What’s good here?
Chef Eric Crissey prepares gourmet take-home meals for families, or small or large groups.
Main courses change each week. Meals are all picked up from the display case and then taken home and warmed in a microwave – or eaten cold. Customers can also call ahead to order. Wednesdays and Thursdays are hot meal days with entrees such as smothered pork chops, sauteed beef tips or meatloaf. Entrees come with a salad and a side. Some other popular dishes have been steak medallions with a demi glace sauce, fresh yellow fin tuna salad, sweet and spicy Thai pork and handmade turkey burgers with Portobello mushrooms, onions, red pepper and basil. Another popular item is chicken and cheese enchiladas and two 41/2-ounce jumbo lump crab cakes.
Customers can also choose from regular ribeyes or in-house, dry-aged ribeyes. All meats are hormone and antibiotic-free. Depending upon a person’s appetite, a meal is often hearty enough to serve two, with leftovers for another meal.
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Crissey makes his own mozzarella, buys as much South Carolina produce as possible and enjoys culinary creativity. He has tried – with great success – making pistachio cheesecake or a red wine-poached pear cheesecake with lavender. The white chocolate key lime cheesecake is most popular.
Cookies! Chef Eric’s wife, Sharon Rose, has been experimenting with a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe for 27 years. The result is a cookie so filled with chocolate and so soft and chewy that she had them trademarked and named them Sucooma’s, derived from a nickname. She customizes the basic chocolate chip recipe into banana walnut chocolate chip cookies or pecan praline chocolate chip cookies. Rose’s goal is for the cookies to eventually reach a wider market.
Stuffed by Chef Eric typically sells more than 2,000 cookies weekly. Last Christmas a client ordered more than 3,000 for a business party.
How did Stuffed get started?
Chef Eric Crissey came to South Carolina in 1995 as USC’s presidential chef. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1979 and worked for both President Bushes, as well as some NFL and NBA players. He and his wife decided to settle in South Carolina and raise their children, now grown. All three children live nearby and sometimes help him and his wife with the business. Opening Stuffed allowed Eric to have flexibility, “be my own boss,” and to “prepare food that I know is special to the customer.” He says he also enjoys one-on-one relationships with customers, instead of mostly being behind the scenes. Stuffed is in its fourth year.
What does the place look like?
Customers pick up meals from the display case or meals they’ve ordered ahead of time. They take them home or to friends’ or to a special event. Inside Stuffed is a friendly area where Chef Eric can do what he enjoys: converse with customers about the meals. Behind the display and check out area is his kitchen.
Who are the customers?
Many are busy families. “We have a lot of repeat business. Many families rely on me for their regular meals. They can take the food home, sit down and eat, and then head off to meetings, athletics, or church without worrying about cooking or much clean up.”
He said he also is asked to cook for a wide variety of events. Recently, for example, he provided breakfast for a school’s staff as members regrouped for back-to-school meetings.
He also cooks for parties and business functions. “I do everything from breakfast, to lunch, to dinner, and late-night functions.” Many customers offer suggestions or provide feedback on weekly menu items. Customers who sign up are sent weekly menus.