How to be a Southerner

Saturday, September 1
10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Southerners are famous 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…

How to Cook Like a Southerner
Mizner Ballroom | 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m.

11 a.m. – "Soul of the South” – Sea Island's Chris Delissio

Sea Island’s very own Chef Chris Delissio will make his favorite recipe from Sea Island’s newest book, Soul of the South.

12 p.m. – "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. 

1 p.m. – "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. 


How to Drink Like a Southerner
The Cloister Ballroom Foyer | On-going, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

"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.  

"Building a Five-Star Cocktail” – with Erica Gantt

Whether it’s shaken or stirred, learn the how-to’s on creating a handcrafted cocktail from Erica Gantt, lead bartender from our Forbes Five-Star Georgian Room restaurant.


How to Style Like a Southerner
Sapelo Room at The Cloister | 10-11 a.m., 12–1 p.m.

"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.

"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 Broadfield Experience Snapshot"
The Cloister Portico | On-going, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

"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.  



"Mind over Mullosk"
Cumberland Room at The Cloister | 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

"Mind Over Mollusk” – Oyster Shucking 101 with Thomas Bliss and Chef Bill Welch

First, Thomas Bliss, who leads the Research Lab for the University of Georgia Marine Extension, helps us get a grip on the important role that oysters play in our local environment. Then, with an overview with Sea Island chef Bill Welch, we learn how to get a grip when shucking an oyster ourselves.



  • 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.
  • Chris Delissio
    Chef Chris Delissio studied journalism and played hockey at the University of Oregon, later deciding to attend the Culinary Institute of America, where he was the president of his graduating class.
    Upon graduation, Chef Chris started his professional culinary career at The Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. He later joined the Sea Island team as a Cook 2 in the Forbes Five-Star Georgian Room. His next move was to The Lodge at Sea Island as a Chef de Partie, which led to him being promoted to Sous Chef at Southern Tide. Chef Chris is inspired by his mother, who he has said is “the best chef I know and learned first from her. If you weren't at the dinner table at five o'clock each night you were in trouble.” Chef Delissio brings unwavering passion, creativity and structure into the Southern Tide kitchen.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Erica Gantt
    As Lead Bartender in the Georgian Room, Erica Gantt shakes and stirs handcrafted cocktails for every guest who dines in Sea Island’s Forbes Five-Star Restaurant.
    A finalist in the Manhattan Experience held by and Woodford Reserve, she has won competitions held by Four Line Supply Co. and Shaker & Spoon. Her cocktails have also been published in Sea Island Life magazine. After coming into the world of fine dining about five years ago, she now designs craft cocktail menus that include her own signature Manhattan as well as drinks that flow with the seasons.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bill Welch
    From his start in the kitchen as a dishwasher at age 13 to graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, Chef Welch began his professional career as Sous Chef at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Chatham, MA, under Executive Chef Bill Brodksy.
    Chef Welch joined Sea Island in 2009 as Lead Line Cook in the Georgian Room, our Forbes Five-Star restaurant. He was instrumental in the opening Tavola in 2011, and was promoted to Sous Chef. In 2013, Bill assumed the role of Banquet Sous Chef and then Executive Sous Chef. Bill’s latest promotion has led him to his current role of Executive Chef of The Cloister, Beach Club, and Sea Island Events.