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A Sea Island Valentine's Day at Home

We've set the menu for your table.

Romance is in the air and there’s no better place to celebrate than Sea Island. But if you can’t join us for Valentine’s Day, allow us to create a Sea Island experience through a curated dinner menu for you and those you love. Enjoy recipes we have featured in our  Sea Island Life Magazine and our Soul of the South cookbook.

Set the table. Light the candles. And cue the playlist.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Jump to:
Cocktails / Appetizers / BreadsSoup and Salad /
Entrées / Accompaniments / Desserts

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Summer in Kyoto

Makes 1 Cocktail


2 Ounces Koji Sake
2 Ounces Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Rosé
1 Ounce Blackberry-Basil Syrup
1/4 Ounce Lemon Juice
Salt, to taste
1 Blackberry, for garnish
1 Basil Leaf, for garnish

  1. Combine sake, rosé, blackberry-basil syrup, lemon juice and salt in a stemmed Bordeaux wine glass. Stir and add ice, then finish with blackberry and basil leaf garnishes.

Blackberry-Basil Syrup


Four 6-Ounce Containers of Blackberries
10 Ounces Fresh Basil
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Water

  1. Combine blackberries, basil, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.

This recipe was featured in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.

Tavola 75

Makes 1 Cocktail


1 Ounce Death’s Door Gin
1 Ounce simple syrup
1 Ounce Grapefruit Juice
3 Ounces Prosecco
1 Grapefruit Twist, for garnish

  1. Combine gin, simple syrup and grapefruit juice in a shaker. Add ice, then shake.
  2. Strain into a Champagne flute.
  3. Top with prosecco and garnish with a twist of grapefruit.

This recipe was featured in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.


Tavola Meatballs

Makes 25 meatballs


1 Pound White Bread, Crust Removed
½ Cup Whole Milk
5 Pounds Ground Beef
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
1/4 Cup Garlic, Minced
1 Bunch Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1/8 Cup Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
3 Eggs
Tomato Sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Rough tear bread into a medium mixing bowl. Add milk and soak until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain liquid from bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add beef, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well by hand, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and soaked bread. (Make sure bread is well drained.) Mix by hand for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Shape mixture into 3-ounce meatballs, vigorously packing and shaping by hand for 1 to 2 minutes per meatball. (Think mud pies or packed snowballs.) Try to shape the meatball into an oval; the meatballs will relax while cooking and return to a round shape.
  5. On a roasting rack, arrange meatballs 1 to 2 inches apart in uniform rows. This helps with even roasting. Add water (1/2 inch deep) to the bottom of the roasting pan to prevent meatballs from drying out. Roast meatballs to a 145° internal temperature, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover and rest 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Remove meatballs from roasting tray and serve with your favorite tomato sauce.

This recipe is featured in Soul of the South Cookbook.

Spicy Cast-Iron Shrimp

Serves 4-8


2 Pounds Tail-On Georgia White Shrimp
2 Teaspoons Blackening Seasoning
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Shallot, Minced
1 Teaspoon Garlic, Minced
2 Cups White Wine
1 Teaspoon Sambal
3 Tablespoons Butter, Diced and Chilled
Salt to Taste

  1. Season shrimp with blackening seasoning. Over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil in a medium cast-iron skillet. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until they begin to turn light brown.
  2. Raise heat to high and immediately add shrimp; stir. Add the white wine, stir, and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sambal and cook until shrimp are fully orange and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add diced butter and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and add salt if needed.

This recipe is featured in Soul of the South Cookbook.


Hush Puppies

Makes roughly 100


1 quart Atkinson Milling Co. hush puppy mix
½ small red bell pepper, diced
½ small green bell pepper, diced
½ small yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup corn, removed from the cob
½ small Vidalia onion, diced
1 small jalapeño, brunoised
Cooking oil, as needed
Sparkling water, as needed

  1. Place all ingredients except sparkling water in a bowl and mix. Slowly add water while stirring until the mix is thick.
  2. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat oil to 350 F in a heavy duty pot. Roll dough into 1-ounce balls and drop them into the oil using a small ice cream scoop. Fry until browned and cooked thoroughly (approximately 4 minutes). Remove and place on paper towels to drain excess oil.
  4. Immediately season with salt, then serve

This recipe was featured in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.

Sea Island Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes roughly 20


14 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup baking powder
¼ cup baking soda
2 tablespoons salt
4 ½ sticks butter, cubed
5 ½ cups buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Add butter and work into dry ingredients until butter is walnutsized. Pour in buttermilk and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Roll out to about half-inch thickness and allow the dough to relax.
  5. Use a round cutter or thin-rimmed glass to cut rounds 3-4 inches in diameter.
  6. On a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment and then buttered, arrange the dough rounds and bake until golden brown.

This recipe was featured in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.

Soup and Salad

Sea Island Caesar

Serves 8 people


Romaine Lettuce Leaves


Makes 2 cups


2 Ounces White Anchovies
2 Egg Yolks
1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard
1 Lemon, Juiced
1 Clove Garlic, Chopped
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Canola Oil
3/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ Teaspoon White Pepper
Salt and Tabasco to Taste
2 Ounces Parmesan, Shaved, To Taste

  1. In a large wooden bowl, gently mash anchovies with a fork. Add egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Whisk together.
  2. While whisking, slowly add canola oil in a steady stream until mixture emulsifies. Do the same with the olive oil. Season with Worcestershire, Tabasco, and pepper, and finish with half the Parmesan. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Reserve to toss over romaine lettuce, croutons, and remaining Parmesan.

This recipe is featured in Soul of the South Cookbook.

Celeriac Velouté

Serves roughly 15


1 Pound Butter
2 Large Onions, Thinly Shaved
6 Garlic Cloves, Thinly Shaved
8 Large Celeriacs, Cubed
4 Celery Stalks, Cubed
4 Quarts Chicken Stock
4 Quarts Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Celery Leaves, for garnish
Celery Hearts, for garnish
Toasted Hazelnuts, for garnish

  1. In a small saucepan, brown the butter and pass through a chinois, removing all caramelized milk fats.
  2. Sweat onions and garlic until tender and translucent, then add celeriac, celery stalks, chicken stock and heavy cream. Cover and cook until tender (about 45 minutes), then blend until smooth.
  3. Pass through chinois once again and let cool.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with celery leaves, celery hearts and toasted hazelnuts.

This recipe was featured in the Fall/Winter 2018/19 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.


Wagyu Short Rib

Serves 4-8


5 Pounds Wagyu Beef Short Ribs
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Carrots, Diced
1 Cup Onions, Diced
1 Cup Celery, Diced
6 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
1 Bottle Red Wine, Divided
8 Cups Veal Stock
1 Sprig Rosemary
3 Bay Leaves
4 Sprigs Thyme, Divided
4 Shallots, Peeled and Sliced
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
Salt and Pepper To Taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°. Liberally season short ribs with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a braising pan with oil. Place over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Brown the short ribs on all sides, remove from pan and reserve.
  2. Add vegetables and garlic to the pan. Cook until well browned. Add half the red wine and reduce by half. Add the veal stock, short ribs, rosemary, bay leaves, and half the thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven for 4 hours.
  3. Remove from oven and let short ribs cool in liquid in the fridge, preferably overnight. Once cool, remove short ribs from liquid and pat dry. Reserve cooking liquid. Cut into 5-ounce portions, removing any ends that are all fat.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining wine, the shallots, and the remaining thyme. Reduce until almost dry. Add reserved cooking liquid and bring to a simmer.
  5. Place portioned short ribs into a small baking dish, and pour simmering braising liquid over the top. Warm gently in the oven at 300° until short ribs are warm in the center. Baste every 10 to 12 minutes. Short ribs should be hot and glazed after 30 to 40 minutes.

This recipe is featured in Soul of the South Cookbook.

Pecan-Smoked Beef Tenderloin

Serves 6-8


1 Whole Beef Tenderloin, cleaned and trimmed
4 Ounces Brown Sugar
1 Ounce Slat
1 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
2 Cups Pecan Chips (soaked in water)
3 Charcoal Briquettes
Aluminum Baking Pan
Aluminum Foil
Roasting Rack

  1.  Combine brown sugar, salt and black pepper. Mix well. Coat the entire beef tenderloin with rub and let sit for a minimum of two hours in the refrigerator.
  2. To cold smoke the beef, start by making a packet out of aluminum foil to hold the charcoal and wood chips. Heat the charcoal using a charcoal chimney, then add the hot coals to the aluminum foil packet. Place the packet in one corner of the baking pan. Add the pecan wood chips on top of the hot charcoal. Set the roasting rack in the pan and place the tenderloin on the roasting rack. Cover the entire pan with aluminum foil, piercing a few holes in the top to vent. Allow the beef to cold smoke for 45 to 60 minutes in a well-ventilated area or outside.
  3. Remove the beef from the smoker, wrap and return to refrigerator. Once the beef is chilled, remove from the refrigerator and cut into 2- to 3-inch thick steaks. Grill the steaks to the desired temperature. Serve with your favorite accompaniments.

This recipe was featured in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.


Sweet Potato Soufflé

Serves 4-6 people


4 Large Sweet Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
4 Ounces Butter, cut into pieces
1/4 Cup Condensed Milk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Molasses
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
4 Ounces Miniature Marshmallows

  1. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes, then place them into a large cooking pot and cover with cold water. Season the water with salt to taste. On high heat, simmer and cook the potatoes until tender—about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Strain the sweet potatoes, removing as much water as possible. Place them on a sheet pan and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, until dry.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and place the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Using a rubber spatula or the paddle attachment on the mixer, blend the butter, condensed milk, vanilla extract, brown sugar and molasses. Mix thoroughly until smooth. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg and kosher salt. Place the mixture into a casserole dish and cover it with miniature marshmallows. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the marshmallows have risen and are golden brown on top.

This recipe was featured in the Fall/Winter 2019/20 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.

Tomato Tart

Heirloom Tomato Tart


Makes 1 tart


1 (4- by 1 ½-inch) piece frozen puff pastry
Tomato vinaigrette
Marinated cherry tomatoes, sliced Picked thyme leaves, to taste

  1. Partially defrost the frozen puff pastry, then use a lattice roller to punch holes in the dough; if a lattice roller is not available, a fork can be used as well. After prep, brush the dough with the tomato vinaigrette.
  2. Place four slices of marinated cherry tomatoes on top, then put thyme leaves on top of the tomatoes.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown.

Tomato Vinaigrette


6 plum tomatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 sprigs thyme leaves
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and thyme leaves.
  2. Roast ingredients in the oven at 300 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes. Once cooked, blend on high to emulsify.
  3. Add the Champagne vinegar and, if needed, additional olive oil. Use a fine-mesh strainer to catch any clumps, then season with salt and pepper.

This recipe was featured in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.


Valrhona Manjari Chocolate Truffles

Serves 2 people


3 Ounces Heavy Cream
10 Ounces Valrhona No. 1 Grand Cru Manjari Chocolate, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
1 Ounce Grand Marnier Liqueur

  1. In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream and Grand Marnier to a boil. Pour over the Valrhona No. 1 Grand Cru Manjari chopped chocolate in a bowl. Let set for 1 minute, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  2. Stir in the softened butter until smooth.
  3. Cover completely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set.
  4. Use a small scoop to form the mixture into balls of desired size and freeze for 1 hour.
  5. Melt the remaining 5 ounces of chopped chocolate and hand roll the frozen truffle centers evenly. Set on parchment paper and allow the chocolate to set completely.

This recipe was featured in the Fall/Winter 2014/15 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.

Red Velvet Doughnuts

3 Tablespoons Red Food Coloring (liquid, not gel)
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Fine Lemon Zest
½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 ½ Cups Buttermilk


Dry ingredients:


4 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
½ Teaspoons Fine Grind Salt
4 Tablespoons Dark Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons Unsalted, Melted Butter


For the glaze:


4 Cups Powdered Sugar
½ Cup Whole Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  1. In a bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients except butter.
  2. Whisk in melted butter to the wet ingredients and quickly combine wet and dry ingredients. After mixing into a dough, knead the dough a few times to smooth and make consistent.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ½-inch thick. Cut to desired shapes.
  4. Deep fry at 365 degrees F for approximately 4½ minutes, flipping over halfway through frying. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Whisk all ingredients for the glaze together until smooth, keep covered. When ready, dip top of doughnuts into glaze and set to dry.

This recipe was featured in the Fall/Winter 2013/14 issue of Sea Island Life Magazine.

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