If you’ve ever visited Cabin Bluff, you know the perfect combination of timing and tide can mean huge success when fishing from our dock. Rods, reels and tackle are readily available and guests are encouraged to enjoy fishing at their leisure – morning, noon or night. Some dedicated anglers have been known to take a quick snooze after dinner, just so they can be fresh for moon-lit dock fishing when the tides have a late night or very early morning change!
Cabin Bluff is one of the only places guests can have their own catch prepared by a gourmet Chef and served back to them on the same day. Cabin Bluff’s Chef Rob says that for fish caught at night, a breakfast of fish and grits, a true Southern staple, is a popular request. “Or if a guest has had early morning luck with redfish, they can bring in their morning catch and have it prepared that night for dinner, or request it be served as an hors d'oeuvres with cocktails,” he explains.
Ceviche, a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, is a great appetizer for freshly caught seafood (see recipe below). “The freshness really comes through in Ceviche since the flavor isn’t masked by oils or breading,” he explains. For dinner, Cabin Bluff’s off-shore and near-shore anglers often bring in grouper, snapper, cobia, flounder, mahi-mahi, and wahoo, which all pair nicely with a creamy risotto for an elegant entrée..
Chef Rob is also a fan of blackened fish served with homemade chutney or onion jam, but is most inspired to prepare fish for what he's hungry for at the time. "When you cook something the way you would like to eat it, you tend to put more love and care into the dish."
Since Cabin Bluff’s kitchen is tasked with feeding groups of 30+ every night, Chef Rob makes daily stops at Atlantic Seafood on Amelia Island, where he’s often first in line for the day. When selecting seafood, Chef says he looks for the brightest colors and clear eyes, and finds the shrimp from this area some of the freshest he’s come across. “I only purchase shrimp that is wild caught from local waters,” he explains. “Fernandina Beach is only a stone’s throw from Cabin Bluff’s shores and is the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. And nearby Mayport still accounts for the majority of wild shrimp caught today. We’re in an ideal location for sourcing the freshest, locally caught shrimp and seafood.”
What’s next for the Cabin Bluff kitchen? “Eventually, I’d love to have a dedicated herb and vegetable garden on the Cabin Bluff grounds.”
Cabin Bluff Ceviche
2 lbs Diced trout, sea bass, flounder or any other semi-firm white fish (you can also try shrimp or scallops)
½ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
½ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
½ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
½ cup red onion, diced and rinsed under hot water
1 medium red pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar