/ menu by Chef Philip Bollhoefer

/ table by Chelsea Lane Photography

The duo of Chelsea and Philip Bollhoefer return to bring us seasonal inspiration. With a prompt of “Carolina trout” we turned them loose for a definitive summer table. Chef called on Sunburst Trout Farms for exquisite fish, raised in Carolina water. “For me, trout is the fish of summer,” says Philip.

Rainbow Trout is a native American fish, one that thrives  in aquaculture. Sunburst Farm’s water source comes from  the Pisgah National Forest, land untouched by industry. The naturally acidic-leaning water flows 6,000 gallons per minute. They flood their ponds with up to 20 feet of it per minute, about twice the industry average. Fish can reach two pounds before maturity (which takes about a year and a half or a bit more at Sunburst) creating a naturally plump filet with renowned delicate flavor.

Veg brings a myriad of color, composed of both cooked and raw components for a fresh summer bite. Chef believes summer is the season to take a step back and let the ingredients do the hard work. “I encourage everyone to not manipulate their natural flavors and textures, restraint is just as important as creativity,” he says.

Carolina Gold Rice produced by Anson Mills balances a homemade pepper base-sauce and grilled lemon adds a brightness that can only be described as restaurant-worthy.

If you’ve cultivated a vegetable garden this year, many  of the ingredients may be just steps out the door. Find the balance of the rest at SC State Farmers Market locations. Sunburst Farm trout is sold at Swamp Rabbit Grocery, Harris Teeter and online, where they’ll ship direct to you.

Modeling  Summer

Shooting food is an  art in its own right,  but Chelsea is also a notable food stylist.  She says color is one  of the first things she thinks about.


“I fall in love with how 2-3 colors can enhance each other,” she says. “Using the turquoise backdrop,  I immediately knew the kind of ingredients I wanted to highlight: the red peppers, the purple Johnny Jump-ups and the redbud branch,” which she learned from her husband that redbuds  are edible.

Drink wine with trout

We love the idea of opening a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white for the table with the ability for diners to sip at will, so we asked Matt Tebbetts of Mission Grape Co. to pick one of each for our spread. The wines are available at local retailers, priced between $35-45 each. “Both of these wines are incredible values for their quality,” Tebbetts says. “These are perfect wines for the food and summer; without over-powering the dish, they quenched your thirst enough to finish the bottle in less than an hour. Watch out!”

Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux Bourgogne Blanc 2017

Producing some of the finest wines of Meursault in Côte de Beaune of Burgundy, this Bourgogne Blanc is from a 1/2 acre plot. It’s a white that’s crisp and refreshing from one of the finest producers without paying a fortune, the Bourgogne Blanc is a winner. Brilliant acidity, lemon zest, with green apple/peach/pear that pairs well with fish and summer vegetables.

Hazelfern Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017

Tiny-cult producer from Oregon. This red pairs well with any veggie or fish dish as summer heats up. Don’t let the light color fool you as it packs plenty of fruit with cherry/cranberry notes and a nice scent of rose petals on the nose. The wine is also well-balanced with acidity and tannins.

Grilled Trout with Vegetable “Succotash,” Carolina Gold Rice, Piquillo Pepper Sauce and Grilled Lemon

Recipe for 4-6 people


Raw and Cooked Vegetable Succotash

4            oz          Haricot Verts, 1” pieces

½           cup Shelled English Peas

1            cup Baby Tomatoes, cut in half

½           cup Zucchini, small dice

½           cup Yellow Squash, small dice

1/4       cup Shallots, thinly sliced

2            Yellow Corn Ears

1            tbsp Cooking Oil

2            Lemons

1            tbsp Olive Oil

½           tsp Salt

2            sprigs Fresh Thyme, picked

2            sprigs Fresh Dill, picked


Bring a medium size pot of salted water to a boil (water should taste salty like the ocean). Prepare a small ice bath to chill vegetables. Add haricot verts and peas and cook for 2 minutes, remove and chill in ice bath. Remove from ice bath and dry on a paper towel lined plate. Beans and peas should be bright green and retain their crunch. Heat a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat. Cut corn kernels off the cob, add oil to pan and sauté for approximately 1.5 minutes. Remove from pan and chill. Combine all of the cooked and raw vegetables in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add salt, lemon, olive oil, herbs, and toss. Add additional salt to taste if desired. Serve immediately.


Piquillo Pepper Sauce

¼           cup Sliced Shallots

2            Garlic Cloves, minced

¼           cup Dry White Wine

1            tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1            cup  Piquillo Peppers

2            tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

¼           tsp Smoked Paprika

1/8       tsp Red Pepper Flakes

½           tsp Kosher Salt


Heat a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds. Add white wine and cook  until almost completely evaporated. Add Piquillo peppers, paprika, salt and pepper flakes. Cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Transfer into a blender, add lemon juice and blend on high  until smooth.


Carolina Gold Rice

1            cup Anson Mills Carolina  Gold Rice

1            Fresh Bay Leaf

1            tbsp Kosher Salt

4            cups Water

1            tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Bring water, salt and bay leaf to a boil  in a heavy bottomed pot. Reduce to medium heat, add rice and stir once. Cook over medium heat uncovered for approximately 15 minutes until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Drain rice from water and gently fold in olive oil.


Grilled Lemon

2            Lemons, cut into quarters


Grill over high heat for approx. 2 minutes on each side until slightly charred.


Grilled Trout

6            filets Sunburst Farm Trout

1            tbsp Cooking Oil

1            tbsp Chopped Parsley

1            tbsp Fresh Thyme

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Preheat grill to medium high if using gas grill, if using charcoal leave 4-6 inches  of space between grill grate and hot charcoal. Trim the trout filets into uniform filets removing any belly fat or fin pieces, leaving the skin on. Season both sides  of the trout filet with salt and pepper. Evenly coat trout filets with cooking oil and sprinkle herbs on the flesh side of the filets. Grill filets for approximately 3 minutes on each side being careful not to burn the skin.

To Finish

First, put piquillo pepper sauce down on base of serving dish or plates. Add Carolina Gold Rice placing the grilled trout on top of the rice. Top with the succotash and finish with generous squeeze of grilled lemon.