“Different ways to convey food are part of the food culture of a city,” says Sylvain’s chef Alex Harrell, scheduled to star in Guerilla Cuisine’s first supper of 2014. “A lot of people are a little bit put off by these things, but I welcome them. It gives chefs an opportunity to experiment with food they might not be able to experiment with in a restaurant kitchen.”
Guerilla Cuisine, a roving supper club, has hosted sporadic local events since its launch seven years ago. The concept took a brief hiatus this year while founder Jimihatt served as interim chef at Camden’s Duck Bottom Plantation, but spokeswoman Angel Powell says “2014 will bring a limited season of Guerrilla Cuisine dinners, a few featuring local chefs, but mainly talent from out of town.”
For his Jan. 19 dinner, Harrell is planning a salute to oysters, which he calls one of the culinary commonalities between Charleston and New Orleans, cities which share a debt to West African and Caribbean cooking.
“I wanted to connect two cities through a common ingredient,” says Harrell, who cooked for a year at High Cotton and two years at Mustard Seed before moving south, where his cooking has won praise from local and national dining critics. Harrell’s sister, who lives in Mt. Pleasant, helped arrange the Guerilla Cuisine event.
Harrell’s oyster menu includes an oyster and greens gumbo with house-smoked tasso; an oyster-based riff on linguine with clam sauce, featuring oysters poached with Herbsaint, leeks, fennel and durum pasta; and an oyster boudin. He’s still grappling with the dessert course.
Although Harrell has “gone back and forth,” he’s now trying to decide between a seasonal tart with an oyster cracker dough crust and an oyster cracker bread pudding.
In keeping with Guerilla Cuisine tradition, the location of the $65 dinner hasn’t yet been announced.
“It’s true that it isn’t entirely underground at this point, but jimihatt feels that people still enjoy that little bit of mystery surrounding the dinners,” Powell says. “ That’s just part of what Guerrilla Cuisine has always been.”
Tickets are available through eventbrite.com.