A Chef’s Favorite Summer Get-Together
As executive chef at Charleston Grill, Michelle Weaver’s days and evenings are mostly spent in the kitchen, creating and preparing an array of dishes for the restaurant’s guests, ranging from local Southern favorites and light, flavorful ‘cosmopolitan’ dishes, to those with an international influence. While Weaver is known for her foie gras appetizer with bourbon-cider sauce and apple cider doughnuts, she finds ample inspiration in even the most simple ingredients. Sourcing only the freshest, high-quality products from local purveyors, almost nothing appeals to Weaver more than an afternoon spent tinkering with her "toys" — whatever ingredients arrived that day — except sharing a simple meal with friends.
You might think that the last place a busy chef would want to be is in the kitchen on their night off. But for Weaver, that's not the case. She puts as much passion into preparing food at home as she does at the restaurant, albeit turning to more simple preparations that are just as flavorful. And her friends and family know that they're always welcome at the table, regularly stopping by on her night's off for a memorable meal.
When choosing what to make, Weaver finds inspiration by whatever is fresh. If she’s been out on the boat, she loves to roast a whole fish with Meyer lemon and olive oil and serve it along with sliced avocado, salad, and fresh tortillas. Or she’ll light up the grill and throw on some lamb chops, simply slathered on oil and seasoned well. She’ll serve them still warm atop a creamy minted bean purée and garnished with a spoonful of olive and tomato relish. Paired with a cool soup that takes mere minutes to blend together as a starter, it’s a meal that is full of fresh, flavorful ingredients that are in abundance all summer long. Isn’t that just want you want to serve friends on a warm evening? We think so.