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Test-drive: The Chore Blazer

in Charleston, South Carolina

Our new Wallace & Barnes coat combines the rugged cool of workwear with tailored details, including a blazer lapel. Translation: You can wear it from dawn to dinner and to pretty much any kind of occasion. We asked three of our friends who work in or around Charleston’s booming restaurant scene to test out our new blazer and offer some tips on oysters, bourbon and grilling.


CYRUS BUFFUM, oyster harvester and founder of Seaborn Oyster Co.


Born and raised on Cape Cod, Cyrus moved to Charleston over 15 years ago. After years of exploring Charleston’s waterways while running an environmental nonprofit, his newfound love of oysters motivated him to start Seaborn Oyster Co., named for his great-great-grandfather, Alexander Seaborn Wadsworth, who was, fittingly, born at sea in 1853. Spending his days hunting for wild oysters, Cyrus now supplies local Charleston spots like Leon’s Oyster Shop, The Ordinary, 167 Raw and Cannon Green. 

CYRUS'S EXPERT
OYSTER ADVICE


1. Pick a species: “All edible species of oysters have distinct flavor profiles, so my advice would be to learn your native species first.”

2. Check the tag: “The best piece of oyster-ordering advice I can give is this: Ask the waiter for the harvest tag! Every oyster harvested commercially has a harvest tag noting the oyster’s species, harvest location, date and time. My personal rule is not to order oysters that’ve been out of the water for more than a week. It’s all about freshness.”

3. Order local: “Oysters provide a direct connection to the waters from which they are harvested. Maine’s rocky shoreline produces an entirely different oyster than Charleston’s nutrient-rich tidal creeks, even though they’re the same species.”

4. Keep it pure: “An oyster should be eaten raw, on the half shell, with nothing separating you from it. There’s no better way to ruin a good oyster than to drown it in accouterments. It should smell as fresh as the ocean and be
served on ice.”


MIGUEL BUENCAMINO, bourbon connoisseur and off-duty mixology blogger at "Holy City Handcraft"


Miguel started the blog Holy City Handcraft as a creative outlet about cooking, but it quickly turned into a resource for bourbon tips, from tasting reviews to cocktail recipes. And while he might call himself a hobbyist, he’s since collaborated with bars around Charleston, whether it’s doing photography for the boutique hotel The Dewberry and Bar Mash or teaming up with the guys at Brothers & Craft (the online editorial brand who also shot this story for us).

HOW TO SUMMER-IZE YOUR BOURBON

This brown spirit can conjure up the image of darkly lit bars in the dead of winter more than a backyard summer barbecue. So we asked Miguel for a simple cocktail recipe for the perfect summer bourbon drink.

Miguel's Lowcountry Smash:
2 ounces high-quality bourbon
1 ounce sweet tea syrup ("I'd recommend Charleston's own Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.")
1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1. Shake all the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker for about 10 seconds.
2. Strain over a Mason jar packed with crushed ice.
3. Garnish with a mint sprig and you're all set for summer.


BEN TOWILL, restaurateur, new dad and outdoors enthusiast


Three years ago, Ben and Kate Towill left New York City—where Ben had opened the beloved Fat Radish—and arrived in Charleston. Expanding from their lifestyle-driven design and development company, Basic Projects, they’re opening a new restaurant this fall, Basic Kitchen. Housed in a historic,
late-1800s building in downtown Charleston, the restaurant’s goal will be to use seasonal, local produce and the best ingredients to create food that’s not only delicious, but nourishing and energizing too.
Recipe

Grilled Summer Squash with Kale Pesto

From The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries, written by Ben Towill and Phil Winser.
Photograph by Nicole Franzen.

INGREDIENTS
Coarse salt
½ bunch kale, roughly chopped
6 cloves roasted garlic
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
Zest and juice of half a lemon
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
2 pounds summer squash (we love avocado squash, but yellow squash or zucchini work well too), cut into wedges
DIRECTIONS
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and liberally salt it. Place the kale in the boiling water and cook until it’s bright green and just tender, about five minutes. Drain the kale, rinse it with cool water and use your hands to squeeze out all the liquid. Place the kale into the bowl of a food processor along with the roasted garlic, pine nuts, Pecorino, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pulse until everything is very finely chopped and then, with the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season the pesto with salt to taste and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat grill or grill pan so it’s superhot. Use your hands to coat the squash wedges with a few tablespoons of olive oil and season aggressively with salt. Grill them, turning now and then until softened and just slightly charred all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the squash to a serving platter, spoon over the pesto and serve immediately.


How are you wearing our new chore blazer? Show us on Instagram by tagging @jcrewmens.

Photographs by Kindler Studios.
Grooming by Patrick Navarro.



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