Charleston Style and Design

FALL 2015

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L E I S U R E D I N I N G ALWAYS A CLASSIC poogan's porch charms with old charleston manners and a fresh take on southern cuisine BY WE N DY SWAT SNYDE R | PHOTOG RAPHY BY HOLG E R OB E NAUS For those of you who remember the early days of the Charleston "food scene," you'll recall that fne dining options were few and far between. I am thinking of the mid-1980s, moments before Hurricane Hugo slammed into this coastal city and changed its land- scape forever. Only a handful of establish- ments—most offering standard Southern fare—serviced hungry locals and tourists, and few from that period remain. Poogan's Porch is one that has prevailed, holding fast to its culinary legacy in what has become a vibrant, competitive feld. On the eve of its 40th year, this vet- eran restaurant comes to the game well equipped. A new guard has emerged over recent years to guide the direction of Poogan's Porch, which has been described, simply, as "staying true to tradition while embracing the contemporary." From the outside, little of the graceful two-story Victorian property located on historic Queen Street seems changed. Quintessentially Southern, the eatery charms guests with old brick and wallpaper, an original freplace mantel and thick, tied-back drapes. The former residence is bedecked on both foors with piazzas for the alfresco crowd. Behind the scenes, Poogan's Porch man- aging partner Brad Ball, who now oversees daily operations inherited from the founding owners—his parents—has brought a fresh perspective since moving into that role in 2007. "Our vision is to create a timeless restau- rant that not only endures but evolves," says Ball. "We want to be true to ourselves, while continuing to push forward and be in accordance with the times." Having earned an advanced sommelier certifcation from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Ball directs the Poogan's Porch wine program as well. A College of Charleston graduate with a degree in philosophy, he spent his post-baccalaureate years learning the hospitality ropes in New York City. There he attended the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center), an intensive, total-immer- sion culinary arts program. While earning his degree, he had the opportunity to work in top city restaurants such as four star-rated Jean-Georges, Momofuko and Aquavit— extraordinary experiences that have served him well. "It was the intensity of [Momofuko chef/ owner] David Chang that really amazed me," recalls Ball. "The restaurant had only been open a few months, and he was work- ing the line pretty much every day—before it became insanely popular—so I had the chance to witness this guy with so much passion and drive. His need to have every- thing executed perfectly was amazing." Ball brings this experience to his work with executive chef/managing partner Daniel Doyle, creating a marriage of food and wine that is both accessible and unique. Thrice invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York, Doyle says he enjoys using fresh ingredients and allowing them to stand out in a dish. Finding local sources for the kitchen's pantry was a major change, which Doyle introduced when he joined the Poogan's Porch team in 2007. "We work with Lowcountry Local First, Blackbird Farms, 160 CSD 4 1

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