The Obstinate Daughter’s Adjunct Gelato Shop Opening This Month

beardcatWhen architect Reggie Gibson first suggested a century-old portrait of an old salt with a black cat bundled in his flowing gray beard as naming inspiration for the gelato shop beneath The Obstinate Daughter, not everyone connected with the Sullivan’s Island project jumped on board.

“We kind of all argued,” recalls executive chef Jacques Larson. “We were like, ‘That’s disgusting. Would you want to eat gelato from that guy?’”

But Larson says the marketing possibilities and proposed design scheme swayed the naysayers.

“It doesn’t have to make sense, as long as we’re doing great coffee and gelato and showcasing (pastry chef) Caroline Sherman’s talents,” he says. “It’s fun and whimsical.” Continue reading

Wood-Fired Ovens Still Hot, Flavor Science Be Damned

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Considering the persistent popularity of wood-fired cooking, which Nation’s Restaurant News back in 2010 declared a trend, eaters might assume food cooked in ovens fueled by tinder tastes better. Not so, says a spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of wood-fired ovens.

“We’ve done taste tests, and we would say the flavor is the same,” says Tamra Nelson of Wood Stone, which also produces gas-powered ovens. “But it does connect visually with the customer.”

There aren’t any surveys showing exactly how many local restaurants have gone the wood-fired route, but Nelson says there are seven restaurants in and around Charleston using Wood Stone equipment, including Southend Brewery and Monza. According to Nelson, customers’ perceptions of wood-fired ovens’ superiority can overwhelm the reality that quality doesn’t vary with fuel source. Continue reading