When learning how to prioritize the real trick is not to manage time, but to manage yourself.
Take a leaf out of Dr. Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit three is about prioritizing and putting first things first.
This time matrix can help at work and at home:
To put it simply:
- Spend less time in Q1
- Say ‘No’ to Q3
- Stop slacking off in Q4
- Spend more time in Q2
Let’s talk about some of the pitfalls that happen when you spend too much time in Q2. In the Dining Room, Managers of all ages and experience levels make the common mistake of spending their shift putting out fires.
Let’s role-play: ‘Behind the Kitchen Door’
The atmosphere in the kitchen is hot and charged with noise and commotion and energy. Tonight everyone ordered Prime Rib and the expo is getting crushed.
Plates are stacking up and orders are dragging in the window. As Manager its your job to get these plates into the dining room as quickly as possible.
What do you do?
Your decision to grab a tray is commendable and often draws admiration from the team, but the thinking is fundamentally flawed because the task is more than a one person job.
Instead of assuming the role of an hourly employee, the Manager should rally the team to work together. The result: the window will be cleared more efficiently and the guests will enjoy their dinner without ever knowing that there was a problem on the line.
A step often missed occurs after the Manager finishes touching any affected tables in the dining room. The next step should be to ‘Circle Back’ and find out what went wrong.
* Successful managers will discipline themselves to investigate to the root cause of problems, then implement management systems to make sure the same mistake doesn’t happen again.
In this case the opening server who was supposed to prep the side station with horseradish cream sauce was late for work and opening side work wasn’t done to completion, so when the line crashed a cook had come off the line to prep and portion sauces on the fly.
When the blame game begins it will be easy to blame the employee for not finishing their sidework, but in reality it’s the Managers fault.
The Manager knew the employee was running late, but they never delegated or followed up to ensure all daily tasks were done. If a Manager Walkthru of the entire restaurant prior to service was completed the incomplete sidework would have been found.
In my experience, I have found the walk thru to be an essential step in establishing leadership by helping set your team up for success.
* Takeaway: When confronted with your next crisis think big picture first, then manage down to the smallest detail. Your guests and Your team will thank you for it.
Chris Katon is a Professional Restaurant Operator with 20+ yrs experience hiring, training and developing highly skilled service teams.
#Hospitality #Food #Wine #Travel #Tourism
FEMA has created an #Irma rumor control page to help you verify what’s true and what’s not. Visit it here: https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-irma-rumor-control
There may be reports of FEMA inspectors asking for personal information or charging for services such as damage inspections or contractor repairs.
This is a SCAM. (September 5).
Scam artists may pose as government officials, aid workers, charitable organizations, or insurance company
Follow these steps:
• Do not respond to texts, phone calls or personal requests seeking your personal information. The only time you should provide personal information is during the initial application process for FEMA help or when you initiate contact with FEMA to follow up on an application. FEMA inspectors only require verification of identity.
• Ask for identification and don’t be afraid to hang up on cold callers.
• Contact government agencies using information posted on their websites or in other official sources.
• Don’t sign anything you don’t understand or contracts with blank spaces.
• If you suspect fraud, contact the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Bluffton, SC –
It was 11 months ago today, October 7, 2016, that Hurricane Matthew came ashore and cut a devastating path across my adopted Lowcountry home.
I decided to weather the storm at a friends house in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Savannah, Georgia.
The BOOM, SNAP, CRASH of 11 massive Georgia Pines fell overnight. One crushed a car and sent me scurrying from my bed.
I awoke before dawn huddled under a blanket near the fireplace, which I’d figured was the strongest structure in the house.
After cutting ourselves out of the neighborhood I drove from Tybee Island, through Savannah and Bluffton to Hilton Head Island.
During the 90 minute drive I passed thousands upon thousands of fallen trees on Hilton Head and Wilmington Island and found smaller structures torn to shreds on Tybee Island.
Our friends had their homes flood at The Farm, in Palmetto Hall and Hilton Head Plantation.
Power outages, road closures, storm damage, debris and tarps on rooftops seemed to be everywhere.
The pier that used to extend from the Quarterdeck toward Daufuskie Island was completely destroyed, its remnants strewn across Harbourtown’s famed 18th green.
Today, Hurricane Irma is churning its determined path toward the U.S. coast, with an estimated 16 million residents in its path.
Unlike last year, when many neighbors were convinced that the storm path would turn, residents are working to secure yard furniture, filling gas tanks and making evacuation plans to get family and pets away from the coast.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests the public plan ahead of a hurricane and pack an emergency kit for at least the first 72 hours after a diaster.
These kits should combine basic staples (food, water) with supplies reflecting your family’s unique needs, such medications or baby formula.
15 Things Every Hurricane Emergency Kit Needs
Important documents – Social security cards, insurance documents, bank account information, medical documents and other information should be kept in a water-proofed container. Mementos and photo albums should be secured and water-proofed.
Extra Cash – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods of time following a storm. Emergency officials recommend people have cash readily available in the form of small bills.
Stay connected! – Don’t forget your Cellphone with a portable charger. * A battery backup or a solar charger can be useful during hurricanes. FEMA officials are reporting this morning that they plan to close roads and provide updates on Google Maps in realtime before, during and after the storm.
Tools – A tool kit should be easily accessible during the storm. Recommended items to have on hand are a can opener, hammer, screwdrivers, rope, duct tape to waterproof items (masking tape isn’t strong enough), canvas tarps and sturdy nails. After-storm cleanup items should include a chain saw, rope and sturdy working gloves.
Water – Officials suggest you have at least 1 gallon of water daily per person for a period of three to seven days.
Weather radio – A battery-operated or NOAA radio, along with an ample supply of extra batteries for flashlights and other devices needed during and after the storm.
Seasonal clothing – At least one change of clothing for seasonal conditions, rain gear (ponchos, umbrellas, boots) and sturdy shoes.
Portable Generator – Anyone not evacuating out of the storms path should expect extended power outages, which are stressful and dangerous. If weathering the storm, a generator is essential.
Toys, books and games – Hurricanes can take hours to pass. To combat boredom for hours after the power goes out (and TV and Internet are unavailable), turn to the following: Cards, games, books and toys for the kids.
Pet care – Pet owners should have ample supplies of food and water, bowls, leashes, chain and stake, a carrier or cage, and medications.
Bedding supplies, such as blankets and pillows.
Non-perishable foods – Officials suggest stocking up on non-perishable packaged or canned foods and juices to last three to seven days. Suggestions include: Peanut butter, crackers, nuts and trail mixes, granola bars and protein bars, dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, apricots), Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon etc.), canned vegetables and fruits, canned milk, dry cereals and canned beans and chili
First Aid kit – First-aid kits should be added to your home and one for each car. Among the items that should be included are adhesive bandages in various sizes, sterile gauze pads, antiseptic spray, rubbing alcohol, tweezers, etc. Nonprescription items such as aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, Benadryl and peroxide should be kept on hand. Mosquito repellent is also suggested.
Baby needs – Extra formula and baby food is a given. It’s also suggested that you include: disposable diapers, wipes, diaper-rash ointment, medicines and medicine dropper.
Prescription medications – Keep at least a one-week supply of prescription medications and vitamins. Residents are strongly encouraged to write a list of their medications and dosages and store in safe, dry place.
Photographs from Hurricane Matthew, October 7, 2016
Harbourtown Lighthouse Pier destroyed, remains strewn on 18th green. – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
11 massive Georgia Pines were felled by a tornado that hit the Forest Hills neighborhood where I weathered the storm – Savannah, Georgia (Photograph by Chris Katon)
I had a troubled sleep again last night. My college friend Meredith Baskin Segal and her family have sheltered in place through Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.
“So far! My sister flooded and we are all together at my house,” Meredith said.
The family had no electricity, but thanks to a neighbor borrowed a generator to run the refrigerator and a lamp.
“And thanks to our generator, I have coffee!!!”, she said.
“We’re holding steady! We could be much worse!”
With that news I breathed a long sigh of relief and my thoughts turned of her being the unofficial Worcester State Rugby Team videographer.
“My mom still tells everyone the story of how I was showing you all the rugby video I shot and I left a note on the front door for her saying that I had 13 rugby boys in my room!”
“Hurricanes suck!,” Meredith said. “They start off as an exciting adventure and then get old very quickly!
As of this morning about one third of the homes and businesses of our nations 4th largest city are under water. In some areas of Greater Houston more than 4 feet of rain has fallen.
To put that into perspective, The National Weather Service was forced to re-classify their color coding system because they didn’t have a color representing the amount of water that has come ashore.
Photographs and news footage shows entire neighborhoods and highways completely submerged. Dams, causeways and aqueducts are bulging at their seams and are letting go.
Meredith is Women’s Philanthropy Director at Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.
Yesterday, she and her family gathered donations at her house of cleaning supplies, boxes, non perishables, baby formula, diapers, medicines and elderly needs.
“Proud of my baby girl, Zoe! She gathered all of her Tzedakah money and counted it up to donate to the Jewish Federation flood relief fund. She will be donating $94!,” Meredith said. “She is now gathering shoes and clothing for donation.”
Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is Open Today
The Jewish Federation is open today and working with community partners the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston and Jewish Family Service of Houston to begin the recovery process.
WE NEED DONATIONS!
We need boxes, packing supplies, cleaning supplies (including face masks & garbage bags), water, non-perishable food items, baby formula, diapers, wipes, medicines and elderly items.
Donations can be dropped off at the ERJCC Tennis Center Thursday-Sunday from 9-5.
We will also eventually need gift cards to Home Depot, Lowes, Target and grocery stores.
**We are not accepting clothing! Clothing and shoes should be taken to the Westbury Christian Church.
***Please note that JFS is coordinating volunteers. Please contact them directly to volunteer.
Volunteers are asked to call (713) 667-9336. For national giving visit http://www.shalomdc.org
Journal entry: Nov. 10, 2013 – Daytona Beach, FL
An hour before sunrise the sound from the parking lot was of an angry ocean – waves crashing, wind screaming – mother nature roaring its displeasure at the coming of the sun.
Karla was here to compete in her first sprint triathlon and the kids and I were here to cheer her on.
As the competitors gathered their gear, sand whipped across the parking lot, stinging the right side of my neck and biting my cheek.
A rumbling sound drew my attention to the beach. Somewhere close, still hidden behind a veil of darkness, lurked the churning ocean. I caught a shimmer of moonlight dancing atop an enormous white-capped wave.
When I think of that morning I think of that wave, at the peak of its power, cresting above a sand bar before racing out of view and smashing onto the beach. The violent crash still brings a shudder of fear as I think, “How are they going to swim in these conditions?”
The more experienced racers had gathered in small groups and were talking in hushed, excited voices. “It looks bad,” they agreed.
We mulled about as race organizers gathered away from the water’s edge, debating whether they should cancel the 400 meter swim and alter the race. Then in then end, it was decided that the event would continue and those who wanted too test their mettle could race.
The athletes were happy. This was a sanctioned event with prize money for the winners. A season-long points race hung in the balance.
Sunrise was spectacular, its deep hue’s of orange and pink and purple filling the sky. Then the whistle blew and the athletes ran into the sea.
And by all accounts the struggle during the swim was intense and personal and the fight with the waves and the current was very real.
The dangerous conditions had lifeguards on high alert, as they patrolled in well rehearsed unison, guiding weaker swimmers and encircling the pack until the last athlete was safely back to shore.
32 participants, including Karla, received notice:
INCOMPLETE COURSE DUE TO SWIM PORTION HAVING TO BE HALTED
BY DIRECTION OF BEACH PATROL
201 Karla Katon 1:54:33 1:01:03 2:41 40:06
Despite having been halted during their swim, all emerged victorious. Maybe not in numbers, but in self-discovery, as each had pushed themselves to the limit.
After catching her breathe from her swim, Karla gave the girls a quick hug and hurried into the transition area to gather her bike and continue her race.
For me the bike and run events were almost an afterthought, as the race was won the moment everyone emerged safely from the sea.
Photographs by Chris Katon
“During my training workshops about creating a Hospitality Culture I always always share my Walt Disney World Story to illustrate how engaged customer experiences result in Raving Fans.” – Chris Katon, Dine Write Hospitality
When the kids were young we made it our tradition to take a yearly vacation to Walt Disney World.
For two years in a row we had stayed inside the resort at Port Orleans and were afforded the royal treatment. About a month before leaving on our now third annual family vacation, that a friend-of-a-friend offered us his condo in Orlando.
“It’s a great place, located about 10 minutes outside the gate,” he said. “It’ll save you a bunch of money that you can spend on the kids.”
And so for about a month I was a hero. My CPA wife was excited about all the money we would be saving. I was simply exhausted after a long season and was looking forward to margarita’s by the pool.
The five hour drive from our home in Bluffton, SC was spent singing songs and eating snacks and playing the license plate game.
A busy tourist season had just a month earlier smashed headlong into the 2008 Banking Crisis and the start of the Recession. That, on top of the stress from her most recent Quarter Close had been weighing heavily on Karla.
We arrived at the condo in Orlando ready to relax.
I was still holding an armload of suitcases when chaos ensued.
“There is a bug in the sink,” squeeled Amanda. “This bed looks slept in,” said Karla. “I’m not moving,” said Sarah.
A quick look around and the bathroom was filthy, there were cobwebs on the windowsill and the sheets looked slept in. I’m not going to lie, we were completely grossed out. Amanda wouldn’t sit on the toilet. Sarah started crying.
“Grab your bags, we’re outta here,” I said. Karla looked at me sideways, knowing I was winging it and didn’t have a plan.
But I did, my plan was simple: We would throw ourselves at the mercy of the staff at Walt Disney World and trust that they would take care of us.
Karla was not impressed. She thought it would be too expensive to stay inside the resort and I didn’t think we could afford not to. I arrived at the front gate and met John from Arkansas.
“How ya’ll doin’ this fine day,” he said.
“Well, actually…” And so it was that I gushed our story of a family vacation gone wrong and shared our plight. I held my breathe for a minute waiting to learn how our fate would unfold.
He simply said, “Welcome Home!”
Welcome home? – Karla was stunned. Heck, I was stunned.
But John from Arkansas was as sincere as could be. He asked for my name and reached forward and shook my hand. “Ya’ll just drive up ahead about a mile to Registration, my friends will be waiting to take good care of you.”
I gave a silent fist pump,”I knew I could count on Disney,” I said.
The Assistant Reservation Manager spotted me with eye contact from across a crowded room and met us 10 feet from the door. Extending her hand and smiling warmly Emily from Texas said, “We’re so excited to have you back at Walt Disney World. Please follow me and we’ll take great care of you.”
That bottomless pit feeling of ruining your family vacation by trying to save you a few bucks was quickly fading into distant memory. And then Emily from Texas turned our experience from Good to Great and transformed me into a Raving Fan.
“I’m pulling up your reservation history on the computer and I see that you enjoyed your last stay at Port Orleans Riverside, is that correct?”
“Yes, that’s true,” Karla said. “We tried the French Quarter our first year, but I think Riverside has more activities for the kids.”
“It’s settled then,” Emily from Texas said. “I’m upgrading you to a suite in the same location for the same price that you paid last year.”
Neither Karla or I could believe it.
I’d thought we were going to be begging for a room. Karla thought that they would see we were desperate and charge us through the roof. Instead we were getting upgraded for the same price as we paid last year? Seriously?
That my friends, is Raving Fan Hospitality!
I have learned first hand about that warm, peaceful feeling when a complete stranger goes above and beyond to ensure that my average guest experience is elevated into Return of Guest Service.
“Welcome Home,” such a simple, warm, genuine, feel good response and the #1 reason that I’ll never consider staying off property at Walt Disney World again.
“THE SOUND OF GULLAH CULTURE”
WRITTEN BY CHRIS KATON | PHOTOGRAPH BY ROB KAUFMAN
Published HILTON HEAD MONTHLY MAGAZINE | 29 JANUARY 2014
As a musician and active member of the Hilton Head Island Gullah community, Lavon Stevens has always been fascinated by local history.
“Not to take anything away from New Orleans, but I’m reading a book right now that makes a strong case that jazz music was actually started in Charleston,” Stevens said. “The impact that Charleston had in the world of jazz is one of those things that has gotten lost in time.”
According to the Charleston Jazz Initiative, a multi-year research project that documents the African American jazz tradition in Charleston and its movement throughout the U.S. and Europe from the late 19th century through today, the beginnings of jazz music on the southeastern coast of the United States was centered here.
“As the story goes, enslaved Africans infused the culture with African style and substance, creating American culture,” Stevens said. “As happened in many other places, black music on the southeastern coast manifested itself through spirituals and fi eld holler songs.”
When Europeans settled Carolina more than 300 years ago its capital, Charleston, was the crown jewel of the British Empire before the American Revolution, and it was the North American cradle of the African slave trade.
Charleston is only one of a handful of places in the Western Hemisphere where Africa inter-acted with Europe in a seminal way to produce New World culture. Records indicate that as many as 40 percent of all slaves in the United States made their way through Charleston.
At Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston recently freed slaves played music in the streets. It is staggering how many American jazz greats received their start in the state.
Famous son, Dizzy Gillespie, was born in Cheraw, S.C., and is heralded as one of the greatest pioneers of modern jazz. He is recognized as one of the country’s greatest trumpeters and bandleaders, and South Carolina’s most celebrated jazz musician.
Gillespie was a self-taught trumpeter who emerged in the 1940s as a pioneer of bebop. His most memorable gigs were with Cab Calloway’s band from 1939—1941 before the outset of World War II. Gillespie famously worked with Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, among others.
Other famous South Carolina jazz artists include Charleston’s first lady of jazz, Ann Caldwell, Freddy Jenkins, Blood Ulmer, Speedy Jones and Lucky Thompson.
“History was lost and wasn’t very well documented,” Stevens said. “Recently people have started to embrace the history and how rich it is. One thing I’ve always hoped for is that people would embrace and share our history.”
Much of Gullah musical history can be traced to the settlement of Mitchelville off Beach City Road, where songs in native island churches mirrored popular music of the day.
The popular Negro spiritual “Kumbahyah” was first recorded and documented at First African Baptist Church, the oldest native congregation on Hilton Head Island.
“A lot of the songs people sung in church were about not giving up hope and are songs about actual freedom and spiritual freedom,” Stevens said. “One line goes, ‘some day I will be free.’ It’s a song about hope as well as about despair.”
Many of the earliest Gullah songs can be traced to call and response, when a leader would call out and the remainder of the congregation would respond with the refrain.
The popular Negro spiritual “Kumbahyah” was first recorded and documented at First African Baptist Church, the oldest native congregation on Hilton Head Island.
Although their origins are not well documented, popular songs of the day included “Michael Rowed a Boat a Shore”, “I Want to be Ready”, “Walk Together Children” and “Traveling Shoes”.
“It’s important to remember that many of the songs had a double meaning and were meant as a way to communicate between the oppressed people,” Stevens said.
First recorded in St. Helena, down the coast from Charleston, are field hollers, changes, work songs, and the blues. The 20th-century brought ragtime and jazz, which is still thought of by many as the highest form of American art.
From enslaved African drummers, to black drummers attached to white militias, to military bands, to community brass bands — the music became Charleston jazz.
Ragtime, a composed musical form that is highly syncopated and a kind of blend of European and African American music, is considered a precursor to jazz, was prominent from the 1890s to the 1920s.
The democratic principles of African culture are found in jazz. Everybody has a chance to say something, to solo, to play by him or herself while everyone else listens as they wait their turn.
“Jazz is diverse and inclusive. It’s an experiment and will always be a work in progress,” Stevens said.
Observing Charlestonions inspired the wildly popular dance “The Charleston” and Jenkins musicians dancing movements called Geechee, a term applied to South Carolina Gullahs.
There was a point when the slave masters had to stop the slaves from singing because they were known to be communicating through their singing. Many years later it was learned that coded messages such as covert resistance meetings were being shared.
As and example, an early Gullah lyric of Down by the River, was sung to let the community know there was to be a meeting at the river later that night or a mention of Harriet Tubman may mean that a special guest was making their way through the area.
“Field holler songs, expressed raw emotion, often resentment, downtrodden, despair,” Stevens said. “This is where we get what we know now as the blues.”
Back in the early days the instruments were very primitive. “You started with your voice and your hands,” he said Drums or conga’s were probably the earliest local instrument. “I have no doubt in my mind that if it happened here, it happened all over the country,” he said.
“The minute you hear those drums you start bobbin and weaving and doing whatever your going to do.”
“A TASTE OF GULLAH CULTURE”
BY CHRIS KATON | PHOTO BY ROB KAUFMAN
Published HILTON HEAD MONTHLY | 29 JANUARY 2014
World famous Lowcountry cuisine consists of everything fresh and local
In the Gullah culture, storytellers have the important function of reciting and remembering genealogy and historical information for their village.
These islanders, former slaves from the West African coastal countries of Senegal and Sierra Leone, have inhabited the Sea Islands for generations, and their unique traditions remain largely intact. Equally important to local culture are the recipes they preserved.
“Growing up Gullah means that you learn to make do with what you’ve got,” said chef David Young, owner of Roastfish & Cornbread restaurant on Hilton Head Island.
Young is a locally famous island ambassador and institution to Gullah cooking. He invited us into his kitchen to experience the flavors of the Lowcountry.
On the morning of our visit a delivery from a local farmer brings a bounty of fresh vegetables including collard greens, celery, parsnip, onions and carrots. Minutes later, the fish truck arrives. Today’s fresh catch is red fish and Young is all smiles.
“Traditional Gullah cooking is very vegetarian based, with lots of fresh vegetables, fish and shellfish Anything that’s local,” he said. “We were raised to live off the land, so we planted our vegetables and fished our waters and caught our shrimp and did the best we could with what we had.”
On the day of our visit, Young featured shrimp and grits with sides of collard greens, sweet potato cornbread and red rice that looked, smelled and tasted like a slice of heaven.
Other house favorites include heirloom tomato salad, roasted portabella mushrooms and shrimp gumbo, which includes local shrimp, diced peppers and stewed okra. Native treats include fruit cobbler, homemade meringues and sweet potato cheesecake pie.
Gullah-style grits are a staple in Young’s kitchen as a quick, easy and versatile side dish. In his recipe, Young uses four cups of water, half cup of butter, one cup of stone ground grits, half teaspoon of black pepper and half teaspoon of garlic.
The new Dye’s Gullah Fixin’s is located at 840 William Hilton Parkway in the Atrium Building on Hilton Head Island. Scott Rhodan is an outland Gullah, raised in Ridgeland. Her late father Nathaniel Scott was a skilled farmer. Her mother Earline is a master chef, perfecting recipes handed down from generation to generation. Scott-Rhodan uses those same recipies in her popular restaurant today.
“I often serve them Gullah-style with sautéed shrimp and onions, fresh tomato’s and basil,” Young said. “I also like to pair them with gumbo, bean dishes and fresh vegetables.”
Young is locally famous for his veganstyle Lowcountry red rice, which he serves with collard greens and ovenroasted fish “Slow roasting is a gentle cooking method that guarantees the fish remains moist and tender,” Young said.
He said the most versatile ingredient in his kitchen is homemade vegetable stock. He recommends simmering a hearty mixture of carrots, parsnips, leeks, onion, celery, mushroom, garlic and assorted herbs. The user-friendly stock is then added to flavor vegetarian style soups, stews, bean dishes and rice.
“My goal is to cook it real slow, so that I draw all of the flavor out of the vegetables,” he said.
Hilton Head Island native Elnora Aiken is chairperson of the 18th Annual “Taste of Gullah” to be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Arts Center.
Aiken’s favorite local dish is Conch Stew, with includes meat from the shellfish cooked with a ham hock and served over white rice. Some people serve the dish with a side of fresh collard greens.
“Either way you serve it, it tastes real good,” she said.
Visitors to the event should try her family recipe for Hoppin’ John, which is served with red field peas and rice. “It’s red in the package and after it’s combined with the rice some people put in a hog jowl or ham neck bone combined all in one pot,” she said.
Other local favorites to be featured are shrimp and okra gumbo, fried chicken, shrimp and grits, oysters and grits and stewed crab. “For us it’s a breakfast meal or dinner meal, depending on your mood,” she said.
Stewed crab and grits include the meat of crab, fried with bacon, then layered with gravy. “Today some people put green peppers in it, but back in the day it was only onion, salt and pepper,” she said.
We discussed the importance of oysters on local culture.
“My mother made a living out of opening oysters at the Oyster House,” Ms. Aiken said. “I remember the men would go out and pick the oysters and the ladies would be back in the oyster house opening them up, then we’d go home and make oysters and grits.”
Her mother’s recipe was fried oysters and rice with onions, bell pepper, celery and seasoning. A traditional Gullah dessert is bread pudding.
“As time passed on people used different flavors but traditionally we used peaches and sugar and real cream and butter,” she said.
Across the island, visitors and residents alike can enjoy homemade oldfashioned pound cakes including “Plucker up Lemon Delight” and “Butter Pecan — Coconut” courtesy of Dye’s Gullah Fixin’s.
“My father was a skilled farmer who was rich in something that money could not buy — the cultural heritage that was passed along from generation to generation,” said chef Dye Scott-Rhodan. “One of the skills he mastered was farming the fields My mom added perfection by preparing the dishes with recipes she got from her mother and grandmother and their mothers. That was passed to my sisters and I.”
Popular menu items include the shrimp burger, crab cakes, whole fried catfish and Lowcountry Boil of shrimp, seasoned with onion, peppers, country sausage, taters and special seasoning. A favorite dish is Grandma’s Pork Chop, served fried or soaked in whiskey sautéed onions with homemade butter sugarcane sauce.
Chef Dye Scott-Rhodan is proud of the rich tradition of the Gullah culture and is doing her best to keep the flavors of the Lowcountry alive. With recipes passed down through generations, she uses only the freshest ingredients from the land and sea.
(Published for Camel.com, Taste It All Project, May 2014)