Savannah - St. Paddies, 2016

Please excuse the poorly written bits - I'm currently typing this from a plane on my way to a South Florida destination wedding and running on just a few hours of sleep - but I couldn't resist sharing these yummy photos with y'all! Here's a little post about a 1500 mile/brainstorming/beach hopping/food shooting+devouring road trip south that just so happened to fall upon a very big, very green holiday.

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Savannah was the destination; it's a quirky little city that has an equal share of supremely sweet southern mystique and crazy, creative energy buzzing about. Sherman mercifully stayed his destructive hand on his famous March to the Sea, the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, was born and died there, and more recently plays host to my alma mater, the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Heading south from Maryland in the earliest hours of the morning, we arrived in Savannah in a pollen-coated car to blessedly warm weather, warmer greetings from sweet friends, and one of the coziest little spots to lay our heads. The real reason for the trip (besides being little social butterflies) was for serious creative muscle flexing. I can't say much, but big things are being cooked up with my incredibly talented chef/musician/artist/general hooligan friend Kurtis who heads up not one but three amazing food joints on Tybee Island (more on that later, obviously).

Full bellies and a night's rest opened up to St. Paddy's day. We hopped on a trolly and headed to downtown Savannah to scope out the festivities from Broughton Street while quenching the great thirst that this holiday brings.

Savannah boasts the country's second largest St. Patrick's parade, and what is arguably one of the largest parties (numbers put the visitors somewhere in the 1,000,000+ range). Everything is awash in green, and beer. And more than a fair share of foggy decision making.

We ended up safe and trollied back home after a quick pitstop to buy the entire group of riders beer, sip champagne from brown paper bags, and land back to the home-base on Tybee. 

A bit of beach and sand after a good night of sleep, and we were off to kill some items on the to-shoot (and to-eat) list at Tybee Island Social Club

We enjoyed a variety of delicious sangrias and cocktails as well as a throw-down later in the evening with some Athens jams from Sumilan and Charleston fraternity folks. Always something interesting and fun going on at Social!

The next two days were devoted to food. Photographing it, prepping + plating it, mapping it, dissecting it, and (of course) devouring it. Tybee Fish Camp played host to all of this, and I had a total field day being let loose in the kitchen with a camera. Kurtis + his sugarpie of a wifey Sarah also run this creative dining venture, and it's one of my favorite places on this good earth. 

Where Social is akin to spinning jams and munching out at your hip beach-bum friend's back porch, Fish Camp is a sultrier, more elegant version of that hangout. Kurtis' creations grace plates and walls, where he's backed by an all-star team in the kitchen, bar, and front of house.

The prep work for the night's service is well under-way when Fish Camp is still full of soft daylight, but the real magic starts when the sky hits that super-saturated blue and the twinkling strung porch lights beckon customers in.

I wish I could describe just what these dishes - smoked octopus, tuna crudo, stuffed river trout, steak with beurre rouge sauce, baked oysters - tasted like. I wish I could say the photos did them justice, but they simply cannot. So instead, I humbly throw these images your way in hopes that if you find yourself near Tybee Island, you'll go check in to the Fish Camp. I can't wait to get back south again and get cracking on more food work, but until then - this'll do! Happy weekend, y'all. -MJ