About Fat Hen
Fat Hen offers innovative Lowcountry French cuisine using the freshest ingredients provided by their friends and neighbors in the farming community. Owned and operated by nationally acclaimed Chef Fred Neuville and his wife Joan, Fat Hen is located in the heart of the Johns Island farming community, minutes from downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Accompanied by a grand variety of local, regional and national wines and beverages, Fat Hen serves dinner and Sunday brunch in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. Fat Hen is open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5:30pm until 10:00pm (bar opens at 4pm). Sunday brunch is served from 10:00am until 3:30pm. For more information visit www.thefathen.com.
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The Huguenots & French Lowcountry Cuisine
The Huguenots were French Protestants influenced by the the teachings of Martin Luther who established the French Reform Church in the 16th century. By the mid 1500s as many as 1.5 million Huguenots gathered in approximately 2,000 churches throughout France. The French Protestant church was viewed as an growing threat to both the Roman Catholic Church and the French monarchy. This lead to a century of persecution within France where Huguenots were forced to renounce their faith and join the Roman Catholic Church, face imprisonment or death, or flee the country. By the late 1600s as many as 250,000 Huguenots fled France and settled throughout Europe and North America.
In 1685 a ship carrying 40 Huguenots landed in South Carolina at Charlestowne (now Charleston). This ship carried Rev. Elie Prioleau from Pons, France who founded The French Huguenot Church of Charleston, the first Huguenot church in North America which is the oldest continuously active Huguenot congregation in the United States. In 1690 a ship carrying 70 families arrived in Charleston creating a Huguenot community that would attract hundreds of French Protestants over the next several decades.
The Huguenots who fled France were educated and skilled artisans, merchants, craftsmen, bakers and chefs coming from all areas of France; from the busy streets of Paris to the rustic French countryside. Along with their skills and religion, the Huguenots also brought with them their love of food and the combination of French Cuisine and local ingredients became French Lowcountry cuisine.
French cuisine is characterized by its devotion to fresh ingredients, expert preparation, and complete flavor combinations. Coupled with the bountiful produce, meats and seafood of area, French Lowcountry cuisine creates a regional character of cooking found nowhere else in America.
Fat Hen is committed to honoring the culinary history of French Lowcountry food through the creation of classic French preparations with the freshest local ingredients and by creating new classics in the spirit of the Huguenots. Examples of French Lowcountry include Duck Confit with local spinach and butter beans, Flounder Nicoise over bacon cheese grits, and Ratatouille with seasonal local squash and eggplant.
Sources: Wikipedia, The Huguenot Society of South Carolina