Charcuterie is a little salty, a little sweet and always impressive

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From the August 2022 issue

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When Jenna Bullock was a child, her parents served cheese with all the complementary accoutrements at family gatherings. 

“It was a staple appetizer,” recalls Bullock, who grew up in Brick Township, N.J., about a 10-minute drive from the coast. 

Today, cheese, meat and fruit are the tools of her trade. In October 2020, Bullock started First State Charcuterie, which delivers “grazing boxes” door-to-door throughout Sussex County and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She quit her human-resources job six months later to concentrate on the business full time.

“The beach area is ideal,” says Bullock, whose products are also available in The Coffee House Powered by Schell Brothers in Rehoboth and Delmarva Dry Goods in Bethany Beach. Customers typically order for a day at the beach, a sunset date night or a day boating, she explains. Beach picnic companies include her charcuterie in the packages they provide.

Technically speaking, charcuterie is a branch of French cooking devoted to meats, such as cured sausages. But on restaurant menus — and in most Americans’ minds — it’s a pleasing arrangement of spicy or salty meats, fruits, cheese and pickled items. 

While you might not be ready for the pros’ pepperoni roses and strawberry stars, you can create a sophisticated snack. A good “board” combines color, style, texture and dimension. As for ingredients, remember the essential elements: cheese, meat, savory, sweet and grains. “By incorporating these elements, you will have a well-balanced charcuterie board with endless pairing options to give guests the ultimate grazing experience,” Bullock says.

The amount of each ingredient is flexible depending on your preference.

 

Marriage of melon and crabmeat creates a refreshing summer repast

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From the July 2022 issue

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Scott Viselli is one chef who can stand the heat. For about six weeks, he worked in the kitchen of a 77-foot yacht, making meals for a rock band touring southern Florida. He shared the space with cameras filming his activities for the reality TV show “Yacht Stop.”

The show has yet to leave the dock, but Viselli is now the star of his own production. In 2021, the Dagsboro resident opened Fin & Claw, a seafood market and to-go shop in the Ocean View area. Those in the know check Facebook for his creative specials, including a fried hake Reuben, a meatloaf and crab cake “surf and turf,” or Nashville hot fried fish tacos.

 

Pastry chef Samantha Cilia is a cookie bar buff

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From the June 2022 issue

recipe-june-2022

In summer, Samantha “Sam” Cilia often walks around with grit in her shoes. The Milton resident and her family are frequent visitors to Lewes Beach and Cape Henlopen, where they inadvertently pick up sandy souvenirs. 

“Over fall and winter, it all comes out,” she says. “So, I always joke that once all the sand is out, it’s time to refill them.”

Since Cilia is the executive pastry chef for SoDel Concepts, count on her to bring sweets for her son Brantley, 7, and the son of boyfriend Ryan Mortimer, 4-year-old Landon. “I call him my bonus son,” she says of Landon. In addition, she and Mortimer have a third son, 4-month-old Winston.