Chef Tournant, Matthew Fitzgerald and Executive Pastry Chef, Lawrence Brubaker are gearing up for the holiday celebration in which is hoping up this Sunday, March 31st. Bringing the ‘down home elegance’ approach, our Banquet Department plans to implement the rustic Lowcountry feel at this year’s Grand Easter buffet celebration with private seating in the Grand Oaks Ballroom at The Sanctuary.
As the pastry team started planning their Easter sketches back in January, recently Chef Brubaker – a master of many talents – has been spending many hours in the workshop welding their year’s centerpiece. “This year’s display will feature a giant Easter basket tipped over on its side. A life-like chocolate Easter bunny will be perched on the basket, enjoying a treat. In total, the giant chocolate Easter eggs (roughly 30”) that tumble out of the basket will have ‘broken open’ and the giant tall peeps have hatched.
When asked about the ‘edibility’ of this display, Chef Brubaker laughed and stated, “the armatures for the sculptures are steel and not edible. The chocolate coatings are. The eggs are completely edible, as well as the meringue daisy that will cover the table.” While discussing the edible creations our pastry team will be whipping up, Chef Brubaker gave me a little insight as to what desserts will be featured at the grand buffet, “we are bringing back the cotton candy station for the kids and also featuring a pineapple Fosters station. And of course, Bunny cake pops will make their appearance.”
Now that we’ve teased you with the sweets, let’s get back to the buffet! Of course, as a banquet chef preparing for the masses is always a mathematical exercise. Looking back at the previous year and the number of guests who we served, we start there and then estimate about how much product one-person can and almost always will consume. “We start planning order guides, buffet diagrams, color themes and décor about a month out. Some of our product starts to come in about five days out from the event, but the freshest of the product comes in about two days before” exclaims Chef Fitzgerald. Keeping to the ‘Kiawah way’, our banquet team tries to utilize as much local product as possible. A number of local purveyors we use are in our own back yard; Ambrose Farms and Rosebank Farms both on Johns Island, Sweet Bay Farms in Uger, SC and our chicken is coming in from upstate South Carolina.
Many of the families planning to join us this coming Sunday will be bringing their little ones eager to meet the Easter Bunny himself. Our Director of Banquets, Kristen Rowe, excitedly announces the plans for the children activities. “As always, we have the separate kid’s room with a large selection of age-appropriate food, and a myriad of crafts to keep those young minds occupied. The recreations department is always present to assist the kids with these activities and to give parents a break to enjoy their own delicious meals. We will also be showing “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown”, and of course, look forward to the annual visit from the Easter Bunny!”