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Healthy Roastfish & Cornbread is the new face of Lowcountry cooking

Chef David Young, owner of Roastfish &Cornbread on Hilton Head Island, is abusy man these days. The Gullah-inspiredrestaurant on Marshland Road is popularwith locals and visitors alike, and Young hasbeen working to refine dishes that have beenon the menu since the eatery opened in2009. And he's been busy giving back tothe community where he grew up.

Also the author of a cookbook entitled"Burnin' Down South," Young was one of thefeatured chefs at the prestigious culinaryfestival "Music for Your Mouth" at PalmettoBluff in November.

He's featured in a photo in the Februaryissue of Bon Appetit magazine, where he'sshown using a clam rake on the beach atMitchelville Beach Park. It's part of an adcampaign by the Hilton Head Island-BlufftonChamber of Commerce, designed topromote culinary tourism in the Lowcountry.

Young was chosen because he's a great chef anda native Islander, said the Chamber's Charlie Clark."Culinary tourism is hot now, and we wanted tocapitalize on that," she said.

The photo promotes Hilton Head Island's GullahFestival, taking place through Feb. 28, and theisland's 26th annual wine and food festival, to beheld March 1-12.

On Feb. 20, Young will be at The Westin Resorton Hilton Head Island, helping raise money forLiteracy Volunteers of the Lowcountry at the nonprofit organization's annual "Cooks & Books" fundraiser, which brings together the area's best chefsand authors. And on March 7, he'll present a cookingseminar with a heart healthy menu in conjunctionwith The Healing Store in Palmetto Bay Marina.

"I'm going to teach how to make stuffed mushroomswith mango and avocado chutney, whichis very simple to put together," he said about theseminar.

Roastfish & Cornbread specializes in vegetarian,organic and locally grown or caught foods.Young said that in addition to being heart healthy,the stuffed mushrooms are both vegan and glutenfree. Another stand out vegetarian dish at Roastfish& Cornbread is the sweet potato hummus withcucumbers, celery, pepperoncini and carrot sticks,which is served with New York flat bread or glutenfree crackers ($7.50). It's slightly sweeter than traditionalhummus and is an adaptation of an Ethiopianrecipe, Young said.

For a classic Lowcountry dish that Young hasperfected, try the organic stewed chicken at Roastfish& Cornbread. The chicken is baked, then pulledoff the bone and seasoned with sea salt, pepper,garlic, thyme and a kiss of curry. Then it's quicklyseared and simmered with chicken bacon, onionsand tomatoes.

It's served with two sides plus sweet potatocornbread-one of the restaurant's signature dishes.The light, moist bread is topped with Young's sweetpotato syrup, made with ginger and a touch of hisown jerk seasoning.