In the Kitchen with Chef Caitlin Brady

Monday, July 30, 2012, Columbia, SC
By Gwen Fowler

A new restaurant at Kingston Plantation has a new chef.

Chef Caitlin Brady came to Vintage Twelve at the Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort in early April, several weeks before the restaurant opened.

The 44-seat restaurant has “an awesome ocean view,” Brady said. Vintage Twelve was added as part of a major renovation to the lobby and common areas.

“We serve new Southern cuisine,” she said. “We try to keep the food as clean as possible, staying away from overly processed meats and products. If we can’t source it to our standards then we make it in house, including our ice creams, pastas and butter.”

Brady is not new to the Grand Strand. She earned an associate degree in culinary arts in 2008 from Horry Georgetown Technical College. She formerly was the sous chef at the Old Village Post House in Mount Pleasant and the High Hammock in Pawleys Island.

Q: What or who inspired you to become a chef?
A:
I can’t say that I have one moment that stands out to me. I think I have always wanted to make people happy, and food is one of the best ways to do that. You know instantly that you made someone’s day.

Q: What are you cooking these days that excites you the most?
A:
Vegetables. I‘m in love with all things vegetable. Not necessarily vegetarian dishes but vegetables as the focus in meat dishes.

Q: What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done in a restaurant kitchen?
A:
Probably cry. It’s not something you want to do, especially if you are the only girl. I have gotten over being emotional, but when I was younger it was a lot harder. I was always trying to be one of the guys then, and now I realize how to balance being the girl in a mostly male industry.

Q: Is there a food you simply refuse to eat?
A:
Egg whites. I’ll eat pretty much anything, but I hate egg whites.

Q: What are your guilty (food) pleasures?
A:
American cheese. As a chef, I should probably like more refined cheeses, but I love American cheese.

Q: What’s the best tip you can give a home cook?
A:
Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t have to be super fancy; it just has to taste good. At the same time though, it is really important to have fun and play with flavors.

Q: Do you have a favorite cookbook?
A:
“Harvest to Heat.” It’s all about creating dishes from fresh produce.

Q: What’s your prediction for the next big food or restaurant trend?
A:
It’s hard to say. I think if you spend too much time focusing on trends, you lose the heart and soul behind your food. At the end of the day, you need to be happy with what you put on the plate, and if it isn’t the trendiest thing, then that’s OK.

Q: If you were not a chef, what would you be doing?
A:
I honestly can’t picture myself doing anything other then what I’m doing. It’s the only thing I truly have a passion for.

Q: If you could cook with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
A:
Alice Waters. Her principles of food and what she is doing for school lunches and how the youth of America eat is inspiring. I think it would be awesome to go out to a farm with her and cook dishes from what we find.

View Original Article at www.discoversouthcarolina.com

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