Chef Meredith Adams grew up near her father's farm in Snow Hill, North Carolina, and learned early to respect the land and all it supports. For her family, dealing on the local level was a way of life.
"My Dad was an independent hog farmer," she notes, "always giving back to the local economy."
Independent and competitive herself, Adams is one of few female executive chefs in the region with a partnership stake in a fine-dining establishment. And lessons she learned growing up form the foundation of her Mount Pleasant restaurant, Eurasia Cafe & Wine Bar.
A proud member of the Certified SC Grown Fresh on the Menu initiative, she stocks her kitchen with produce from more than a dozen Lowcountry and regional farms. Pork and cattle come from pastures in North Carolina.
Adams' entrée into the culinary world began at Johnson and Wales University, where she eventually traded studies for an opportunity to work in the kitchen of the AAA Four Diamond Award winning restaurant, Todd Jurich's Bistro in Norfolk, V.A.
She is also an accomplished show horse trainer and rider, a diver, has managed a herd of Black Angus Cattle, and competes in bill fishing tournaments every year.
Chef shares a dish that showcases the prolific sweet potato, a vegetable that speaks to her Snow Hill roots - her Dad worked closely there with Bobby Ham, the largest sweet potato producer east of the Mississippi.
Her award-winning recipe can be adapted for the vegetarian palate by substituting vegetable stock for chicken stock, or made vegan-friendly by using only vegetable stock as the liquid base. The milk and cream can be replaced with more stock but the soup will taste less rich. Without the honey and truffle, adding sherry gives the soup a seafood-bisque quality and 6 ounces of crabmeat or cooked, chopped shrimp may be added. The cooled soup may be frozen and reheated in the microwave.