Lowcountry Cooking: Rich Tradition, Fresh Flavors

Deep in the heart of the Lowcountry is the coastal area in and around Charleston, South Carolina — a region renowned for food with real soul It’s the comforting dishes grandma made in her own kitchen, inspired by fresh, local ingredients from farm and sea. The Atlantic Ocean, saltwater marshes and rivers yield an abundance of crab, shrimp, oysters and fish, while the area’s lush farmland produces fresh vegetables throughout South Carolina’s temperate growing seasons. This bounty is seasoned with lively influences of Caribbean and African food traditions — and updated with creative touches from today’s Lowcountry chefs.

To make the most of your gastronomic getaway, there are a few dishes you simply must experience to gain an authentic taste of the Lowcountry. As you tour local restaurants, be sure toe ample Shrimp and Grits, Fried Green Tomatoes, She Crab Soup, Po’ Boy Sandwiches and Hoppin’ John — all washed down with icy glasses of the region’s beverage of choice…Sweet Tea.

ryley-mcgillis-executive sous chef the sanctuaryA perfect destination to indulge in classic interpretations of Lowcountry specialties is Jasmine Porch on Kiawah Island. Chef Ryley McGillis’ menu features a three-course “Tour of the Lowcountry,” a guest favorite for several years. This tasting starts off with the restaurant’s signature she crab bisque and fried green tomatoes served with crispy chorizo and pimento cheese, followed by a surf-and-turf combination of grilled filet mignon and shrimp and grits and finished with a seasonal bread pudding. “This is a dish that proudly uses produce from local growers, such as Geechie Boy Grits from Wadmalaw Island and tomatoes from neighboring John’s Island, explains McGillis. “Your vegetables may have been picked locally earlier in the day, and your menu item is likely to have come from a local farm.”

Jasmine Porch welcomes guests to enjoy a true taste of genuine Southern hospitality in a charming setting. Diners are surrounded by authentic Charleston brick, oak-plank floors and a backdrop of the spectacular Atlantic Ocean. Jasmine Porch has been named “Best Down Home Cookery” by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report.

Ryley McGillis is a fan of all the Lowcountry dishes on his menu, but when pressed to choose his favorite, he admits it’s the sausage gravy. Guests rave about this sauce, and it’s featured in some of his signature dishes, including the biscuits and gravy, the shrimp and grits and the “Tour of the Lowcountry.” McGillis generously shares his recipe for sausage gravy here. Whip some up to bring a taste of the Lowcountry to your own table tonight!

Jasmine Porch is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Visit the restaurant to preview menus and learn more about Lowcountry cooking. In addition to Jasmine Porch, The Kiawah Dining Collection features more than a dozen dining spots around the island, where chefs enthusiastically embrace the farm-to-table philosophy. Can’t wait for a taste? Book your table online or call 800.654.2924.