-By Chef Nathan Thurston of The Ocean Room Restaurant in The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
If you have not had any “Big Grits” yet than you need to stop what your doing and find some right now. If you have not had grits before then you have not lived yet and you have not experienced corn in a truly southern form. Unfortunately, there are only a few spots around to get Big Grits. To my knowledge you can only find them in my kitchen and in my good friend Chef Sean Brock’s kitchen at Husk.
Another good friend of mine created big Grits — Greg Johnsman of Geechie Boy Mill (Edisto, SC). These extra course pieces of milled corn are incredible once prepared correctly. We experimented with several techniques including boiling, risotto, and traditional grit cookery. We found the traditional approach with some extra stirring yielded an incredible creamy and palatable result. From there we took some “last of the season” ramps and some Rosebank Farms Silver Queen Corn and decided to compose a dish. The final dish consisted of a spicy ramp puree, ramp ash, shaved corn, and lots of butter. In the end, we found the dish to just as or even more enjoyable than a correctly made risotto. Come see us soon in the Ocean Room for some Big Grits.