Saturday, October 1, 2011

Media Breakfast #euphoriagreenville

Executive Chef Brandon Lemieux at the Hyatt in Greenville, SC knows what he is doing.  He was the creative force behind our Thursday evening Press Reception with unique, inspired foods. Two that stand out in my mind: Dessert Sushi and a beautiful salad of local sweet corn, asparagus & sweet potatoes with sweet vidalia onion vinaigrette.

Chef Lemieux pulled it off again on Saturday morning with hearty servings and great flavors for our intimate and casual Media Breakfast. He sourced as many local products as he could, and, bless him, I was a very happy girl - they were delicious!

Of course my heart skipped a beat when I saw the grits station. (Suber's Corn Mill, my heart is now broken, this New Yorker can't buy your cornmeal on line... sigh.)

Of course, I was so happy after I took these snapshots of my bacon, shrimp, onion and cheese grits being made, I forgot to take a picture of the final product. They were delicious - even if you can barely see them in the picture on the right.

The Hyatt is proving that "hotel food" can be taken to the next level. I had the same room service breakfast almost every morning (6am is prime writing time for me), their Steele Cut Oatmeal with fresh fruits is a really good breakfast.

The day I arrived, I was famished and ordered their in-room dining Corn Chowder with a side of hand cut potato chips. (right) I have NEVER had hand cut potato chips before, and now all I want is hand cut potato chipsThanks Hyatt, I go to a music, food and wine festival and I come home with an addiction to hand cut potato chips.  (I guess it could have been worse... that Sweet Tea Bourbon was really good!)

Meanwhile, back at the media breakfast...  It was a great time for all of us to get to know each other.   The room was full of people mingling and networking.  At our table: Jodi Jacobs from The Chicago Tribune, Lain Bradford from The State Newspaper, Katie from O Magazine, and Malika Harricharan from Atlanta Restaurant Blog, and author of Food Lover's Guide to Atlanta .

euphoria's staff and administration were great at introducing us to who we needed to meet.  I even had yet another chance to tell Christopher Barefoot, Estate Director of Flowers Vineyard and Winery  how much I like their Pinot Noir. Really, I talk about it so much, I need to sit down and write a review already.

It was great to meet and chat with Philippa Ward from Saintsbury.  They are the California vineyard that would be pairing their wines with my Chef's Dinner at the Lazy Goat.

Tim Todd, the Executive Director of Upcountry South Carolina (sponsor of our breakfast) spoke to us about the purveyors of the raw ingredients from our breakfast.

To name a few:

Goat Cheese from Split Creek Farms  in our Breakfast Sliders:  Beef tenderloin with a goat cheese & baby spinach souffle and a Bermuda onion marmalade (I had TWO!)

Grits from Suber's Corn Mill  (see above... I really should do a Mill Tour of South Carolina one day, just to get some of their grits/cornmeal)

Amazing Breads from The Bakery by Sweet Creations

Fresh eggs from Deb Potter at Merciful Hearts Farm (I met her briefly at her stall in the Saturday Market) for the Low Country Benedict: Charleston style crab cakes, poached eggs, baby spinach, sweet corn relish and cajun spiced hollandaise.

It was great that many of the movers and shakers from euphoria joined us that morning.

Taryn Scher who heads TKPR, the public relations boutique that represents euphoria and so much more.

From Table 301: Carl Sobocinski and Gina Boulware.   Carl is a partner at Table 301and one of the founders of euphoria (click on the link just to see the founders in "reading skirts"). Table 301 consists of many of Greenville & South Carolina's culinary heavy hitters:  Soby's, Deveraux's, The Lazy Goat, Soby's on the Side, Table 301 Catering and the Loft at Soby's .  After Mass on Sunday morning, Fr. Newman told me "I can be found at Soby's some week nights" - now how is that for a ringing endorsement?  I'll be reviewing  Soby's New South Cuisine Cookbook in November. 

And sliding in for breakfast and a quick hello (in between signing autographs) was Edwin McCain one of the founders of euphoria, Edwin was sweet, funny and I can now say that he is the second musician that I have met who has been photographed wearing a skirt and playing a guitar. (seriously, you did click on the "founders of euphoria" link above, right?  If you didn't, here it is again.  I should not be alone in seeing this picture from the early years of euphoria - 2008)

And there you have it:  Saturday's Media Breakfast.  A sneek peek at what goes on behind the scenes;  gathering press people together, showcasing all that is good and then turning us loose to do our jobs:  soak up as much as we can and then write about it. Sharing with you, our readers the undiscovered gems that are out there. (did I mention that South Carolina has many, many waterfalls?  I'll be back, and not just for the food, people and hospitality  - I have a thing for waterfalls...)

My next stop on Saturday, wine seminars....

No comments:

Post a Comment