Excitement building? This is quite the understatement. Then too, you’d have to understand the passion owners Kathi and Jim of Hilton Head have for fine food and entertaining. Just to set the stage, we’ve had the pleasure of joining Kathi and Jim for several dinners enjoying some fabulous flavors. Most recently we enjoyed a fine meal prepared by Kathi who is a chef and lifelong student of the culinary world. “Food is my life”, Kathi has said several times.
As guests in their home we enjoyed many savory flavors. To name a few- on a wonderful antipasti platter Kathi and Jim shared an incredible Auribella cheese they’ve been chipping away at for over two decades. Down to the last few wedges we knew this was not dipped into often. We also enjoyed some fabulous Georgia shrimp in a saffron butter with melting sweet onions and Fennel served over a creamy polenta. The conversation centered around not only our delicious meal, but a spirited anticipation was busting at the seams regarding the outdoor oven project progress in the yard! Several months ago we had the pleasure of getting to know Kathi and Jim over a fine dinner at Cucina 24 in Asheville. This was our earliest indicator that wood-fired Italian cooking was seriously appreciated by Kathi and Jim. We also enjoyed another fine meal at Pour Richards– which opened just a couple of months ago in the Bluffton area on Hilton Head. Kathi worked for years with owner Richard Canestrari, Ally Rogers, and several others now dedicated to the restaurant. The atmosphere was immediately welcoming. The wood-fired oven (our common inspiration) was in view of our table and with high praises we will certainly be back when in the area again.
All this leads to the images of what’s being built in their own yard brick by brick, arches hand crafted, and details carefully considered.
They’ve put more than “a little piece of them selves” into this project, they’re putting their heart and soul into a dream they’ve had for a very long time.
Not seen in the layout is what’s behind the bricks temporarily blocking the entrance of the oven-a space heater placed inside to achieve a head start in the curing process. They’ll soon begin burning wood fires increasing them in size to complete the curing process.
It has been such a pleasure to meet Kathi and Jim and to share their excitement throughout this project. Kathi said Jim may never come inside, but I have a feeling neither of them will.
Stay tuned for phase 3!