Monday, June 6, 2016

Charleston Magazine Features CIC Alum BJ Dennis

BJ is pictured with Josh Johnson at Johnson's Old Tyme Bean Company farm.
Photo by Ruta Elvikyte
"When Benjamin “BJ” Dennis IV started looking for his culinary roots, he didn’t have to go far. Although he grew up in West Ashley, his great-grandfather bought 22 acres on Daniel Island in its days of rice ponds and cattle and ran a ferry to get folks to the mainland. His grandfather, Reverend Benjamin Dennis II, still lives on the land with sugar cane abutting his vegetable garden, memories of growing coconuts and raising goats fresh in his mind.
"Dennis began to see influences in Lowcountry cuisine that had originated with West African slaves and were perpetuated in the foodways of the Gullah Geechee, African Americans who settled in coastal counties from just above Wilmington, North Carolina, down to Jacksonville, Florida. Dennis also worked for four years in St. Thomas, finding in the West Indies a commonality of Gullah Geechee culture and cuisine, which he incorporates in the food he now cooks as a personal chef and caterer based in Charleston. It has brought him both local and national notice."

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