Cooking with the Master!

The Lowcountry’s Favorite Comfort Food Cooked by Daufuskie Island’s Favorite Chef

Shrimp gravy simmers while Sallie Ann tells stories of Daufuskie.
Image by Carmen Pinckney.

Daufuskie Island’s own chef Sallie Ann Robinson tours the Lowcountry teaching Gullah cooking. The sixth-generation island native has authored several cookbooks and conducts cooking demonstrations both locally and nationally.  She came to the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage and taught participants how to cook shrimp and grits and share stories of her beloved Daufuskie Island.

Old and new friends gather around their favorite Lowcountry chef.
Photo submitted by Carmen Pinckney.

The evening started off with glasses of wine and conversation. After we were properly acquainted, Sallie Ann started a demonstration that was intermingled with cooking and stories of her beloved Daufuskie Island. She shared stories of a very influential sixth grade year spent with her teacher (and later famous author) Pat Conroy. He wrote a book about his experiences on the island entitled The Water is Wide. Conroy would later write the forward to Sallie Ann’s first cookbook entitled Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way.

Sallie Ann prepares ingredients for her recipe.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

As Sallie Ann weaved a tale of island stories, she fried bacon and stirred a pot of grits. She sprinkled shrimp with spices and tossed them in flour. Then she cooked the shrimp until they reached the perfect shade of pink.

Participants get a closer look at the magic happening in the pan.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

She next sautéed the vegetables until they were tender and added the shrimp back to the pan.  The flavors simmered together until the gravy thickened and turned a beautiful brown.

Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

When we felt like we couldn’t stand it any longer, the shrimp and gravy was ladled over the slow-cooked grits and presented to us! Believe me when I tell you, it was worth the wait! I have never tasted anything so delicious and comforting. I’m glad it was a cold night, because the meal warmed me from the inside out!

Photo submitted by Carmen Pinckney.

As the evening came to an end, I waited in line with everyone else to have Sallie Ann sign my cookbook.  It was a pleasure to spend the evening with the sixth-generation Daufuskie native who is both an entertainer and a master chef. She is most definitely a Lowcountry treasure. After her demonstration I gathered ingredients and made my family’s Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Sallie Ann’s recipe for Cooper River Smuttered Shrimp can be found in her cookbook Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way. To experience a tour on Daufuskie with Sallie Ann Robinson, visit southcarolinalowcountry.com/daufuskie-island-tours.

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