Gullah/Geechee Celebration of the Sea

The Hunting Island Nature Center and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition invite the community to the first “Gullah/Geechee Celebration of the Sea” Saturday, August 20 from Noon to 5 p.m. The event is open to the public and admission is by donation. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, will do a special workshop that requires advance registration. Gullah/Geechee crafts, Gullah/Geechee cuisine, books, and CDs will be on sale throughout the day. The film “The Will to Survive: The Story of the Gullah/Geechee Nation” will be shown and a special exhibition on the history of Gullah/Geechees and the sea will be on display. The community is encouraged to bring fishing gear and enjoy the pier while also taking part in this cultural connection celebration.  Call (843) 838-7437 or email GullGeeCo@aol.com for details.

Hunting Island ranger Mitchell Helms with Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Queen Quet.

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Breakwater hosts Film Festival dinner

Get a group of friends together and join at Breakwater Restaurant to kick off the 2011-2012 Beaufort International Film Festival season.

Breakwater will open the restaurant on Monday, August 22, exclusively for this fundraising event, and Executive Chefs Gary Lang and Beth Shaw have created one of their signature three-course wine pairing dinners for the guests.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with cocktail hour and passed appetizers.  Beaufort Film Society President Ron Tucker will give guests a brief overview of next February’s Film Festival.  Open seating begins at 6:45 p.m. with a three-course wine dinner at 7 p.m. The chefs have not yet made a final selection of the different wines to be served with each course, but rest assured they will be perfectly matched to the evening’s menu offerings.

The special film festival price for this three-course dinner with wines and appetizers is $50 per person.  Call the restaurant at 379-0052 to make your reservations and join us at Breakwater to help us celebrate the kick-off for what will be the best film festival ever.

A special drawing will also be held for dinner guests for two free all evens passes for the Beaufort International Film Festival from Wednesday, February 15 to Sunday, February 19, 2012.

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Lunch Bunch enjoys dinner at Berry Island Cafe

By Kim Harding

Berry Island Cafe, located in Newpoint Corners on Lady’s Island, has been a favorite lunch spot for Beaufortonians for many years.  Recently, owner Charlie Nolette decided to expand his hours and stay open for dinner  Wednesday thru Saturday.
Dinner at Berry Island is just as fresh and homemade as lunch has always been.  The Lunch Bunch was fortunate enough to sample many of his new dinner dishes this week.  We have several suggestions for you, and must admit that we had a very hard time deciding what our favorite dish was.  They were all amazing.

Charlie suggested that we start out with his favorite appetizer, the Cheese Boxes, a vary reasonable $5. This amazing recipe was handed down to him from his mother-in-law. (Yes, sometimes they can be helpful!)  We were a bit skeptical, but when we smelled it coming, we knew it was a winner. Cubed sourdough bread in a cheddar batter and baked to perfection.  Oh yeah, and homemade ranch dressing for dipping. We almost took each other’s fingers off fighting for the last bite!

The choice of entrees is vast, with a little something for everyone.  There are only seven different items on the menu, but each one is totally different.  Heather opted for the classic Crab Cake that is Berry Island is famous for at lunch. You can never go wrong with the Jumbo Crab Cake, served with seasonal veggies and slightly spicy wasabi mashed potatoes that aren’t as hot as the name makes them sound.

Nancy ordered the Shrimp and Grits Two Ways.  What is this, you ask?  It’s cheddar and jalapeno grits poured around a grit cake, topped with shrimp and sauteed with mouthwatering tomato and bacon.  According to Nancy, it will make you wanna slap your mama! We all sampled it and agreed that it would win the Lunch Bunch all-around favorite dish of the night.  And at only $13, this huge portion would be enough for two to share.  What a deal.

Since Pamela and April were both out of town this week, we brought along our “junior lunch bunchers,” Perry and Anna Katherine. My two daughters love to eat as much as their mother does, and they love only the best. Put away the kids menu, these two wanted to split the marinated flank steak cooked medium rare. It was served with the wasabi mashed potatoes, which they devoured, and the seasonal vegetables that they happily gave away to the adults. Meat and potato girls for sure! Priced at $14, this sweet and juicy steak was the perfect portion for them to share, although their mama could have easily eaten the entire thing.

The surprise of the night was the Bison Burger that Elizabeth ordered.  Now, you know that girl can eat, but even she couldn’t finish this tremendous half pound burger mixed with smoked gouda cheese chunks and served on a Bavarian roll.  There was enough for us all to give it a try, and we all agreed that everyone should order one of these at least once in your life.  It was surprisingly juicy and delicious and we would recommend it the next time you are really hungry!

Pan fried chicken breast marinated in buttermilk, served with wasabi mashed potatoes and greens.

Being the comfort food junkie that I am, I ordered the pan fried chicken breast marinated in buttermilk, served with the wasabi mashed potatoes and the most incredible greens I’ve ever tasted.  Born and raised in South Carolina, I’ve tasted just about every type of “green” that you can come up with.  So I thought. Charlie pickles these greens and admittedly,  I wasn’t so sure about this.  “No knuckles,” Charlie said. “All vegetarian.” Well,  in my book, that meant “no flavor,” but I was wrong! They are a must-have.  Spicy and pickled with sun dried tomatoes. Even the kids loved them.

With a wide selection of wine and beer, Berry Island is the perfect spot for a delicious, affordable dinner on Lady’s Island.
And don’t forget the ice cream! Always homemade and a must-have for lunch or dinner. Thanks, Charlie, for another fabulous lunch bunch experience!

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Share your Celebrations!

There are so many wonderful occasions to celebrate in life such as baby birth announcements, birthdays, engagements, weddings and anniversaries. The Island News wants you to send us information about your celebrations so we can share the excitement with the community. You can send a photo and a write up to our email at theislandnews@gmail.com with a tagline that reads: Celebrations. Please keep the write up to less than 150 words. Be sure to send your information before noon on Monday so it will run in that week’s paper. We look forward to featuring your important celebrations!

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Holly Lambert’s love of Beaufort leads to book

By Lanier Laney
The just published book, “Beaufort … Then and Now” is a wonderful collection of fascinating stories collected by students in Holly Lambert’s Lowcountry Living class at Beaufort Middle School.   Holly also collected additional stories for what she describes is an “anthology of memories” contributed by many native Beaufortonians about growing up in Beaufort. It is broken up by decades with photographs that compliment the narratives.  She got many of the photos from her parents, longtime Beaufort residents, Dr. Ray and Jean Kearns.

Holly, who was born and raised in Beaufort, got her masters degree in education before marrying husband Dan in 1989.  They have two children Grayson, 17, who is a senior at Beaufort High, and Brackin, 19, who attends USCB in Bluffton. Completing the family are Dan’s two daughters from a previous marriage, Dana and Catherine, who live in Mt. Pleasant.
Presently, Holly teaches seventh grade English Language Arts at Beaufort Middle School and has been there for nine years.

Holly loves teaching and enjoys planning lessons that integrate the arts. Her passion is finding ways to incorporate topics about Beaufort.  Holly really wants her students to appreciate their home in the way she does. Here, in her own words is the forward to her book:

What do you call the pungent odor of a low tide or the sonic boom of an F-18?  Well, I have the privilege of calling it home.  To me, Beaufort isn’t just the place I was born and raised; it is part of me.
Several years ago I was given the opportunity to create an exploratory class at Beaufort Middle School but floundered in my efforts to come up with a suitable subject matter.  Nothing seemed to strike my fancy until one day while boating at Cotton Island, a friend said, “Holly, why don’t you teach what you love? I don’t know anyone who loves Beaufort more than you do.” That was all I needed to begin the framework of Lowcountry Living.
The curriculum for Lowcountry Living has students explore what makes living in Beaufort unique.  Historical Architecture, Gullah, Southern Cuisine, the Estuary, Hollywood in the Lowcountry and Sweetgrass Baskets are just a few of the many topics studied. When the Beaufort Three Century Project requested contributions for their archives, I thought what better way to discover their city’s distinctiveness than to take a journey through years of memories recounted by native Beaufortonians. My students plunged into this endeavor with the enthusiasm of the young and located residents eager to share their favorite memories of growing up in Beaufort. These vivid accounts have given my students a glimpse of how Beaufort evolved into the extraordinary place they call home. So now, we invite you to sit back and relax with a tall glass of sweet iced tea as we introduce to you what we discovered to be our Beaufort.

Holly credits Carole Ingram, her principal at Beaufort Middle School, for encouraging her to create and teach her Lowcountry Living classes and then wholeheartedly supported the student assignment that led to the book.
She also says it was Debra Johnson of the Beaufort Three Century project who encouraged her to sell the self-published books (originally just for students and contributors) at the B3C reception, where they went like hotcakes. That’s when Holly decided to make them available to the public.  They are now offered for sale at the Beaufort Book Store and will also soon be available at many other stores in town.

Holly credits the huge support from her husband and kids for taking the load off in the evenings so she could type up the stories.

She also said “As I read the stories, I discovered things I didn’t know about Beaufort, such as once having a drive-in in the Mossy Oaks area. There was one story, by Woodrow Smith, who told about how black kids would ride a Greyhound Bus to town and walk to Robert Smalls High School before integration. Many stories included things I knew about but had forgotten and some had stories about people I had heard of but never had the opportunity to meet. There are colorful characters and each tale was told from the heart.  It is full of excellent examples about Beaufort’s unique culture and it is apparent that the storytellers love their hometown as much as I do.”

Beaufort will be an even better place to live now that Holly and her students have captured forever a moment in time in Beaufort’s history that could have been forgotten.

This is the first book that Holly has done, but she has been collecting new stories and plans to publish another one.  If anyone who reads this would like to send stories and photos to be included in the second book, they can email them to her at lowcountrymemories@hotmail.com.

In the meantime, hat’s off to this true “daughter of Beaufort” and her love for her hometown and its people.

Editor’s note: Historic Beaufort Foundation plans to have a book signing for Holly Lambert at its Book and a Bite and Dinner and a Lecture series this fall.  We will keep you posted on when that date will occur.

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Beaufort Taste & Toast to benefit CODA at Dataw a success

By Lanier Laney

Participating restaurants included Breakwater Restaurant, Maggie’s Pub & Eatery, Saltus River Grill, Southern Graces, The Tooting Egret and the Dataw Island Club.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for Dataw Island to help a truly great organization and at the same time promote events at the Dataw Island Club and the fine restaurants that were so generous in their time and talents,” said David Warren director of marketing at Dataw Island.

Chef Joe from Dataw Island Club

Funds raised from this sold out event will support CODA’s shelter and outreach programs for victims of domestic violence and their children.  Congrats to Executive Director Kristin Dubrowski, along with the organizing committee, all the volunteers, and the big-hearted sponsors who made it all happen so well.

Attendees at the sold out event.

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Breakwater Restaurant fans fear not!

By Lanier Laney

When I said in last week’s column that the ‘Breakwater threesome’  Manager Donna  Lang and Chef Gary Lang and Beth Shaw are departing for Greenville to start a new Breakwater there, I did not mean that they were all moving there permanently.  Only Chef Beth Shaw is moving to Greenville and taking her two sous chefs with her (Kris and Brandon). Gary and Donna are NOT moving to Greenville. They will be spending some time there in the beginning but Beaufort will be their home base. They have brought on a new executive chef/owner Ryan Blanton to help run the Beaufort Breakwater kitchen alongside current Executive Chef Gary Lang. Their tentative opening in Greenville is some time in October (so tell your friends there). From Donna Lang, “We love Beaufort and look forward to many more years here with all of you.”  So I hope this corrects some of the confusion.

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Fall preview of upcoming Beaufort charity events

(Or when to invite your in-laws to town for a visit so they will have something to do besides stare at you)

By Lanier Laney

We all love house guests don’t we?  Well, until one too many came this past summer that is! But if you are like me, you are starting to get peppered with questions as to when would be a good time to visit Beaufort this fall, “when things cool down.” So you are faced with two options: either get rid of your guest bedroom bed (as I am in the process of doing) or take a look at my fall event “cheat sheet” below to pick a weekend where a LOT is happening, so you don’t have to be the one “making it happen.” Hint, the weekend of Oct. 21-23 has the most charity events happening for your house guests, which would allow you plenty of lounging around time in your pajamas!

First up:
Weekend of August 27
Cheeseburgers in Paradise at Port Royal Landing Marina
Join FRIENDS of Caroline Hospice for a Jimmy Buffet-themed party featuring burgers, beer, wine, margaritas and live music.  OK, I know it’s not quite fall yet, but this is always a great fun event.

Weekend of September 10
Military Appreciation Day and Free Festival
Contact Amy Kaylor at 843.525.8524 at the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce or email amy@beaufortsc.org for more details as they develop.

Weekend of September 17
Beaufort Tricentennial Parade
Gary Sinise, the actor who portrayed Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump,” will be grand marshal for the parade. The morning parade through downtown Beaufort will feature floats highlighting periods of Beaufort’s 300 years, said Erin Dean, chair of the Tricentennial Committee. Plus lots of other events will happen this weekend with Gary Sinise in town. Please check local listings for all the fun events.

Weekend of September 30 and  October 1
The 17th Annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival
Always an out of town guest pleaser, the Friday night event features food and beverages and your guests can dance their shrimp tails off with Deas Guyz from 6 to 10 p.m. at Waterfront Park. Saturday has a 5K run and the Sea Island Rotary Club Charity Shrimp Race from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Also 15 local restaurants serve wild caught local shrimp at Waterfront Park. For more information, go to www.downtownbeaufort.com

Weekend of October 21-23
Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Fall Festival of Houses & Garden
• Friday antiques lecture/luncheon at Dataw with Antiqueties Expert Judith Miller at 12 noon.
• Friday Candlelight Tour of historic homes from 5- 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday Ramble around Beaufort form 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Eight properties open including the exquisite gardens and grounds of Dean Hall Plantation.
• Saturday wine at Spring Island tabby ruins from 6-6:30 p.m.
• Sunday Kitchens & Cuisines from 11:30 a.m. -3 p.m. Five top local chefs in five private kitchens prepare food for you and your guests.
For tickets and more information call 843-379-3331 or visit www.historicbeaufort.org. Mail order: P.O. Box 11, Beaufort, SC, 29901.

Weekend of October 19-23, 26-30
Ghost Tours Of Beaufort
The ghost tours raise money for CAPA (Child Abuse Prevention Association)
Join CAPA starting at 6:30 p.m. for some fun guided tours through the spooky historic moss-lined streets of downtown Beaufort and hear and actually ‘see’ the stories of the ghosts in the historic homes.  Carriage tours are approximately 45 minutes and walking tours are about an hour.  Carriage tours suggested for little children and anyone not steady on their feet. Space is limited, please call for reservations. Want to get involved? Call 843-524-4678.

Weekend of October 23
Brunch at Dockside
Join Friends of Caroline Hospice at Dockside Restaurant in Port Royal for a fabulous seafood brunch and artist fair to get ideas for your Christmas shopping. Benefits Festival of Trees.

Weekend of November 5-6
Open Land Trust’s  Auldbrass Plantation Tour
From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. America’s greatest architect’s only Southern commission.  Frank Loyd Wright’s Auldbrass Plantation in Yemassee is only open every two years for tours after a nearly 20 million dollar restoration job by Hollywood Producer Joel Silver. Eric Loyd Wright, the architect’s grandson, will give a lecture on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 5, at the USCB Center for the Performing Arts. Wine and hors d’eouvres start at 6 p.m.  For tickets and information on all events call 843-521-2175 or email info@openlandtrust.com.

Weekend of November 10-11
Penn Center’s HERITAGE DAYS CELEBRATION
Your guests will love the 29th Annual Heritage Days Celebration with artist of the year art exhibition; flags of the Gullah people; Fish Fry and Blues Night; old-fashion prayer service; Heritage Days symposium; Saturday parade; Old-fashion craft fair; and center stage entertainment. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.penncenter.com.

Still stuck for ideas for what to do with out-of-town guests?

How about a backyard oyster roast?  Simply head to Sea Eagle on Boundary to get all the oysters and Frogmore Stew fixin’s  you need and you can even buy your oyster shuckers there and shucking table too! (also at Grayco).  Then just steam up a ‘mess’ of oysters and throw em on the table with a bucket for shells.  When the compliments start rolling in from your guests, just lean back and say with a thick drawl (even if you are from Jersey) — ”that’s just what we do down heya in the Lowcountry — backyard oyster roasts nearly every weekend!”

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Beaufort Art Association presents artist Joan Templer

From August 22 through October 1, the Beaufort Art Association will feature the paintings and prints of Joan Templer, a well-known local artist who has exhibited widely in this country and in South Africa, the country of her birth and her formal art training.  There will be a reception in Joan’s honor on Friday, August 26 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the BAA Gallery, 913 Bay Street in Beaufort.

Although she has had a fascinating artistic life in South Africa, England, New York, Georgia, and now the Lowcountry, Joan does not rest on past achievements.  Her forward-looking, experimental philosophy and dedication to the creative process make her a truly remarkable individual. Viewers can gain better access to her work once they begin to see how she proceeds.

“I work in my studio almost all day, every day, and sometimes until late at night. That might seem to be very tiring, but it isn’t. For some reason, the focus on what I am painting creates its own energy. It’s not really a mental process.  I’m not thinking about what I’m working on — well, I am, but it’s not ground out through logic.  It’s addressing the visual problems as I see them. Of course, every action I take affects everything in the painting.   Somehow this never bothers me.

“Several solutions may occur to me, and I certainly experiment all the time.  After a lifetime of painting, my experiments are informed by all my experience.  So the experiments are seldom a wild, crazy splash of paint — except right at the start of a work. At that moment I have no real idea what the end result will be.  All I’ve decided is what size the canvas will be; what medium I’m going to use; and what will be done to start the work.

“This might appear to have little to do with the work done by traditional painters, but is that true? When we look at the work of the great 19th century British artist J. M. W. Turner, for example, the abstract structure often dominates the completed work.  It’s as if the touches of realism were just added to kick-start the audience’s imaginative understanding.  I often do the same.  At some stage in the work, something suggests itself as an actual thing, or scene, or creature, and developing that begins to dominate the canvas. Again, it’s not really a product of a thought process, and certainly has nothing to do with what anyone looks for.  I enjoy my work too much to force it to follow any tradition, phase, or fashion.  Of course, I am, and always have been, influenced by the people and society in which I live and am strongly affected by what I see, such as a tree, a field, ripples on the sand, or clouds, and these in some fashion reappear in my work.”

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