Bluffton chef caters to golfers at PGA Championship on Kiawah Island

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comAugust 13, 2012 

Thanks to Ryan McCarthy of Bluffton for sharing his story about the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island last week.

McCarthy said he was killing time recently when he decided to send out a tweet to a dozen PGA Tour golfers, offering his services as a private chef while they were in the Lowcountry. McCarthy and his wife, Leah, operate the Downtown Deli and Downtown Catering in Bluffton. He does private catering at the Masters and the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing tournaments.

He figured the only bad thing that could happen with his tweet was to be ignored.

But he heard from one golfer -- Webb Simpson, who won this year's U.S. Open and was No. 2 on the PGA Tour money list in 2011. McCarthy provided Simpson with all his credentials. Two weeks later, he heard from Simpson's wife, Dowd.

She arranged a surprise 27th birthday dinner for her husband at a rental home on Kiawah. Dowd Simpson stayed home in Charlotte with their baby daughter, Willow Grace, born July 28. But she pulled off the surprise Wednesday on Kiawah, with McCarthy parking next door and her husband's friends and caddy helping to keep Simpson out of the house until everyone arrived.

Among those helping celebrate the birthday were golfers Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd, Bill Haas, Jason Day, Nick Watney, Scott Stallings and Martin Laird.

McCarthy served crab cakes, chicken and waffles, turkey burger sliders, beef tenderloin sliders, tuna sliders with Asian cole slaw, shrimp and grits, and Simpson's favorite layered cake with caramel icing.

"They were all very, very, very nice guys," McCarthy said. "Everyone was so down to earth."

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