Subscribe to SKG-TV Now on YouTube

 

If you’ve read my food column or followed my blog for any length of time, you know that one of my dreams is to host my own cooking show on a national television network. Continue reading “Subscribe to SKG-TV Now on YouTube”

Advertisements

A Fourth of July Friendship

You can never really know the moment when a forever friend may walk into your life. That fateful day for my best friend of more than 20 years and I, happened in our sixth period physical education class at Hephzibah Middle School, circa 1994. Charity was born on the Fourth of July and ironically, it was Martina McBride’s song “Independence Day” that began our lifelong friendship. Continue reading “A Fourth of July Friendship”

Treat Dad to a Home-Cooked Meal This Father’s Day

GrandmaDot1
Grandma Dot is my Mother’s mom, and she is one of my greatest influences in the kitchen.

In my book, cooking a meal for someone you love is one of the greatest expressions of care and appreciation. We’ve long shown love in the South by feeding each other. As a child, I can remember going to Grandma Dot’s house for supper and the excitement and anticipation of it all. Continue reading “Treat Dad to a Home-Cooked Meal This Father’s Day”

Local Spotlight: Barry Turner of Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe

Barry Turner, partner at Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe, says one of his favorite menu items is the chicken salad sandwich.
Barry Turner, partner at Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe, says one of his favorite menu items is the chicken salad sandwich.

I recently sat down for a Q & A with Barry Turner, partner at one of my favorite hometown bakeries here in Statesboro, Ga.–Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Café to learn what inspires him in the kitchen, and what the bakery has in store for 2014.

Why was Statesboro the place you chose to open the bakery?
I am from here, have lived here all of my life, with the exception of some time in Atlanta in school, and didn’t consider any other place! At the time Statesboro did not have a bakery, and the renovation of Gaslight Crossing offered what seemed to be a good location for the business. So, after careful consideration, the bakery was founded.

I’ve noticed you guys bake with a lot of organic ingredients and sell local products. What’s the philosophy behind Sugar Magnolia Bakery and why?
We want to offer good quality, great taste, and whenever possible, options which are as healthy as possible. While we realize that the very nature of many bakery offerings isn’t what one would consider healthy, we want what we offer to be as good as it can be. When feasible, we like to use local products, and we always want to use ingredients of good quality. The local supply can be a challenge, since the volume of ingredients we require often out paces some of the local supplies–however, we still utilize products from local producers when it works for us. Another challenge is having a customer base that is willing to pay extra for ingredients which may cost a bit more.  While the idea of choosing organic options, for example, may be attractive in theory, not everyone is really willing to pay extra for food made with ingredients that aren’t mass-produced food service products. It can be a struggle to do what we would like to do, and what we have to do to be profitable.  In the end, all the good intentions in the world are for naught if we don’t succeed as a business. 

The Ham & Cheese Rolls are one of the most popular menu items at the bakery. "Some Kinda Good" approved!
The Ham & Cheese Rolls are one of the most popular menu items at the bakery. “Some Kinda Good” approved!

What’s your best-selling bakery item and item on the menu?
We have a number of menu items that seem to be more popular than others–they include our ham & cheese rolls, chicken salad, chewy cake, pizza, fresh mozzarella Panini and our pulled pork hash which we offer at Sunday brunch.  I’m sure you’ll find plenty of people whose favorites are one of the other items we offer!

What’s your personal favorite thing to eat at Sugar Magnolia?
I like the ham & cheese roll, the chicken salad sandwich, and the roast turkey sandwich.  For something sweet, I love the carrot cake and chewy cake.

Tell me about your new business partner Adam, and what his role is at the bakery.
Adam is a culinary school graduate who has worked in some great places in Atlanta and beyond. He is a Statesboro native, though, and worked with us at Sugar Magnolia previously before coming on as an owner. Adam brings a wealth of knowledge in food service operation, as well as a passion for food and cooking. He is assessing our operation at present, and is helping develop plans for improvement where necessary, and working to expand our menu and service.  

I’ve been to an Open Mic Night at Sugar Magnolia before. What kinds of events are on schedule in 2014?
We do have the occasional poetry night at the bakery, and also provide a venue for local musicians. We love local folks who play their own music. Since we don’t have a large space, smaller, acoustic based groups, or individuals, is best. We also have local artwork displayed in our dining area. Artists can schedule a show of their work, usually for about a month, and can even sell their work at the bakery. We love supporting the local art scene, in our own small way.

How are you inspired in the kitchen?
I get great pleasure out of serving something that people like to eat. I want the food that we serve at Sugar Magnolia to be more than just something to fill the stomach, I want it to be an opportunity to build memories with friends, to create an atmosphere of community, and to be something that someone will remember fondly, but in the end, to be something that is just good! Even though I don’t do a lot of the cooking or baking myself, I love trying out new things and getting reactions from people who taste what I’ve cooked. I like making soups, bread puddings, and other comfort foods.  

From left: Chief Baker, Sharena Williams and Barry Turner show off the fresh baked Ham & Cheese Rolls.
From left: Chief Baker, Sharena Williams and Barry Turner show off the fresh-baked Ham & Cheese Rolls.

Tell me about your staff.
We have a fantastic group of people working with us at Sugar Magnolia, from our chief baker, Sharena Williams, to our other bakers and cooks, to counter personnel. Everyone here believes in what we do, and they are invested in doing a good job for our customers. While we are in transition presently, with a new ownership structure, we are mindful of keeping the good things that people love, while trying to improve and expand where possible.  

Name an ingredient that’s always in your pantry at home.
Now that’s a tough one–we typically always have way more than we need in the pantry and freezer at the house! My wife, Marilyn, and I both like to cook, but typically not together–too much chance for conflicting views on how something should be done! Some basic ingredients that we usually always have, though, which would allow us to whip up a meal for unexpected guests, include pasta, something to make a good pasta sauce, and of course a loaf of some sort of bread from Sugar Magnolia! We usually get something that is leftover at the end of the day, but I really am not kidding when I say we always have a loaf of bakery bread. It is good for grilled or French toast in the morning, for a sandwich at lunch, and as a great accompaniment with that last-minute pasta dinner. Popped into the oven with some cheese, Italian herbs, and a little olive oil, and our French bread or Sourdough is often supper (along with a glass of wine, if you are into that). Our bread keeps in the ‘fridge for a week or more, and is still quite good.

Opened in the fall of 2005, Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Café is owned and operated by Statesboro natives Barry and Marilyn Turner, and Adam Sapp. Specializing in fresh-baked breads and treats, both sweet and savory; including breakfast pastries, cookies and brownies, the bakery is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and my personal favorite– weekend brunch! Sugar Magnolia is located downtown on Savannah Ave. adjacent to Eagle Creek Brewing Company. Be sure to join the nearly 2,000 others that follow them on Facebook at Facebook/SugarMagnoliaBakery for your chance to win a free slice of their scrumptious pizza! 

Know of a business you’d like to see featured in The Local Spotlight? Join the conversation on social media by using #LocalSpotlight or email Rebekah at SKGFoodBlog@gmail.com

New to Some Kinda Good? Welcome!
I’m a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV personality. A Season 2 Contestant on ABC’s The Taste, I’m the Statesboro Herald Food Columnist, and I co-produce and host Statesboro Cooks, airing on local cable Channel 99. This blog, Some Kinda Good is a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. I hope you’ll stick around, and follow me on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or find me on Facebook. If you want, learn more about me, and thanks for visiting!

This article originally appeared in the Statesboro Herald on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.

Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Happy Blog-iversary to Me: Year Two!

SKG_Turns2

Some Kinda Good is two. Happy Blog-iversay to me! The year 2013 has been filled with amazing opportunities, complete with my local TV debut on Statesboro Cooks, lots of feature writing, live cooking demonstrations, volunteering and more. What a year!

To celebrate Some Kinda Good’s second birthday, my friends at Braswell Food Company have graciously donated a Gourmet Holiday Gift Set to one of YOU, my lucky readers! How awesome is that? Before we get to that, I’d like to take a look back at a few of my favorite moments from 2013, highlighting some pretty major accomplishments:

Urbanspoon Recognition

SKG2

Some Kinda Good has held the #2 ranked spot on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs since April 2013.

Freelance Work

I became a guest blogger for Visit Savannah, and my local work is also featured on the Visit Statesboro website. 

MomentsI got to write the November Cover Story for Moments Magazine, featuring Hunter Cattle Company’s Kristan Fretwell. 

Newspaper Food Columnist

May 19, 2013 - A proud day. My first published food column.
May 19, 2013 – A proud day. My first published food column.

I became a food columnist for the Statesboro Herald in May 2013.

TV Appearances

I had the opportunity to co-produce and host two episodes of Statesboro Cooks, a local, cable TV cooking program in June and November this year.

Live Cooking Demonstrations

I was invited to be the Celebrity Chef at the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers' Market on August 17, 2013. What a blast!
I was invited to be the Celebrity Chef at the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market on August 17, 2013. What a blast!

In August, I appeared as the Celebrity Chef at my local farmers’ market, where I performed a live cooking demonstration serving up Summer Bruschetta.

Future Happenings

wpid-IMG_20131122_152547.jpgPerhaps the most exciting adventure this year has been auditioning for The Taste on ABC in L.A., Calif. Premiering on Jan. 2, 2014 at 8 p.m., the cooking competition reality show is sure to be entertaining. I hope you’ll tune in to see how my Hollywood experience plays out!

Thank You
Since its inception in Nov. 2011, Some Kinda Good has reached nearly 37,000 hits. Though it’s a lot of hard work, blogging has proved to be a wonderful, creative outlet and platform for me. My success wouldn’t be possible without you, and my dishes wouldn’t be as delicious without Georgia Farmers! I sincerely thank you, my blog followers, for reading and sharing my little piece of the World Wide Web with your friends and family. Thanks for your encouraging comments, and all your “likes” and re-tweets. Not a single one has gone unnoticed. To my farmer friends, chefs and restaurant owners, thank you for making Southeast Georgia the finest place to exist.

I especially thank Julia Child who said, “Find something your passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” As it turns out, that philosophy has served me well.

Giveaway Information

Braswell'sGiveaway
Braswell’s Gourmet Holiday Gift Set includes pumpkin, apple and sweet potato fruit butters, and Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam and Red Pepper Jelly. Some Kinda Good approved!

I couldn’t think of a better way to show my appreciation for your support than to share with you food products from one of Statesboro’s own gourmet businesses. Braswell’s has been making specialty preserves, condiments and sauces for almost 70 years. Valued at $35, the set includes an assortment of Braswell’s most popular fruit butters and hors d’oeuvre jellies, perfect for entertaining this time of year! For your chance to win, choose from the options below. You do not have to be local to participate, but must reside in the United States.

1) Comment on this blog post with your favorite and most memorable Some Kinda Good post, explaining why you chose it. If you’re new to Some Kinda Good, tell me how you came across my blog.

2)  Follow me on Twitter @SKGfoodBlog and tweet “Win a Braswell’s Gourmet Gift Set from @SKGFoodBlog! wp.me/s20PUE-4197 .”

3)  Like and share Some Kinda Good on Facebook (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case)!

Contest ends on Friday, Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. EST. I’ll email the winner and announce the recipient on the Some Kinda Good Facebook page. The gift set will be mailed directly to your home.

Disclosure: I received one Braswell’s Gourmet Holiday Gift Set valued at $35 to celebrate Some Kinda Good’s 2nd Birthday.

Update: 11/26/13: In addition to the Braswell’s Gourmet Gift set, the winner will also receive one fresh baked loaf of bread from Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe!