Local chef Josh O’Neill is sharing his love of cooking and entertaining in support of Bluffton Self Help.
PHOTO BY ROB KAUFMAN
Have you ever wanted to host a dinner party but didn’t feel like doing the cooking, serving and cleaning up? No problem. Leave the culinary magic to Josh O’Neill, executive chef of the Golf Club at Indigo Run.
O’Neill — in association with The Complete Home, Red Piano Art Gallery and Golf Club at Indigo Run —has donated a delicious and artistically prepared dinner party for eight people to be auctioned off at the upcoming Sips & Seafood Party in Bluffton.
Winning bidders of the Art of Cuisine package will sip champagne and nibble on appetizers in the Red Piano Art Gallery while guests mingle with featured artists. O’Neill’s dinner will follow, perfectly paired with a selection of wines. The package is valued at $3,000 with proceeds going to Bluffton Self Help.
“I consider the kitchen a gathering place,” O’Neill said. “Growing up in a household of chefs, we always considered cooking and entertaining fun. We still do. Our whole family cooks together, including my children, ages 3 to 17. With this special package, I bring my love of cuisine and the experience of cooking specifically for the winning bidders in support of a wonderful cause.”
Sips & Seafood Party
When: 5-10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21
Where: Hewitt Oaks, Bluffton
Details: A fundraiser for Bluffton Self Help. Enjoy an evening under the stars with delicious meals, savory cocktails and the company of good people. The evening will include an opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind auction items and must-see live entertainment. blufftonselfhelp.org
Let’s get cooking
- Do not be afraid to season your food. Spices and herbs may be used to enhance the natural flavors of food – not to disguise it. Many herbs and spices can complement a dish and each other, but be selective in how you combine them. There is no general rule for the correct amount of spices and herbs to use — the potency of each spice and herb varies, as does its effect on different foods. It’s best to start with less and add more.
- Always pat dry your protein to get the best sear, creating a great crust, which gives browned food its distinctive flavors. This is known as the Maillard Reaction. Seared steaks and many other protein foods undergo this reaction, when amino acids meet reducing sugars.
- Introduce acids into your cooking (vinegar, citric juices, reduced wine), which can work as tenderizers by breaking down fibers in foods that are cooked or marinated. Acids also penetrate and add flavors to the food. Make sure to select an acid that will complement the rest of the meal.
- For uncooked foods, such as salad dressings, fruits, or juices, add spices and herbs several hours before serving to allow flavors to develop and “marry” or blend.
- Sip your favorite cocktail or wine, and put on some music when creating your cuisine. Josh’s personal favorites? Jazz and bourbon while cooking Cajun food. He says, “I realized from a young age that there is no better place to gather than the kitchen – it’s the perfect landscape for smells, flavors and sounds to bring people together.”