My first occupation was at a restaurant called the Hook, Line & Sinker in Utica, N.Y. I was 15 years old, and my job included keeping the salad bar items stocked and preparing desserts. The extent of “preparing desserts” meant pulling the pie out of the cooler and putting whipped cream and a strawberry slice on top. My uniform was black pants, a white tuxedo shirt, and a black bowtie. A boy named Corey trained me and was my partner in crime every night. We flirted a lot, as I recall.
My next job was at the Hilton Resort in Palmetto Dunes, now the Omni. I waited tables in the breakfast restaurant (the Palmetto Café) for years, before moving over to Mostly Seafood, which was the fine-dining restaurant in the resort at the time. In 1998, the management team surprised me with the Employee of the Year award, which I thought was quite the accomplishment out of over 300 employees. So, I promptly left, knowing I had conquered that place.
Which brought me to Tavern on the Creek, a short-lived restaurant in Hilton Head Plantation, where I had a few super fun years with a wild food and beverage crew. When Pierce and Bonnie Lowrey purchased Tavern on the Creek as a venue for their new catering company, it was off to CQ’s restaurant for me, one of the longest-running eateries on Hilton Head Island.
None of this has anything to do with this issue. I just thought you should know.
I jest! Our Love Affair with Food Issue celebrates a few local servers and brings back memories of all my days waiting tables. I cherish my years in F&B; every night was different, I made a ton of money, and it was awesome connecting with so many different people. Things have been a little difficult in the service industry lately, with increased food costs, a labor shortage, heavier cleaning and disinfecting regiments due to COVID-19, and a seemingly never-ending season of visitors putting stress on local restaurant owners. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times in the last 18 months: be sure to put on your patience hat when dining out.
We also chatted with a few of the faces in the ‘back of the house” (restaurant lingo for the kitchen) this month (see Tim Wood’s article, Six Chefs, Six Journeys to Living the Dream). You can always tell when someone is passionate about what they do, because it shines in their product, personality, and general enthusiasm. You’ll find those qualities in the six chefs featured on page 50.
This issue also spotlights local Realtors and financial advisors, along with a new local podcast that everyone is addicted to and the return of the Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival. So, without more blah, blah, blah, I’ll leave you to it.
Just one more thing…
Our very own Kim Crouch has a new family member—one who will be a frequent visitor to the CH2/CB2 intergalactic headquarters. Meet Buoy, the cutest puppy you ever did see. He’s got some big shoes to fill, but from what I’ve seen so far, he’ll be up to the task. He’s got some big paws already.