What a Dish: Dining on Bald Head Island
By Jason Frye
Forget everything you thought you knew about
dining on Bald Head Island.
The chefs at the Shoals Club, Bald Head Island Club, Maritime Market Café and MoJo’s on the Harbor are redefining the island’s cuisine one plate at a time. They’ve perfected dishes that incorporate local flavors, regional ingredients and international twists to celebrate our Southern, seafaring history. Grits, fried green tomatoes, scallops, shrimp and fresh fish are just some of the local ingredients these chefs use to create colorful and flavorful food. Some dishes, like the Shoals Club’s deviled eggs, honor our history, while others, like the Bald Head Island Club’s BHI Seafood Bounty, reinterpret regional cuisine with an undoubtedly modern twist. Traditional or contemporary, casual or upscale, what these dishes have in common is that they are distinctly Bald Head Island. Local ingredients translate to bold and vibrant dishes. By extending their reach to the region, the chefs on Bald Head Island can take advantage of a wide variety of fresh seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables. Some source heirloom rice, grits and vegetables from South Carolina, others reach into the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia for apples, and all of them use produce grown close to Bald Head Island to support local farmers and give diners the best food possible. The influence of foreign cuisines is evident in every outlet on the island, too. From the Maritime Market’s Asian- and Italian-inspired daily specials to MoJo’s twist on classic Italian dishes to the “Fusion” Mahi at the Bald Head Island Club, it’s clear that for these talented chefs, the world is their oyster. See for yourself…
BALD HEAD ISLAND CLUB
BHI Seafood Bounty
This Best Dish N.C. finalist showcases seafood from every part of the coast: local mahi mahi with Pamlico Sound jumbo lump crab, Snead’s Ferry fried shrimp and oysters served on a bed of stone-ground grits, country ham, green beans and tomatoes in a red-eye-gravy butter sauce.
Local ingredients join with Asian flavors for an East-meets-South dish. Grilled mahi mahi and shrimp pair nicely with an edamame cornsuccotash with lemongrass, crab salad and a ginger-soy butter sauce.
MOJO’S ON THE HARBOR
A favorite in coastal states across the South, this steampot takes you to Louisiana with its Cajun spices and Tasso ham broth. The generous portions of clams, mussels, crab, shrimp and crawfish served with sausage, corn and new potatoes make this a dish to share.
Keep it light with this mixed greens salad topped with strawberries, fresh pineapple, goat cheese and candied pecans. Pair it with an Island Sunset cocktail for a relaxing,refreshing meal by the water.
Casual Comfort Food
Spaghetti with Meatballs
Taste Chef Guthrie’s love for food in the house-made meatballs and slow-simmered red sauce. Fresh basil brightens each bite and the succulent meatballs remind you of home.
Pair this roasted turkey sandwich with a Red Stripe Jamaican Lager or your drink of choice. Served with bacon, romaine lettuce, tomato, onion and basil mayonnaise on warm homemade focaccia with a sideof house-made Parmesan herbed potato chips, this sandwich is sure to become a favorite.
This appetizer featuring slow-braised pork belly, sweet potato tots, smoked blackberries and a blackberry barbecue sauce is a great introduction to the flavors, creativity and innovation the Shoals Club’s culinary team delivers.
Each bite of the pan-seared sea scallops with watermelon, chilies and fennel-citrus dressing combines the sweetness of the scallop, peppery bite of the chilies, refreshing breath of fennel and the coolness of watermelon to create a well-balanced appetizer.