EAT – Board in Aiken
By Griffin Nelson | Photography by John Antaki
The charcuterie and dessert boards by Board in Aiken are anything but boring. The company, started by good friends Ashley Elvis and Casey Young, is serving up a variation of meat, cheese, and snack boxes that range from epic spreads for large parties, cute boxes for individualized event lunches, to the perfect selection of treats for a date night at home.
Though Elvis and Young both grew up in Aiken, they didn’t become friends until they had kids. With a shared love of a good charcuterie board, and after some time practicing on good friends and their own families, starting a company made sense. In November 2019, they officially launched Board in Aiken. No one could have predicted how the pandemic would affect businesses and while some struggled, their new venture began to take off.
A charcuterie board is not only an easy way to feed a group of people with different tastes, but it’s perfect for a date-night-in, easy family meal or even just a treat for one during a time when suddenly everyone was stuck at home. “We both love meat and cheese. We could eat it for every meal. But one thing we love is there’s something for everybody.”
Though the term “charcuterie” technically only refers to a spread of high-end cured meats, it is often used to describe a well-rounded and balanced board of meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, dips, spreads, crackers and more.
Board in Aiken takes the idea of a classic charcuterie board and broadens the definition to create a little something for everyone. The traditional boards feature items like salami, merlot-aged cheese, pickles, fruit, hummus and veggies and range in size from personal to full table spreads.
Dessert boards take the same idea and apply it to sweet treats with a variety of candy and confections like pound cake, seasonal cookies, chocolates and more. They will even create half-and-half boards to satisfy dinner and dessert needs. The brunch boards include items like quiche and bagels and they even have a candied bacon add-on. If none of the items or sizes on the menu are exactly fitting your needs, with a few days notice you can always reach out for a custom board for your event!
As the company grows Elvis and Young continue to make every effort to partner with as many other local companies as possible. Many of the treats in the dessert boxes come from Bottom Line Bakery & Cafe. Wine pairings can be purchased via Cork & Cap and Board in Aiken’s “Mini Grazers” can be found there as well. It’s super easy to order for pickup or delivery through the website (www.boardinaiken.com) or you can call 803-646-8630. Ashley Elvis and Casey Young are equipped to make your event easy and special with the perfect board to suit every occasion.
SIP – Cavalier’s Coffeehouse
Photo by John Antaki
I keep an eye on the new Cavalier’s Coffeehouse in North Augusta, named after the sovereign’s supporters of more than 400 years ago. Known for being intellectuals and lovers of drinking, the royalist Cavaliers seemed like the perfect inspiration for the European-style beverage spot where the walls are lined with old world literature and exposed brick and accented with cozy chairs, marble and claw-foot tables.
Cavalier’s is more than just a coffee shop. They’ve designed a space where, in addition to coffee, there’s a boutique selection of imported wines and regional craft beers. With hours extending into the evening, you’re not limited to caffeinated beverages.
“I want to show people that it’s not all [from] California and you don’t have to break the bank for a good wine,” says David Brannon.
After three years at Harvard, the impressive business owner took a year off during the pandemic to spend time with family and focus on this new project. With an appreciation for coffee, beer and wine and generally loving the welcoming atmosphere of coffee shops, the North Augusta native saw an opportunity to create something unique.
His dream was bigger than just drinks and tables, though. The inside is comfortable and inviting with beautifully curated and hand-picked decor. The event space, known as Cavalier’s Courtyard, is perfect for rehearsal dinners, birthdays and other special occasions. It features a beautiful bar, plenty of light and even a roll-up glass door that provides access to the outdoor space, complete with string lights and games.
Cavalier’s Coffeehouse feels like home but with fabulous crafted lattes made using homemade syrups and Counter Culture Coffee, fine wine that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and unique and special craft beer with creative labels. You can even pick up coffee beans, a bottle of wine or a six-pack to-go! Cavalier’s Coffeehouse is worth the drive from anywhere in the area.
Whether your preference is a pour over, an iced latte, espresso from their top-of-the-line La Marzocco machine, hot or iced tea, a Chilean Pinot Noir, South African Chardonnay, a South Carolina Hazy IPA or Milk Stout from Tennessee, there’s a little something for everyone at Cavalier’s.
ARTISAN – The Girl That Grills
Photo by John Antaki
Having the username @thegirlthatgrills makes a statement. For some reason in our society it’s just not that common, and Jennifer Plemmons has set out on an adventure to prove that gender and expectations have nothing to do with cooking outdoors. Though she’d grown up learning to grill from her grandfather, who was a fan of whole-hog barbecue and taught her how to clean and process animals, she learned how to cook from her grandmother. Yet, the native Georgian didn’t do much grilling on her own until the pandemic hit.
Finding herself stuck at home like the rest of us, she pulled out a Recteq that her husband had won the previous year, which up to that point no one had the time to use. She started experimenting with recipes, posting about them on her Instagram. Before long, she had a fast-growing following and was working with official sponsors like White Lily Flour, Dalstrong Knives, Banner Butter and the local grill giant itself — Recteq.
Plemmons has at least five Recteq grills and often has them firing all at once. She’s a huge fan of the Georgia-made grills and the pellet system that makes them so easy to operate. “It’s basically an oven that makes your food taste better,” she points out. The smoke imparts a complexity of flavor that just can’t be achieved indoors. And because the Recteq can regulate a consistent temperature on its own, it makes it much easier to cook pretty much anything without having to babysit the whole time.
One of Plemmons favorite things to grill is ribs because of their versatility and ability to pick up interesting flavors, although, she doesn’t limit herself to traditional cuts of meat. Her specialty is thinking outside the box. She’s been known to grill anything and everything from Sheet Pan Eggs and Southern Belle Sandwiches, to Stuffed Pineapple and Smoked Pound Cake.
Her fun and personable demeanor make all of these recipes feel achievable. Even if you don’t have a Recteq or a grill, many of the recipes can be made in a standard oven. If you happen to have a grill in your backyard we highly recommend you use it this autumn as the weather cools off and try any of the recipes from The Girl That Grills. You can find scores of recipes on her website (www.thegirlthatgrills.com) or follow @thegirlthatgrills on Instagram and Facebook for more inspiration!
Appears in the October 2021 issue of Augusta Magazine.