This week on Sharp & Hot, Chef Emily is joined via phone by Chef Whitney Otawka of the Greyfield Inn on Georgia’s Cumberland Island.

Whitney’s entrance into the culinary world began in a French creperie in Oakland, California in 2000. She moved to Athens Georgia in 2005, where she quickly worked her way up to Sous Chef of 5&10 under Chef Hugh Acheson. For part of her tenure, she simultaneously worked as Chef de Partie of Linton Hopkins’ Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, and also took time out to hold numerous stages in some of New York’s finest restaurants, including Per Se, Le Bernardin, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. In 2010 she moved on to a unique opportunity in coastal Georgia at the prestigious Greyfield Inn of Cumberland Island, where she served as Executive Chef and began to gain national recognition, earning a spot as a contestant on season 9 of Bravo’s Top Chef.




Spring on the barrier islands of Georgia & North Florida is one of the most prolific times of the year. Radish, kale, cabbage, leeks, and snap peas of early spring begin to push into baby squash and the first round of tomatoes. Menus overflow with endless combinations and possibility. As a home cook, when the weather is this good, I prefer to cook outside, over an open fire. This recipe would make a great light lunch or a perfect side for dinner. The acidic marinade on the squash would be it a perfect pairing for a marbled steak or some lovely buratta.

Squash Escabeche

Yields 4-6 servings


1½ pounds squash, preferable baby

¼ cup evoo

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup escabeche marinade

1 cup arugula

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons marcona almonds


Wash and cut the squash into various shapes. Set aside and build a fire in a grill. While the coals are burning down make escabeche marinade (see recipe below). When the grill is ready, toss the squash in the olive oil and kosher salt. Place the squash in a single layer on the grill. The grill should be at a medium- high heat with a low flame. You are looking to mark the squash, about 4 minuets on each side. Remove from heat. When ready to serve toss the squash in ½ cup of escabeche marinade, lightly torn arugula, cilantro leaves, and marcona almonds. Garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt. This dish is excellent served hot, room temperature, or cold. Enjoy!


Escabeche Marinade

Yields ½ cup


1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon lime juice

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

pinch of ground black pepper

pinch of smoked Spanish paprika

1 Tablespoon minced white spring onion

2 teaspoon minced and deseeded jalapeno

¼ teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoon minced cilantro

2 teaspoon minced parsley


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Allow mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes before using.