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EATERY OF THE WEEK

Consider this article your treasure map tofinding a truly affordable and taste-budtempting eatery where locals go. Roastfish& Cornbread offers a great selection ofLowcountry seafood and organic produce.Chef David Young's colorful, fresh food isdelicious.

Under vaulted oaks on Marshland Road,in a hacienda-styled building, Roastfish &Cornbread has quickly become one of themost talked-about restaurants on HiltonHead Island. Owner and chef David Younghas been invited to many festivals, featuredin the media and has conducted popularcooking classes.

The soft spoken Young grew up in SpanishWells, where his grandmother introducedhim to cooking. He isn't just a homegrowntalent though-his culinary trainingand diverse experience has garnered himnational attention from the likes of Rachael Rayand Coastal Living Magazine.

His specialty is marrying traditional local ingredientswith exotic flavors and putting new twistson southern classics. Many of his recipes are derivedfrom Gullah recipes his grandmother taughthim. Local fish including cobia and wahoo are thestars of many plates, and Roastfish & Cornbreadeven makes an appetizer out of alligator. It's friedand served with a homemade remoulade.Young's mouth watering side dishes, includingsweet potato cornbread, butter beans, and hushpuppiescomplement fresh fish seasoned with hisproprietary rubs and garnishes. From his spice rubmixture called "Burning Down the South" to sweetand savory mango, onion and mushroom chutney,the food at Roastfish & Cornbread explodes withflavor.

The menu is surprisingly healthy. "We try touse organic products as much as possible," saidYoung, noting that Roastfish & Cornbread usesolive oil for grilling and cold pressed canola oil forfried foods.

Homemade dressings here are stand out-trythe homemade strawberry vinaigrette. Young iseven experimenting with a seaweed based saltalternative for patrons who must watch theirsodium.

Despite the accolades, Young's ambition is toput wholesome foods within everyone's reach."I wanted to create a place where people cancome with their whole family and eat good,healthy food," he said.

Even the restaurant's chicken fingers are madein house. With quality like that, it is no surprisethat Young has developed quite a following.

Good food at a good price is a hot commodityand since Roastfish & Cornbread doesn't takereservations, there can be a wait on the weekends.Fortunately, there are picnic tables outside wherethe kids can enjoy the outdoors while their parentskick back with a cold drink before dinner.

Sound too good to be true? You'll just have todiscover it for yourself.

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