Posts Tagged ‘st. simons island georgia’

Dameon Burns, PGA Pro At The Hampton Club

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

As we delve further into the magnificent world of the King and Prince Resort, we are now turning the spotlight on one of the most amazing golf courses in the nation. Not only are we going to discuss the beauty and extreme set-up of the course, but we are also going in-depth with the golf pro who is a definite highlight of this award-winning locale that’s renowned for its challenging and demanding layout.

 

The King & Prince Golf Course, run by the King and Prince Resort is astounding. The scenery is absolutely unique, offering ancient forests, vast salt marshes, dramatic island holes, and a vast lake that overlooks a relaxing and elegant clubhouse. The King and Prince Golf Course has it’s own definite signature – which is a group of four spectacular holes gently carved from small coastal marsh islands and accessed by 800-feet of elevated cart bridges. This bold design has been heralded by many, and over the years the King and Prince’s commitment to provide a premier golf experience is one of their highest priorities. That commitment proved itself beyond measure in 2009 when the King and Prince invested in an extensive restoration project that completely renewed the golf course, which is home to The Hampton Club.

 

It must be stated that all 18 greens of this amazing facility are planted with mini-verde, ultra dwarf Bermuda grass, and all the fairways have a new hybrid: Celebration Bermuda grass, which has been given 5-star reviews by everyone who has come in contact with this glorious course. In addition, the King and Prince offers an extraordinary Practice Facility that includes a 6500 sq ft mini-verde putting green, a 3000 sq ft mini-verde chipping green, and five target greens that have been added to the driving range.

 

Week after week we have been sharing each and every facet of the King and Prince – from the food to the events to the phenomenal staff that comprises this facility. This week I am extremely excited to be able to introduce to you one member of this exceptional staff, who all golfers are going to be extremely happy to meet.

 

Dameon Burns is the newest addition to the King and Prince team. Coming from the PGA Professional Golf Management program, he has spent his life living and teaching the game of golf to others. A tremendous complement to the King and Prince, today he was kind enough to sit down with us and discuss his move to Saint Simons Island, and how he feels about being the golf pro for this leading resort.

_____

 

Welcome Dameon. I would like to begin with just a bit of a background on you for our readers.

 

Born in New Orleans, I moved to Huntsville, Alabama at a very young age. In 2005, I entered the PGA of America Program, and I worked for a public golf course for two years. Then, I went on to work at Huntsville Country Club. Upon election to PGA membership in 2011, I took up my current position at The King and Prince Golf Course.

 

I know you began to golf at the age of thirteen. Is there anything specifically that drew you to the game?

 

The challenge! Golf is a very difficult game that can never be perfected. I also always liked the idea that this is one sport that can be played over a lifetime.

 

You were raised in Huntsville. Are there any particular ‘spots’ there that were perfect for the golfer in you?

 

Huntsville has grown a great deal since I was thirteen. Back then, I spent many hours in the corn and cotton fields hitting golf balls. However, it would be amazingly difficult to find any open fields now.

 

When did you decide to be a golf pro?

 

As a junior I played a lot of golf, with the hopes of one day playing professionally. Once Tiger Woods started becoming popular, the amount of talented junior golfers increased dramatically, and I knew that playing for a ‘living’ was going to be very difficult. I loved to study the game, and became very interested in the operations and elements behind it. This interest eventually led me to the PGA of America and it’s apprentice program which brought about a new path in my life.

 

The Hampton Club is a truly beautiful place. Can you tell us a bit about working there? What makes this Club stand out from the rest in your mind?

 

Yes, The Hampton Club is truly a beautiful place, and having the chance to be a part of it feels like winning the lottery. I get caught up in its beauty every day. Furthermore, living here is a dream come true. The north end of Saint Simons Island is a very quiet place. The residents are extremely polite to each other, and most are members at the Club. In fact, it is a rare occurrence for me to leave the north end. When I get to thinking about it, I only ride in a car two or three times a month now, seeing as that I have the tremendous luxury of being able to walk, ride my bike, or take a golf cart everywhere that I need to go. It is fantastic!

 

Could you tell readers a little about the events that are held at the Club?

 

The Hampton Club holds an array of golfing events throughout the year. We host tournaments for members, corporations, charities, the PGA of America, and more. We also have numerous member events held throughout the year, although these events are not exclusive to golf. Activities and dinners are also included.

 

Are there any specific events that are your personal favorites?

 

Charity events are always a big hit; they draw a great deal of participants. I love these events because they always contribute to a great cause, and they offer the perfect chance to show off this amazing golf course.

 

How is it to work with members and visitors at The King and Prince? Do you receive mostly ‘newbies’ to the golf world, or people trying to ‘better’ their game?

 

It is actually a very different and amazing job. It is certainly the newest challenge in my professional life. We receive all levels of golfers here. In just my first year with the King and Prince, we have had a huge array of visitors – first time golfers to PGA Tour Professionals. It certainly shows that the course and all its beauty can be enjoyed by every experience level.

 

Teaching someone how to play golf must be extremely difficult. What sort of program did you go through to become a pro?

 

On the contrary, it comes very easy and naturally to me. It is what I love most, and I still spend a great deal of my spare time studying the physics and geometry of the game. I went through the PGA/PGM Program, which is the apprentice/education program for the PGA of America, and I continually strive to learn, and teach all I can to others.

 

The King and Prince Resort is certainly a stand-alone when it comes to elegance and beauty. Can you tell us a bit about the ‘world’ that exists on St. Simons Island?

 

Upon my very first visit to St. Simons, my wife and I found ourselves in awe. We didn’t think such a place even existed. The natural beauty of the island is completely unbelievable. From the tides of the beach to the maritime forest, every aspect of Saint Simons Island is unique. The community is small and kind, and everyone seems to appreciate what they have. Golf and nature are ‘kings’ on this island, and the area boasts some of the finest courses, and some of the last ‘untouched’ land in this country. I truly cannot imagine a better place to live.

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Readers, I have to tell you, with each new article that comes along and each new ‘research’ that I do, I have come to the conclusion that St. Simons Island is an actual, Paradise. In a world that is filled with chaos, anxiety, stress, etc. – St. Simons Island seems to be that one ‘perfect’ spot on the planet. And the King and Prince Resort seems to be the ‘ambassador’ of good will when it comes to this Eden.

 

My advice is for all to make a reservation today and take advantage of the stunning packages that the King and Prince has to offer. I don’t believe that any of us could imagine a more amazing ‘world’ where we can spend evenings staring out at the stunning ocean landscape, and our days on the spectacular golf course where we can learn from a true golf pro like Dameon Burns!

 

Until Next Time, Everybody.

 

The King and Prince offers packages specially designed for St. Simons Island golf vacations.

View them online right now!

 

http://www.kingandprince.com/

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The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

201 Arnold Road

St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522

(912) 638-3631: Phone

(800) 342-0212: Reservations

(912) 638-7699: Fax

Source: http://staugnews.com/2012/03/22/a-true-utopia-for-the-avid-golfer.html

Spring Break & Easter on the Georgia Coast

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

This past week brought many spring breakers to St. Simons Island.  With many schools  on break, The King and Prince was filled with families and visitors looking for some sun and fun.  We had many festivities planned all week long for our guests.  From sunrise stretch to face painting and beach games, there was something for everyone to enjoy.   The brand new pool complex was packed with people soaking up sun and enjoying tasty treats from the Ocean Terrace Grille.  To celebrate the holiday weekend, The Resort put on an Easter Egg Hunt with the a special visit from the Easter Bunny.  It was a great week for young and old alike.   Take a look at the fun:

The King and Prince’s Newly Restored Pools

Monday, March 26th, 2012

We are excited to announce the opening of our new state-of-the-art luxurious oceanfront pools!  All through the winter, the pools were renovated and we have been anxiously awaiting the finished product.  Along with the pools, we have opened the Ocean Terrace Grille for a true oceanfront dining experience.  The terrace, just steps away from the ocean, is an ultra casual dining option.

Michael Johnson, Vice-President of Resort Operations, states “The staff of our Resort has been anticipating the unveiling of this spectacular pool complex renewal for many months. We are all thrilled with the results created by our designers and landscaping artisans. Excitement is high as we eagerly await our Spring and Summer guests’ arrival, anticipating their desires whatever their age.”

The new pool complex includes three unique pool offerings surrounded by various seating options for swimmers, readers and water spectators. It will tempt all of the senses with well designed amenities:

  • Sound – ambient music system that allows guests to also enjoy the waves crashing beyond the Hotel’s sea wall
  • Smell – landscaping that embraces aromatic flowers and indigenous plantings
  • Sight – broad open sightlines for pool guests and guestrooms around the deck
  • Touch – contemporary new finishes throughout the deck, pool and outdoor seating
  • Taste – the new Ocean Terrace Grille offers a refreshing menu of Southern culinary traditions

This past weekend we had our fist visitors to the complex and they loved it!

The first children jumping in the new pool!

 

Simon & Sam, the first swimmers

 

Sundeck

 

Lounge Chairs under Pergola

 

Lounge Chairs by Pool

 

Children’s Wading Pool

 

Sandbox

 

Oval Pool

 

Kids in Wading Pool

 

Deck overlooking the beach

 

Ocean Terrace Grille

 

Ocean Terrace Grille

 

Pools

 

Ultimate Spring Escapes

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Southern Living has posted 10 destinations as the “Ultimate Spring Escapes.”  St. Simons Island was chosen as one of the destinations and The King and Prince was listed as a place to stay.

Ultimate Spring Escapes

Slather on the sunscreen and prepare for bliss at one of our favorite spring vacation destinations.

St. Simons Island, GA

The beaches and golf courses of this Atlantic escape hnvie for king of the island. About 80 miles north of Jacksonville and 85 miles south of Savannah, St. Simons has multiple golf courses, pristine coastlines, and plenty of outdoor activities to fill those sun-drenched Spring Break days. If you’re bit by the shopping bug, venture to the island’s southern tip to Pier Village to pick up an extra pair of sandals or an easy beach read. Local restaurants specialize in seafood dishes, and The Coastal Kitchen offers a raw shrimp and oyster bar.

Lay your head in luxury at the beachfront King and Prince Resort, where Southern hospitality and deluxe amenities are at their best. Hodnett Cooper Vacation Rentals offers condos and villas for couples or families on any budget, including daily and weekly rentals.

TibbettsTravel: King and Prince

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Read below to see Christine Tibbetts’ article from TibbettsTravel about exploring St. Simons and activities and The King and Prince Resort & Golf Course.

King and Prince: A forward-looking resort with history on St. Simons Island

Sunday, December 11, 2011

By Christine Tibbetts

ST. SIMONS, Georgia — Elegance and longevity. Fresh new cuisine wrapping around 76 years of resort history on a barrier island that began forming 200 million years ago.

Grand combination for a holiday at the King and Prince beach and golf resort on St. Simons Island.

Some pleasant places are only fancy; this one has depth too, and neighbors who stay. Here’s how that translates to tourists.

Long-time pleasures keep on happening but change filters in, everything hand-in-hand on this handsome property and throughout the barrier island.

For example: the King and Prince has long served peach cobbler for breakfast. Tradition continues. Now they’re also squeezing juice from their courtyard grapefruit trees for a Prohibition cocktail reflecting one of their historic eras.

Seven decades of menus and history with more in the making.

Well-balanced spirits are only one passion of the new King and Prince cuisine director. Fresh Georgia foods are too, and wines from near and far.

Vinny D’Agostino is his name, steeped in the flavors of his Italian family and schooled at Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts in Providence, Rhode Island and North Miami.

A member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, D’Agostino holds a string of accolades from Bon Appetit and Food and Wine magazines for restaurants and bars he’s owned and operated.

Wild Georgia shrimp join many King and Prince menu items including this low country boil accented with olive branches from Georgia Olive Farms in Lakeland

He speaks as easily of his time as a youth on family farms and vineyards in Fornelli, Italy as he does now about the wonders of wild Georgia shrimp.

“Food and drink,” D’Agostino says, “are tied to the history of place in so many significant ways.  Our menus reflect that, and our chefs incorporate their Island family histories along with their professional training.”

Fine eating happens often, at the resort and around the island. In between meals, I listened to local stories on the Lighthouse Trolley, first-person tales since the owner/driver Cap Fendig hails from a family arriving here in the 1800s.

When I’m getting local history from someone whose granddaughter goes to the same elementary school he did, plus his grandfather, I feel grounded.

St. Simons Island is a different experience from resorts with passing-through, seasonal workers.

This bit of the Georgia coast has more residents than visitors:  65 percent full time, Fendig said.

Everyone I talked to loves the tidal marshes, maritime forests, freshwater sloughs and the spartina sugar cane grasses that make local shrimp sweet. They gather at Neptune Park, which visitors do too, so mixing it up is an easy pleasure.

There’s a pier for fishing and gazing and a smooth brick walkway hugging the water, leading to the lighthouse. Talk to Curt Smith; he’s the modern executive version of a light station keeper and an enthusiastic St. Simons Island historian.

Picnic tables and trees galore make Neptune Park a lingering place; for $7.00 get an all-day pass to the big swimming pool.

I walked the bricks twice after way too much breakfast at Sandcastle Café.

Tidal marshes are incubators for so many species that this Georgia coast is one of the 20 most diverse in the world.

That where Tim and Melissa Wellford have been serving legendary eggs, muffins, grits with or without shrimp, French toast, sausage, bacon and more for 24 years.

This is yet another St. Simons Island kind of place to share good conversation with residents.

Local people seem honored to live on a barrier island; Fendig says only two percent of the world’s coasts have barrier islands. Made me feel like a new frontier explorer.

Georgia has 15 barrier islands; four are auto accessible. Good idea to be OK with bridges when you go. 1924 was the first year St. Simons was connected by a causeway to the mainland.

Short and wide is the nature of these islands; North Carolina’s Outer Banks are long and ribbon-like.

Curious facts like that are easy to pick up at the Coast Guard Maritime Museum, a handsome Colonial Revival style structure, one of 80 built as WPA projects.

Definitely watch the documentary to understand the territory; National Geographic says this coast is one of the 20 most diverse in the world.  Museum exhibits are clear and clean, not too much reading, good graphics.

The Coast Guard Station turned Maritime Center features clear, concise, handsome exhibits, about St. Simons Island ecosystems and history.

One section pinpoints a different kind of amazing history: World War II right off this coast. German subs targeting the beaches. Two oil tankers sank.  Dogs trained as defense partners for sentry guards.

Then return to the King and Prince with a different eye knowing today’s elegant pale yellow resort became a radar training school.

The hotel opened to the public July 2, 1941 and in the winter of 1942 was reserved solely for the U.S. Navy and the war effort.

This was the gathering place for families learning their sailor had died because nearby Jacksonville, Fla. was the military point of return.

Looking up in the former ballroom to stained glass window scenes installed in 1938 when this was a private club, and looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, I mused about that war effort, and ours today.

King and Prince staff seem well versed in that history, and proud to be part of a place that sacrificed for the nation. My musing? Who is sharing any thing or any place today? Only our troops?

Travel takes my heart and soul to new places. Then the opportunity is

Shrimp and grits recipe at the King and Prince: long tradition using local wild Georgia shrimp.

mine to act on the thoughts the journeys trigger.

Lighter thoughts swirled in the ballroom too, wishing the King and Prince would reinstitute dancing dominant there decades ago.

My New Jersey parents waltzed often at the nearby Cloister Hotel on Sea Island but I found a gentler, more personable charm at the King and Prince.

Elegance to enjoy, exquisite details shared with pleasure seem the formula here. Bud St. Pierre has directed the sales and marketing for 10 years, happy he and his wife are raising young sons on this barrier island.

“We hire nice people here,” he said with almost a giggle. And I observed hotel and resort staff treating each other like they thought so too.

Many choices at the King and Prince for where to rest starting with oceanfront suites, villas, towers and rooms with balconies overlooking the tennis courts.

G.W. and I stayed in the luxurious Tabby House, a separate structure with space to share and a kitchen; could have brought some of the family.

The Meadows is also a stand-alone house, this one rich with fine and folk art and lots of levels and stairways.

Allow sufficient time when you reserve accommodations to savor the options.

Allow time, too, to explore the tidal waters on the Lady Jane. She’s an eco boat, gathering detailed information to provide the Department of Natural Resources.
Up came the 20-foot-wide net and into a waist high table went the contents

“I never met a blue crab that wasn’t angry,” says Clifford Credle, naturalist on the Lady Jane shrimp boat in waters near Brunswick.

twice on my morning cruise.

Look fast because back into the water is the mission, tallying life and returning to nature.

Exceptional catches require measuring, like the green sea turtle weighing 30 pounds that surprised Clifford Credle, my 18-year-old eco guide who started learning the estuary life when he was nine with his dad Larry who captains this vessel.

Wild Georgia shrimp caught in this net don’t go back to sea; they’re cooked five minutes later and served to Lady Jane passengers.

A King and Prince holiday merges easily with St. Simons Island discoveries, not always the case with resort vacations. Sometimes they lock you in, or so it feels. Isolated.

I think I figured out the difference. King and Prince personnel really live on this island. I kept seeing them in community places as well as the hotel and grounds.

Even food and beverage director Vinny. Saw him, chowing down on ribs and Brunswick stew at Southern Soul BBQ.  Good sign I thought, the pile of local oak in the front yard. Separate smokers for each kind of meat.

Four holes on the Hampton Club course involve the marshes, carefully constructed and monitored to respect and preserve this ecosystem.

I’m no golfer but the King and Prince’s Hampton Club gave me hope.  Most encouraging lesson I’ve ever had was with General Manager and Head Pro Rick Mattox.

He just received a major PGA award for outstanding integrity, charity, mentoring and service to community.  Golfers would recognize the Bill Strabaugh award name.

For real golfers, this course features four holes playing through the marsh, built and maintained with strict regulations, Mattox says. Marsh golf is not to be found anywhere else.

Wannabe golfers like me have a good chance of being allowed to borrow a cart in the late afternoon and experience the beauty of greens and marsh.  The view stretches forever.

Driving to the Hampton Club offers a chance to see island ecosystems, and to visit at least three historic sites: Fort Frederica, Christ Church and the Wesley Memorial and Gardens.

 

Holidays at The King and Prince: 2011 Edition

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

It has been another great holiday season at The King and Prince!  Right after Thanksgiving our staff worked hard to decorate the hotel with trees, garlands, poinsettias and our huge tree in the Resort lobby. We also had gingerbread houses on display created by local elementary students and King and Prince employees.  Festivities throughout the month included visits with Santa, a choir performance and a family holiday party. Here are some pictures from the month long festivities.

 

 

 

 

 

Time for Good Food

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Rachel writes in her blog, “Time for Good Food,” about her trip to St. Simons and all the sites she saw and food she ate at The King and Prince.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inspired by St. Simon’s Island

A week ago today I was at St. Simon’s Island, Georgia taking in the beautiful scenery and stuffing my belly with delicious food. Magical sounds cliché, but it really was an amazing trip that I won’t soon forget. I was invited by The King and Prince Resort and their publicist Leigh Cort, along with other journalists and bloggers from around the country, to be a part of a media trip focused on Southern culinary traditions. My friend Nikiwas also one of the journalists, so we rode down together.For someone like me who is enamored with history, food and the idea of eating locally and sustainably, it was sheer heaven. I learned so much, tasted so much and am so inspired, this is going to have to be several posts. Maybe a trilogy? You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

Christ Church – the most visited attraction on St. Simons Island

I vaguely remember spending a day sightseeing on St. Simon’s Island as a child. One memory that stands out is visiting the moss draped Christ Church and its cemetery. I was excited to get to see it again all these years later. The parish was founded in 1736, though the current church building dates to 1884. A walk through Christ Church’s cemetery inspired prolific Georgia writer, Eugenia Price, to pen her first historical novel The Beloved Invader. The book brought to life the church’s rector Anson Dodge, Jr. and led to additional books, New Moon Rising and Lighthouse – known as the St. Simon’s Trilogy. Interestingly, Price stayed at The King and Prince in 1961 when she discovered the island that would define her career as a writer. Tourists still come to St. Simon’s today inspired by her books. Who knows, maybe I’ll be inspired to write a historical novel, but for now I’ll settle on a trilogy of blog posts. This first: an overview rich with photos.

The exterior of The King and Prince’s historic hotel building.

The King and Prince was built in 1935 and is the only oceanfront hotel on the island. I think that’s what sets St. Simon’s apart from other tourist destinations. It doesn’t feel touristy. You won’t find the high-rise condominiums and tacky beach stores. It’s quiet, laid back, upscale in some ways, but unassuming.Naturally, it’s a popular destination for weddings and romantic getaways. However, I’m totally inspired to take my family back there.

A wedding photo shoot I happened to catch out the window.

The beach is great, but there are also miles and miles of golden marshlands that are especially beautiful at sunset. Growing abundantly in the marshlands and estuaries is Spartina, the golden hued grass that gives St. Simon’s Island and other nearby barrier islands their nickname, “The Golden Isles.”

Marshlands at dusk.

And there’s the Lighthouse. And the cute village with shops and restaurants. And the waterfront park. And the Maritime Museum that is housed in a former Coast Guard Station.

Oceanfront park with St. Simons Lighthouse in the background.Maritime Center and Museum

I could go on and on, but I know you are probably wondering: what about the food? This is a food blog after all! Most of our meals were served at The King and Prince under the direction of its Food and Beverage Director, Vinny D’Agostino. While on staff for just a short while, D’Agostino is making great strides in bringing local farmers and food artisans “to the table” to enhance the dining program at the resort. Honestly, going in to this I was not expecting the food to be that great. I’ve had some pretty bland, uninspiring hotel food in the past — but I have to say that the food I tasted at the King and Prince was really delicious. The shrimp and grits, I swear, may have been the best I ever tasted. I’m going to attempt to make them at home and share the recipe with you in the next post in my trilogy!

Shrimp and Grits made highlighted with Tasso ham, fresh corn and tomato.

One afternoon we had the pleasure of meeting food growers and artisans from around the state and sampling their fare. The most exciting thing I tasted was the first pressing of olive oil made from Georgia-grown olives thanks to Georgia Olive Farms. It’s so new that it isn’t even on the market yet. We also tasted cheese from Flat Creek Lodge, muscadine wine from Still Pond Vineyards, 13th Colony Distillery liquors, chocolates from Sugar Marsh Cottage, Wild Georgia Shrimp, Savannah Bee Company honey and peach products from Lane Southern Orchards — to name a few. I’ll definitely share more with you. Remember, my trilogy?

Georgia made products we tasted.

On our final day at the King and Prince, we ate breakfast in the elegant Delegal Room — once the ballroom of the old resort. I imagined how many dances, weddings, receptions and important events must have taken place in this stained glass adorned room with sweeping ocean views. I doctored this photo up a bit to look “old,” much like the actual historic photos that lined the lobby hallway and are featured in each guest room. It makes me feel happy.

Pretending it’s 1951

I love places with a sense of history, natural beauty and authentic Southern charm. You will definitely find that at The King and Prince and on St. Simon’s Island. Now, time for a short disclaimer: The King and Prince provided me with a complimentary stay and meals, but did not pay me to write this or endorse the resort in any way. By being a gracious host, showing me the island and sharing the spotlight with other local businesses and attractions, they made me fall in love. I’ll definitely be back!

King and Prince Shrimp & Grits in Tasso Cream Sauce

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Marc d’Entremont writes an article at Suite101 about his visit to The King and Prince Resort and eating their Shrimp & Grits, a Southern Culinary Tradition.

King and Prince Resort’s Shrimp and Grits in a Tasso Cream Sauce

The King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St. Simons Island, GA, finesses a classic dish served in every southern dinner elevating Shrimp and Grits to stardom.
 

 

Shrimp & Grits in a Tasso Cream Sauce- Marc d’Entremont

It was the end of a pleasant sunny early November day in the now quiet off-season of St. Simons Island, one of Georgia’s premier barrier island destinations. The elegant 1935 King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort , listed on the National Historic Register and Historic Hotels of America, set a table befitting its Old World heritage. The formal place settings with an array of flatware and crystal stemware lay on starched white linen lit by softly glowing candles. The guests are not what the media would identify as royalty or even VIPs. We’re nearly two dozen jaded, or nearly jaded, travel and food journalists – critics to the core.

 

Southern Culinary Traditions

We were the guests of The King and Prince. Our four day tour to explore the culinary traditions of southeastern Georgia was organized by Leigh Cort Publicity. Such media trips involve a considerable amount of activity, not the least of which is eating and drinking. To make an impression worthy of an article the fare has to be more than just free.

Tradition versus an Old Standby

Personally my foodie radar was picking up more an old diner standby rather than a fine tradition when the itinerary indicated that dinner would include a Shrimp and Grits cooking demonstration. Google any of a dozen recipes and discover everything from bullion cubes to extra sharp cheddar used to mask tasteless farm raised frozen shrimp mounded on top of instant grits. Believe me I’ve had my full of disappointing versions.

Chef Dwayne Austell and Vinny D’Agostino

It took only a moment after entering the dining room for my nose to detect a subtle aroma of warm smoked meat. It was emanating from the chafing dish that was keeping the sauce at serving temperature. I should have guessed that a Johnson & Wales University graduate, Vinny D’Agostino, Food and Beverage Director, and Georgia Low Country native Sous Chef Dwayne Austell would rise above the ordinary.

Wild Shrimp and Tasso Ham

Quality ingredients are essential for a great dish and there is no comparison between farm raised and wild shrimp. Fortunately, much of America’s shrimp is wild and the package will be labeled appropriately. The high tides and lush nutrient rich salt marshes of low country and barrier islands provide an excellent clean environment for Georgia’s abundant shrimp. The Georgia White Shrimp is especially plump, meaty and flavorful. Yet the secret to Chef Austell’s outstanding Shrimp and Grits is the addition of smoky, cured Tasso ham – an essential ingredient in much of southern cajun cuisine. What is actually a pork butt rather than a ham gives the cajun spiced light cream sauce a rich flavor that lingers in the mouth.

The Recipe – for 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3rd cup diced Tasso ham
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup seeded diced tomatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons diced green onions
  • 4 to 6 ounces fresh shelled wild shrimp
  • 2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • cooked grits

Preparation:

  1. First prepare grits using the best recipe I know for Creamy Stone Ground Grits
  2. Add just enough olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of two saute pans and heat over medium setting.
  3. In one pan add the shrimp and cajun seasoning. Saute no more than 5 minutes. Overcooking results in tough shrimp.
  4. In the second pan add the ham and corn and saute for a couple minutes. Add the tomatoes and green onions, combine and saute a few minutes more. Add the heavy cream and asiago cheese. Bring to a simmer and cook for two minutes.
  5. Combine the shrimp and all the pan juices into the sauce.
  6. Serve over the prepared grits.

Wine Pairing

Vinny D’Agostino, a sommelier as well, paired the entree with a nice Georgia Chardonnay from Frogtown Cellars. The minimal acidity of a Chardonnay, preferably unoaked, works well with the creamy sauce. A California or Washington State Chardonnay would be a fine substitute since Georgia wines are not widely distributed.

Even if you’re not dining a few hundred feet from the ocean, this fine recipe from the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort can conjure memories of warm lazy days under oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss and sea gulls laughing overhead.

Brunswick Georgia Christmas Parade

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

This past Saturday December 3, The King and Prince Resort was a participant in the annual Brunswick Christmas Parade.  The parade featured floats from local businesses, clubs, school groups, religious organizations and more. There was over 100 parade floats this year.  It was a great day to get in the Holiday spirit! The parade went from Howard Coffin Park up Gloucester St. and ended at Mary Ross Waterfront Park. Hundreds of families lined Gloucester to watch the parade.  The parade concluded with Santa Claus.  The King and Prince employees helped out to create the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” float.  The employees with their families passed out candy to the parade viewers and had a great time walking with the float.  Our General Manager was the driver and we even had the Grinch with us!

K&P Van pulling the float

K&P ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ Float

K&P Employees and their families at the parade

The Grinch!

Kristi Casey Sanders’ Travel Article About St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Kristi Casey Sanders writes about where to stay and things to do on St. Simons and Jekyll in Encore Atlanta. She mentions The King and Prince for its beach accommodations and resort golf course.

April 2011 Encore Life

Going coastal

Start your summer now on the ‘golden isles’ of Jekyll and St. Simons

By Kristi Casey Sanders

Spring is beautiful in Atlanta, with cherry blossoms and dogwood trees in bloom. And as spring clothes replace sweaters, it’s easy to yearn for full-on summer. That’s why so many spring breaks unfold on the beach. You can escape to a sandy wonderland where sunsets give way to moonlit surf, casual beach bars serve frosty drinks and fresh seafood, and kids can learn the fine art of avoiding sunburns while building sandcastles and riding Boogie boards.

Atlanta’s closest beaches are on the barrier islands off the Georgia coast. The four clustered around Brunswick are known as the “golden isles.” It’s a five-hour drive or a 60-minute flight via Delta Connection, which has three daily nonstop flights to Brunswick Golden Isles Airport.

There are exclusive resorts (Sea Island) and serene eco-retreats (Little St. Simons), but if you desire a family friendly spot affordable enough to become a yearly tradition, St. Simons and Jekyll islands are the best options.

St. Simons Island

There’s an anecdotal story told about the Timacuan Indians, who lived here under Spanish rule for almost 200 years. They finally rebelled, it is said, because the Catholic priests insisted the men take only one wife. Whether that’s true, you still get the feeling that these island inhabitants would rebel if someone tried to stop them from having a good time.

For more than 75 years, the center of the island’s social life has been the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort (800-342-0212), which began as an open-air oceanfront dance pavilion. The hotel grew up around the pavilion — now the Delegal Dining Room. It’s next to the King’s Tavern, a legendary watering hole added to the property in the 1980s. Accommodations range from traditional hotel rooms and multi-bedroom condo units with full kitchens to private homes with rooftop patios. Guests can rent bikes or kayaks, ride horseback on the beach, or learn how to play tennis, shoot sporting clays or fish.

Golf is a big deal here, and the King and Prince Course (912-634-0255) is quite scenic. Wild marsh grass cuts the field of play between the tee box and fairway on one hole, golf cart paths are elevated over marshland, wild birds soar overhead and gators nap inches from the greens under oak trees. The Sea Palms Golf & Tennis Resort (800-841-6268) offers guests three courses and suite-style accommodations, three clay tennis courts, three swimming pools and an array of family friendly activities.

The Lighthouse Trolley (912-638-3333) is a fun way to learn about the island’s history. It is owned by Cap Fendig, a local character and sometime politician, whose family has been here since the 1800s. You can take a narrated tour or hop on and off the trolley at scheduled stops. At Fort Frederica National Monument, you’ll see where Spanish and British troops clashed in 1742. Graves of their descendants are found in the historic graveyard surrounding Christ Church. The Maritime Center at the Historic Coast Guard Station has interactive, kid-friendly exhibits explaining the role the U.S. Coast Guard has played in the region before, during and since World War II. There’s also the famous St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum (912-638-4666), where you can enjoy the best view in town. Fendig’s company offers dolphin tours, bird-watching trips and real-estate services — in case you need a permanent local address.

The Georgia coast is only 100 miles long, but it contains one-third of this country’s salt marshes, which replenish the Atlantic Ocean’s ecosystem. Learn about the barrier island’s marine life aboard the Lady Jane (912-265-5711). Piloted by Captain Credle, the vessel takes passengers into St. Simons Sound, where marine biologists sort shrimp from the other creatures caught in nets and explain what guests are seeing. The ship’s first mate serves up a shrimp boil as the boat heads back to the dock.

As you’ll learn on the Lady Jane, you’re not eating just any shrimp. The salt marsh grasses available to Wild Georgia Shrimp™ grazing here make them particularly sweet. Shrimping season begins between April and June and runs through December. And thanks to the large local sturgeon population, this region also is known for quality caviar, harvested in January and February and said to be superior to Russia’s.

St. Simons doesn’t lack for good restaurants. Saltwater Cowboy (912-634-2102) is a relaxed steak and seafood eatery with live entertainment near the King and Prince Resort. Further inland is Southern Soul Barbeque (912-638-SOUL), featuring award-winning Brunswick stew. If people-watching is high on your agenda, try breakfast or lunch in the village at the Sandcastle Café & Grill (912-638-8883), where you’ll rub elbows with police officers, politicos and other characters.

Jekyll Island

Legislation requires that at least 66 percent of Jekyll Island remain in its natural state. The island is part of Georgia’s park system, so there is a small fee for all cars ($5/day or $25/week). On the island’s east coast, where the beaches are, an ongoing revitalization project has added budget hotels and a 20-acre oceanfront park with picnic pavilions and wheelchair-friendly beach access points. New shopping and dining outlets are under construction, but old favorites like Blackbeard’s Restaurant (912-635-3522) offer hearty fare and spectacular ocean and sunset views.

The Intracoastal Waterway borders the island’s west coast. Dine waterfront in the Jekyll Island Marina at Sea Jay’s Waterfront Cafe & Pub (912-635-3200) and on the Jekyll Island Pier at sister restaurants Latitude 31 (dinner only) and the Rah Bar (912-635-3800), where live music plays three to four nights a week and oysters and shrimp are available by the pound.

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel (800-535-9547), at the heart of the island’s historic district, is a short walk from the pier. Built at the turn of the 20th century for vacationing millionaires, the club was described in a 1904 edition of Munsey’s Magazine as “the richest, most exclusive, most inaccessible club in the world.” After Georgia bought Jekyll Island in 1947, the club became a luxury hotel. Several of the surrounding millionaires’ “cottages” are now gift shops, restaurants, event facilities and atmospheric accommodations for small groups.

The resort can help you explore what life was like for the millionaires of the Gilded Age through a walking tour of the historic district. Learn how the Federal Reserve System was planned by a select group of bankers and politicians at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. See the island by bicycle or on horseback. Play croquet or sign up for a geocaching game for a treasure hunt around Jekyll. Also available: dolphin cruises, kayak tours or visits to nearby Cumberland or Sapelo island.

Four golf courses on the island’s interior use natural sand barriers, inland lakes and pine forests to create challenging links-style play. The best course for multigenerational groups is Pine Lakes, which has family friendly tee boxes and winds its way through prime bird-watching territory. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, a lazy river and waterslides beckon at the Summer Waves water park; the adjacent Tidelands Nature Center offers nature tours and watercraft rentals. Another prime attraction is the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a rehabilitation, research and educational center that has special programs for kids.