Bluffton Healthy Eatery is the Only South Carolina Restaurant to Take Top Honors in Prestigious National Food Competition
The Juice Hive and Health Emporium, the Bluffton healthy eatery and unique juice bar known for its cold-pressed juices, smoothies and variety of all-natural, predominantly raw foods, has been named a winner in the 2018 Good Food Awards. Both the Juice Hive’s Shiso Leaf Kimchi and Low Country Kimchi were chosen as winners in the prestigious, high profile national food competition – which each year honors the people throughout the country who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment and connected to communities and cultural traditions.
The Juice Hive is the only restaurant in the state of South Carolina to be named a winner in the 2018 Good Food Awards. Leslie Rohland, owner of the Juice Hive, was presented with the award by Alice Waters, renowned chef, activist and pioneer at the forefront of the locally grown, organic food movement – who is hailed as “the mother of American cooking” and who in 2015 was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama. The Good Food Awards Ceremony was held on January 19th in the historic San Francisco War Memorial, and attended by more than 1,000 farmers, chefs, journalists and activists joining together to honor and celebrate exceptional food crafters. Winners were selected in 15 categories, with 199 winners chosen from more than 30 states.
The Juice Hive’s two winning Kimchi creations were in the “Pickles” category – and represent Rohland’s longtime culinary love of, and experience with kimchi – considered one of the healthiest foods in the world, and filled with healthy probiotics, as well as high levels of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. For its nationally-recognized kimchi creations, the Juice Hive works with Three Sisters Farm – a certified organic farm located along the Colleton River in Beaufort, which provides organic products for the Juice Hive and which plays an instrumental role in the Juice Hive’s Kimchi.
“My introduction to kimchi came at a really young age when, with my father in the Army and my mom an amazing cook, I spent my childhood living in places like Thailand, Korea and Japan experiencing foods that were not typically found in the United States,” says Rohland, who in addition to owning the Juice Hive is also the owner of The Cottage Café, Bakery and Tea Room in Bluffton. “I always remembered my childhood love of kimchi, and later, when I moved to New York City after graduate school, I found myself drawn to Korean restaurants in midtown Manhattan where I’d pick up some authentic kimchi on my way home and start experimenting with recipes. Later, upon moving to Bluffton and opening my restaurants, and upon further researching the probiotic value of kimchi and thinking about foods that give us everything we need, I delved into creating some unique, delicious and incredibly healthy kimchi creations.”
The Juice Hive’s Shiso Leaf Kimchi and Low Country Kimchi can be found year-round on the menu at the Juice Hive and Health Emporium’s menu. In addition, the award-winning Kimchi will also be featured in dishes and specials at Rohland’s other Bluffton restaurant, the Cottage Café, as well – for more information about kimchi dishes at the Cottage Café, visit www.thecottagebluffton.com.
In its eighth year, the Good Food Awards is the first national initiative to recognize food producers based on both taste and sustainability criteria. The Awards distinguish food producers committed to strengthening the sustainable food industry through the creation of ‘tasty, authentic, and responsible’ foods. This year’s winners rose to the top in a blind tasting of 2,057 entries, passing a rigorous vetting to confirm they meet Good Food Awards standards regarding supply chain transparency, environmentally sound agricultural practices, humane animal husbandry and deep community engagement.
“When I first moved to Bluffton, I remember an acupuncturist recommending kimchi and rice when I got sick, and I distinctly remember how it helped me feel better,” recalls Rohland. “My goal was to bring my customers both the health benefits, and delicious tastes, of my kimchi creations, and I’m thrilled that not only have people throughout the Lowcountry truly embraced our kimchi, but that we’ve been recognized on a national basis, as well.”
For more information about the 2018 Good Food Awards, and a complete listing of this year’s winners, visit http://www.goodfoodawards.org/2018-winners/. In addition, for additional information about The Juice Hive and Health Emporium and their award-winning Shiso Leaf Kimchi and Low Country Kimchi, visit www.thejuicehivebluffton.com.