Story and photo by Becky Billingsley
Certified Executive Chef Robert Beuth of Litchfield Plantation's Carriage House Club is one of the top 16 chefs in the United States.
On April 24 Beuth was one of four chefs to compete in Birmingham, Ala., for the title of American Culinary Federation Southeast Chef of the Year. There were three other competitions in the three other ACF regions, meaning Beuth was one of 16.
He didn't win this year, but the chef is already making plans for next year's competition.
Beuth grew up in Pittfield, Mass., where his father owned four restaurants: two Italian, a bistro and one upscale American cuisine. Rob washed dishes after baseball practice, and eventually he was allowed to help prepare food.
After graduating high school in 1996, Chef Beuth took culinary arts classes at Berkshire Community College in Pittfield and graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He worked at his father’s restaurants for a couple of years, and was head chef at one of them.
At age 22 he left the family restaurants and accepted the position of executive chef at Zampano’s in Lennox, Mass. It was a bistro serving lamb, beef and fresh seafood.
“Then me and my buddies got in the car and came here [to Myrtle Beach] for the weekend," he said. "We liked it, so we got an apartment and I came back up, gave notice and a month and a half later I moved back down here. That was in 2002.”
His first job in Myrtle Beach was as a line cook at Sea Island Inn, and during his three years there ascended to head chef. But the Sea Island (now Island Vista) was closed for extensive renovations, so Rob left to work as a sous-chef at the Ocean Club at Grande Dunes.
In January 2009 he became a Certified Executive Chef, and he loves taking part in certified competitions where he regularly wins, or at least comes home with gold or silver medals. His next goal is to become an ACF certified judge.
Chef Beuth hasn’t been alone in his culinary adventures. He is married to Megan Beuth, a skilled chef in her own right who works with U.S. Foods.
The restaurant has an annual membership fee, which is $45. Anyone can be a member, and benefits include food, marina and room rental discounts.
Driving to the Carriage House Club is a singular treat: You pass under the graceful old branches of an avenue of live oak trees, and at the road’s end is a lovely old mansion.
The restaurant really is an old carriage house, and its interior is as sleek and graceful as a thoroughbred. The Carriage House main dining room has vintage brick in places, and is ringed by windows overlooking the manicured grounds.
Tables are cloaked in pristine white linens; chairs are rattan with floral upholstered seats. The crystal, cutlery and plates are classically simple and tasteful, and the ambiance is that of a genteel garden room.
A side room is perfect for large groups, while some people prefer lighter dining in the bar area. The bar is in a separate ell from the dining room, and an outdoor terrace with 40 seats is beside a gorgeous tabby cistern.
What's to eat
The menu changes weekly so Chef Beuth can take advantage of whatever local ingredients are freshest. He also grows many of his own herbs and some vegetables.
Dishes such as Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with fried green tomatoes, lemon aioli and basil pesto topped with baby greens burst with garden freshness. The chef's deft sense of flavor pairings comes alive in Organic Baby Red Bibb Salad with vanilla-poached Bartlett pears, toasted walnuts, caramelized red onion and black pepper/herb vinaigrette.
Entrees are no less entrancing. There might be Grilled Murrells Inlet Wahoo marinated in spring garlic, lemon and thyme, and served with grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions, wilted arugula and garlic/herb/butter sauce. The chef closely monitors whatever local seafood is freshest.
Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits is served with sweet thyme cream, while heartier Grilled Veal Medallions come with hand-made potato gnocchi, wilted pea tendrils, grilled cremini mushrooms, sage and warm whole-grain mustard mayonnaise.
The Carriage House Club is known for lavish holiday meals, such as the upcoming Mother's Day Brunch Buffet. Just a few dishes being prepared for the day's two seatings at noon and 2:30 p.m. are Cremini Mushroom Bisque with caramelized onions, smoked bacon and gruyere cheese; Caesar Salad with mustard dressing, focaccia croutons and Parmesan cheese; Mustard and Herb Marinated Free Range SC Chicken Breast; Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp; and Bourbon Pecan Pie.
A bar and light fare menu also changes frequently, but recent examples include Grilled Yellowfin Tuna Tacos, Thornhill Farms Arugula and Strawberry Salad, and Grilled Steak Sandwich with gruyere.
The Carriage House Club serves Certified South Carolina products and is registered with the state's Fresh on the Menu program.
Carriage House Club
Where: 24 Avenue of Live Oaks, Pawleys Island
Noise Level: Soft jazzy music is piped in; you can relax and converse.
Vegetarian Options: Any of his salads are exquisite, and Chef Beuth offers a nightly vegetarian entree special. He is also happy to accommodate other special dietary requests, especially if given advance notice.
Smoking: Allowed outside on the patio.
Hours: 6-10 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and on Saturday evenings if there are no special functions. They also offer special holiday buffets.
Prices: The bar menu ranges from $7.50 to $21, and dinner entrees average $19-$27.
Check for Two: Without alcoholic beverages, about $70 for one appetizer, one salad, two entrees and two drinks.
Land’s End Restaurant now open
Land's End Restaurant opened April 29 under new management after closing in 2009.
The extensive menu includes She-Crab Soup, Shrimp Salad, Chicken Quesadilla, Pecan Encrusted Chicken Tenders with Sweet Potato Puree, Buffalo Fried Shrimp, Pimento Cheeseburger, Po'Boy, Seafood Platters and Shrimp-n-Grits.
The executive chef is Bobby Lance who worked at Hanser House in Litchfield, and before that worked with Land's End general manager, Steve Howell, at the former Shabby's restaurant in Pawleys Island.
Land's End is waterfront at 444 Marina Dr., and the number is (843) 527-1376. It's open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Pilot program for farmers discussed
Locals chefs and area produce and meat farmers came together April 29 for a meeting with the Coastal Conservation League to discuss a pilot program funded by the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation where the farmers will deliver foods directly to restaurants. CCL representative, Nancy Cave, said the not-for-profit CCL has had such a program in Charleston for two years, and its success spurred the organization to expand to other areas. They hope to have the program operational within a month. Anyone interested in participating can contact Cave at 545-0403.
Professional chefs team with culinary art students
The Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association holds a Trio Dinner every year that matches a professional chef with a community college culinary arts student and a high school culinary student. Each team works together to prepare dishes for a fun and casual banquet held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. This year it was on April 19, and two dishes were selected for recognition. Certified Executive Chef Robert Beuth of Litchfield Plantation and his team of Samantha Moore and Kayla Powers took first place in the People's Choice Award for Mustard Crusted Flounder over a saute of caramelized onions, wild mushrooms and potato dumplings with a lemon and basil aioli. The other winning dish in the professionally judged category was Seared Scallops with Black Truffle Mac and Parmesan Froth from Executive Chef James Clark of Waterscapes at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes with students Andrea Merrill and Mallory Alessi.
Notice about comments:
- Most Viewed
- Sampit shooting leads to attempted murder charges
- Andrews football coach resigns
- Georgetown police name robbery suspect
- POLICE BLOTTER: Disturbing discovery
- Pizza Hut to return to Georgetown
- Three robberies, same MO, in three days
- Obituaries, May 15, 2013
- SLED: Former Midway Fire spokesman admits $36,000 thefts
- POLICE BLOTTER: One dead, one sick horse
- POLICE BLOTTER: Dog dragged as punishment