Charleston: The Ultimate Local’s Guide || Gatekeepers

Charleston: The Ultimate Local’s Guide || Gatekeepers


– We’re definitely gonna
eat some delicious food. – Oh my God, I legit was about to cry. – And have some adventures. – They might nibble. (goat bleats) – Okay, but yeah, you
wanna get on a boat first? – Let’s do it. What the (beep), man? This is not what I thought was going on. You said a boat ride. (screams) Being a private chef has
me cooking for clients all over the place. But when I’m working, I’m super busy, so I don’t get a chance to see
the cities the way I want to. Now, Thrillist is sending
me around the country to meet up with the real ones, who know their city as
well as I know mine. I’m Ashley Jonique, and
this is Gatekeepers. Okay, I just landed here in
Charleston, South Carolina. This is my first time here and it already kinda reminds
me of my hometown, New Orleans. It’s on the water, it has a
history that goes way back. I’ve heard the food scene was popping, but what can be better
than food in New Orleans? I’ll keep an open mind, and hopefully these
Gatekeepers can make me a Charleston believer. But before we get any further, let me give a big shout out to Acura for making this whole trip happen. Let’s dive in. I’m here to meet Jen Choi, the food and drink editor
of Charleston Magazine. – We are on the ocean here,
so we’ve got incredible seafood, influenced from Gullah Geechee culture. – Gullah Geechee, what is that? That sounds like a Pokemon. – We’re gonna find out.
– Okay. So, you know what’s super weird? When I took my Uber to
my hotel, they asked me was I here for a bachelorette party. – Yeah, there’s a lot of that. We won’t be really doing
what they’re doing. – Good. I can’t lie, it’s not New Orleans, but this (beep) is beautiful, y’all. It’s so pretty out here. So, Jen.
– Yes. – What are we gonna do after this? – We’re gonna get on a boat! So, we’re here at the dock. We are going to meet Graham. These boats are beautiful. If you had a boat, what would you name it? – I would probably name it Ashley. – Oh! – Especially if I paid for it. – Welcome speed boat adventurers, I’m Graham, like the cracker, I’ll be taking care of you today. (laughing) I’m Ashley. – Nice to meet you, Ashley. Have you ever driven a boat before? – No. – Okay, perfect. I’m gonna show you the right way to do it. For the first 10 minutes of the trip, we’re gonna be in a no-wake zone, means we gotta go slow. If this is the boat in front of you, don’t be any farther than
that boat right there. – Once we start going fast, continue to follow me. However if you catch me, please don’t– – Maybe a boat will cut between us. You’re motor stop, you
could be in big trouble. Just do what I do, but
don’t ever cross in front of another boat. – Okay, I do have a question. How fast does it go because I wanna keep my hair on? – It will definitely get put to the test. – Let’s get it, Jen! – She’s making waves, what (beep). – I didn’t want that to come out! – Are you still alive? – That’s fun. – Jen likes it rough, y’all. Jen, that boat ride was so incredible but, I’m a little bit hungry. – [Jen] I got a place, really great, Gullah Geechee style food. – Oh yes, I definitely
want to explore that. – My friend KJ is
gonna join us there. – More friends! – KJ is a born and
raised North Charleston guy and he knows everything
about what’s going on on a local level, and he loves Nana’s. It’s one of his favorite spots. – Smells so good in here. – Yeah, you came to the right place, if you want a taste of Charleston
that’s more authentic, we have to go off the beaten path. We have a lot of really good restaurants, that are rated all around the world. When people are out of town, I like to bring them to spots like this. – Right. – My favorite here is
the garlic blue crabs. 10 of 10 would recommend. – We’re about to be best friends. – Do you know how to eat a blue crab? – I do this. – Oh okay. – I am true to this, I am not new to this. – Okay then, we good. – I wanna say this. – Okay. – I’m a dancer. – All right. – I shimmy if I like something, so that will be your way of
knowing if I enjoy the food. – I’d be disappointed.
– If I didn’t do it? – If there was no shoulder shake, no head nod, nothing. – No crazy sound. Next step is the Gullah Geechee. – So, Gullah Geechee
culture is one of the oldest American born cultures. The enslaved Africans from
the West coast of Africa that’s often referred
to as the “Rice Coast.” Right, so that’s why
rice is such an important thing for us. – That makes sense now! You know we eat a lot
of rice in New Orleans. – Word. – I seen a lot of similarities. – Yeah, okay so. – Like our little brother. (laughs) – So Charleston is no one’s
little brother or sister, but we do share a love for seafood, right? I like how you slid that in, though. – Tried to throw a little shade. Whatever you recommend,
I’m willing to try. – Cool beans. All right, we have to order a lot. We’ll do a whole blue crab, we’ll do the okra, and then the crab. Yeah we’re good. We’re good, we’re good. Thank you very much. – I love this sauce, I’m excited. – I cannot wait to dive into this. So can I just take a– – Oh wait, wait, wait, hold up! – Hey guys. – Oh! – Hold on one second, you
mentioned the bread pudding. – Oh my goodness.
– Oh my God. – Enjoy. – Thank you very much. – I’m not big on dessert,
but I’ll try some. – Yeah, just get a little piece, and then we’ll handle the rest! – I got bodies under
my belt after this. Oh, the sauce. I need this to go in slow motion. – You definitely taste the okra, right? – Yeah. It’s like a étouffée but without the sauce. If étouffée was a rice, it would be that. This is so good. Oh my god. Oh that’s good. Oh my god. – Whoa! – I wanna see it drop. – Whoa! – I can’t say one bad thing. I have food on my shirt, so… – Exhibit A. – Thank y’all so much, it’s perfect. – I’m happy to have you. – Yay! It was so great meeting you. – Spirit fingers. – Seafood fingers. – There we go. – Banana fingers. – Hey, gifable moment right there. – That was so good, Jen. Yay! – To help wash down those bomb crabs, Jen is taking me to a
little hole in the wall. Literally, this is a mini bar. Always filled with locals and we’re about to meet two of them. Caroline is a neighborhood bartender, and Brian is a character. – Hey. – Hey! – Nice to see you. – Good to see you! – Hey Caroline, I’m Ashley. Nice to meet you! – Welcome, welcome! – Thanks. – I don’t know what the hell is going on, Elvis is in the building. He has more of like a Fonzie vibe to me. – How you guys doing? I’m Brian. Nice to meet you. How you doing tonight? – Good. – You gonna just come later, show up with your cool hair? – So are you guys a fan of Elvis, or what? I don’t know how I ended up doing this, just a friend asked me to do it one time and I said sure, and so now here I am, dressing in leather. – I don’t know what that means, but I support you. – What makes the Mini Bar special? – The Mini Bar has been my home for probably like four years. I play here once a month. – It stays thirsty. Shot culture is pretty strong here. – Oh man, I think I got a
little hair on my chest. – You ain’t seen nothing yet. (laughs) – Mini Bar was so much fun, but Brian made plans
for us bright and early. So I need to catch a cab and crash, like really hard. Here’s to tomorrow. – All right so, this is the spot. – I thought it was like a yoga studio? – I don’t really know, but Brian’s waiting for
us, so I guess we’ll see what’s in store.
– Let’s see. (goat bleating) – Oh, what the hell is this sound, Jen? – It sounds like… – What the fudgehead?
– Heyo! We’re over here, come on over, guys! – Oh my God!
– oh my goodness. – We are gonna be doing a little yoga with the little goats. – Oh my god. – Yes, we’ll do a little bit of a warm up, and then we’ll do some poses, and the goats will come to you. They’re very friendly. They might nibble, and I’ll give you some leaves that you can feed them and they’ll come over to you. – I can just see me like, leaves for everybody, you know? (laughs) – Oh my god, pray for me. (goats bleating) – All right, y’all. We got this (beep) we’ll go to over here. Mine isn’t cooperating. I have these leaves they don’t wanna bite. I’m a chef, so maybe I can find some herbs or some (beep) to sprinkle it with. Let’s see how this goes. Okay, I’m having trouble. – So, we’ll start seated. Are there any parts of the body that you would like to
stretch out or work? Back, shoulders, neck?
– My back for sure. – Your back? – And my bank account,
if you can stretch that. (laughs) – We can set intentions. – Okay, all right. – Oh, that was so good! – A heel click off your back. – It feels kind of nice
though, doesn’t it? It’s like a little massage. – Grandpa goats. – We’ll take a moment of gratitude for this planet that we live on, for these animals. – Well, thank you so much for this lesson. – Yeah, thank you so much for coming! – I thought this was
gonna be extra creepy, but I’m not gonna lie, I really had a great time. We had a couple of fight
club fights with the goats. They nibbled on my sandwich. I was kind of bummed about
that, but I had a great time. So, a goat ate my sandwich, luckily Jen knows a local
spot where we can grab some of the freshest seafood in town. It’s called Chubby Fish. Now, it’s usually closed on Sundays, but Jen is friends the owner Chef James, and the general manager Yoanna. See, it pays to know the right people. – Welcome to Chubby Fish. Alright, so this is our caviar course. – This is fancy! – We have some white sturgeon caviar, then what we have here,
this is called Fancy Ranch. And then, starting right
here we have chives, shallots, egg whites,
egg yolks, fried capers, fresh horse radish, and then a little bit of lemon on the side. These right here, these
are Bojangle’s Bo Rounds. – Oh my goodness. So, I have one quick question. What exactly are Bo Rounds? – So, Bo Rounds are just a
really amazing hash brown. – I love the idea, that it’s irreverent and that a lot of
your food is like that, a mix of high brow,
low brow kind of stuff, and it’s so, so delicious. – One thing I’m known
for is making my food extra cute, so when he made his I’m like, “I think I’m gonna do that.” – I know, yours is really cute! – It’s a competition now. I’m excited for you to try a Bo Round. This is like the most epic
way to try a Bo Round. – I guarantee the next
time you have a Bo Round, it’s not gonna be like this. (laughs) – Ta-da! – Chin-chin.
– Chin-chin. You got it, right? – Okay, I’m gonna see your reaction. – Oh my goodness. Don’t catch my reaction!
– Get outta here! – Shallots and eggs and
capers with a brininess and like, the saltiness at the end, I legit was about to cry. Food runs my life and
is so important to me, but for me to try something
new and just like, have this reaction, is kind of humbling, to be honest, but this (beep) is amazing, so I cannot wait to see what else he has because if it’s better than this, I might like, legit start bawling. – Enjoy our Barrier Island
Oyster Company Sea Clouds. Really phenomenal, and then, sauce wise, we have a plum vinegar right here that we made, local plums. We have a fish pepper hot sauce over here, and then we have a Tasazu sauce. Tasazu sauce is gonna be soy, a little bit of rice wine vinegar, ginger and scallions. – I’ll try some of this Tasazu. – That’s really good.
– Yes, I like that. – I didn’t think I would like that, because I don’t like gelatinized things, but that is really good. – And it’s because it mirrors that texture of the oyster. – Oh my god, it’s so good. – Oh, cool! – So, these oysters are crazy good, is this a Charleston thing? – Yeah, I mean, oysters have been a huge part of our culture for a long time. I’m really excited that
we’re having these, because I got an idea for where we might be able to go next. – Okay. – So, we are out here on
Wadmalaw Island right now, does it remind you of home a little bit? – Yes, it definitely does. It’s beautiful out here, oh my goodness. – I’m super psyched about it. – This is so cool. – Hey guys, what’s happening? – Hey! – Hey y’all.
– How are y’all doing? – I’m Ashley. Hey Ashley. – Hey, Jen.
– Jen, Josh. – Nice to see you. Thank you all for coming.
– Thank you. – This is Jared and Josh
with Barrier Oyster Company. So we’re gonna be seeing
how they farm oysters, if you guys wanna jump on the boat and head out to the farm? – Oh hell yeah! – All right, let’s do it! – Okay, let’s head on out to the boat! – Oh hey, that’s exciting. – We’re heading out to our oyster farm, which is out in the north Edisto River. What we’re growing on our farm, waits for about a year and a half, until we get them to places like Chubby Fish. We bring them back to the dock about every three to six weeks, and we tumble them in our
equipment to shake the oyster, you can chip away the
edge of the oyster shell, it grows into a cup
shape, or single oyster instead of a blade. – So that’s cool, it’s not like, set it and forget it. – Right! – It’s definitely not
set it and forget it. – It’s cool to know that
you have to shape them, because even me, as a chef, I didn’t know that. – A lot of labor, it’s certainly a labor of love. – Would I be able to taste one today? – Oh, you’re absolutely
gonna taste one today. (beep) – We are on our way out
to go get some oysters. I might have to talk like
this the remainder of the time but this is so cool. – I just cannot wait. – All right y’all, so we
just pulled up to the farm. We’ve got a cage in the water
that we’re holding onto, and we got fresh Sea Clouds inside, you want to check it out? – Hell yeah! – How close can we get to the edge? – Just stay back behind me and Josh. (laughs) – So, not at all? – How many bags do you get in each trap? – We have six bags in each trap, the oysters inside of the bags
are varying sizes of growth. – That’s so dope. – So, these are the Sea Clouds
straight out of the water, y’all want to taste some? – Yeah! – Here you go, Ashley. – Oh! – Yeah, please! – That was really good. I love the earthiness, like just straight out of the water, opposed to it just being all cleaned up. I like it dirty sometimes. (laughs) It’s just good. – It’s beautiful. – A little nuttiness in it. – Wow, it’s good. – This temperature right here, is the taste of the South Carolina oyster. – All right guys, let’s head home. – How deep are they? – They have dolphins. Look at those dolphins, Jen! (screams) – I see the dolphin! – They jump! Oh my god! We can see the dolphins y’all! – That was awesome. – The dolphins chase fish
up by the shore line, and when you get close,
they run out of ground and they’re able to trap the fish and eat the fish over by the marsh. – Oh, man! – They’re smart. They are smart! Bye, dolphins! – So how about those oysters, right? – Man, at the restaurant they were good, but like to have them
fresh out of the water, oh my god. So now what, Jen? – Next, we drink. – All right, Caroline’s behind the bar, let’s get some drinks! – Ladies. – Thank you!
– Absolutely. – Caroline! Where you at, Caroline? – Welcome y’all! – Hey, nice to see you again! – You too! – How’s it going? – Come on in! – We get to see you in your element. – The menu is long, take your time. – Right, oh my goodness. Or, you can just take
care of me, I trust you. – Yeah, your expertise. – So, what is this piece of fruit in it? – It’s a piece of cheese
actually, it’s manchego. Yeah, ’cause this Martini
is one of the classics, it’s half sweet vermouth, half a sweeter gin, so we balance out the
sweetness of the drink, with some saltiness of manchego cheese. – Like a charcuterie board, but not. – This ones yours. This one’s called the Cabana Boy. – Oh! She’s like, I see you, I know what you’re gonna get. – Cheers! – Cheers, guys! – Enjoy, everybody. – That’s what’s up, right there. – I’m not gonna lie, it has like a sausage after taste, for this to be like a Cabana Boy, in the name, yes. – I could see that. – So, the Cabana Boy tastes like sausage? – I like it. I like it a lot, sorry mom. – Tens! Tens across the board! – The Charleston legend, Grand Marnier. – Before we toast, in the beginning of this adventure, you weren’t really sure about Charleston, and I wanna know, how do you feel now? – I’m not gonna lie, I’m gonna be sad when I leave. – Aw. – I had such a great time with you guys, my mind is blown. – Well, cheers to that!