We felt genuine Southern hospitality, in June, when some of our Lisa Dupar Catering chef-team (Dan, Bekki, & Darren) Haley & Lisa, together with Chef Eduardo Jordan & Elmer Dulla of June Baby, took a tour of my family’s home town. We dove in, head first, to a week of low-country BBQ, Southern libations, Edisto Island fried chicken, pimento cheese dip, Geechie Boy Grits, Rodney Scott’s BBQ and a surreptitiously-timed Sunday Gullah BBQ and sea island culture-lecture by Gullah Chef BJ Dennis.
We are taking it back to real old school South Carolina pit BBQ. June 3rd at the historic Joseph Fields farm come witness true in the ground S.C. pit BBQ. Done by special guest NASA engineer and Manning, South Carolina native Dr. Howard Conyers. Charleston's own Gullah Geechee chef BJ Dennis will be tag teaming with Dr. Conyers to bring you an afternoon of culture through food. All on historic Joseph Fields farm located on John's Island. Dr. Conyers grew up cooking whole hog BBQ and is also a historian on South Carolina BBQ. This is an event you don't want to miss. Here is the menu. ALSO B.Y.O.B.!
- Heritage goat & hog from Holy City Hogs in Wadmalaw: cooked whole, in the ground, pit style over wood
- Seafood okra soup: local blue crab and shrimp, okra, tomato seasonings
- Charleston red rice with creole sausage: Carolina gold rice, Van's famous creole sausage from New Orleans
- 'Dressed' South Carolina peaches: West African benne seed, honey, hot pepper, green seasoning
- Cucumber and tomatoes: black pepper and vinegar
- Fresh fruit: seasonal
- Fry bread: heirloom cornmeal fritters
Charleston has a way of tugging every which way at my soul. Al Miller took us on a Gullah history & island tour. He showed us Samuel "Goat" Smalls' grave site.
...better known as "Porgy" from DuBose Heywards' book of the same title. Porgy and Bess is a mirror into our own souls. Gershwin's folk opera based on the novel, is filled with passion, depths of despair, and hope for a better life in a dangerous world. Most of all, it is about the caring, the empathy and the love people have for each other.
Chef Alexander Smalls who is descended from THE "Porgy," Samuel Smalls, is an opera singer-turned-chef and restaurateur. His Harlem restaurant draws influence from the African Diaspora and won "Best New Restaurant" 2014. He was one of the many notable African American Star Chefs attending the Gullah BBQ with us. Incredibly, he has won a Grammy and a Tony Award for his performance in Houston's Porgy and Bess.
Tickets are still available for Seattle Opera's production of Porgy and Bess | August 11-25 at McCaw Hall | Seattleopera.org
From Charleston receipts-1950 (written in Gullah):
‘E hab uh hebby pan full uh mullet, en’ ‘e hab swimp en’ crab all two, en’ ‘e hab hominy en’ ting.”
Call from the Swimp-man:
“Lady, git yo’ dishpan-
“Yuh come de swimp-man!
“Swimpee! Swimpee, Raw, raw, swi-i-mp!”
“Fi-ish! Fresh Fish! I got de porgy!
“Oh, de porgy walk an’ de porgy talk,
“De porgy eat wild de knife an’ fork!
“Porgy! Porgy! Fresh fish!