With that in mind, we caught up with Executive Chef Benjamin Harris at Sea Pines Resort to talk about their culinary philosophy and how they are handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
What makes Sea Pines Resort different from other coastal resorts?
Here at Sea Pines Resort, we take our environmental footprint very seriously. As a resort, we have an extremely extensive recycling program. All recyclables are separated and all food waste is composted and recycled onto our golf courses and other green areas. We also recycle all oyster shells to help support our local oyster farmers.
Tell us about your culinary philosophy. What can guests expect when they come to dine at the Sea Pines Resort restaurants?
Our culinary philosophy is relatively straight forward here. We strive to highlight our local ingredients, artisans and bakers at all times. Cooking in the Lowcountry is such a luxury with the wonderful farmers and fishermen. We like to take these excellent ingredients that we work diligently to source, and prepare them in a way to honor the ingredients. Each of our different restaurants has slightly different influences from Lowcountry at Quarterdeck, to a wonderful smoke program at Fraser’s Tavern, to Coast that highlights the local bounties of our ocean.
How does your menu highlight sustainable seafood?
Our menus always strive to highlight local and sustainable options. We like to have discussions with our local purveyors weekly, such as Charles Russo at Russo’s Seafood, to understand what he is catching locally. We work diligently as well to source local East Coast shrimp as we believe East Coast shrimp is second to none. From the produce side, our menus change seasonally and we utilize companies such as Growfood Carolina to help connect us with local farmers who can keep up with our demand.
How are the Sea Pines restaurants responding to COVID-19? Are you open?
At Sea Pines, we have taken a very calculated approach to our reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have paced the openings of our restaurants to ensure that we go above and beyond, following all recommended and required guidelines given to us from our local government and DHEC. Currently, any employee that comes into contact with a guest will be wearing a mask and gloves. We are using DHEC-recommended sanitizers to sanitize frequently and between each new guest at a table. Our guests and employee’s safety is our priority at all times.