This Ain’t Your Mama’s Barbecue
Brooke Parkhurst and Jamie Briscione
Thursday, Jul 22,2010
When internationally renowned photographer, Colleen Duffley, asked us to cook up a July barbecue feast at her creative venue, Studio B, in Alys Beach, Florida, we knew we had to put on something a little different. Burgers and beers were out and anything fussy involving lobsters just wouldn’t do.
But what do you serve to the hip folks that flock to her cutting edge artist’s studio--one that’s been likened to the 21st century’s answer to the Parisian salon (albeit an open-aired salon located on the sugar-white sands of the Gulf of Mexico)?
Of course, the afternoon has to be an experience. After Colleen’s twenty-five years of photographing people and places around the world for the likes of Veranda, Coastal Living and Traditional Home (just to name a few), she knows how important it is to set the stage and create a mood. Because while our pork barbecue is definitely kick-butt (check out last month’s recipe), it’s definitely going to come in second to the overall vibe of the Studio B experience.
Colleen chose to set up camp in the blissed-out, Alys Beach aesthetic that’s more Morocco-meets-a-European-resort than Highway 30A. Her studio’s focal point--at least for foodies like us-- is the blue and white-tiled chef’s kitchen flanked by open two galleries.
Once you’re done gawking at the 6-gauge gas burners, surveyed her funky collection of cake plates and dinnerware and checked out the latest exhibit featuring local and international artists, her interior courtyard and dipping pool beg you to slip outside.
And here, in the cool, shaded interior patio, where breezes and long conversations prevail, you realize that you’ve found the perfect entertaining space, just the spot where you want to wile away a warm July afternoon, sipping white wine margaritas and sampling pork soft tacos with spicy avocado crema and pickled cabbage slaw.
That was our feeling, anyway… Can you blame us?
Fifty foodies happened to agree. And after we showed the sell-out barbecue crowd how to stir (a citrusy house cocktail), scoop (watermelon cups to then fill with curried lump crabmeat) and roast (pork butt), they called out like a bunch of kids, “What’s next?”
We had to end our Kick Butt Barbecue with a bang. So we took the best that the summer had to offer--juicy, ripe peaches--tossed them on the grill and then topped them with scoops of vanilla ice cream, homemade bourbon caramel sauce and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Now that’s a dessert experience--one that you can only find with Colleen Duffley at Studio B.
Check out Studio B’s roster of upcoming classes, events and visiting artists. And if you’re at the newsstand or in the bookstore, grab a copy of this month’s Veranda Magazine and check out her 5-page spread, Poolside Potions
Grilled Peach Sundaes with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup bourbon, divided
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon salt
Melt the butter in a small saucepot over high heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the sugar mixture, stirring often until darkened in color. When the sugar is a medium brown remove the pot from the heat, add ½ cup of the bourbon. Watch out- the mixture will bubble rapidly. Stir well and carefully return the pot to the flame. Bring the mixture back to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes more. Remove the pot from the flame and stir in the remaining bourbon, heavy cream and salt. Whisk until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool and store refrigerated up to 4 weeks.
Grilled Peach Sundae
2 ripe peaches
Good quality vanilla ice cream
bourbon caramel sauce, prepared (recipe above)
Garnish--semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cut the peach in half and remove the pit. Preheat a grill to high. Place the four halves of the peach on the grill cut (flat) side down. Cook 2 minutes and remove the peaches to four separate bowls so the grilled side is facing up. Top each with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and spoon over a generous amount of the bourbon caramel sauce.
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