A Behind-the-Scenes Look
Director of Dining Geoffrey Gable—affectionately known as Cheffrey—is making waves at St. Simon’s premier life plan community—Marsh’s Edge.
Originally from New Jersey, Geoffrey started off in drafting and design, and when he found it moving into a more digital field he looked elsewhere for a creative outlet. His mom suggested he look into culinary arts since he enjoyed cooking, and as usual, Mom was right. He set off on the culinary path and never looked back.
Geoffrey’s culinary career is well-seasoned. After graduating with a culinary degree from the Art Institute of Philadelphia he began his career at the distinguished Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey. He then began building his resume with positions at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia and the opening team at Ritz Carlton Orlando, the Cloister at Sea Island and Executive Sous Chef at Atlantic Beach’s One Ocean Resort. He won 2015 Best Restaurant and Best Seafood, along with second best chef in Orlando, at Deep Blu Seafood Grille. After about a year, he headed back to St. Simons Island to be closer to his daughter, Addison. These previous experiences are vital because Geoffrey runs the restaurant as if it’s a hotel, creating five-star experiences for Marsh’s Edge members and guests.
Geoffrey found a home at Marsh’s Edge nearly two years ago as Executive Chef. “Within the first week there was one thing I realized quickly… when you start here, you immediately gain about 150 grandparents!” And, after about four months he was promoted to Director of Dining. While it does involve more paperwork, he still gets to play in the kitchen. “I love to walk in and just start cutting up stuff and leave the paperwork behind. There is something about taking your time for a perfect small dice. Just kicking back, playing with food, creating and experimenting are the best parts.” says Geoffrey.
Geoffrey’s creative juices don’t stop in the kitchen. Growing up as a surfer, and continuing the practice today, he is hand-crafting his very own surf boards. Don’t worry—he’s not leaving the epicurean life behind. In fact, he named his business Small Dice Designs, a nod to the precision and pride he has in his craft. And you may find a “board meeting” or two on his agenda when the waves are up. He laughed, “I never put shark on the menu. I figure if I don’t eat them, I hope they won’t eat me. So far it’s worked out.”
Stirring the Pot:
With many of the same diners day in and day out, Geoffrey says their culinary team has to stay on their toes. One day we may serve plated food, then an incredible buffet display and the next will be a murder mystery party. The events are inspired and designed by Social Director Steve Grimes, and the entire staff comes together to create unique, interesting and interactive experiences for their valued members. The events, held at least monthly, offer a chance for members to enjoy new experiences, create camaraderie amongst the staff and members, as well as, take the staff out their comfort zone every once and while. They’ve done everything from Bluegrass & BBQ to a game of laser tag. This past November, Geoffrey was stationed at the dunk tank while they raised money for Alzheimer’s Awareness. The members donated nearly $250, which equaled 250 pounds of ice for the tank. I’m sure it was a tad chilly.
When I headed out to Marsh’s Edge, I was thinking, “where am I?” But, as you turn off Frederica Road, and the community spreads its wings in front of you, it’s immediate awe. Beautifully designed to welcome guests as they drive in with a fountain and well-situated main building, the campus masks its mammoth size. And, it doesn’t stop there. Walking into the front lobby there are beautiful wood floors with cozy nooks and crannies stocked with books and decor—not exactly what I was expecting. The exquisite dining room looks over a picturesque small lake in the back. Dressed in white table cloths, charming damask chairs and set to perfection, The Restaurant dining room is both inviting and delightful.
The staff is ready and waiting to help with your every need. Members and guests have a large menu to choose from, with everything from crab cakes and filet to a Philly cheese steak sandwich. They serve continental breakfast every day and splurge with a big breakfast feast on Tuesdays. Lunch—a more casual affair—is served daily and dinner is fine dining. Oh, and last but not least, brunch is served every Sunday. They also have a fully stocked bar, where members can enjoy happy hour every day.
CHEF'S TIP: Save the Belly—When you have a great piece of salmon, save the belly. It’s the best part, especially sliced thin and served with a citrusy soy sauce like a ponzu.
When I headed behind-the-scenes with Marsh’s Edge, I was not quite sure what to expect. I can assure you the delectable three-course meal I enjoyed was far beyond my imagination. After our mini-photoshoot, the “models” were calling my name. I dove into the dessert first, because I couldn’t wait, and you know, dessert should always come first! Plated to perfection, this mascarpone cheesecake with graham cracker crumbs was airy and light, the perfect amount of sweetness. Accented with roasted apple and garnished with apple cider fluid gel, I polished off every morsel. We headed back to the private dining room to enjoy the rest. As I eyed the kale salad appetizer, I laughed and said, “Well, I’ll try it, but I don’t like kale.” Geoffrey promptly replied, “You’ll like this one, I promise.” I have to admit, I ate kale…and loved every bite. Tossed with thinly sliced strawberries, goat cheese, candy pecans and a delicate, warm sherry vinaigrette, the flavors were delish.
And the pièce de résistance: The entree of sous vide pork tenderloin with sweet potato gnocchi, edamame, baby heirloom tomatoes, mustard greens and brown butter—scrumptious! The pork was cooked perfectly, tender and moist, paired with the sautéed vegetables and beautifully presented, I was impressed with their unique sweet potato take on gnocchi.
On the Table:
The menu is ever evolving at Marsh’s Edge. Geoffrey says, “Since most of the members eat here nearly every day, we have to keep it fresh and balanced. While our menu is mostly fine dining, you can also get something more casual. We change it up with daily specials, and the menu changes seasonally.” Sourcing their herbs and many vegetables locally helps keep their farm-to-table philosophy front and center. Along with Executive Chef Jon Kapfer, they work hard to stay on par with other local restaurants. “Our members don’t have to eat here, we want them to want to.”
It’s Your Turn to Experience the Fare:
The Marsh’s Edge restaurant is open to the public. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the incredible meals and dining experience. Reservations are required. Call today: 912-559-4172.
Hours: Lunch: Mon-Sat 12-1 p.m.
Dinner: Mon-Sat: 5-7 p.m.
Sunday Brunch: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
136 Marsh’s Edge Lane, St. Simons Island, Ga.