Make it with South Carolina peaches, and they will come.
That’s what Brandon Velie, chef/owner of Juniper in Ridge Spring and former S.C. Chef Ambassador, found out. He and his staff prepared dinner Tuesday highlighting peaches to a sold-out James Beard House in New York City.
The Beard House seats a maximum of 80 guests, paying up to $175 per person for the multi-course dinner.
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Although the weather has wreaked havoc on this year’s crop, Velie said he was able to get enough fresh fruit from area farms to prepare his “Southern Peach” menu. Velie also used locally sourced products from around the state, including Columbia-based Anson Mills, Adluh and Manchester Farms Quail.
Hors d’oeurves included fried green tomatoes with Hickory Hill buttermilk dressing, bacon-wrapped Manchester Farms Quail with pickled peach chow-chow and Adluh grits creamed corn fritters with peach-curry mayonnaise. Paired wines were Louis Pommery Brut NV, Villa Pozzi Nero D’Auola 2015 and Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2016.
▪ First course, peach wood smoked ham and S.C. shrimp purloo with Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice, paired with Jacob’s creek Two Lands Pinot Grigio 2016;
▪ Second, skillet-fried SC striped bass with corn-pork belly hash, flash-fried WP Rawl Farm collards and peach barbecue drizzle, with Fleurs de Prairie Cotes de Provence Rose 2016;
▪ Fourth, Southern whiskey-braised beef short rib with Adluh grits, whole-roasted okra and peach gremolata, with Carmen Carmenere Grand Reserva 2013;
▪ Fifth, Titan Farms peach semifreddo with pecan praline and Carolina Moon Distillery peach rum syrup, paired with Robert Mondavi Moscato d’Oro 2014.
Velie’s Juniper restaurant is located at 640 E Main Street, Ridge Spring. www.facebook.com/juniper