In the Kitchen with Chef Adam Kirby

By:Gwen Fowler


South Carolina's Chef Adam Kirby of Bistro​ 217 on Pawleys Isla​nd
Chef Adam Kirby of Bistro​ 217 on Pawleys Isla​nd

A recent renovation at Bistro​ 217 in Pawleys Isla​nd boosted the restaurant’s seating capacity to about 240, said Adam Kirby, chef and co-owner.

It includes a covered courtyard and two bars.

But diners will probably be more excited about the meals Kirby prepares. He makes everything – bread, stocks, soups, sauces, even about 10 flavors of ice cream – from scratch.

“We serve lots of local fish. The nice thing about a bistro is that I am not stuck with just one theme. We run seasonal menus, so as the produce changes, the menu does, too.’

Q: What are your favorite summer ingredients?
Tomatoes, figs, peaches, all your peas and beans … The list is too long! Love summer time

Q: Which chefs inspire you?
My mother and Jamie Ol​iver. Both keep it simple and rustic. (I also love Go​rdon Ramsey.)

Q: What’s your prediction for the next big food or restaurant trend?
I think the next trend will be going back to the basics and going organic … Simple food done right! Flavor! It’s easy to make things look pretty, but it does you no good if they aren't cooked right or don't taste good. I grew up eating good, well seasoned food. It’s pretty simple: If it does not taste good, don't serve it.

Q: Which three cooking gadgets or tools are your favorites?
The only things you need in a kitchen are a knife, saute pan and tongs.

Q: What was your first job in food? What did you learn?
My first job in a kitchen was washing dishes and prep. I learned that if you don't wanna wash dishes anymore, you better work harder and know more than everyone else..

Q: What would your dream meal be?
Well my dream meal … that is a tough one, because I would just cook it for myself. But anytime someone else cooks for me is a dream come true! Good or bad, just as long as they put the love into it.

Q: What’s the best tip you can give a home cook?
Keep it simple. Taste, taste, taste; Salt and pepper throughout, not just at the end. Always use hot pans, never a cold one. Don't be scared to go for it. Put your heart in it, "the love."

Q: Even chefs don’t eat gourmet every night. What is your ultimate comfort food or quick meal?
My favorite comfort food is the hamburger. It has everything you need all in one, all of the food groups: fruit (tomato); vegetable (onion, lettuce, etc.); meat; starch (bread or roll); dairy (cheese); and, of course, it has some sort of sauce. And you can tell by my belly, I’m not too picky.

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