Cum Nyam Wid de Gullah/Geechee-Gullah/Geechee Eateries and Restaurants

by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Plenee time win peepol da cumin ya, e juss wan nyam an e dun yeddi bout de rice an fish an ting.  Dem na git ta we fish fry an crab boil or crab crak mos de time, so e hafa be da gwine sum a dees oda res a place juss fa git a lil taste!

Disya wha hunnuh gwine nyam pun all tru de Gullah/Geechee Nation een doe an outdoe!

Many folks journey to the south not only to take a peek at the locals and the natives, but to also get a taste of the culture of the different states.  One would truly be remissed if a journey to the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida did not include getting some Gullah/Geechee grub or cuisine on your plate.  To that end, some students in Jasper County in the Gullah/Geechee Nation are embarking on a marketing campaign which we pray will be an outstanding success of our folks stirring these pots. As the students get underway, it is not to difficult for them or others to get started given that we have restaurants that have taken on names that are very clear already with Gullah Grub being located on historic St. Helena Island, SC and Gullah Cuisine which closed down in Mt. Pleasant, SC during 2014.  Since the opening of these two locations we have had Dye’s Gullah Fixins and Roastfish & Cornbread show up on Hilton Head Island with our sister from Ridgeland taken the pots over the bridge and Gullah Kinfolks Grubs and Seafood Restaurant in Bluffton, SC. It appears that South Carolina has begun saturating the market with names of things with Gullah listed in the title, but that is so that folks readily identify whose pot is stirring in the back!  You actually have Gullah/Geechee chefs in most of the kitchens of the gated areas and resorts throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the high end restaurants in Gullah/Geechee Nation cities like Charleston, SC.  As you take a walk to the restroom from time to time, push the kitchen door instead and take a look! Charleston, SC also has its fair share of Gullah/Geechee owned and operated places to get traditional Gullah/Geechee cooking!  (Now fortunately, some of the chefs have found more healthy ways to cook the foods and offer vegetarians some options, but you have to ask about whether or not meat is cooked in the veggies.  This is still the south!)   Some of the places to stop into include Huger’s, Hannibal’s Kitchen, Alluette’s Café, Dave’s Seafood, Nana’s Soul Food, Martha Lou’s, and Ernie’s, on the historic peninsula of Charleston.  These places range from the chic and expensive jazz space on the “main drag” downtown like Alluette’s to the quaint café with outstanding artwork where you can enjoy a range of creativity with a light meal.  All the others give you the down home with the locals feel and some have a few good parties going on Friday and Saturday nights!  Hunnuh ain kno wha we gwine do win sumbodee staat fa cut de rug ya! Cross de cunneckta an hunnuh cum ta James Island.  On James Island, have lunch at Workmen’s Café on Grimball Road.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation at Workmen’s Café.

If you want to journey into North Charleston or stop for a meal there after your come into the airport, you can always check out Silva Spoon, Bertha’s Kitchen, Nigel’s Good Food, and the catering at Scott’s Grand Banquet Hall with the folks from “Craves Soul Food.”  If you are moving to fast to stop in North Charleston because you are on the move, keep your eyes open for “Chucktown Mobile” and “Geechee Island Truck.”  Both of them serve Gullah/Geechee faire and can be anywhere in the City of Charleston at Folly Beach or at Gullah/Geechee events.  BJ Dennis is a native Gullah/Geechee from Charleston that is often the featured chef on “Geechee Island Truck” and he does take overs of kitchens at some of the upscale restaurants in the city as well.  He will be the highlight at the Gullah/Geechee living history luncheon for the 2012 “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” as he serves up locally grown veggies in his own unique cooking style-healthy, tasty, and Gullah/Geechee fa sho! If you are going way outside of the Gullah/Geechee Nation to find one of us and you are traveling north, check out the “Geechee Girl Rice Café” in Philly.  However, if you are traveling to or through our area, you need not overlook some of our own folks that cater in the southern Beaufort County, SC area as such as Dave at “Roast Fish and Cornbread” on Hilton Head Island, SC.  After sopping up the gravy there and getting through the traffic to get back off the island, if you continue heading out of South Carolina southward into Georgia, make sure to stop in Savannah at the House of Prayer.  Who ain wan sum blessin pun hunnuh food?  You can support the space and get a true Lowcountry taste! Now throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation, the best thing to do is find out who is frying some fish, selling dinners, having a cookout, boiling or cracking crabs, or roasting oysters.  Trust me, that will NOT be the ONLY things on the menu!  You will be full from the energy of interacting with our people alone! If you love the food enough and want to try your hand at it, many historic sites sell cookbooks that have been put together by Gullah/Geechees themselves.  So, you can do your best to measure behind these dash cooks and see how your pot turns out!  If you plan to take seafood home to try out, make sure to stop by Port Royal Shrimp Company‘s market in historic Port Royal, SC or Backman Seafood in Sol Legare on James Island, SC to take home shrimp, fish, oyster, clam, and whatever else you need.  If you need a delivery, contact the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association.  They also do seafood events on location for groups! During “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” in Charleston, SC July 29-August 3, 2012, we will be supporting each of the Charleston based restaurants for either lunch or dinner.  Contact the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition to get the listing of events throughout the city for the entire week at GullGeeCo@aol.com or (843) 838-1171.  We encourage you to plan now and take the family out to one of the spaces or having on of the trucks or caterers come fill up your spaces-whey hunnuh dey at an hunnuh bellee tuh! We bin raise fa kno hunnuh hafa nyam pun wha gwine stik ta hunnuh bone!  Trust me, e gwine be a time layta an disya food ain ga be gone!  Cum fa see we an nyam wid de Gullah/Geechee!

10 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on gullahgeecheenation and commented:

    We shouldn’t overlook the living historical resources that are quite interesting and tasty in our area!

  2. Love, love, love Huger’s. Shared this!

  3. Here is an article honoring our cuisine as a national treasure: http://www.examiner.com/article/geechee-gullah-low-country-cuisine-is-a-national-treasure

  4. I'zella Parker

    I’m just now learning about my heritage, my mom talked about it for years but I didn’t think to research till now. I’m loving the new exciting and wonderful things I’ve learned so far. Thank you! gullahgeecheenation

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