Meet Kate Buchanan of Indigo Coastal Shanty – Brunswick, GA’s Gem
Indigo Coastal Shanty is my happy place! I love when I have house guests to take them on a “road trip” to Brunswick. The joke here to all my Atlanta friends is that the trip across the causeway from St. Simons Island to the mainland is far from a road trip at a mere 10-15 minutes. I like to take folks to lunch at the Shanty and then pop over to one of the best shops in the south, Market on Newscastle. It’s great fun to visit the fabulous antique store right across the street too.
Indigo Coastal Shanty is dubbed “where vacation is a state of mind.” The service is friendly and the food is fab. Plan to start with the warm artichoke dip with sun-dried tomatoes and blue corn chips. It is not your standard dip. I can’t get the chef/owner Kate to tell every ingredient which means you can’t quite reach the magic at home. Friendly service and fresh flavors. Think coastal, think Jamaican, think mediterranean, think Mexican….seriously think vacation. Ahhhhhhhhhh.
Q&A with chef/owner Kate –
Five ingredients always in your pantry-
Fresh knobs of ginger…it’s great to toss a chunk in when juicing in the morning & fantastic to cook with…fresh chile peppers from the garden..I like some heat in my food…not so much that it over powers the dish..but enough to wake it up!..Homemade preserves…I’m blessed to have TWO sister in laws that keep us stocked year round in wicked good preserves..fig,pear & more…besides the usal toast in the morn.,they’re wonderful for a quick & easy pan sauce for pork chops or duck..sometimes I just pour the fig preserves over a wedge of brie & warm it for a minute or two..talk about an easy instant appetizer!…A bag of maseca(masa)..I spent a good bit of time in Mexico in my earlier years & crave those flavors alot..keep a bag of maseca in your fridge & you can whip up homemade corn tortillas,picadas & sopes in no time at all! Curry paste’s of all kinds would probably be my last ingredient..I love curries & enjoy fooling around with different types & learning along the way..My Mom travels alot & brings me lots of little tins of curry pastes & powder spice blends…
Do you cook at home? And if so, what?
I absolutely LOVE to cook at home…my kitchen is filled with alot of nostalgia…paintings on the wall that my Mom did,My Dad made my spice cabinet,lots of odds & ends picked up on trips…a spoon from here or there a favorite coffee mug,etc…I love all different types of food so at home there’s no one particular thing…
Where is a culinary travel destination for you and why?
I don’t get as much time to travel as I’d like..I’d love to go to Thailand & Italy for inspiration…I love noodle dishes & the fresh vibrancy that alot of Asian dishes bring to the table…and I’m really looking forward to visiting Sicily one day…after hearing about the food from friends & family..It sounds amazing!
What are your go-to popular items you like to serve at a cocktail party?
At get-togethers with friends I like to do appetizers that are pretty laid back so I’m not wound too tight & stressed out by the time folks arrive…little corncakes with a dollop of chunky guacamole & a sweet Georgia shrimp on top with drizzle of pineapple verdes…or the “go-to”chunk of brie with fig preserves on top..warmed,Chunky chicken liver pate’ with diced egg & slivers of red onion on top..with crusty country bread…homemade flatbread with lots of toppings…olives..feta…garlicky hummus,fiery harissa,smashed white beans etc.etc
Sweet and Savory- name your favorite dishes for each.
My favorite savory dishes are things like Oaxaccan style mole’ negro with chicken,A real briny pasta puttanesca with lots of capers , garlic,scallops & more…I love soaking kebobs of meats in yoghurt & spices overnight & grilling them the next day…on top of cous cous with some spicy harissa & a cold beer..just describing that favorite makes me crave it!
Sweet favorites would be any pie that my Mom or brother Marc make..they make THE best pies AND make it look so effortless! I LOVE a good lemon tart or wedge of something chocolate that has a peppery back bite to it…
What do you like to do outside of cooking?
Outside of cooking I love to travel when time allows,I’m a beginning gardener & really love it…I learned this past summer not to plant so much eggplant..yowsa! I love to read & try & learn something new..I speak Spanish & plug away dutifully at Rosetta stone..trying to learn French..slow n’ steady goes it…and I enjoy going to the beach with my husband Buck & our Austrailian shepard Stella…enjoying the beauty of where we live!
What would you want for your last meal?
My last meal would start with a bowl of any of the insanely good soups that my Mom Alix whips up..and then the meal itself would absolutely be Chicken with Mole’ negro…Oaxaccan style..you get all that deep rich flavor with the chiles,spices ,nuts,plantains,touch of bitter chocolate…seems like a million components,all ground into this deep rich paste and thinned out a bit with the stock that the chickens cooking in…rice & homemade corn tortillas to scoop it up…it doesn’t get any better!!