Hidden F&B: Carolima’s Lowcountry Cuisine
By Helen Mitternight
"People don’t think you need onions in a dish, but I can tell when it’s missing, and it’s needed." — Sameka Jenkins
It's safe to say,Carolima’s Lowcountry Cuisinedidn’t start out well. The two sisters who began the catering service, Emma Cromedy and Sameka Jenkins, had their first gig for a friend’s mom, but they had no training. They planned to serve the fried chicken the company has since become famous for, but they had done no prep work and the fryers they brought along kept tripping the power.
Fortunately, the diners never saw the chaos behind the scenes, and just enjoyed the Lowcountry cuisine. The sisters were well on their way. Sameka does the savory and Emma is in charge of desserts.
Today, they still make that fried chicken — with more training — along with Collard Green Eggrolls and the Charleston Chewies they say are addictive. Luckily for us, we can order them online even during the Covid pandemic.
Here’s the sisters’ take:
Three Things in Your Refrigerator:
Emma — butter, heavy cream, eggs.
Sameka — ground beef, shrimp, and I always have salted butter. It’s the basis for everything.
Three Things in Your Pantry:
Sameka — chicken broth, Old Bay because we love seafood, and macaroni noodles because we make a lot of that.
Emma — cake flour, brown sugar and chocolate.
Emma — fried chicken. I love fried chicken drumettes, it’s my absolute favorite food.
Sameka — cake and ice cream. My sister’s chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream and Mayfield vanilla ice cream.
Sameka — a clean house.
Emma — rain.
Emma — Depends. What time of day is it? My sister’s best friend, who is our creative director, makes the best punch, whether you use it as a mocktail or mix it with something.
Sameka — Same. Carolima’s Signature Punch. It’s a green punch, and it’s good whether you have it as a virgin drink or add alcohol. It reminds you of a church punch.
Number of Hours You Work a Week:
Sameka — about 60
Emma — I’m right there with her. There’s always something to do,
Most Underrated Ingredient:
Emma — heavy cream.
Sameka — Onions. People don’t think you need onions in a dish, but I can tell when it’s missing, and it’s needed.
Favorite Meal to Cook at Home:
Sameka — collard greens, a nice roast and rice, candied yams and macaroni and cheese.
Emma — My husband has requests all the time, so my favorite meal would be Hibachi. I make sweet carrots, shrimp sauce, different kinds of meat. I go all out.
Sameka — I feel like we’ve pivoted so much we’re about to do an about-face. We have to continue to monitor the changes in business, however things are changing so quickly, something could be really hot today and by tomorrow it’s old news. As a business owner, we have to be able to keep up. It’s probably why we work so many hours. I’m always on the Internet to see what’s going on.
Pictured above, Emma Cromedy, left, and Sameka Jenkins on the right. Carolima’s Lowcountry Cuisine is atcarolimas.com,and one of their offerings is a complete Thanksgiving dinner. To hear more from the ladies, tune in toEpisode 29 of the Hidden F&B podcastnow!