A Day in the Life: Chef Whitney Otawka

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Culinary Director Whitney Otwaka has been hard at work this summer creating delicious meals each day for the guests of Greyfield Inn. Sourcing most of her ingredients directly from Cumberland Island and the Greyfield Garden, she uses seasonal produce and fresh catch  to create her refined southern dishes. When not working on Cumberland Island, Whitney’s been embarking on culinary adventures to draw on some fresh inspiration.  Take a look at what she’s been up to in the past few months and some of the exquisite meals she’s been making!

A Taste of the Georgia Coast

This May, Chef Whitney teamed up with Georgia Organics to combine the best of Greyfield Garden with produce from other organic Georgian farms, resulting in a delicious and food-filled weekend to celebrate local food.

FullSizeRender[1]In true southern fashion, the weekend kicked off with a low country boil on our front lawn.

IMG_7877The second night’s multi-course meal featured White Oak Pastures chicken and ricotta dumplings with sweet peas, baby squash, and Calabrian Chili Oil.

Eats on the island:

As culinary director, Whitney has her hands involved in all aspects of Greyfield Inn’s dining experience – from harvesting to preparing to plating.

IMG_7873This sheepshead fish made its way from the ocean to Greyfield’s dinner table within hours. The sheepshead is a flaky white fish that’s commonly caught off the coasts of Georgia and northern Florida.

IMG_7872Combining cantaloupe, Mexican sour gerkins, micro basil, mint, peppercress, lime, and espellete creates a refreshing afternoon snack. While these ingredients shine on their own, the medley harmonizes them to maximize their flavors.

IMG_7876Cucumbers from Greyfield Garden make a refreshing cucumber and buttermilk soup with pickled Georgia shrimp, ice lettuce, espellette, and olive oil.

IMG_7874Fresh tomatoes are a staple in summertime dishes in the south. The first picks this season were paired with filet beans, sheep’s milk feta, spring onions, and green garlic for a flavorful salad.

IMG_7881Greyfield Inn guests are sent off with picnic baskets filled with Georgia shrimp rolls to enjoy between bird-watching tours and bike rides.

Culinary adventures near and far

Taking a break from Cumberland Island, Whitney crossed the Atlantic for a visit to Copenhagen. She spent time exploring the culinary history and culture of the Nordic land.

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Follow Chef Whitney Otawka (@whitneyotawka) on social media to stay updated on what she’s up to!

Summer at Greyfield Garden

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gardenAs spring turns to summer, the Greyfield Garden is bursting at the seams with ripe produce. Culinary Gardeners’ Ryan Graycheck and Maya Velasco are busy harvesting everything from heirloom tomatoes to fingerling potatoes, providing the culinary team with delicious ingredients used to feed the guests of Greyfield Inn.

IMG_7926Colorful swiss chard finish out the springtime harvest.

IMG_7924In early summer, the tomato plants start producing this sweet, juicy summer staple. By June these plants are filled with shades of reds and oranges in all shapes and sizes.

IMG_7920This variety of sweet red peppers includes Corno di Toro Rosso, Round of Hungary, Lipstick, and Jimmy Nardello.

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187Another summer favorite from the garden is summer squash and zucchini. Not only is the veggie featured in many seasonal meals, the blossoms can be stuffed with other seasonal ingredients.

IMG_7923From the June soil comes hearty fingerling potatoes.

IMG_7921Ice lettuce – these rare gems make beautiful garnishes on summer dishes.

Stay up-to-date on what’s growing in the Greyfield Garden by following them on Instagram at @GreyfieldGarden!

 

Tomatoes in all shapes, sizes, and colors

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Tomatoes grow in a rainbow of sizes, colors, and flavors. Below is a description of how each tomato tastes based on its color.

High acid: red, green, purple, brown
Medium acid: orange, yellow, pink
Low Acid: white, larger bicolors

Red: Red tomatoes are often very acidic and are an excellent choice for canning or making sauces. They tend to be some of the juiciest tomatoes and can be used in the kitchen in so many different ways.

Purple and Brown: These tomatoes tend to be complex, intensely flavorful, and flat out delicious. The depth of flavors are sweet and earthy and are excellent for salsas and sauces or just eating plain.

Green: These tomatoes tend to be a bit sweeet with a very full, rich flavor and closely resemble the taste of red tomatoes. They are also great in sauces and salsas.

Orange: The golden-hued, sunny varieties burst with a sweet citrus flavor. They are excellent for use in gazpachos

Pink: These taste very similar to red tomatoes but are typically a bit milder and sometimes sweeter. These are also a great choice for folks who prefer a lower acid tomato.

Yellow: These tomatoes have a bit of a citrusy taste, with a hint of lemon and tend to have a low to medium acidity. They are great for salads or used to add color and a citrusy flavor to salsas.

Striped: These varieties are typically low in acidity and have a fairly high sugar content. They also tend to bear very large fruits (especially the German and pineapple varieties) and are a delight to grow and eat.

White: These are a great variety for folks that can’t handle the acidity. These are a great choice for fresh eating and are very mild. Due to their low acidity they are not a prefered tomato for canning

Greyfield Inn Ferry

Driving Directions to The Greyfield Inn Ferry

From the North:

Take Interstate 95 to Highway A1A (Exit 373). Turn left at the light at the end of the ramp. Then follow A1A East for 14.8 miles to Centre Street. Turn left onto Centre Street and go to the waterfront. Drop off your passenger and/or luggage to meet he Boat Captain at Dock 3 next to the “Lucy R. Ferguson” sign on the dock rail. Follow the directions on your parking pass to the parking area, then walk southwest across the train rail to the boat.

From the South:
Take Interstate 95 to Highway A1A (Exit 373). Turn right at the end of the ramp. Then follow A1A east for 14.8 miles to Centre Street. Turn left onto Centre Street and go to the waterfront. Drop off your passenger and/or luggage to meet he Boat Captain at Dock 3 next to the “Lucy R. Ferguson” sign on the dock rail. Follow the directions on your parking pass to the parking area, then walk southwest across the train rail to the boat.

Google Map to Dock 

ferry map

Shuttle Service from The Jacksonville Airport

Greyfield Inn Ferry Schedule
Fernandina Beach / Amelia Island, Florida Embarkment

Fernandina Beach Departures:
9:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

Cumberland Island Departures:
8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 3:30 p.m.

Please be at the dock  15 minutes ahead of your departure time.