Taste of the Season Menu Item: House smoked salmon pate served over a rye crostini and finished with fresh chervil
Alexander’s, Executive Chef Justin Wells
Taste of the Season Menu Item: crispy duck foie gras with truffled alfalfa sprouts and stone fruits mostrada
Chef Justin Wells grew up in a family where cooking was almost a lifestyle. His mother recognized his skills and interest in cooking at an early age and helped him fine tune his skills. Culinary school was an obvious choice and he graduated top of his class at Savannah Technical College. While in school full time he was the sous chef for the largest country club on the East Coast. He had two apprenticeships under certified executive chefs where he learned many things but most importantly understanding that the knowledge of food is always growing. As a boat owner fishing for fresh seafood is a huge passion of Chef Justin’s. His passion for fishing translates into his job and he is a huge believer that farm to table is so important and that purchasing fresh seafood for our restaurants is a must.
Black Marlin Bayside Grill, Chris Carge
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Sushi Nachos
A multiple time nominee and award recipient of local culinary challenges and competitions including The Low Country Soup Challenge, Seafood Challenge and local Iron Chef Competition. Chef Chris is committed to the simple preparation of local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. After commencing his culinary path at a five-diamond private club, Carge moved to Hilton Head Island and began to embrace the multitude of fresh, readily available ingredients. Thus, propelling him in the areas well known restaurants. Pursuing the use of local, sustainable fish and produce has become forefront with the style of cooking that Chris has embraced. “Knowing that the best quality is in my backyard makes me proud to create in this area” has been Chris’ motto. Leading by example, at The Black Marlin Bayside Grill he has encouraged others to utilize and promote sustainable ingredients from fisherman and farmers he has met along his journey.
Bucci’s Italian Cuisine
Taste of the Season Menu Item:Veal scarpiello skewers. Braised veal, sliced sausage, roasted fingerling potatoes, hot cherry pepper and sweet pepper with a white wine rosemary sauce and a wine pairing.
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Chocolate Covered Oreos, Chocolate Snowflakes
Downtown Curbside Kitchen , Ryan McCarthy
Taste of the Season Menu Item: BBQ Pulled Pork Slider with Collard Green Slaw, Bang Bang Shrimp Taco with Avocado Pico
Ryan McCarthy has owned & operated The Downtown Deli & Downtown Catering & Events for 11 years. He recently added a mobile food truck to the mix and calls it “Downtown Curbside Kitchen.” The Downtown Deli has won “Best Deli, Best Lunch, & Best Sandwiches” since 2007! Downtown Catering & Events has been recognized as best caterer for weddings & events in South Carolina by the top two national websites for weddings: Wedding Wire and The Knot. The biggest recognition came from the Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce as “The Small Business of the Year” in 2013. Ryan McCarthy attended Paul Smith’s University, NY for culinary arts & relocated to Hilton Head from Vernon Center, NY in 1998 where he worked as Sous Chef for Colleton River Plantation. Ryan has been working in food & beverage since 1995. He has three children ages 11, 9 and 2 & are very passionate & dedicated to high quality food & service.
ELA’s Blu Water Grille, Chef Ryan Alpaugh
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Fresh diver scallop, pan seared and served over crab risotto. Finished with a truffle butter cream sauce and topped with crispy prosciutto
Formally trained in Atlantic City & Philadelphia kitchens, the New Jersey native has spent the better part of a decade in the low country honoring his vision for fresh, beautiful, delicious food. From 2008-2010, Chef Alpaugh served as Executive Chef at Alligator Grill, creating a unique market niche & building this local favorite restaurant into a “must try” eatery. Competing head to head with the best of the Hilton Head Island’s culinary scene, Alpaugh’s innovative style of cuisine won him the honors as Hilton Head Island Iron Chef in 2009. Chef Ryan’s culinary style draws inspiration stemming from his east coast heritage & training, his embrace of the south, and coupled with the best local ingredients the low country has to offer. With ELA’s, his endorsement of the restaurant group’s fresh catch philosophy is simple, “locally sourced & caught fresh fish… is the best catch”.
Frankie Bones, Executive Chef, Luke J. Lyons
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with a Mustard Drizzle
Executive Chef, Luke J. Lyons, graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York with an Associates degree in Culinary Arts. Chef Lyons gained culinary experience while still in high school working at in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania at the Sojourner Restaurant in the mid 90’s. Upon graduation from the Culinary Institute, he learned classical techniques and specialized in ethnic and American cuisine under the tutelage of Chef Kevin Walker at the Greenville South Carolina Country Club. While working for Chef Walker, he assisted him as he prepared himself for the certified Master Chef exam. While at the Master Chef Exam he was appointed as a fellow in charge of apprentices, assisting all master chef applicants during the exam. Relocating to New York in 2002 he increased his knowledge in French Cuisine at the Restaurant Mirabelle, an award winning restaurant on Long Island, New York working under Chef Guy Rouge. Chef Lyons took the position of Sous Chef at the Alligator Grill in 2005 named Executive Chef in 2007. In Late 2008 Chef Lyons joined the SERG group at Frankie Bones Restaurant and Lounge and was named Executive Chef shortly after. He is known for his innovative and original dishes, served with a culinary flare.
Heyward’s Restaurant, Executive Chef Nelly Buleje
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Braised Pork Belly, Herb and Butternut Squash Risotto, Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Chef Nelly Buleje is a seasoned culinary professional with nearly a decade of fine dining and hospitality experience. Previously, Buleje served as executive chef at the Richmond Marriott and banquet/interim executive sous chef at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Buleje, who describes his culinary point of view as a cultural fusion for the palate, first discovered his passion for cooking at the age of 13. Since then, he’s received numerous culinary distinctions, including receiving first and second place in Iron Chef Milwaukee competitions, and second place in the 2010 Lake Geneva Wine Festival Iron Chef, as well as serving as a celebrity chef at the 2010 Lake Geneva Wine Festival. Buleje also served as the head of food production for Marcus at the 2012 Milwaukee Air and Water Show and at the 2012 Indy Fest Milwaukee.
Holy Tequila, Chef Jorge Covarrubias
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Thanksgiving Tamale with confit turkey, sweet potato puree, cranberry salsa verde and crema
Holy Tequila Chef de Cuisine, Jorge Covarrubias, was born and raised in Mexico. Jorge’s extensive background in American fine dining, coupled with his authentic roots from growing up in Mexico, provide an unparalleled new spin on what a Mexican dining experience can be and as a result Holy Tequila was recently voted the island’s Best Mexican Restaurant for 2015.
Hudson’s on the Docks
Taste of the Season Menu: Item Raw Oyster Bar, Oyster Roast with Steamed Local Oysters
Marché de Macarons
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Assortment of French Macarons
Marley’s Island Grille, Executive Chef Josh Castillo
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Island Stuffed Chicken -chorizo, spinach & goat cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped, finished with ancho tomato sauce over whipped plantains
Executive Chef Josh Castillo was born on the Island of Puerto Rico in a little town called Rio Piedras, just south of the capital San Juan, then moved to the Bronx New York at a young age. His early memories became his inspiration: mom and grandma cooking family meals. About 15 years ago, Josh moved to the Lowcountry in Beaufort, and began his professional quest at TCL (Technical Collage of the Lowcountry) in their culinary program. His internship at Chechessee Creek Club in Okatie SC, with in the first year with a lot of hard work and deduction, and a whole lot of adversary became sous chef. After a time he moved on to work in some of the areas favorite public and private eatery’s, and having the fortune to work with some world class chefs. Like Chef David Tollerton in Dawtaw Island and James Beard award winner and Michelin star Chef Paul Wade in palmetto bluff and even being lucky enough to work an event with celebrity chef Tyler Florence. Shaping, molding, homing his culinary skills in many different cultural foods from many regions around the world. He has also had the pleasure to also so work with chef and TV personality Orchid Palmer on whhitv’s restaurant show on two occasions while working as the executive chef at one of Beaufort’s oldest and favorite local restaurant Plums. And more recently was the executive chef at Alexander’s in palmetto Dunes.
Michael Anthony’s, Executive Chef Chris Johnson
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Veal Agnolotti with Butter Sage Sauce
Executive Chef Chris Johnson hails from Phillipsburg, NJ. He attended West Virginia University and graduated from the Pennsylvania Culinary Academy “Le Cordon Bleu” Pittsburgh in 2002. Chris worked in several dining establishments in the northeast and owned and operated his own restaurant in New Jersey prior to joining Michael Anthony’s in 2008 as a Sous Chef. Executive Chef since 2012, Chris is responsible for the entire culinary program at Michael Anthony’s which includes the popular cooking school and specialty market. Chris was named in the 2013 edition of “Best Chefs America.” Recently he was listed among 1,000 of the top chefs in the south in “The American South: Regional Guide to Dining.”
NEO, Executive Chef Russell Keane
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Sautéed Beef Tenderloin Stroganoff Caramelized Onions, Local Mushrooms, Sweet and Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles, Homemade Worcestershire, Penne Pasta, Farm Fresh Sour Cream
Executive Chef Russell Keane, a graduate of the prestigious Johnson & Wales University and longtime Hilton Head Island icon, is proud to represent his restaurant NEO. Awarded Best New Restaurant for 2013, NEO is a Lowcountry farm to table gastropub passionately committed to great food and creative, handcrafted cocktails. Chef Russell’s farmhouse approach to food embraces the finest products from local producers, seasonality, and carefully sourced ingredients. An adventurous talent with extensive experience on the local culinary scene, Chef Russell is committed to delivering premium food and excellent service for his guests.
Old Oyster Factory, Executive Chef Andy Love
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Smoked pork tenderloin with herb roasted tomato and goat cheese polenta and braised greens, finished with a roasted red pepper jam
Chef Andy Love is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute. Prior to joining the team at Old Oyster Factory, he worked at the company’s sister restaurant, Alexander’s, as well as Demillo’s Floating Restaurant in Portland, ME; 17hundred90 in Savannah, GA; The Landings Club in Savannah, GA. He is a certified Chef de Cuisine through the American Culinary Federation. Silver Medalist in The 2007 Magnolia Food Challenge Savannah, GA. Silver Medalist in the 2008 Southeast Regional NRA Food Challenge Myrtle Beach, SC.
One Hot Mama’s, Executive Chef Orchis Paulmeier
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Cowboy Sushi, Jack Daniel’s Glazed Brisket, Sweet Potato Crisps, Agave Wasabi
Orchid Paulmeier runs her kitchen like she lives her life—surrounded by family, friends and feel-good food.Orchid Paulmeier opened her first restaurant, One Hot Mama’s on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in 2003. She has honed her culinary skills over time as a research chef and has expanded her culinary profile to include a craft beer bar, a line of barbecue sauces and a calendar filled with appearances at major food events. She gleans enthusiasm from her public appearances and participates annually in the Savannah Asian Festival, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and Palmetto Bluff’s Music to Your Mouth. In 2011 Orchid was among fifteen finalists in Season Seven of the Next Food Network Star reality series. In the same year Orchid’s signature line of barbecue sauces Perfect 10 and One Hot Asian went public under the One Hot Mama’s label. In that same year the signature label of Orchid’s dry rub called Backyard BBQ Rub was launched at the Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival. Orchid’s broadcast experience did not end with her elimination in the Next Food Network Star reality series. She launched a partnership with WHHI-TV in 2012 to deliver a local culinary program, The Restaurant Show that airs seven days a week in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Between filming of the culinary show, attending annual festival engagements, participating in food demonstrations and actively serving in the operations of her two restaurants, One Hot Mama’s and The Lodge, it can certainly be said that Orchid has achieved the American Dream..
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Gelato, and Espresso Bar – serving coffee, espresso, specialty drinks and mini affogatos
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Tuna Poke’ Caramelized Soy Roasted Pineapple, New Bedford Sea Scallops, Bacon Marmalade, Key Lime Tartlets, Toasted Meringue, White Chocolate
Red Fish HHI & Bluffton, Executive Chef Chaun Bescos
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Seared Chilean sea bass with wild mushroom and Piedmontese ox tail ragout
Chef Chaun Bescos has a passion for cooking with fresh local ingredients that began while he was growing up on an organic farm in Hawaii. He went on to graduate from Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. Currently executive chef at Red Fish, he has previously worked in the company’s other restaurants, Alexander’s and Old Oyster Factory. Chaun has a close relationship with local growers and the Hilton Head Farmer’s Market and works with them to tailor Red Fish’s featured dishes around which foods are in season.
www.redfishofhiltonhead.com / www.redfishofbluffton.com
Robber’s Row Grille, Executive Chef Eric Seaglund
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Garlic, thyme, zinfandel braised short ribs with sweet potato gnocchi, roasted butternut squash and gorgonzola, and savory cranberry relish. Vanilla, pumpkin, pecan, cheesecake mouse trifle
Eric Seaglund, The Executive Chef for the Heritage Golf Collection on Hilton Head Island including; Robber’s Row Grille at Port Royal Golf Club, LagerHead Tavern at Oyster Reef Golf Club, Palmetto Hall Plantation Club Shipyard Golf Club. Eric’s menus and events reflect his unique twist of Low Country Cuisine and Local Ingredients. Eric graduated from School Craft College in 1993. He came from Charley’s Crab Troy, MI to open Charley’s Crab Hilton Head in 1999. After a huge success at Charley’s Crab, he and Jeff Katon partnered together and opened Aqua Grille and Lounge in 2006. Chef Eric returned to Charley’s Crab in early 2010 to help orchestrate the transformation to the new Chart House of Hilton Head Island. He has won many awards at local events including Taste of the Season, Cooks and Books, Low Country Soup Challenge, Wing Fest and Death by Chocolate. He was also featured in the Cooking Light article of Shape Magazine in May, 2008.
Shell Ring Oyster Company
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Raw Oyster Bar, Oyster Roast with Steamed Local Oysters
Skull Creek Boathouse, Chef Logan McManus
Taste of the Season Menu Item: The Grinch Bowl – Spicy, Marinated Tuna, Asparagus, Sushi Rice, Spinach, Snow Crab Salad, Tempura Flakes, Red Tobiko, Wasabi Aioli
Logan Mcmanus is a young, talented, self-taught chef, who has been in the culinary industry for nearly a decade. He has worked as a line cook, sous chef, sushi chef and has catered many high end events. Logan loves the creativity of cooking and takes great pride in working with fresh, local seafood and ingredients. His commitment and passion in the kitchen makes Logan one of the Lowcountry’s most promising and upcoming chef’s.
The Bluffton Room, Chef Jeff Congdon
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Braised short ribs with artichoke heart & cannenni beans
“Jeff Congdon has joined The Bluffton Room as general manager. After 25 years in the luxury resort industry, he is focusing his efforts on growing The Bluffton Room brand. Jeff brings a great culinary vision and dedication to service garnered from his years spent at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, The Cloister at Sea Island, The Greenbrier. Jeff resides in Bluffton with his wife and daughter.”
The Corner Perk, Chef Richard Cox
Taste of the Season Menu Item: seasonal espresso samples
Chef Richard Cox has over 25 years of experience in private clubs, fine dining, and casual cuisine. Richard is a self-taught chef who has worked as a line cook, sous chef and executive chef. He has served the Hilton Head/Bluffton community for almost 20 years. He feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a number of top local chefs who have provided him with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He enjoys creating traditional southern dishes with a modern twist using fresh local ingredients and classic techniques.
The Porch Southern Kitchen and Bar, Executive Chef Tim Nelson
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Duck Reuben – House cured duck pastrami, smoked tomato aioli, shaved pickled Brussel sprouts, mornay sauce, rye crostini. Dessert – brown butter citrus blondie with caramelizes walnut gelato and sage caramel
West Coast native and graduate of California Culinary Academy, Chef Tim has a passion for all things fresh and exciting. Former executive pastry chef turned executive chef Tim has found himself at the helm of some of the country’s finest kitchens including; the breathtaking Snowbird Resort in Utah, SLC’s Café Trio, the exclusive Stein Eriksen Lodge, the Sanderling Resort in the OBX and now the Beach House Resort in Hilton Head. Tim’s cuisine is rooted in sustainable, organic, artisanal and local ingredients fused by sweet and savory flavors.
WiseGuys, Chef Matt Kazmierczak
Taste of the Season Menu Item: Braised short rib and root vegetable demi
After growing in Florence, Alabama, Matt Kazmierczak went on to graduate with a Culinary Degree from Culinard in Birmingham, Alabama. His love of cooking brought him to Hilton Head Island in 2008 where he began his career with an internship as a Line Cook at the Marriott Grande Ocean Resort. A job opportunity with the Tahoe Restaurant Collection began his professional career and led him to Lake Tahoe, CA in 2010 where Matt worked as Line Cook. His hard work and culinary creativeness did not go unnoticed at the waterfront Riva Grill and soon Matt was promoted to Chef at their sister restaurant, Caliente.