising funds to continue to further AHA's mission. The black-tie gala brought together more than 400 guests to enjoy a night of dining, dancing, live entertainment and both live and silent auctions. Those in attendance got to hear the story of Lily Cochran, who was born with several congenital heart defects. Her father, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, also had a heart disease and was honored at the event.

PUTTING Away Crime

On Saturday, January 12, 2019 Savannah helped McGruff the Crime Dog take a bite out of crime at the Crimestoppers Savannah's 3rd Annual Putt Putt Mini Golf Tournament held at Island Miniature Golf and Game on Wilmington Island. Proceeds went to helping fund rewards for the Crimestopper's anonymous crime tip line.

Dining in the Dark

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, the 3rd Annual Dining in the Dark event presented by The Charles C. Taylor and Samir Nikocevic Charitable Foundation benefitting the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, was held at the Embassy Suites/Downtown Savannah.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2018

Savannah's 39 Rue De Jean celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day, the official end of this year’s growing season. Harvest is complete and vintners—especially in France—are ready to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is annually released on the third Thursday in November. Nouveau wine undergoes a very short fermentation process, and yields an extremely fresh and fruity wine.

A Chefs Collaborative

This five course dinner held at Pacci Italian Kitchen and Bar allowed guests to taste exceptional flavors steeped in tradition. Included were the culinary skills of Chef Adam Barnett of The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, Winston-Salem, NC, Chef Robert Hoffman of Angeline’s Charlotte, NC, Chef Daniel Gorman of The Henley Nashville, TN, Chef Sebastien Rondier of Brabo, Alexandria, VA, and Chef Lauren Teague of PACCI Italian Kitchen + Bar.

East and West BBQ

A whole hog BBQ showcase, from two of the south’s most legendary Pitmasters, Pat Martin and Sam Jones. Hosted by Alida Hotel this event was a fabulous juxtaposition between Eastern North Carolina style BBQ and Western Tennessee style. Made possible by the Savannah Food and Wine Festival.

Savannah Food & Wine Fest

Hundreds came to experience Southern charm and hospitality, Savannah Style. The South's best culinary happenings - one exceptional week in Savannah. Iconic and historic coastal venues provided the perfect backdrop for gourmet and fun. South magazine captured the experience at the VIP tent.

Big Wig Boat Bash

Savannah's Riverboat, The Georgia Queen set sail to host the final fundraiser for the 2018 class of Big Wigs, together raising over $100,000 for the Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia Foundation. This evening included heavy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, a silent auction, music and dancing and a contest to crown the Biggest BigWig! Contest categories included: The Biggest Wig, The Pink Ribbon Award and Best Pink Personality.