We are spoiled in this country on so many levels. We search so hard for the next great thing that we frequently overlook the gems in our own backyards!
Holly Herrick has taken a look in her own backyard and brought some of the greatest recipes from South Carolina to life in her Charleston Chef's Table Cookbook.
With great recipes that run the gamut from Lowcountry classics to inventive Italian, this is a great cookbook, but it’s more than that: its photos and stories reminds us that Charleston is a real gem of a city and an American architectural treasure.
Holly’s cookbook brings the local restaurant scene to life, but it also serves to remind us all that Charleston deserves more than a memory -- it deserves a visit to appreciate it in all its abundant beauty.
Meet Chef Holly HerrickRelocating to Charleston in 2000, Holly Herrick began working as a staff writer and restaurant critic for the city’s only daily newspaper, The Post and Courier, for which she won the award for “Best Newspaper Series, Special Sections, and Special Projects” from the American Association of Food Journalists in 2006. Herrick also began freelancing in 2006 and has since written for numerous publications, including Low Country Living, Southern Living, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and Graffiti, among others. Her first book, “Southern Farmers Market Cookbook,” was published in spring 2009.
Buy: The Charleston Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Heart of the Old South
I’ve selected a pair of recipes for Lowcountry classics to share with you, but that is really the tip of the iceberg with the Charleston Chef's Table cookbook. There are tons of great recipes influenced by the complex elements that make up the culture of Charleston, but none as typical as these two.
Virginia’s She-Crab SoupShe-Crab soup is about as typical of Lowcountry cooking as one can get. it’s a challenge to find a wine that pairs well with this sort of rich soup, but not impossible. I’d opt for a rich white Rhone blend. Call me corny, but the Hermit Crab from d’Arenberg seems like a natural here! This blend of Viognier and Marsanne is rich, aromatic, yet sappy enough to pair perfectly with this recipe.
Lowcountry Shrimp and GritsI love my grits, and this dish with its obvious Acadian influences looks divine: It's rich, smoky, and spicy -- what’s not to like? This is another slightly challenging dish; it would work well with a powerful white or rich rose, particularly in warmer weather, but I’m going to suggest a lighter styled red wine here. A lighter Rioja is a natural for this kind of dish (think paella, for example) and I love the Cubillo from Lopez de Heredia. It’s got enough acidity to stand up to the tomatoes in the dish and enough flavor to parry the spice tones yet it’s won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the shrimp.
Recipes from The Charleston Chef's Table, after the jump.