Years of Participation
Charlotte Jenkins, chef and owner of Gullah Cuisine in Mt. Pleasant, SC, has been cooking Gullah foods since she was nine years old. It wasn’t until she moved to New York and started entertaining guests in her home that she realized there was something special about her Gullah culture. Jenkins’ first stint was catering. While catering throughout the Lowcountry, customers suggested they wanted to be able to eat Jenkins’ food more often. In 1997 she along with her husband Frank opened the Gullah Cuisine Restaurant and continued to operate CJ’s Catering Service. Charlotte, a graduate of Johnson & Wales School of Culinary Arts, learned that opening a restaurant was risky business, but she gave it a shot. The Washington Post, NY Times, Gourmet and Southern Living have all tapped into what’s going on in the kitchen at Gullah Cuisine. In effort to share Gullah cooking and culture with others, Charlotte embarked on a cookbook venture by authoring her first book Gullah Cuisine: By Land and By Sea (Evening Post Publishing Company), a collection of stories and recipes taken from Charlotte and her husband Frank Jenkins’ lives and traditions in and outside their Gullah family kitchens. The book includes reproductions of the vivid paintings of Jonathan Green, and narrative by William Baldwin and photography by Mic Smith. Currently, Charlotte still lives in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and operates Gullah Cuisine with her husband and daughter and is looking to continue to spread the Gullah culture in future endeavors.