Destination: Gullah-Geechee Foodways with Chef BJ Dennis

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Gullah-Geechee Foodways with
Chef BJ Dennis

Traditional Southern Foodways –
the history and influence on Southern cuisine today.


Southern Food…. when you hear those words what comes to mind?  Fried chicken, Collard Greens, Mac and Cheese?  While those are foods identified with the south, there is also a long, long list of foods and food preparations that are also southern. Many recipes date back to the Antebellum days of elegant plantation meals prepared and served by enslaved workers trained in European ways. Over time many traditional West African Foodways were altered and traditional recipes gave way to more trending combinations of European and African recipes to become the Southern Food we know today.  Chef BJ is dedicated and committed to preparing and sharing the traditional recipes and food preparations that were everyday meals of the Gullah-Geechee people in the Low Country.  He is helping us learn and understand more about the origins of Southern Food and the extensive selection of options.


The Gullah Chef – BJ Dennis

 Gullah Chef BJ started his career as a dishwasher and has worked as a personal chef and caterer.  His commitment is to bring the recipes of his grandparents and Gullah-Geechee people he grew up with to the forefront of what we call southern food. His time working in the Caribbean and traveling to West Africa showed him the strong thread which runs through and connects our culture and the people of the African diaspora.  His upcoming project in Charleston will put him in a perfect position to work with others to bring Gullah-Geechee foods to the general public. 


Sweetgrass baskets
Live Oak Trees draped in Spanish Moss.

Our conversation was on Sapelo Island.  It is one of the barrier islands located along the Georgia coast. The island has one of the oldest intact Geechee cultures in the United States. African American residents on the island are the descendants of the enslaved workers who lived and worked on the plantations during the Antebellum area. Today some residents are the 10th generation continuing to live on their ancestral land. Tourism is a significant part of the island’s economy.

Gather ’round and listen to the lively conversation with Annita, Doc Bill and Chef BJ. You’ll want to plan a visit to Charleston to meet him.  And, you may be inspired to visit Sapelo Island and other destinations along the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

Take a seat as we travel with Chef BJ and learn about Gullah-Geechee traditional southern foods.

Contact  Chef Bj for catering or private chef service.
Email –
Follow him on Instagram –
Friend him on Facebook –

To learn more about the areas that are part of the Gullah-Geechee corridor, visit the website: and to plan a visit check out the website site:

To plan a trip to Charleston –
For a visit to Sapelo Island check out the website –

Take a seat as we travel with Chef BJ and learn about Gullah-Geechee traditional southern foods.

Photos of Chef BJ on his trip to West Africa


Chef BJ in West Africa



Chef BJ in West Africa


Sapelo Island Birdhouses – Vacation Rental Cottages


Sapelo Island Birdhouses – Vacation Rental Cottages


For your visit to the Island, the Sapelo Island Birdhouses offer a luxury urban stay in a natural setting.



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