Taste of the Season: Treat yourself to gourmet holiday fare

abredeson@islandpacket.comNovember 9, 2011 

  • Holiday flavor

    The 22nd annual Taste of the Season will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday Nov. 11 at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa on Hilton Head Island. Cost is $45 a person, and tickets are available at the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the Hilton Head Island Welcome Center and at First Federal branches, as well as online at www.hiltonheadchamber.org.

    Stars will shine

    The 22nd annual Taste of the Season will feature local chefs Robert Irvine, Orchid Palmeier and Sallie Ann Robinson. Irvine is best known for his Food Network TV show, "Dinner: Impossible." Palmeier was a finalist on "Food Network Star." And Robinson, author of "Cooking the Gullah Way," will soon be featured on Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods."

If you want a taste of the holidays in the Lowcountry, consider attending the 22nd annual Taste of the Season.

The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce will host the event from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa.

Guests will sample gourmet fare from more than 35 local chefs competing for the title of "Best Cuisine." Executive Chef Michael Cirafesi of Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana won last year's award for his Beef Piedmontese -- short ribs with creamy polenta.

In between sampling the culinary delights, you can even do a little holiday shopping. A silent auction will offer unique jewelry, sweetgrass baskets, travel packages and more.

But the real draw of this festive occasion is the food. Frankie Bones chef Luke Lyons plans to serve Pecan Honey-Crusted Crab Cakes. That might not be what comes to mind when most people think of the holidays, but this is the Lowcountry, and as Lyons says, "You see a little bit of everything."

When he thinks of Lowcountry holiday cuisine, Lyons said seafood comes to mind. So do black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread stuffing. As for his favorite holiday dish, Lyons said he likes to brine a turkey for several days so it's nice and juicy. He also likes cooking for family and friends during the holidays.

"I cook on my days off," he said. "That's usually where I get (ideas for) my specials."

Chef Russell Keane of Daniel's Restaurant & Lounge on Hilton Head will serve Sashimi Seared Filet Mignon with a smoked sea salt crust and homemade Worcestershire sauce at this year's Taste of the Season. He will also dish up Grand Marnier-injected chocolate-covered strawberries, which he said were a hit at last year's affair.

"It's a great event," Keane said. "It's kind of a kickoff to the holidays."

RELATED CONTENT

Taste of the Season chefs share holiday food memories, traditions, December 1, 2010

Taste of the Season winners announced, December 4, 2010

Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

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