The work of on-site catering is hard manual labor, more typically suited for men than for women. Most women simply do not want to set up grills, haul cases of food and equipment, and cook everything themselves. Furthermore, sourcing oysters is a messy, and sometimes dangerous, endeavor, but Erica Russo Davis comes by the job rightly.
As the daughter of Vincent Russo, Erica grew up by her Dad’s side learning the trade of onsite catering, seafood, and the importance of making everything from scratch with the best ingredients. “Everything from Erica Davis Lowcountry Catering is made from scratch including the coleslaw, red rice, and sausage!” She explained.
Having been one of the top caterers in Charleston for six years, Erica is now back home in Savannah where she not only runs her catering business that serves clients up and down the coast, but is also raising three children: Drew, Caroline and Hamilton while running her business full time! Oh, and she is also in charge of Russo’s Catering as well. Her business skills, and work ethic were instilled by her mother, Anne Adams who was a nurse at St. Joseph’s/Candler and the military for twenty-five years.
Specializing in a Lowcountry Boil that she says is everyone’s favorite, she only uses local shrimp, fresh corn-not frozen and said, “I use our homemade chicken sausage, which I make myself; the recipe was passed down from an old Matthews Russo family recipe.”
Oysters are the reef-builders of the Lowcountry aquatic ecosystem for fish, shrimp, and crab species, but they are also something we southerners look forward to slurping down in season, which opens on September 1st and closes May 15th. Davis explained that the South Carolina and Georgia Oysters are saltier and sweeter than those from norther regions such as the Chesapeake Bay.
In the Lowcountry, oysters are gathered in clusters and broken off the beds by hand, whereas norther oysters are dredged from the sandy bottom with nets and tongs. Davis uses oysters from Ike Kidd who has been harvesting his whole life with his father. They are from the beds of Mackey Creek near Pinckney Island, South Carolina and Davis said, “They are by far the best oysters I have tasted so far from Georgia to Charleston. They have a salty start and a sweet finish.” Visit EricaDavisCatering.com to book an oyster roast, Lowcountry Boil, or your next cocktail party with scrumptious appetizers.
Written by PAULA S. FOGARTY of South Magazine
Photograph by JABBERPICS of South Magazine