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Filtering by Tag: Academy

"There's No Place Like Home (And By That I Mean Yours)" for May VIE

Suzanne Pollak

biscuit rolling Rainbow Row.jpg

“The houses I’ve lived in — and there have been many — meant everything to me. They’ve alternated between a calm oasis I refused to leave in the midst of chaos to party palaces where I couldn’t get anyone to exit on time. Growing up, my dipolmatic family met everyone through our homes in Afria. For eighteen years, we threw weekly dinners with every nationality seated at the table; our biannual parties for hundreds lasted all night. As an adult, my houses have been my most valuable assets. I used them to design the life I wanted at different times. My taste developed by organizing interiors and gardens. I used our rooms to add value, conjure joy, and help create more meaningful lives. I want every cubic inch to give its all….” - Suzanne Pollak

Read more about the Charleston Academy — what we do, how we do it, and why exactly — according the Dean herself, in the May issue of VIE Magazine HERE!

Thank You Orbitz!

Suzanne Pollak

It's officially Oyster Season in the Lowcountry! For an insider's guide to the beauty of bivalves and Charleston's rich Winter traditions featuring them, turn to the Academy. The Dean does a class all about Oysters, available to book through the Restoration hotel -- a unique holiday office party, visiting guest retreat, or gift for extended family.

Read more via Orbitz.com below, and link to full article HERE...

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The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, South Carolina
At this hotel, produce isn’t the only type of food grown and harvested. In fact, the employees center on finding, roasting, and even slurping oysters and making sure guests can partake in this seafood bliss with a little guidance. The hotel holds an oyster class conducted by a Southern etiquette expert, Suzanne Pollak, dean of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits. She provides an insider’s guide to choosing the best seasonal oysters in Charleston, then teaches participants how to make a world class Oyster Pan Roast in a 1740s South of Broad house. Guests will take home recipes from the Dean and their own oyster knife for future “Southern style” oyster roasts.

Florals Workshop: Basics

A. K. Lister

Five ladies -- including us Deans -- took Florals Workshop: Basics with Lily Peterson of Flowershop [top left] and all we got were these UNBELIEVABLY GORGEOUS ARRANGEMENTS to take home!  Not to mention a dose of the beautiful outdoors in the Academy Garden, along with tea, coffee, and Charleston's finest croissants by Cristophe.  Some of the flowers used in our arrangements were Pepper Berry, Spray Rose, Garden Rose Caramel Antique, Ranunculus, Kangaroo Paws, Smoke Bush, and painted leaves...all in warm Autumnal hues perfect for Halloween weekend.

 Q & A

We asked, Where can I find flowers locally? Lily answered: Horst in Charleston, or Whole Foods, which has their own farms so offer great prices and great specials (Mothers Day peonies, etc.)

What kind of vase should I use? A trapeze shape, which is very forgiving.  A smaller opening will give your arrangement more support, and heavy base will make it easy to transport.

How much greenery do I need?  How many flowers?  At least one green element (lots of it) and three different kinds of flowers, to start.

Is it OK to see the back of the leaves?  Yes!  When you are looking for that natural feel, it helps to have the contrast of matte and smooth leaves.

How do I water my arrangement?  Put the entire arrangement in the sink, directly under the faucet, and (without removing any flowers) let the flow of water for a minute or two refresh your vase.

Lily's Lessons

Don't let the shape of the flowers control you.  Remember, you are in charge!  Create a tight grid on the mouth of the (still dry) vase using floral tape to help format your flowers.

Start with greenery.  Clean the stems, cutting off any loose leaves, and don't be afraid to edit, removing branches, starting at the bottom.  Lily suggests working with a diagonal line for a loose, airy feel, which results in a grander arrangement.  Avoid the dense, compact, "soccer ball" effect which was so popular in the 90s.

Add three of your largest blooms.  Trim stems at an angle, which makes it easier for the plant to hydrate.  Cut to different heights and aim for a triangular arrangement.  Always, when you find that something isn't working, STOP.  Take a breath, remembering there is no such thing as perfection.  Regroup and come back to it.  Life Lesson #1.

Fill in with interesting pieces, adding color, texture, and filling in spaces.  Have faith!  It will all come together in the end.  Life Lesson #2.

Needless to say, everyone passed with flying colors.  Lily returns for Florals Workshop continued: Centerpieces on Wednesday 11/18 at 10AM, and Wreaths and Wine on Wednesday 12/9 @ 5:30PM.  Spaces will go quickly, so reserve yours HERE!

Xx the Academy

 

This Thursday: Double Up on Design Classes!

Suzanne Pollak

Lest anyone think the Academy is all about learning how to cook dinner and set the table...on Thursday we bring in Flowershop to teach the art of arranging flowers in the morning, and Charleston Interior Stylist to show us the ins & outs of home design in the evening.

                         Portrait of Lily Peterson by  Olivia Rae James .

                         Portrait of Lily Peterson by Olivia Rae James.

FLORALS WORKSHOP: The Basics with Lily Peterson, Flowershop

It’s easy to lose confidence when shoving flowers and greens into a centerpiece. These stems don’t do what you want them to, if you even know what you want. This is one of those jobs that looks easy, but with anything that looks easy, it’s not. However, with just a little handholding from expert Lily Peterson, your own flower expertise will emerge and stay embedded within your brain, giving you a life long skill, with you leaving class owning a new cool container to be expertly filled at a moments notice by a new expert -- YOU!

STYLE + ORDER with Charleston Interior Stylist

Nathalie Naylor is our favorite kind of Interior Designer. Her approach is completely different than most designers, more financially friendly and instructional. Natalie curates your stuff, items you bought and collected and liked, or thought you liked (you must have attached value at one time to these objects.) Nathalie reworks what you already own to make your interiors more beautiful, organized and livable, without you having to buy any anything new -- furniture, curtains, rugs, art. Nathalie is not imposing her taste on yours; she is gently guiding yours. What a democratic and practical way to improve interiors!

Bring one or many photos of your space to class (at Nathalie's house on Sullivan's Island), enjoy Sancerre and snacks, and let Nathalie give recommendations…just look at Nathalie’s her magazine covers!

There are still a couple of tickets available over on our SHOP -- purchase one for yourself or gift to a friend.  Pick one or make a day of it.  Either way, don't miss out!

 

 

 

All Hail the Bloody Mary

A. K. Lister

The Bloody Mary is a sweet, spicy, savory cocktail for taking with on the road and sipping when the sun is still high in the sky.  While this is undoubtedly the best recipe, there are a million and two ways to customize with garnishes: dilly beans, a celery stalk, skewered olives, pickled okra, even candied bacon if you're feeling frisky.  This is traditionally a brunch beverage -- our motto is no bloodies after 2PM, but the bottom line is it's your life & you can do what you please.

Whether going for a picnic or tailgating for the big game, show up with a tank of these + a bottle of vodka and you will undoubtedly be named MVP.

Why Buy Sauce in a Jar?

A. K. Lister

Marcello's tomato sauce came in a jar.

Marcello's tomato sauce came in a jar.

Sofia made hers the Academy's way.

Sofia made hers the Academy's way.

All right, technically, this recipe for Tomato Sauce takes Ten Minutes to make, plus 45 to cook while you check something else off the list.  But 45 minutes is positively nothing in kitchen years.  Just ask our trusty mascot & dog-bud Teddy.  He's 106 but feels like he's seven (until it comes to hiking up the five flights of Academy stairs...)

Listen folks, it's hot.  The only good thing about being in the Carolina Lowcountry this time of year are the TOMATOES!!!  Only, we're tired of salads and sandwiches.  Aren't you?  Take ten minutes out of your afternoon, whip up this little Stock Pot delicacy, and let it simmer.  

No need to tend.  Set the table!  Make some croutons!  Make yourself a martini.  Put on some mambo music.  Take a bath.  Oh yeah, make some pasta.  Top it with Sauce, maybe some basil if yours survived the heat.   Everything is going to be okay, babies.  Mangia!

Monday Morning Quarterback

Suzanne Pollak

Even the Deans learn something, if not every day, at least every Monday morning about food. We always start our workweek by rehashing what went right as well as what went wrong the previous weekend. It’s not just your parties we are analyzing. We also scrutinize our own parties in the extreme but our passion for critiquing focuses most often on our number one activity, our family meals. That’s the beauty of there being two Deans, we are equally passionate on the topic of our own cooking. Like discussing a painting, a book or a pair of shoes with your best friend, discussing cooking with a friend can help you find solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had.

Take our world famous croutons. Traditionally we always fry these in olive oil. Last week Dean Pollak decided to use the fat from her roast chicken to fry the croutons for her ubiquitous salad. Even the Deans who adore chicken drippings more than most, found these were too heavy and unpalatable. Dean Manigualt suggested she use half olive oil and half chicken fat, which prompted Dean Pollak to say, ‘why don’t I quickly toss the croutons in chicken fat and then roast them until crisp while the chicken rests.'

Et voilia! If Dean P had not opened the discourse with Dean M then the solution would never have presented itself to Dean Pollak.


Charleston Academy Croutons

1.  Using a day old country loaf, toss a large handful of torn bread (you want uneven edges for these croutons) in a mixing bowl with a spoonful or two of chicken fat.

2.  Place the croutons on a baking sheet and bake for 6 to 7 minutes at 375 degrees F.

3.  Once toasted, check to see if nice and crispy then serve.