How to be a Southerner

Saturday, September 1
10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Southerners are notorious for their love of their heritage and culture. Here’s your chance to learn from the best at our unique “How to be a Southerner” workshops and demos. 

Here are just a few of the Sea Island and Garden & Gun inspired offerings…

"A Broadfield Experience Snapshot” featuring dogs, falcons, and gun talk – with Phil Corbitt, Chris Kennedy, and Wes Schlosser

Meet some of the talented team who will be visiting us from Broadfield, Sea Island’s 5,800-acre sporting lodge. Get up close and personal with a falcon, a bird dog, and get a glimpse of the unique world of outdoor pursuits.  

"How to Tie a Bow Tie and other Southern Mannerisms" with Wheeler Bryan Jr.

The bow tie, which never fell out of fashion in the South, is enjoying a renaissance. Learn more about this topic and what every Southern Gentleman, or those who endeavor to be, needs to know.

A Culinary Show and Tell” – with Chef Kenny Gilbert

Chef Kenny Gilbert will showcase his passion for deep southern cuisine. Taste and savor flavors from one of his favorite recipes.  

"Pour the Perfect Bloody Mary” – A demo and sampling with Nic Wallace

You’d be hard pressed to find a true southerner who doesn’t have their very own Bloody Mary concoction to serve. Watch Nic Wallace, one of the highest-ranked bartenders in the United States share his secret “Bloody” recipe. 

"Mind Over Mollusk” – Oyster Shucking 101

"A session to learn more about the burgeoning oyster aquaculture industry in Georgia and the important role oysters have in the estuarine environment."  - University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. Following the talk, we will show you the How-to’s on shucking an oyster! 

Secrets of a Southern Tastemaker – with Gena Knox

Join Gena Knox, cookbook author and Southern tastemaker, for a healthier spin on some of her favorite dishes. As a mom of four, Gena loves to cook for her family and will share some creative ways to cook fresh and simple without spending hours in the kitchen. Browse Gena’s books that are filled with approachable recipes and amazing photography. 

"Raise Your Bar” – Elevating your home bar with Monica Lavin

An unwritten rule in the South is to always be ready to welcome guests. Hospitality is at the core of every Southerner. Monica Lavin shares her tips to elevate your at-home bar so that you’re always ready to provide a warm welcome to guests, especially unexpected ones. She’ll be sharing her bar essentials such as monogrammed cocktail napkins, vintage cocktail skewers, creative cocktail menu ideas and more.

Check back soon for additional aristans and bios!

  • Thomas Bliss
    Thomas lives and works in Savannah, Georgia and is the Director of the Shellfish Research Laboratory for the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.
    He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and M.S. degree from the University of Georgia. Since 2006, Thomas has worked at the Shellfish Research Laboratory focusing on shellfish aquaculture, essential fish habitat, and aquatic invasive species research. In 2012, he become director of the lab and has continued to support and conduct shellfish research, address the technical needs and the bottlenecks to growth of Georgia’s shellfish industry, and collaboratively established permanent funding for the current onsite shellfish research hatchery.
  • Chef Kenny Gilbert
    With over 20 years of professional experience in the food & beverage industry, Chef Kenny Gilbert has run just about every area of Food & Beverage Divisions at the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star levels and now owns four restaurants in Northern Florida.
    Cooking since he could barely reach the kitchen counter at age three, Chef Kenny Gilbert is best known for his appearance on “Top Chef” season seven, where he displayed big personality and instantly become one of the most likable cheftestants to date. Born and raised in suburban Cleveland, Kenny’s curiosity for the kitchen started young. His mom noticed how captivated her son was when she cooked or entertained and so in an effort to harness it, began teaching him the basics. Kenny’s father, an avid BBQ man, schooled him in the ways of the grill, including homemade sauces and rubs, presenting him with his very own small Weber at the age of seven.
  • Monica Lavin
    Meet Monica Lavin, an independent content creator, social consultant and founder of Lavin Label. Her work has been featured on Pottery Barn, Coastal Living, Reese Witherspoon's Draper James, Wayfair, House Beautiful, Southern Living, Benjamin Moore, JetBlue, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pinterest, AdWeek and more.
    Lavin Label offers home and travel inspiration through unique visual storytelling. Monica is well-versed in emerging technology and social influence through her work at NASA and her previous job as Communications Director for Information Technology at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Monica’s knowledge of technology and her well curated taste in all things lifestyle lend themselves naturally to a fresh perspective on storytelling that captivates her followers and inspires them to become part of that story. Monica balances her time between St. Simons Island and Savannah, Georgia with her husband, Casey, and their two English Springer Spaniel pups.
  • Wheeler Bryan Jr.
    Wheeler Bryan Jr. is the resident Historian at Sea Island.
    A seventh generation native Georgian born and raised in Atlanta. A true southern gentleman, Bryan learned how to fish, play golf, shoot a shotgun and tie a tie while visiting Sea Island as a child. Three years ago, he returned to the Golden Isles and his dream job, working at Sea Island. Bryan is a graduate of Limestone College and is currently serving as a trustee. When not giving tours around Sea Island you can find him working in his garden or spending time with his wife Katy, and their dog Scarlet Grace.
  • Chris Kennedy
    Chris Kennedy is a graduate of the University of Georgia and a certified professional hunter.
    Chris guided hunts in Africa for 3 years before coming to Sea Island as a master falconer. Chris guides quail hunts and falconry experiences at Broadfield.
  • Wes Schlosser
    Wes is a certified dog trainer with 12+ years of dog training experience.
    He has been a part of the Sea Island team since 2007 as a dog trainer and hunting guide at Broadfield.
  • Phil Corbitt
    Phil Corbitt is a graduate of Francis Marion University and has guided quail hunts at Broadfield since its inception 6 years ago.
    Phil has been guiding quail hunts as a hobby and now professionally for over 25 years. Phil also assists Broadfield management with Broadfield corporate sales.
  • Gena Knox
    Hailing from a long line of talented Southern cooks, Gena Knox learned her way around the kitchen at a young age.
    After graduating from college with a degree in landscape architecture, she chose to follow her passion for food, starting a fresh salsa company that soon turned into a catering business. Before long, she returned to Georgia to take a landscape architecture job with Sea Island Resort which allowed her to fulfill her other passions for gardening and design. In 2003, Gena founded Fire & Flavor, a company specializing in all-natural cooking and grilling products such as grilling planks, seasonings, and charcoal. The company took off, and now Gena and her husband sell to more than 15,000 stores nationwide. Knox’s culinary instincts and knack for creating approachable dishes led to her writing numerous cookbooks. Southern My Way: Simple Recipes, Fresh Flavors received the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Its success led Gena to follow it up withSouthern My Way: Food & Family. As a mom of four children, Gena loves spending her time educating others on cooking healthy, simple meals for their families.
  • Nic Wallace
    Meet Nic Wallace, Sea Island's Lead Bartender. Having grown up overseas in a military family, Nic developed an early appreciation for global food and beverage culture which shows through his development of the resort’s cocktail program.
    Nic, a four-time Diageo World Class Finalist, can be found throughout the year showcasing his passion through multiple national and global bartending competitions. These challenging competitions have propelled him into being one of the highest ranked bartenders in the United States. Additionally, in 2017 Nic was honored as the Georgia Hospitality & Lodging Association’s Food + Beverage Employee of the Year. Running the resort’s cocktail & spirits program from the River Bar at Sea Island, Nic’s cocktail menu features a culinary approach to beverages that captivate the senses. His genuine hospitality creates lasting impressions and memories for every guest, every time.