Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Low Country Asado!

Charleston, SC, with its palm trees, beaches and salt air combined with country sensibility about farming and raising food reminds Jim 'n Nick's Executive Chef, Drew Robinson of another place--Jose Ignacio, Uruguay--yep, Uruguay.  Back in December, Drew, along with other members of the Fatback Collective went on a culinary exploration to Estancia Belcampo--an organic farm and ranch that hosts Asado dinners on their farm. It was a BBQ exchange of sorts and both the South American chefs and the Southern American chefs had lots to learn from each other.
Drew and the others came back inspired and eager to try out new techniques in their own kitchens.  Recently, John Haire, the Jim 'n Nick's store owner in Charleston, invited Drew down to cook with him at a lovely waterside house on Sullivan's Island, SC.
Charleston's John Haire

King Street store in Charleston, SC

Veteran food writer Marion Sullivan was at the asado to experience the feast and document it for Charleston Magazine's cover story. Talented Charleston photographer, Peter Frank Edwards captured the event in gorgeous style.
Check out the story here:

Taking in the Charleston Magazine story, seeing the beautiful photos, it becomes clear that Drew made direct references to the experience in Uruguay.  Take a gander at some of the photos from the Estancia Belcampo trip and see where Drew's inspiration came from.
Sangria stirred with a knife.

Drew Robinson checks out the "iron cross" cooking method.

Even the vegetables are cooked with fire.

Drew cuts broccoli greens into a chiffinade for a Southern style coleslaw

Sausages cooked over coals.

Carrots cooked over coals become tender and sweet.


Nick Pihakis tends the pig

A peach cobbler in its own little oven.

The final crust on the peach cobbler

That's what exploration and learning are all about folks--growth and sharing and that is what Drew did on that balmy day in Charleston.

Thank you to Marion Sullivan and Peter Frank Edwards and Charleston Magazine for helping share this great experience on the homefront!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Freshworks Festival 2012!

The First Annual Freshworks Festival in Birmingham, Alabama--held this past weekend was a great success!

The festival, featuring food trucks from around the South, great beer, wine and water (yes water) in addition to some of Nashville and Birmingham's finest musicians, was all to benefit The Jones Valley Teaching Garden in the heart of Birmingham.
Jones Valley Teaching Garden is an oasis in the middle of the city that grows fresh produce and flowers for purchase and also provides space for neighbors to grow vegetables in their own raised bed plots.  Educational programs for children and adults help to continue and teach the good work of raising food close to home.
Thank you all for your support of this great resource!

Here are some scenes from this year's festival:
Many thanks to the sponsors who made this festival possible.
Good People Brewing Company, Royal Cup Coffee, Grass Roots Wine, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Whole Foods Market, United, SRA Foods Inc., Birmingham Magazine and Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q
To learn more about the Jones Valley Teaching Farm, visit

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Scenes from The Big Apple BBQ Block Party

Well folks, another Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York City has come and passed.  Here are some scenes of the fun and friends that gathered with the Jim 'n Nick's Team while we were there this past weekend.
Can't wait for next year!